Oftentimes, there's just one choice to be made with pizza?which toppings to put on it. At Coal Fire, however, the decision process starts before that, as the restaurant offers three original sauces. Guests can choose from a classic plum-tomato version, a spicy sauce, or their signature blend with sweet and spicy notes. Cooks then ladle the chosen sauce onto aged, homemade dough that's crisped in a 900-degree oven fired with anthracite coal. This process gives the crust a crisp, charred flavor reminiscent of a Neapolitan pie or the Human Torch's steering wheel.
The pizzas are hardly the only distinctive item on the menu, though. Chicken wings are oven-baked?not fried?with seasoning and roasted onions. Flash-fried calamari is tossed with sweet and hot peppers, and baked mac 'n' cheese is studded with lump crab meat. All the while, bartenders fill glasses with wine and craft beers, which guests can enjoy at the bar or on the outdoor patio.
Trummer's on Main looks and feels like more than a restaurant?and for good reason. There's quite a bit of American history here. The building was once the Clifton Hotel, a 19th century establishment that counted several presidents and their mannequin decoys among its guests. Today, the three-story structure celebrates sleek design and local artwork, alongside cozy fireplaces that nod to the past. This blend of historic charm and contemporary sophistication has won the restaurant plenty of acclaim, including a place on bon app?tit's list of the "Top 10 Best New Romantic Getaways" shortly after its opening in 2009.
Despite the storied surroundings, something more modern inspires its current executive chef, Austin Fausett: seasonal produce from Virginia, highlighted in a la carte and tasting menus devoted to new American cuisine.
Even the bar takes its cues from local agriculture. Here, mixologists blend alcohol-free "mocktails" as well as alcoholic creations with house-made ingredients including popcorn milk, flaming absinthe, and grilled fruit. The bartenders also fill glasses with selections from one of the region's largest wine cellars, featuring more than 8,000 bottles of Old and New World wines.
Get a hometown hello without running into your old prom date (unless you went to Clifton High) with today's deal for salivary savories in a small-town atmosphere. With today's Groupon, $10 gets you $20 worth of pub grub and drinks at The Main Street Pub. Housed in a quaint green clapboard building with bright white trim, this family business in Clifton is pulled up next to the only remaining railroad crossing in Fairfax County. Camp out at a cozy table amid the hunter green walls and watch the game on TV, chat with regulars about the weather, or perch on a barstool with a drink and chat with the friendly staff about your favorite living castmembers of Veronica's Closet.