Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Where to Eat: Open Kitchen

"Were you feeling okay?" was the first question my friend asked me when I told her that I went to Falls Church for dinner the night before. Not only was I feeling okay, but I was so impressed with the food that I would go back again. And again. And again.

So, where did I go? To a restaurant called Open Kitchen. In a strip mall off of Lee Highway.

Up until the time my date picked me up, I was afraid we might have to come up with alternative plans. There were tornado and flash flood warnings for the entire region. But he showed up at my front door with an umbrella, and we scooted out to his car to brave the weather like champs.

As we got off Route 66 and merged onto Lee Highway, I immediately saw the sign for Open Kitchen. And cringed as I directed him to the spot, seeing it was in a strip mall with a nail salon, a bank, and a car dealership "Ohhhh wellllll," I thought, "there are worst ways to spend a Friday night."

TV showing the line in the kitchen
But as soon as we walked in the door the spot was transformed into an adorable little hole in the wall restaurant.

The staff was friendly and talkative as they showed us to our table. My date and I had both made reservations, not realizing the other person had made them as well. Instead of getting annoyed or irritated, the hostess just told us that we were cute.

The dining room is tiny--- with less than a dozen tables. It has a long bar looking into the open kitchen where patrons can sit and watch as the chef prepares their food. My date had a view of the kitchen, and I had a view of a flat screen TV that shows the kitchen. It's a pretty cool idea.

Panko Crusted Tuna

We started with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. It was crisp, sweet, and perfect for early summer. We paired the wine with the panko crusted tuna appetizer. It was, simply put, incredible. The panko breadcrumbs were crispy. The tuna was smooth and buttery.

I had the scallops for dinner. They were cooked perfectly. And the sides served with them complimented the dish perfectly. Everything tasted extremely fresh, and our server explained to us that they follow the farm to table concept.

My date had the half-roasted chicken. I'm not a big fan of chicken--- but I tried a bite, and it was moist and flavorful and, man, I was impressed.

Overall, everything was incredible. I usually have at least one or two minor issues with a restaurant, but everything about our experience was great. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable about the food and ingredients. The wine selection was impressive. And the food was fresh, local, and absolutely delicious.

I highly recommend this spot. Additionally, Open Kitchen has an outdoor patio for al fresco dining. It's definitely a terrific spot to relax with a bottle of wine and yummy appetizers. And worth the drive out to Falls Church (In fact, if you're looking for a fun two-part date idea you could go hiking out in Virginia and then stop by Open Table on your way back into the city for some post hiking drinks and snacks).

After dinner, we headed back into the city to play pool at Breadsoda in Glover Park. Which reminds me--- stay tuned for an upcoming post where I plan to review and recommend all the best spots in D.C. to play bar games! In the meantime, have a great 4th of July!

1 comment:

  1. No way! I used to live right by that strip mall with Open Table! For some reason, I presumed it was a cooking class type of facility and not a restaurant. Good to know.