When we first heard that a Cajun restaurant by the name Chasin’ Tails was opening in East Falls Church, we thought it might be one of two things: a cousin to the Box, or the first catch-your-own-crawfish restaurant. Rest assured, the latest ode to low-country cookery is neither of those.
Set to officially open on Friday, the 150-seat, seafood-centric spot is the kind of place to roll up ol’ shirtsleeves and get your hands dirty cracking crawfish, crabs, lobster, shrimp, mussels, and clams–there’s even a sink in the main dining room, dubbed the “Bayou Trough,” to wash off mid-meal. The seafood can be ordered naked, as in simply boiled with lemon and spices, or tossed in a hot wok with sauces such as spicy Voodoo, lemon pepper, garlic butter, or a mix of all three. The saucy seafood is then delivered to the table in metal pails; diners dump them out onto butcher paper and go at it. For daintier eaters, platters of fried soft-shell crabs, oysters, and catfish are available, along with jambalaya and other Louisiana specialties.
Hurricanes and Hand Grenades on the cocktail menu are a nod to Bourbon Street–though the latter is made with 100-proof Smirnoff (the traditional grain alcohol is illegal in Virginia). There are also cold brews on draft.
Chasin’ Tails will open first for dinner, and eventually for lunch and brunch with po’ boys, “swamp salads,” and more afternoon-friendly fare that won’t require a napkin around the neck and a trip to the trough.
Chasin’ Tails. 2200 N. Westmoreland St., East Falls Church; 703-538-2565. Open Sunday through Thursday 3 to 10, and Friday and Saturday 3 to 11.