100 Best Restaurants 2008: Restaurant Eve
No. 4: Restaurant Eve
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
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Restaurant Eve
Address: 110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA
Phone: 703-706-0450
Neighborhood: Alexandria, Alexandria, Old Town
Cuisines: Modern, English/Irish/Scottish, American
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday, 11:30 to 2:30. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 10, Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 11.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: King Street-Old Town
Price Range: Very expensive
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Papri chaat; lobster bisque; crab bisque; bacon-egg-and-cheese salad; bouillabaisse packed with cod and clams; charcuterie; any foie gras preparation; tarte Tatin; Eve’s Temptation cocktail.
Price Details: Bistro entrees, $25 to $35. Tasting room menus, $85 and $110. Weekday Lickity-Split lunch menu (in the bar), $13.50.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly

Cuisine: Irish-born chef Cathal Armstrong extols the pleasures of nose-to-tail eating—nowhere else in town will you find a chicken-fried honeycomb of tripe and a delicate crepinette of pig’s feet. Zealous about lovely produce, he spends much of his time gathering the bounty of local farms.

Mood: Three distinct dining rooms make up this brick-enclosed Old Town jewel: a firelit, no-reservations bar where neighborhood regulars hover over bowls of mussels and chat with the wine-savvy bartenders; a mirrored bistro room where couples can celebrate an anniversary or show up in jeans with the kids; and the quieter tasting room, where the mood is more serious and diners settle in for a five- or nine-course tasting menu. Wherever you sit, the service is crisp—show up in the bistro in dark pants, and your white napkin will be whisked away and replaced with a black one.

Best for: Destination diners, farmers-market foodies, offal lovers.

Best dishes: In the bistro, a bacon-egg-and-Parmesan salad with cured pork belly, frisée, and smoked-bacon vinaigrette; creamy crab bisque; house-made charcuterie, especially the peppery Chinese-style pork sausage and airy chicken-liver mousse; bouillabaise loaded with clams, mussels, and fingerling potatoes; sablefish, its dark-gold crust set off by bits of pancetta and swipes of paprika cream. In the tasting room, duck foie gras paired with Molly Delicious apples and a snifter of South African Chenin Blanc; buttery lobster simmered with ginger and baby cilantro; a wilted-cabbage crepinette filled with braised pied de cochon; custardy clafoutis studded with tiny, tangy Duarte plums.

Insider tips: Armstrong is a technique-obsessed craftsman—the charcuterie board boasts 14 house-made sausages and cured meats, and he’s been known to make his own cheese. Same goes for sommelier/cocktail guru Todd Thrasher, whose specialty drinks are made with freshly pressed juices and house-made sodas. Desserts are a relative weak spot. Our favorite sweet: the Eve’s Temptation cocktail, the purest liquid expression of apple we’ve tasted.

Service: ••••

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews