Evocative aromas ascend from swirling chalices at Veritas Wine Bar, a brick-walled lounge where sommeliers pair more than 70 wines by the glass with a menu of cheese and charcuterie plates. Grape-infused elixirs gush from a temperature-controlled tap system, ensuring uniform sips unmarred by sudden climate shifts or clumsy fire breathers. Reds and whites from Italy, South Africa, and New Zealand slosh into individual glasses or join forces to create flights. Globetrotting artisanal cheeses fall under four categories—blue, cow, goat, and sheep—and deliciously mingle with charcuterie selections. Sippers can scrawl an appetizing epilogue across the evening’s feast by noshing on chocolate morsels laced with slow-cooked caramel or pistachio butter, which silence petulant sweet teeth without preemptively donning a bedtime retainer.
For the Goldilocks oenophile, wines are available in three sizes—wee baby tastes, glasses, and bottles. Pours are organized according to taste and include full-bodied reds and light, crisp whites, with prices starting at $3 for a taste and glasses ranging from $7 to $20. Pair sips with a selection of cheeses ($15 for three), or a charcuterie board served with grilled focaccia. Small plates include grilled calamari ($11), house-made meatballs ($8), and meaty scallops with baby Swiss chard, spring onion, and gingered vanilla velouté sauce ($13). For heavier hunger pains, try a pizza ($12) or a locally raised, dry-aged beef burger ($15). Sonoma also serves moderately portioned pastas, salads, and a smattering of sides. View a complete menu and wine list here.
Ask Pound The Hill owners where they get their organic fair-trade coffee beans, and the duo can tell you the actual names of the farmers. This attention to detail springs from a passion for serving high-quality, aromatic cups of joe that come from the award winning PT's Coffee Roasting Company. By day, the airy shop is a bustling cafe, where baristas blend handcrafted drinks and servers plate freshly baked breakfast croissants and pastries. They combine Nutella-based syrup with espresso to whip up their signature nutella latte, a creamy concoction lauded by reporters from Roll Call.
Come nightfall, the cafe transforms into an elegant bistro, where customers clink glasses of craft beer and fine wines amidst the soft lighting and exposed brick walls. Chefs whip up innovative dishes, such as organic crab-stuffed chicken with butter-brined corn or blackened ahi tuna with warm spring tomato jam. The portabella veggie stir fry ignites palates with its mix of lemon-poached fava beans and ginger soy reduction. Patio furniture speckles the private back outdoor seating area, where customers nibble homemade chocolate truffles beneath strings of hushed light.
Every Wednesday and Thursday night at Zen Bistro & Wine Bar, melodies of live musicians fill the air and swirl with the aromas of Pan-Asian specialties. Behind the scenes, the kitchen staff prepares sushi rolls, entrees, and Asian-style tapas to serve alongside their carefully selected wines or cocktails. Meanwhile, patrons soak in the serene décor, gazing at stone fountains and lush plants while resting after a long day of re-painting neighborhood taxi cabs into police cars.
Made to be shared with tablemates, the tapas dishes include specialties like fried-chicken curry puffs, crunchy calamari with mixed greens, or crispy wonton spring rolls. Dinner specialties include five-spice roasted duck, braised lemongrass lamb chops, and hawaiian chicken with pineapple and cashew nuts.
Named one of Northern Virginia's 25 Best Restaurants of 2007 by Northern Virginia Magazine, Eleventh Street Lounge impresses palates with a streamlined menu of small plates and innovative entrees suffused with organic ingredients. Dining duos can begin with the marcona almonds (a $6 value), plate of artisan cheeses (a $15 value), or pan-seared petite kalamata steak (a $14 value) served alongside a skewer of vegetables and nestled into a pillow of jasmine rice to dream of Kalamata's olive-oil rivers. Entrees expand dish diameters with succulent selections such as the peppery tuna steak anointed in five spices (a $17 value) and the petite tenderloin medallions, grilled and served with fried potatoes and mixed greens (a $15–$20 value).