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Volt, Restaurant Eve, or???

I am looking for a great restaurant for my mom's b'day. I will be arriving into Dulles at 6 PM on a Friday in November, and would like to try to dine aound 8 PM or so. I was thinking about Restaurant Eve or Volt, since they woudl not require Beltway drives and my mom apparently has not been to either. Is it worth going to Volt if not choosing Table 21? Ditto restaurant Eve and the Chef's Tasting Room? Anything better in town currently? Hoping to spend less than my last parental birthday meal at Komi, if that helps.

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Restaurant Eve
110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Komi
1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

Tasting Room
101 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701

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  1. It is definitely worth going to Eve for their bistro menu. I much prefer the main courses to the starters.

    1. Volt is good, but I've had some mixed experiences there. Some of the dishes are incredible but I've had two (chevre and beet salad and a shitake veloute) that were seriously in need of flavor.

      But, to make it even easier - Volt has a few Wednesdays open in November and one Sunday at 9 PM. You're probably not going to get a table.

      3 Replies
      1. re: reiflame

        I can't imagine that you would be able to comfortably get to either of these places by 8:00 if you are landing at Dulles at 6:00 on a Friday evening. That being said, those are two great choices, absent the potential difficultly in getting there on time. Volt would seemingly be better, transportation wise, but I have not gone in that direction from Dulles on a Friday evening.

        I don't know where your mom lives, but a potentially more realistic place for you (arriving at Dulles) to get to by 8:00 is PassionFish at Reston Town Center. Not quite what Eve or Volt have to offer, but some of the best seafood in the DC area.

        1. re: SoxFan1

          I agree that the time frame is dicey. Travelling from Dulles to Frederick on a Friday night -- Rte 15 between Leesburg and Frederick is a single lane much of the way, and the traffic can really bog down. Other places which would be closer might be: the Ashby Inn in Paris, VA, or Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville.

          1. re: foodtrip

            I second Patowmack Farm in the time frame. It's half the distance and you can't beat the view. A restaurant that's closer to Dulles than Eve is 2941. I think it's a beautiful restaurant. The traffic to either Fredericksburg or Old Town on the Friday night would be crazy.

      2. DEAR GOD DO NOT GO TO VOLT!!!
        There menu and execution does not stand up to far better restaurants in DC for the same price.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sfafard

          Interesting comment by sfafard - I ate at VOLT for the first time last week and although I wouldn't say "don't go" (especially because it's probably easier to get from Dulles to Frederick than from Dulles to Alexandria at that time of day) I too do not think it lives up to the hype.

          Restaurant Eve, on the other hand, is outstanding. I really can't say anything negative about my experience there. Go there. The room is beautiful, the service is attentive but not annoying, and I enjoyed everything I ate there. Eve does live up to the hype and is worth the money.

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          Restaurant Eve
          110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

          1. re: profjmm

            Everyone,

            Thanks everyone for the advice. I am booking Restaurant Eve for the dinner, and planning later than 8 PM based on previous comments.

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            Restaurant Eve
            110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

          2. re: sfafard

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6352... is a post of mine before this was known. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/659840 is our return visit.

            Table 21 is a great experience.

          3. I can't speak to Volt, although traffic sounds like a real issue. But an 8:30 pm dinner at Eve sounds very doable, esp if you have no checked luggage. You would primarily be going against traffic.

            Had dinner at Eve last month, not in the Tasting Room, and it was really just outstanding.

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            Tasting Room
            101 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701

            1. Another possibility is Trummer's on Main in Clifton, which is about halfway between Fairfax City and Dulles, a little south, so not a bad drive at all.

              1. I went to Volt Table 21 and it was really good but Table 21 is a really tough seat to get. For the money it is an amazing value too, but to get a friday with just 4 weeks to go will probably be impossible.

                Within 10 minutes of Dulles are a few really nice restaurants (not of the Volt or Eve caliber) but excellent food for the money too. Both are "chains" but smaller chains. I would strongly recommend SweetWater Tavern in Sterling VA. They have a number of dishes that are just plain amazing. My favorites are the Crab Fritters, the Roasted Half Chicken, and the Bread Pudding. Excellent food, in a casual environment. They have a sister restaurant (part of the chain) called Jacksons in Reston. Also in Reston, again a casual place, but still world class would be Rio Grande Cafe.

                For a real special event restaurant, easy to get to from Dulles you could also go to L'Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls (although again a Friday reservation might be tough).

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                Rio Grande Cafe
                231 Rio Blvd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

                1. A great option if you don't wanna deal with beltway traffic is Trummer's on Main in Clifton. Volt and Restaurant Eve are two very different styles and are both pain in the ass drives @ 6pm on a Friday in November. Clayton Miller just won best new chef from F&W mag and used to work for Boulud (at Daniel) and Keller (at the Laundry). Food style is more like Volt...won't break your wallet. Restaurant Eve is a Foodgasm sorta place. They think of everything (no need to ask for black napkins if you need one...they use lint free Frette). Trummer's also won't break the bank.

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                  Restaurant Eve
                  110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

                  1. I'm also surprised at sfafard's response. I haven't been to the regular dining room at Volt, but I went to Table 21, and it was literally the best meal of my entire life. That foie gras, mmm. I've been wanting to go to the regular restaurant again, but moved farther away, so now it's even harder for me, and I'm sad.

                    I had a tasty meal at Restaurant Eve on new year's, but it didn't blow me away like Table 21 (I know the comparison is maybe not strictly fair, since it was just Eve's regular dining room).

                    Anyway, either way I believe you'd get a tasty meal. Have a great time at Eve!

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                    Restaurant Eve
                    110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: kallisti

                      I've eaten in the dining room a few times and I'll recommend it with hesitation. It's good but not perfect. I definitely wouldn't say "NO DON'T GO" (and then not give any details), but I'm not sure I'd make the trip from VA or DC. I live in Gaithersburg so it's not far for me. The service is nice but a little inattentive (the servers are really young). The portions are really tiny and I've had two dishes where the flavor was just nonexistent. They weren't bad, per se, but bland.

                      That said, their brunch is a great deal; it's basically the dinner menu but for like 1/3 of the price. I'd totally say it's worth the drive then.

                      1. re: reiflame

                        anyone know how far in advance you have to reserve to get Table 21

                        1. re: wreckers00

                          They're booked through 2011, and are not taking any more reservations.

                        2. re: reiflame

                          DO NOT GO details:
                          True enough, details should always be provided. I love food and price tags alone never impress me, food should be about flavors, textures, smells, presentation, and a little something extra like the excitement of trying something new, the joy of a well presented dish, the comfort of that favorite food at a restaurant. But my policy is if I'm paying a premium for a high quality restaurant I expect the food and the experience to be impeccable, or else I don’t think it’s worth it and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Arriving first to the bar I asked the bartender to make an off the menu drink anything he would like to put together (side note: I do this all the time I love the concoctions that a seasoned mixologist can create and it’s fun to see what they would mix when given absolute freedom) after trying a few sips of different liquors they had, he continued to tell me I had a good palate so I was excited to see what he would create, after 4 cocktails, each one worse than the one before I could take no more, the same went for the food ordering a number of items from the dinner menu and the bar menu, I was disappointed over and over again, unnatural chewiness where there shouldn’t have been, dishes served showing colors that invoked the thought of flavor but being all together unseasoned (not subtly seasoned, unseasoned), poorly executed runny foams, all in all pretty much everything fell flat on its face, the only thing I can say is any raw or undercooked seafood was very fresh, so no fear of old seafood here, but not worth the price tag or the hype. It could have been my expectation (I was thinking copper beach inn (CT) with a nice MOTO (Chicago) edge) but looking back all expectations aside what I got was subpar food and cocktails I could barely down.

                          1. re: sfafard

                            Sounds like a New Yorker who believes nothing is as good as it is in New York. I've been and it is a great experience with wonderful service, very good food and an oustanding ambiance. My personal preference of the two choices would be Eve, but Volt is one of the best places around the region.

                            1. re: ClevelandDave

                              Haha, well if every thing is better there maybe I should look into a relocation! I've lived up and down the eastern US but never in New York, I'll add it to my list! Personally I would prefer The Tasting room across the street from Volt for food and drinks
                              http://www.tastetr.com/

                            2. re: sfafard

                              GO GO GO. I was at Volt last night for the first time and had awesome drinks in the bar before dinner. The Cosmo was light with not cloying and dh had a something with makers mark. The cocktail menu was so interesting dh waited till I came back from the bathroom instead of ordering the glass of wine I was going to have. Best Cosmo I've ever had.
                              A great start to an unbelievable dining experience We ate ( such a pedestrian word for the incredible food experence) at table 21 and will make the trip again soon to try the regular dining room

                        3. Restaurant Eve-For Sure!