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Feb 16, 2010 05:53 PM

Couples night out- Inox, Sea Pearl or 2941? (Tysons, Falls church area) ideas?

For what I am seeing Inox is the same cost as 2941.. how about atmosphere? Would love good foof but not stuffy.. not high noise level.. we have not tried any of these yet.. we also read about Open Kitchen in FC but then considered these others..

Also- we have a certificated for L'auberge chez francois but then that leaves us no entertainment remotely close by.. we live in tysons area and friends near herndon... thank you!

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  1. Ive eaten at both Inox and 2941 and i liked the food and atmosphere alot more at 2941. I wasnt too impressed with inox. If you've already gone to 2941 i would go to inox just to try it. But 2941 is better.

    EDIT: saw that you haven't tried either of them yet so i'd def pick 2941 first.

    1. As a note, I have eaten at either in a little while now, but I thought while the food at 2941 was very good, it just isn't as creative at Inox. They both have great wine lists, and the ambiance at 2941 is a little better.

      1. Thank you for all the feedbacak0- i should note that WE are treating (not a business expense) something nice but scared of getting into l'auberge prices with 2941.. so far no feedback on sea pearl?

        1 Reply
        1. re: lisadc01

          i went to sea pearl for sunday brunch a few months ago and the food was good. I dont remember it being to expensive, the place is nice but it was pretty empty that day. I havent tried their regular menu though.

        2. I'd like to offer a different option: consider going to Present or Four Sisters rather than the three choices you're considering. The prices at either of these places will be gentler on the wallet considering you'll be treating and the food is the among the best of its class for Vietnamese cuisine. (Yes, I know that many on this board are currently more enamored of some places in Eden Center. However, those don't have the atmosphere you're seeking.) Sea Pearl was a pleasant enough experience on our one dinner there, but hardly deserves to be in the same category for comparison with 2941 or Inox.

          Last night, I had dinner at Inox and I realized something about the food that had been bothering me. The chef needs to learn to edit a bit better. Yes, I know that complexity is one of the distinguishing features of restaurant cuisine compared to home cooking. Yes, I know about mouth boredom and that's why chefs include many elements; chefs want the diner to encounter variety with each forkful. But I think this chef needs to learn to edit.

          Last night, I ordered the sweetbread appetizer and the scallop entree. The sweetbreads consisted of a crispy single sweetbread sitting in a sauce that wasn't Sauce Choron but was that color and consistency. Two thick slices of abalone mushroom and a scattering of black-eyed peas completed that grouping on the plate. The dish also included a nicely braised and sauteed piece of pork belly and, finally, a slaw of endive and raddiccio. I liked the dish since I individually liked all the components, but I didn't love the dish. The consistency of sauce was duplicated by the mayonnaise-based dressing on the slaw. One of those should have been vinaigrette. The mouth feel of the sauce and the sweetbread was duplicated by the consistency of the black eyed peas. I couldn't figure out what the peas were bringing to the dish beyond the visual of the black spot.

          The entree was more successful. The braised Savoy cabbage offered softer texture than the carrot chunks and the super-crisp dice of bacon in the mixture. A light-but-creamy sauce unified all the above accompaniments. All of this contrasted nicely with the well-prepared seared scallops. By the end of the meal, when I looked at the complicated desserts, I couldn't muster any enthusiasm and simply ordered mixture of sorbet and ice-cream. The cinnamon ice cream was the winner of the three.

          At the moment, between 2941 and Inox, the former is claiming my affections. The food at 2941seems to avoid this over-elaboration but remains interesting.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Indy 67

            Ive been to four sister and present. Four sisters is great, good prices and the food is good. Present however i had a bad experience, ordered the combo fried rice and was horrible.

            1. re: Indy 67

              Hi- thanks for the suggestions- I like Vietnamese food but our friends live near a good restaurant already. We're going to the state theater for a show so anything relatively near there..? (driving distance) it's a late show..

              1. re: lisadc01

                2941 and Present are both about 3-4 miles away. Argia's is almost next door to the State Theater, but I don't know much about it. Looks like a moderate upscale Italian steakhouse

                1. re: lisadc01

                  Within a reasonable radius of the State theater, you could consider...
                  ... Restaurant Vero (New American cuisine) -- Arlington on Lee Hwy
                  ... Bamiyan (Afghan cuisine) -- Bailey's Crossroads on Rte 7
                  ... Bombay Bistro (Indian cuisine) -- Tysons' Corner on Rte 7
                  ... XO Taste (Hong Kong cuisine) -- 7 Corners on Patrick Henry Drive
                  ... Hong Kong Palace (Sichuan cuisine) -- 7 Corners on the upper mall level