January 2007: 100 Very Best Restaurants
Comments () | Published January 24, 2007
Indigo Landing
Address: 1 Marina Dr., Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-548-0001
Neighborhood: Alexandria
Cuisines: An example of a traditional Southern meal is deep fried chicken, field peas, turnip greens, cornbread, sweet tea and a dessert that could be a pie (sweet potato, pecan and peach are traditional southern pies), or a cobbler (peach, blackberry or mixed berry are traditional cobblers)., Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Saturday 11:30 to 5; Sunday 2:30 to 5. Open for dinner daily 5 to 9. Open for Sunday brunch 10 to 2:30.
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Upscale Casual
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Oyster pie; pepper-cured pork belly; salad with Benne wafers; Duck Bog; shrimp and grits; black bass with succotash; pecan-crusted pork loin; pecan tart; buttermilk pie; bread basket.
Price Details: Appetizers $7 to $12, entrees $15 to $24.

No. 64: Indigo Landing

It’s easy to love Indigo Landing in summer. The outdoor deck overlooking the Potomac and the monuments is made for catching breezes. A wintry evening in the bilevel dining room with its halogen lighting and bare wood tables is another matter. With the river but a dark shimmer, the focus shifts indoors—to the food.

Chef Bryan Moscatello’s Lowcountry cuisine can withstand the scrutiny. The time he spent tasting and cooking in Charleston kitchens before the restaurant opened last year are clearly the inspiration for the stellar bread basket with its addictive bacon crackers, sea-salt rolls, and jalapeño corn muffins and for long-simmered bowls like Lowcountry Duck Bog, the creamy shrimp and grits, a smoky butter-bean soup with pork cracklings, and a soupy, rich oyster “pie.” But he interprets liberally, adding and subtracting to lighten and modernize a sometimes hidebound cuisine. Occasionally he fiddles too much, as a disjointed wahoo with a barbecue sauce made from ground-up mussels proves. But enough dishes, including a crisp yet tender pork belly with crunchy pickled watermelon rind, hit the mark.

Service is hit or miss, and desserts seldom are as richly satisfying as they promise, but Moscatello’s cooking has enough heart to keep you coming back.

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Posted at 01:48 PM/ET, 01/24/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews