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DC, Old Town Alexandria, Falls Church or Kingstown (for a group)

Hello D.C. area CH’ers! I hope you can help me out with some recommendations

We are looking for a place to have a celebratory dinner for my future son in law, retiring from the Air Force… there will be either 8 or 10 of us, in either DC, Old Town Alexandria, Falls Church, or (preferably) Kingstown

Some suggestions given:
Il Porto
Chart House
Int’l Fish Market
Pizzeria Orso
Open Kitchen
Casa Nona
King Street Blues
Bone Fish Grill
Mike’s American
Restaurant Eve

(lots of suggestions!)
I’ve never been to any of these places and we’re not familiar with the area so any info is greatly appreciated.
I’d love a nice place, VERY good food, for a large group that will include a 13 year old? (she’s not a ‘chicken finger’ kid, she’ll eat pretty much anything)

I’m thinking entrée’ range no more than $25 per person, if possible

Any other places that meet the criteria that are note-worthy?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I am guessing you mean Kingstowne (small area to the west of Alexandria and north of Ft. Belvoir)?
    I don't know of any worthwhile restaurants down there, but people who live in that area may be able to help.

    On the list you've already got, you can 86 Restaurant Eve. Way more than $25/pp, even in the Bistro, where apps are about $17 each. Vermillion is also out of range. Eammon's (an Irish fish-and-chips) place is within your budget, but not the kind of place you can hang out and talk, IMHO.

    Chadwick's is meh but you could hang out and talk. Ditto for Chart House.

    Generally I would say check the websites/menus and narrow the list by price-point and type of food.

    For Lucia, I think you mean A La Lucia. It gets good reviews on local boards; check the website for prices. May be a little bit high but not by much.

    1. Overwood in Old Town might work--they have good entree salads, fish and steak. Columbia Firehouse in Old Town as well is good and the space is lovely. Evening Star Cafe in the Del Ray area of Alexandria is also another option. I have not been since they revamped the place but have heard very good things. All of these just skirt your $25 per person entree maximum.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Milocat1

        I do want to clarify, we're trying to stay within $25 pp ENTREE range, apps, salads, desserts not included.

        Thank you for all the suggestions.. (the Columbia Firehouse does look lovely!)

        1. re: cgarner

          Yes, I understood that. Again, if you look at the menus online, you will see that Restaurant Eve and Vermillion are probably out of your price range.

          The list is really a hodgepodge of cuisines, locations, price-points. It really would be helpful to look at the websites, narrow it down, and then ask for recs. I mean, it has fine dining and superannuated chains, ultra-casual and elegant...

          But then DON'T go by those same websites to actually chose. That's where the recommendations come in ... you can't tell anything from a restaurant website about the quality of the food and service. That's when you come back to a board like this and ask for personal experiences.

          1. re: Just Visiting

            it is a hodgepodge, my step-daughter sent us the list, we offered to take the group out to dinner to celebrate, since she lives in the area and we don't, we told her to come up with some places she thought would be good for a group

            I wish price were no option, but since we live in the real world, we need to set some kind of budget (Vermillion looks wonderful, that'd be a nice dinner out for just the four of us on a visit down)

      2. No to Chadwick's or Chart House. Mike's American is your best value. Pizzeria Orso is seriously good.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          My step-kid loves Pizzeria Orso, I was just checking out the pictures.

          1. re: Steve

            I'd go with Mike's too. The location is good, easy parking,big enough to accomodate a group. Plus the food is good.

            Firehouse would be my second choice. You'll be in Old Town so expect street pay parking.

            1. re: tcamp

              2 restaurants that would fit your requirements in Kingstown are Pasara Thai & Kumo Asian Bistro- nice atmosphere & easy parking, You might also want to look at Ft. Belvoir's officers club & the Cosmopolitan Grill on Richmond Hwy.

              1. re: thistle5

                Or maybe the Mt. Vernon Inn?-I haven't eaten there recently, so can't give an opinion on the food, but the dining rooms are nice, it's 15-20 minutes from Kingstown, easy parking, & nice & quiet in the evenings, after the tourists roll out...

                1. re: thistle5

                  I second Kumo Asian Bistro. I have been there a couple of times with my dad and it is quite good.

            2. Check out Walkers Grille. It's near Kingstowne by the INOVA complex in Springfield. It's become my new go-to place in that area. It's in an odd location by the office park but the inside is very nice, food excellent, love the service. They're LEEDs certified and source locally when they can. In the list of restaurants you've posted, I'd say it's closest to Mike's but with a twist.

              On your list, I'd cross off Eamonn's--it's take out really. If you can do Sunday, The Majestic has Nana's Sunday dinner which might work for your group. It's owned by the same people who own Restaurant Eve and Eamonn's.

              1. There are a couple of other places NEAR Old Town that we like as reasonably-priced alternatives. Ramparts, up at the intersection of King Street, Braddock Road, and Seminary Road, has really upgraded their furnishings, menu offerings, service, and wine list in the last 12 months or so. It's a little bit off the beaten path but would be a comfortable place for a group of 8 - 10 and has reasonable prices. Monroe's, at the intersection of Monroe and Commonweath about 1/2 mile north of the King Street metro, is an Italian - American place with a lot of class and dignity that might suit you. Finally, Southside 815, a southern-cooking mecca, is just south of Old Town at 815 South Washington Street. They've got great service, an appealing menu, and they host lots of family events of the kind you're having. Good luck!!

                1. We solved the “where do we go” dilemma by asking the Honoree to choose his favorite place, and he chose Pizzeria Orso

                  We had a nice sampling of small plates and pizzas to pass around the table
                  Service was excellent! They took care of our group very well.

                  The notables:
                  Brussel Chips were crispy and tasty and I would have liked to have had a whole bowl of them for myself

                  They do a solid Fried Calamari

                  The grilled octopus w/ white beans was great! The octopus was a little smoky tasting and tender, and the beans were nicely seasoned

                  Fava Bean ravioli was very good, though the filling was a bit loose, so if you cut it in half, it completely left the pasta, but other than that the flavors were there, nice ‘springtime’ feeling to it

                  Salumi & Cheese platter was a hit, the speck was delicious and I liked the selection of cheeses and LOVED the marinated artichoke (nothing from a jar on that plate) I would have loved more grilled bread, and we probably could have asked for some, but we already had them running quite a bit.

                  Pizzas, I personally tasted the Margherita and the “Fun Guy”- mushrooms, fontina, parmesan , of the two, the Marghertia was my favorite (the Fun Guy felt a little heavy for me, but then again, I’d had lots of tastes of lots of other things by the time I tried it)
                  Marghertia was fresh tasting and had nice dark blisters on the crust from the brick oven, perfectly thin and well executed… I’m a bit of a Marghertia snob; this was VERY Good Pizza Marghertia!

                  The atmosphere here is relaxed and fun, the name belies the kind of place it is. When I see “Pizzeria ________” I think of a NY Style pizzeria with formica tables and plastic chairs and booths… this is a bit more upscale, but still family friendly and casual.

                  If I lived in the area, we’d definitely make this a regular spot.