Walker's Grille's general manager Austin Holmes embraces eco-friendly restaurant practices, building a menu upon naturally raised meats, local produce, and sustainable dairy from Kreider Farms. Within the chic, LEED-certified restaurant, Surryano Virginia ham teams up with chicken and pistachio terrine and three domestic cheeses on the artisan cheese and charcuterie plate ($14), and mushroom sauce blankets the hand-battered buttermilk chicken supreme ($16). The light flavors of leeks, scallions, white wine, and fresh thyme complement the Clear Spring trout en papillote ($17) as honey-chipotle demi-glace lends the seared Kurobuta Berkshire pork chop ($22) a smoky sweetness rarely experienced outside of gingerbread-house fires. Chefs expertly toss, whisk, and emulsify all meal components in-house to ensure fresh flavors.
At Genghis Grill, cooks stir-fry more than 70 fresh ingredients to make healthy, flavorful bowls loaded with proteins and vegetables. Diners can mix and match ingredients to create customized feasts, or choose signature dishes such as the Thai Chicken bowl with chicken, veggies, and udon noodles in red curry peanut sauce. Nutrition-focused heart-healthy bowls, developed with the help of a dietitian, feature flavor combinations such as Sichuan-style bamboo beef or ginger-citrus shrimp.
Savio’s Restaurant and Bar populates its menu with authentic Italian dishes of seafood, fresh pasta, and veal. Chefs lovingly prepare the house specialty, veal medallions lathered in marsala-wine sauce ($13.95 for lunch; $17.95 for dinner). The ravioli a la rustica entree regales taste buds with baked beef, veal, and cheese ($11.95 for lunch; $14.95 for dinner), and a grilled swordfish steak swims through wine-gorgonzola cream sauce ($17.95) while making for a handy weapon for impromptu duels with mermen. Stomachs rumble at the sight of shrimp rubbing elbows with pesto and fresh mozzarella atop the pizza con gamberetti ($14.95), and the linguini agnello’s spicy strips of lamb hide beneath balsamic vinegar and tomato ($11.50 lunch, $15.95 dinner). The restaurant’s arches, flickering fireplace, and murals depicting sunny coastal scenes make diners feel like an ancient Roman emperor without having to teach their horse political science.
In the 16 years since opening its first Virginia pizzeria, Paisano’s has grown to more than 15 Virginia and Maryland locations, with more cropping up each year. The pizza company was voted 2012 Best Pizza by WTOP Virginia listeners and credits its success to freshness of ingredients, pizza dough, and its universal motto: "We have something for everyone." The expansive menu, which includes hearty calzones, subs, and stuffed wraps, is crowned by Paisano’s signature pizzas with more than 30 available toppings.
Though they’re one of the main ethnic groups in Ethiopia, the Gurage people are primarily known across the country for their cuisine. So, it’s no wonder that Merkamo Ethiopian Bistro borrowed a Gurage word, “merkamo,” for its name. The term, which describes a beauty that “radiat[es] purity of heart and ‘Joie de Vivre’ for all,” has also been used to describe the owner’s mother—a woman who kept a warm, inviting house where friends and family gathered for decadent meals.
Inviting diners with decadent Ethiopian feasts and a welcoming ambiance, Merkamo Ethiopian Bistro also impresses with a lunch and dinner menu that flourishes with hearty vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. Patrons can sample lamb tripe with spicy beans, and doro wett—a simmering chicken dish typically served on special occasions such as successfully hot-wiring your car after losing the keys in a play-area ball pit. Merkamo also accommodates children with tasty dishes that range from mild beef stew to chicken nuggets.