Six Old Town Alexandria eateries were named to Washingtonian’s annual list of the 100 very best restaurants in DC, Maryland and Virginia.
Magazine staff ranked the top 25 restaurants in the region, with Cathal Armstrong’s Restaurant Eve coming in at No. 12.
And while not a single Del Ray eatery cracked the prestigious register, Michael Babin received Restaurateur of the Year honors for his Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s aggressive work opening a slate of new spots in 2013, including Bluejacket in DC’s Navy Yard.
NRG’s offices are based in Del Ray and Evening Star Cafe was the group’s first restaurant.
Here are excerpts of what Washingtonian had to say about its favorite Alexandria bistros and the region’s top restaurateur:
Restaurant Eve (110 S. Pitt St.) — “This is a smooth, almost magisterially controlled operation, the kind you can trust to make that milestone birthday worthwhile.”
Bastille (1201 N. Royal St.) — “The sturdy classicism of [Christophe] Poteaux’s cooking is a kind of comfort in an age of twitchy experimentation…”
Brabo (1600 King St.) — "Served in a large pan, Penn Cove mussels—accompanied by [Robert] Wiedmaier's crisp frites—make a great group appetizer..."
Hank’s Oyster Bar (Three locations; 1026 King St. in Alexandria) — “Lobster rolls may be on every menu from here to Panera Bread, but the best can be found at this trio of wainscoted New England-style fish houses.”
The Majestic (911 King St.) — “… Cathal Armstrong’s handsome Old Town cafe delivers every time.”
Vermilion (1120 King St.) — “Vermilion remains a local-lover’s paradise, a place to savor the bounties of the Chesapeake and Shenandoah.”
Michael Babin, Restaurateur of the Year — “Babin’s come a long way since 1997, when he opened his first restaurant, Evening Star Café in Alexandria’s Del Ray. He lived in the then-quiet neighborhood and just wanted to give his friends a place to eat and hang out. Now he’s made a career of opening pioneering eateries in developing areas—from Northeast DC’s Union Market to Fairfax’s Merrifield.”