In 1983, "Beefalo" Bob DiMartino began a small-scale catering operation built around no-frills, classic recipes of pit-roasted barbecue, growing his business to include a carry-out joint, sports bar, and even an upscale banquet hall. Bob's process is simple: slow cooking beef, ham, turkey, slabs of ribs and morsels of pork and chicken over smoking hickory fires and not cutting corners with gas jets or heat vision. The sports bar garnishes these backyard-style feasts with plates of oysters, lump crab cakes, and strip steak, as well as sports games on 20 big-screen TVs and rivers of cold beer.
True to its roots as a catering outfit, Beefalo Bob's supplies parties of up to 10,000 with bull roasts, crab feasts, and roasted pigs, as well as rentals of tents, tables, and moon bounces. Fancy occasions find a home in the 250-person Reflections Hall, decked out with chandeliers, DJs, a fireplace, hints of sparkly gold, and a wide-open hardwood dance floor.
Jerry Bailey began homebrewing with friends in 1989, hopeful that the craft would bring fulfillment that his 9-to-5 failed to provide. Fulfillment it brought, along with numerous batches of tasty brew. Bailey couldn’t keep his inventions to himself; he quickly decided to open his own brewhouse as well as distribute his goods to other local establishments.
Today, Bailey proudly stands at the helm of both Old Dominion Brewhouse and Old Dominion Brewing Company. In the pub, chefs add variety to liquid meals with food such as burgers, crab cakes, and thin-crust pizzas while 30 flat-screen televisions keep patrons entertained with sports. The chefs also exhibit flair for Asian cuisine, slicing and rolling sushi and offering create-your-own mongolian stir-fries. At the bar, eight handles remain perpetually reserved for Old Dominion's craft beers, such as the award-winning Baltic porter and the Oak Barrel stout, which is loaded with flavors of vanilla and the color brown.
It may be the inaugural year of Tysons Fall Harvest, but it already has the docket to rival any well-established fall festival. This family-friendly event will keep kids entertained with plenty of activities, from pony rides and petting zoos to a hay maze and pumpkin carving. Those who need to brush up on their carving skills can sit in on demonstrations from master pumpkin carvers or head to the craft corner to paint or just hug a gourd that escaped.
Even without kids in tow, adults will have plenty to do, including visiting the wine and beer garden for unlimited samples when they purchase a tasting glass, as well as shopping a marketplace with pumpkins and fall decor. They might even consider dropping by Rocknoceros's set at the live-music stage; they might be a kids' band, but their acclaim has landed them gigs at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and the Kennedy Center. A portion of the Harvest's proceeds will benefit the Spirit of Hope Children's Foundation.
Praised by the Washington Post as "undoubtedly the most stylish gathering spot in the Maryland suburbs," Ranazul's chic, comfortable interior sets the tone for shared plates and conversation over bottles of wine. Traditional cold tapas arrive at tables during dinner as slabs of raw salmon over seasoned avocado and briny seaweed, or tender, pan-seared scallops surrounded by potatoes, spring vegetables, and crab meat. Meals are paired with selections from a wine list replete with more than 220 bottles and 32 options by the glass, from light, sparkling prosecco to sustainably-farmed pinot noir from New Zealand.
If you're visiting Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro superstore, you might be a while. An impressive selection of craft beers, wines, and spirits makes the bottle shop a much more desirable place to get lost for a few hours than a hedge maze patrolled by a minotaur. Racks house thousands of different wines from around the globe, while the aisles' shelves and coolers feature row after row of both ubiquitous and hard-to-find beers from breweries large, small, and everywhere in between. After all that hopefully fruitful wandering, visitors can venture into the bistro, where they'll find a stocked bar with 20 craft beers regularly rotating on tap and a menu of New American eats, including a full page dedicated to the glory of hamburgers.