Appetite: Off the Menu: Alexandria Restaurant News and Notes

Appetite: Off the Menu: Alexandria Restaurant News and Notes

New eateries, renovated restaurants, decade-old breweries and wine with felines: It’s just another month in Alexandria’s food and drink scene.

La Fiamma to Open at Former Paradiso Location

The venerable Paradiso is getting a new look – and a new name – when La Fiamma opens to customers this week. The family business has made its way to Melina and Gonzalo Pardo, who are looking to put their own stamp on the restaurant and its offerings. From grilled specials (think rack of lamb or Bistecca piccola) to chicken, eggplant or veal Parmesan to an array of fish entrees to a dozen pasta options, La Fiamma is opening up strong. 6124 Franconia Road.

Port City Brewing Turns 10

In a blink of an eye, a decade has zoomed past since Port City Brewing first opened its doors in an unassuming building on Wheeler Avenue. Earlier this month, the brewery celebrated its tenth birthday with a rollout of its Colossal X barleywine-style ale and – in this most unusual time – a video from Port City staff and dignitaries to celebrate from a distance. 3950 Wheeler Ave.

ESP Tea and Coffee Opens on King Street

After Killer ESP closed its doors amid much drama last year, it was unclear what might happen with the cozy coffee shop space. Turns out – a new coffee shop, under new ownership, has moved in to take its place. Tech entrepreneur Erik Muendel’s new shop takes the best of the old Killer ESP and has added his own twists in the form of new tea offerings and more. 1012 King St.

Mount Purrnon Keeps the Party Going

Two months after obtaining its liquor license, Mount Purrnon has settled into its full role as Cat Café + Wine Bar with a plethora of events celebrating both felines and festive beverages. From chocolate and wine pairings for Valentine’s Day to a Purresident’s Day wine tasting to a regular “Jeopardy!” event (hint: the next one is this week, Feb. 18), the café has embraced its full identity. What’s more: In February’s spirit of love and friendship, adopting a bonded pair of cats from Mount Purrnon will only cost $100 this month, as opposed to the usual $250. Love is in the air! 109 S. Alfred St.

Hope Nelson is the author of “Classic Restaurants of Alexandria” and owns the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at Email her any time at