Alexandria Friday Night
Searching for 6 in or near Old Town for Friday night (college grad son and 3 roomates). Good value Italian or Fish would be great. Truly high end places would probably be wasted on this crowd, but we need to make a decent impression. Many thanks for any assistance!
I love Rustico. The service I've had has always been fine, and the food is great. Sit in the non smoking bar in a booth and you'll be well taken care of. I hate the Stardust -- horrible food and nonchalant service. Union Street Pub may be good, always reminded me of a frat party but with better food. You may have fun at the Tokyo Japanese Steak House -- six people would be perfect for one of those hibachi tables where they cook it in front of you. Faccia Luna is the best Italian (since the little place on Washington and Prince with the twinkle lights is really inconsistent) in Old Town. Bilbo Baggin's is fun and has a great beer list too. Although they can be a bit touristy and overpriced, the restaurants closer to the water on King Street offer variety. 100 King is hot and cold, but a pretty interesting scene. Fish Market has great chowder and peel and eat shrimp (that's about it though). The Warehouse is really great for grown-up steak in Old Town.
Unless you are going just for beer and some snacks, I would not recommend Rustico. The service is always slow and the food is a little over the top for what it is. You may like Fascia Luna on the far end of Old Town near Southside. Indigo Landing is lowcountry cooking (SC) right on Gravelly Point by the airport. If you want oysters, Union Street Pub is a fun place.
I'm thinking you all might enjoy just some good old "Italian-American" food. There are some nice options as mentioned above.
In Old Town, you have Landini Bros. and IL Porto on King St. Prices are moderate and it's in the heart of everything.
In Del Ray, you have Hector's Place and Monroe's. The former being a real bargain. It would be nice to save room for dessert, and have some custard at The Dairy Godmother. It's down the road on Mt. Vernon.
All of the above have websites, so check them out!
And, if you want A La Lucia, make a ressie now ;)
I would also recommend skipping Rustico. Though the ever changing menu is interesting, the service is painfully slow and the design leads to a loud dinner. But if you want beer and some good pizza, it's your place. A La Lucia is good and reasonable but do take everyone's advice and make a reservation. Landini Bros is also good but a bit more old school Italian than A La Lucia. Faccia Luna has decent pizza but is rather average for pasta. Monroe's is a neighborhood kind of place which may fit for your occasion.
Though not Italian, you could also check out the Majestic on King St though you will likely need a reservation for a Friday evening. Good luck!
I second A La Lucia (I seem to do that a lot on this board) and also Monroe's (although I haven't been in a while).
Two others to consider:
Evening Star in Del Ray - often a long wait but they do take reservations I think for parties of six only. Reasonable, lots of different stuff on the menu, kind of eclectic atmosphere (such as erector set lamps), and a game room/bar in the back while you wait. LOTS of wine choices too.
Stardust (north end of Old Town) - lots of seafood on that menu - leans toward asian fusion and has a nice atmosphere.