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Jul 17, 2008 02:35 PM

Where would you eat before Wolf Trap?

Several of us are coming from various points around the beltway Tuesday. We were thinking someplace in Tysons but if there is another option closer, that's great. We want the option of lighter fare and good wine/cocktails, mediterranean and/or seafood, but aren't really famiiliar with the area other than Clydes or McCormick & Schmicks. We normally schlepp a nice picnic but don't want to this time. TIA!

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  1. I'd suggest you look at options in Vienna rather than at Tysons; they're handier to Wolf Trap. My husband and I usually go to Tara Thai beforehand, but it doesn't sound like you're particularly looking for Thai food. An option I might suggest is Bazin's on Church ( You can go lighter if you wish, and they have a really nice wine list.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chriscatva

      ditto on Vienna, ditto on Basins- unless you have lawn seats- then it THAT case- bring a pic-a-nic basket and eat whatever you want!

      1. re: Aphioni

        Traditionally, we go to the Vienna Inn for beers and brisket sandwiches before heading over to Wolf Trap. It's a holdover from when I was working to rebuild the theatre after it burned back in the early 80's, only in reverse. Back then, it was beer and brisket after working at Wolf Trap all day. The chili dogs, I have to say, are consistently nasty after all these years. I don't know where they get those things.

        1. re: flavrmeistr

          LOL, I was wondering why they wouldn't just get a different brand of hotdogs.

    2. If you want something lighter I would suggest Church Street Cellars (, it is a nice little wine shop where you can get a glass or bottle of wine and enjoy over cheese and meats and if you want more you can pop next door to Bazins for some appetizers.

      2 Replies
      1. re: vtHokies98

        Whenever you're in Vienna, and you don't go to Vienna Vintner, you're doing yourself a disservice. It's at 233 Maple Ave., and Kirby Pope is a true sommelier. If you want to talk about wine with someone who knows everything there is to know about every vineyard in the world, this is the place.

        The Vienna Inn chili dog has been lifted to another level at Del Merei in Alexandria. Mary Abraham, the wife of chef Eric Reid, is the granddaughter of the Abrahams who opened the Vienna Inn in the '50s or '60s. Eric travels to Vienna once a week to buy 40 lbs. of the original chili, but then he improves the hotdog by grilling it (Vienna Inn beer steams it) and he improves the bun with a potato bun instead of the Vienna Inn's plain old white bread bun. It's only available at the bar at Del Merei, but it is a tribute to the Vienna Inn.

        1. re: BigEats

          There has been an operating tavern on that site since well before the Civil War, so the Abraham's are probably some of the latest proprietors. It's not the cooking method so much as the 'dog itself that has been the problem at the Vienna Inn for the last several decades. Mushy,mealy things that resemble--yes, overgrown Vienna sausages! Year after year,
          the Vienna Inn sold more beer than any other on-license establishment in Northern Virginia, especially by the keg. It was mostly about the beer when the old man ran the place and they didn't have what you would call an extensive menu. The chilidogs always were more notorious than famous. Most people (myself included) would wind up discarding the hotdog after the first bite and just eat the chili and bun. Anyway, I'm glad the place is still there and gladder yet they have other things to eat. The brisket is not bad.

      2. There's a CH thread on Monterey Bay Fish Grotto in Tysons here:

        Legal's Seafood is also in Tysons