4 Menus to Try for Restaurant Week
By Hope Nelson
Before the summer turns to hectic fall — when kids go back to school, work kicks into overdrive, and football dominates the television once more — Alexandria takes a week to celebrate its culinary diversity. Its Summer Restaurant Week kicks off Friday and extends through Aug. 27, spawning special menus and deals citywide. Here are a few of this season’s most promising.
Hummingbird, 220 S. Union St.
Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated entrant into this summer’s Restaurant Week festivities is the newly opened Hummingbird, which resides in the new Hotel Indigo down by the waterfront. Owned by culinary power couple Chef Cathal Armstrong and Meshelle Armstrong, the restaurant comes with some big expectations — but does it deliver? Take the tasting menu for a spin and see for yourself.
Though the dinner menu is compelling, the far-and-away best value is within the $20-per-person three-course lunch menu. Choose among such options as an endive salad with citrus and a lemon-honey vinaigrette to start; then move along to a main course of a Andouille sausage sandwich, a “Beastly Burger,” or a lentil sandwich, just to name a few; and, finally, finish off the meal with a chocolate chip cookie before heading back to work (or to an early happy hour if you’re so moved).
Captain Gregory’s, 804 N. Henry St.
The upscale speakeasy within the confines of the casual Sugar Shack doughnut dispensary is hopping back into the Restaurant Week game, as well. More easily known for its cocktails, Captain Gregory’s is offering up a $35-per-person dinner deal for the occasion with a three-course tasting menu to keep things interesting.
The menu is small but mighty, offering up such gems as a burrata with eggplant and shishito peppers to start and pickled shrimp or pork loin as a main attraction. Finish out the meal with a panna cotta or a dessert root beer completely with smoke and an infusion of CO2, and you’ve had a pretty good night at the speakeasy.
Live Oak, 1603 Commonwealth Ave.
The newish Southern-inspired restaurant at the border of Rosemont and Del Ray is offering diners a bevy of choices for its Restaurant Week menu, all of which provide a hearty dose of comfort food to the plate.
Who can go wrong with a start of fried green tomatoes, deviled eggs, or — for those hot summer days — gazpacho or arugula salad? Then move on to the main course and feast on an entrée from all over the flavor wheel: pork loin, roasted chicken, hanger steak, and even a vegetarian gumbo complete with vegan sausage. Sweet treats round out the offerings — you could do worse than a buttermilk chess pie.
Meggrolls, 107 N. Fayette St.
One of Old Town’s newest — and most popular — eateries is also joining in the Restaurant Week fun in a most creative way. At first blush, Meggrolls’ participation may seem questionable: How can the café that makes its living on little pockets of flavor come up with a deal that’s even more compelling than usual? But fear not: Meggrolls has risen to the occasion.
For $35, diners will get a choice of three Meggrolls — including options such as broccoli mac, buffalo wing, and chicken parm — as well as a side slaw, boardwalk fries, an apple pie or Oreo dessert, and, to wash it all down, a can of wine. Use that can to toast to the Alexandria food scene — and start planning your next Restaurant Week stop.
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecess.... Email her any time at hope@kitchenreces....