Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Nov 14, 2013 11:43 AM

Western fairfax county for special occasion

My husband's birthday is coming up in mid December and it is a big one. We want to do something special but don't want to do a long trip so close to the holidays. Our daughter and son-in-law just moved to western fairfax county and suggested we come down there for a few days and celebrate with them. Any suggestions for a special occasion restaurant not too terribly far from their home? We could drive to Alexandria or even the district but kind of want to see what their local vicinity has to offer

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. L'Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls is lovely around the holidays. That's about as far west as you can go in Fairfax County without being in Loudoun.

    Passion Fish in Reston Town Center is good too, but not quite as "special occasion"-ish.

    2 Replies
    1. re: msr3017

      L'Auberge would be a great choice this time of year.

      Trummer's on Main in Clifton is also at the far western end of Ffx. We haven't tried it but it's getting good reviews this days and would seem to be a special occasion sort of place.

      1. I really like Trummer's on Main and personally I would pick it over L'Auberge Chez Francois.

        1. Trummer's on Main is very special occasion, in the tiny town of Clifton.

          If the menu is online, I'd check it out before making a reservation. It's a little bit trendy, and expensive, if that suits. But it is the classiest act around.

          Other less trendy spots that might suit: Bellissimo, Artie's, Villa Mozart are all in Fairfax proper.

          Or in Reston, there's Clyde's (American), or Mon Ami Gabi (French), Morton's (steak), or McCormick and Schmick (mostly seafood). All pretty reliable and a nice atmosphere.

          Have fun.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Elder Berry

            You have lots of steakhouses in Tyson's: Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris, Palm, Flemings, Chima, and Wildfire.

            1. re: Elder Berry

              I'd be reluctant to spend a milestone birthday at a place that earns no more than a "pretty reliable" comment. I'd want the food and atmosphere to match the level of the celebration.

              L'Auberge provides very well-executed classic French food served by waiters with a commitment to service. The d├ęcor, especially at this time of year will be overwhelmingly kitschy but decades of DC area residents have made L'Auberge their go-to destination for milestone events. I don't go there more than once every 10 years, but I'm happy with the experience when I do go.

              I'm quite partial to 2941 just inside the Beltway at Rte 50. If you order off the a la carte menu, the food is pleasant but unremarkable. However, if you choose the tasting menu, you'll get an experience that harkens back to 2941's heights of glory. I don't know how large a group you'll be, but there's a small private room with an impressive chandelier that holds about 10.

              I haven't had recent enough experience with Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, but that's a place where the food earns many many accolades. The biggest argument against Eve is that it's more of a drive from your daughter's home than you're interested in doing.

              Otherwise, the list of restaurants people are proposing range from places I'd go on a weekday night when I don't feel like cooking (e.g. Clyde's or Artie's) to a place that I'd go when I want a conventional menu in a setting that's a bit more upscale (e.g. any of the Tyson's Corner steak houses).

              I believe Villa Mozart is well regarded but I have no personal experience.

            2. Thanks for all the suggestions. We are leaning to Trummers on main. Its a short drive from their home and it will be after work for daughter and SIL. I went to l'auberge when I lived in the area 30 years ago. It was lovely then and I am happy to hear it is still. I still have the cookbook I bought when I was there. If not this time, will try on another of our visits.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mary0201

                Trummer's is an excellent choice. They do a great job at "special occasion" meals, and we really enjoyed our last meal there with their new chef. There's a nice table in the large upstairs atrium room that's sort of set-off and elevated from the rest of the space, which would be a good spot for a celebration dinner. I think they have a smaller private dining room as well.

                Trummer's scored extra hospitality points for being pleasantly accommodating of us having a two year old in tow (twice!).

                If you like cocktails, make sure to try their signature Titanic. Dangerously good!

                1. re: mary0201

                  Trummers would be my pick, or Villa Mozart in Fairfax City, if you want Italian food. L'Auberge Chez Francois has had its heyday, years ago. It might have gotten better since Chef Francois Haeringer passed away and his son took over. The last time we went, years ago, I thought it was getting old and tired. If I wanted French and was close to Trummers, I'd go to Bistro L'Hermitage in Occoquan.