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Recommendations for Vienna, VA area?

Will be spending one night outside DC. Any hidden gems in or around Vienna, VA / Tysons Corner area, or must we go to DC for decent dinner? Looking for upscale Italian or steak house (not chain). Thanks in advance.

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  1. The hidden gem of Vienna is Cafe Renaissance. Ocean Joseph is Turkish, but his riff on European continental cuisine is very underrated. At the front end of the menu is the best calamari I've had in the northern Virginia area. Try the filet mignon when he has it, and the calves liver is on my to-die-for list.

    5 Replies
    1. re: BigEats

      I haven't been to Buonarati's (spelling?) in awhile, but it's right on Route 123 in Vienna. It used to be old-world Italian.

      1. re: bordeauxfan

        I would say for old world Italian Da Domenico at 123 and 7 but i have not been there in ages.

        1. re: rHairing

          I think Nizam is the stand-out place to eat in Vienna proper. Really excellent Turkish food.

          Other than the veal chop which gets high marks, I've never heard many good things about Da Domenico. If I were heading east from Vienna to include the Tysons area, I'd eat at Colvin Run Tavern.

          1. re: Indy 67

            Definately Colvin Run but the poster mentioned wanting Italian and Da Domenico popped to mind.

    2. Born, a Thai restaurant on Maple Ave. in the same shopping center with Magruder's market and the Rexall Drug, is very good and doesn't have just the same ol' same ol' Thai dishes. Tara Thai on Maple specializes in Thai fish and seafood dishes. There's also Bazin's on Church Street, great modern American cuisine, good wine list, very popular--definitely worth a visit. Also on church, on the other side of the street from Bazin's is Nielsen's frozen custard--sinfully delicious, rich ice cream plus sandwiches.

      1. J Gilbert's in McLean (Tysons) is a terrific one of a kind steak house (to be honest it's part of a very small chain). Terrific casual but classy atmosphere, large private booths for a quiet and/or romantic dinner. Excellent food and prices (not your usual steak house rip off). Bazin's is good, but I'd avoid it on weekends, too noisy and service tends to be lacking.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Meg

          Has no one here been to Cafe Renaissance? It's an absolute foodie haven in the middle of Vienna, an undiscovered jewel. I'm reading about Buonarati's and Nizam's and I can't believe that nobody has discovered Cafe Renaissance, which puts them all to shame.

          1. re: BigEats

            I second the Cafe Renaissance vote, they usually get it right.
            Da Domenico's offers the best Veal Chop in town.
            Bazins is very good food, but sometimes service is just average and to crowded during peak times, but still worth a visit for the the food, Chef owner hails from the Willard.
            For cheap Italian Marco Polo is okay. Flemings has a good steak and nice wine list at prices lower than Mortons, located next to Da Domenico on rt.123. They are a chain, but a pretty good one.

            1. re: BigEats

              I'm glad to read about Cafe Renaissance, other than in the NOVA top restaurant (ad) magazine. We've poked our heads in a few times and honestly it struck me as outdated and stale, the kind of place that is frequented by an older generation of regulars (along the lines of what I've read about the Lamplighter in Fairfax). The prices were awfully steep for not being sure it'd be worth it. I'll have to give it a try now that it's getting such accolades from a fellow Hound.

              1. re: Meg

                Generally, the older crowd keeps Cafe Renaissance alive, but you won't find a better meal in Vienna.

                Ocean Joseph is the chef -- he's Turkish. Saeed and his wife Soraya run the front of the house -- they're Iranians. The food is European with plenty of Italian and French selections. They also have a veal chop that competes with Da Domenico's.

          2. How upscale are you willing to go? If price is no object, there's always Maestro (Tysons)...

            1. These sound like great suggestions. I appreciate all of them, and I'll be sure to report back. For those in the Silver Spring area, we tried Ray's the Classics last weekend and it was excellent all around, from appetizers through desserts.