When they craft their seasonal menu, the cooks at AVA Restaurant and Wine Bar aren't looking to impress diners with unfamiliar dishes. Instead, they wow taste buds with rich, robust flavors, roasted duck breast to meatloaf kicked up a notch by chipotle cream sauce. For vegan and vegetarian visitors, AVA's culinary team draws on organic and local fruits, veggies, and grains to create meals such as vegan chicken and waffles. Meatless or not, each feast can be accompanied by pours from an award-winning wine list curated by the eatery's onsite sommelier. Bartenders also serve plenty of beer, as well as custom, exotic tea blends.
The chefs at Chopstix top their artistic maki, sashimi, and hand rolls with vibrant caviar and crunchy tempura flakes, entertaining guests who dine at the sleek, black sushi bar. Behind the kitchen's doors, chefs quickly sauté meats and seafood on their hot hibachi grill or on the stove, the enticing aromas of tangy teriyakis and saucy curries wafting to customers as a prelude to arriving meals. In fairer weather, diners may choose to sit outside on the restaurant's patio or remain inside at large banquettes with plenty of room for leg stretching.
The culinary artists at Café Gutenberg paint a tasty menu of New American cuisine, complimented by imported and domestic wines and beers. Overcome a flavor drought with an appetizer of hand-cut Vermont cheddar frites served with succulent Vermont cheddar gravy ($5.75). Or warm up the palate with braised pork or tofu sliders ($6.75), which are easier to hit than beef curveballs. While deliberating whether to order the grilled bratwurst ($12) or the flat iron steak ($14), sip a tasty Belgian beer, such as the Duvel Strong Golden Ale ($9), or a refreshing domestic brew, such as the Roxy Rolles Amber Ale ($4) from the Green Mountain State. Early-state-of-mind diners can eggstatically feast on quiche ($7.95), a highlight of the all-day brunch menu.
Korean specialties such as barbecue short ribs, kimchi, and?of course?tofu soup fill the menu at this casual restaurant with outposts in Annandale and Centreville. Among the chefs' crowning offerings are steaming bowls of bi bim bap that cradle bulgogi (Korean-style marinated beef) as well as heaps of bean sprouts, corn, and fried egg. Depending on personal tastes, the spice levels of each dish can be custom calibrated from ultra-mild ?white? to three-alarm ?spicy spicy.? But not all dishes served here come to the table piping hot, including the cool naegn myun soup, a refreshing summer dish loaded with buckwheat noodles, slices of beef, and hints of Noreaster.
The philosophy behind Great Wraps is simple: flavor is king. This sandwich shop cares about crafting meals out of fresh ingredients, homemade sauces, and unusual combinations that leave your taste buds craving more. Try a chipotle wrap stuffed with roasted chicken, black beans, and seasoned rice, or a falafel hummus wrap brimming with roasted red peppers and cucumbers. A Grecian salad pairs well with any of the chicken or veggie wraps and the fresh fruit smoothies provide a refreshing burst of mango, berries, and kiwi. Looking for something a little different but still full of fresh, tasty ingredients? Great Wraps also offers greek and baja bowls, the latter including chicken or steak, corn salsa, black beans, cheese, spinach, and zesty chipotle ranch to top it all off.
Housed in a building that dates back to 1805, Sammy T's whips up vegetarian and vegan entrees within the same walls that once contained an auction house and a post office. Cooks combine all of their specialties to create the Camper’s Special, a bean and grain burger wrap that packs green pepper, mushrooms, melted cheese, and lemon tahini dressing inside a grilled flour tortilla. Diners can also enjoy tempeh stir-fries and black bean cakes as they admire nearby artwork or attempt to pull chewy strips of wood from the parquet ceiling. Strict carnivores can also chomp their way through Sammy’s menu by dining on salmon BLTs, burgers, and pulled pork made from a spicy family recipe. A sprawling self-serve frozen yogurt bar cools palates with 10 rotating flavors and 40 toppings.