Food

Ballston’s New All-Day Cafe Serves Healthy Comfort Food and Vegan Cocktails

The Commentary Social House opens today.

The Commentary menu is filled with vegan fare, like the meatless Beyond Burger. Photo courtesy of the Commentary Social House.

The Commentary Social House opens today in Ballston with a diner-length menu and plenty of healthy takes on comfort food. The all-day eatery inside the Westin hotel is inspired by West Coast cafes in Silverlake and East Hollywood. Chef Bobbie Miller says she wants to build a restaurant where guests with dietary needs and restrictions feel comfortable.

The vast menus run the gamut from artichoke-and-crab dip and short rib flatbreads to vegan and gluten-free entrees like quinoa “meatballs” and zucchini noodles with Daiya mozzarella. Meanwhile the steak and potatoes crowd can still get a New York strip topped with green bean chimichurri or a burger. Soups, sandwiches, and salads round out the cafe offerings.

The steak is topped with fried shallots. Photo courtesy of the Commentary Social House.
The steak is topped with fried shallots. Photo courtesy of the Commentary Social House.

While the food looks westward, the drink menu sticks closer to home. Sipping spirits pull from nearby distilleries like Catoctin Creek rye and Bowman Brothers whiskey while there’s a whole menu devoted to local beers. Shareable cocktails include a massive pineapple drink with sweet vermouth and rye from Kevin Plank‘s Sagamore Spirit distillery. Similar to the kitchen’s focus on inclusivity, drinks that would typically use egg whites like a grapefruit pisco sour swap in aquafaba (chickpea water) for a vegan cocktail.

Shareable options like massive cocktails and flatbreads play into the spirit of a social house. Photo courtesy of the Commentary Social House.
Shareable options like massive cocktails and flatbreads play into the spirit of a social house. Photo courtesy of the Commentary Social House.

There should be plenty of room to sip a cocktail or split a charcuterie board—the massive space boasts 235 seats between the dining room, lounge, bar, private dining, and patio. The restaurant’s decor is made for Instagram with neon signage and a giant thought bubble crawling from wall to ceiling—after all, a 21st century social house needs a dash of social media.

The Commentary Social House. 801 North Glebe Rd., Arlington. Breakfast served Monday through Friday, 6:30 AM to 11 AM; Saturday through Sunday, 7 AM to 11:30 AM. All Day Menu served Monday through Friday, 11:30 AM to 10 PM; Saturday through Sunday, 12 PM to 10 PM. Happy Hour served Monday through Friday, 5 PM to 7 PM.

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Daniella Byck

Daniella joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a University of Wisconsin-Madison grad and lives in Logan Circle.