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Photos: Tupelo Honey Cafe to Open Monday

by Heather Mongilio May 29, 2015 at 3:50 pm 4,201 0

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) Tupelo Honey Cafe will bring southern food and craft cocktails to Arlington with its planned opening on Monday.

The restaurant plans to open June 1 in its new Rosslyn location at 1616 N. Troy Street. It will be the 10th Tupelo Honey Cafe and first in Virginia.

“Joining the Arlington community is a very proud moment for us,” said Tupelo Honey Cafe Founder and CEO Steve Frabitore in a press release. “Our new location continues the legacy of the original restaurant with its scratch-made southern fare, yet embraces the area’s hometown flavor through local art, food and brews.”

The menu includes southern food such as roasted duck breast with a cherry port wine sauce, pan-seared sea scallops and grilled French lamb chops. The restaurant series also recently introduced small plates to its menu, said Kevin Summers, a regional director for Tupelo, which is based in Asheville, N.C.

Summers recommends that customers order the country ham wontons and the lamb meatballs, two small plates he often eats.

At nearly 6,600 square feet, the restaurant has 202 seats, a full bar and an “inviting outdoor patio.” The bar features a “custom metal honeycomb backsplash and reclaimed wood bar front.”

The restaurant aims to be targeted toward the area’s population. There’s a “pretty young, vibrant demographic in the area,” Summers said.

With that in mind, Tupelo Honey Cafe will offer a “Moonrise brunch” on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to midnight. The menu offers breakfast small plates and cocktails, including the opportunity for guests to create their own, according to the press release.

The restaurant will also have 24 taps at the bar, many of which are locally-based, Summers said. Tupelo Honey Cafe also created a special drink for the Arlington location — a drink dedicated to former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

The “Ode to Eleanor Roosevelt” has white brandy, sparkling wine, Jack Ruby Elderflower tonic syrup, citrus sour, bitters and fresh thyme. It has a herbal flavor and the components play very well together, said Tyler Alford, the beverage specialist for Tupelo Honey Cafe.

“Every cocktail should have a beginning, middle and end,” he said.

Alford recommends pairing the drink with the roasted beet small plate.

The name comes as a nod to Arlington’s proximity to Washington, D.C. The restaurant company wanted a drink that included D.C. but didn’t delve too deep into politics, Alford said. The company also agreed with many of Roosevelt’s fundamentals.

“And Eleanor Roosevelt deserves a good drink in her honor,” he said.

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