Dublin native chef, Cathal Armstrong has brought innovation and passion into Old Town with his cuisine. Restaurant Eve is a family business that Armstrong started with his wife, and the restaurant is named after their first child. The restaurant has two different dining experiences, which are the bistro and the tasting room. Each offers their own menu and atmosphere in two separate rooms. The food is tantalizing yet still homey with such dishes as roasted belly of Korubuta pork and seafood chowder with shellfish, baguette croutons and aioli. For desert try the birthday cake which is delicious. The restaurant is expensive and dress attire is required.
110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-706-0450; Restauranteve.com
Grape + Bean
Grape + Bean is located in a quaint row house on Royal Street. Grape + Bean is known as a wine and coffee stop with a lunch and dinner menu. Grape + Bean is the brain child of longtime Alexandria residents David Gwathmey and Sheera Rosenfeld. The goat cheese and onion jam on a toasted baguette is enticing, and if you are looking for a bigger meal, try the American Artisan Flatbread with shaved prosciutto. For desert have some coffee and ask for a sample of the chocolate coco nibs or skip the coffee and just have the nibs. The menu is limited but inexpensive. Check the Grape + Bean calendar for wine tastings and wine education classes.
118 South Royal Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; 703-664-0214; Grapeandbean.com
A la Lucia
This casual Italian eatery is full of rustic charm and offers homemade pastas, as well as brick oven pizzas. You can sit at the bar, one of the two dining areas or pick up your to go order. Several local favorites are house made lasagna and thin crust pizza gorgonzola or have a cannoli for dessert. The menu prices are moderate and the atmosphere is casual.
315 Madison Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-836-5123; Alalucia.com
Fresh ingredients and premium frying take this chipper to the next level. Who needs fast food when you can have Eamonn’s fish and chips? The restaurant is owned by Chef Cathal Armstrong and Meshelle Armstrong who also own Restaurant Eve and The Majestic. People go there for the cod, but there are other different kinds of fish with a great selection of homemade dipping sauces. Don’t forget dessert, where there is a variety to choose from including fried bananas, dough balls and candy bars. Eamonn’s is an inexpensive place to have a perfectly fried meal.
728 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-299-8384; Eamonnsdublinchipper.com
This restaurant boasts the talent of executive chef Tony Chittum and recently won the 2010 RAMW award for the best upscale casual restaurant. Located in a quaint row house with yellow trim, chef Chittum marries fabulous food with moderate prices. The pastas, sausages and scrapples are all made in house. Try the “brandade” crusted halibut or the beef striploin. Follow it up with the crispy ricotta fritters for dessert. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, local musicians display their talent in the lounge for an upbeat night on the town.
1120 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-684-9669; Vermilionrestaurant.com