Ashlar Will Open in Alexandria Next Week with Crab Fritters, Colonial Cocktails

Ashlar opens in Alexandria with Mid-Atlantic cuisine and colonial era-inspired cocktails like the Syllabub (pictured). Photograph courtesy of Ashlar

Ashlar, Alexandria’s newest Kimpton Hotel restaurant, will open on April 20th inside the newly-renovated Morrison House hotel. The 32-seat Mid-Atlantic restaurant and cocktail bar is part of a multimillion-dollar overhaul of the Old Town property, which began in January.

Chef Bobby Surdam helms the kitchen, which will serve breakfast and dinner when the eatery opens next week. An alum of Marcel’s and Blue Duck Tavern, Surdam plans to draw from the region’s traditional ingredients and cooking techniques in dishes such as sea bass and shellfish in smoked tomato broth, or Port City beer-braised pork cheeks. The restaurant will also serve a variety of “tavern cuts” of dry-aged Martin’s Beef from the Plains, Virginia, paired with sides and sauces.

The bar lead by Maria Concepcion follows the regional and historical themes, with an emphasis on spirits and cocktails popular in the colonial era. Drinkers at the 18-seat bar can order a variety of rums, sherries, and madeiras, or try creations like the Syllabub, a riff on the popular 18th century dessert made with Tokaji wine, lemon, cream, and a spiced meringue.

Ashlar isn’t the only new restaurant/bar coming to Washington from the Kimpton group. The boutique hotel company also plans to open Radiator in Logan Circle next week inside the new Mason & Rook Hotel, which will serve cocktails and small plates in an automotive-themed space. Over at Penn Quarter’s Hotel Monaco, Poste will close at the end of May to make way for a new, still-unnamed dining concept.

Ashlar. 116 South Alfred St., Alexandria. Open for breakfast Monday through Friday, 7 to 10. Dinner, Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 10; Friday and Saturday 5 to 11. The bar opens nightly at 4:30. Brunch (beginning April 30) served Saturday and Sunday, 8 to 2:30.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.