Hosted by BallstonGives, the charitable arm of the Ballston Business Improvement District (BID), this family-friendly street festival will benefit several Arlington non-profits including the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Center for Excellence and Volunteer Arlington.
The event features a craft beer and wine garden, live music on two stages, a dedicated KidZone and a pop-up dog park but the real focus of Taste of Arlington is the food. With over 60 restaurants and food trucks, this year’s restaurant row will be the biggest in Taste of Arlington history and will continue to showcase the best of Arlington’s rapidly growing food scene.
For those interested in trying something with an international flair, Taste of Arlington boasts a diverse lineup of vendors offering tastes from across the globe. From Venezuela (Arepa Crew) and the Philippines (Bistro 1521) to Australia (Oz) and Anatolia (Ozfeka Catering), there’s something to satisfy even the most adventurous of palates.
What can we expect to eat at this year’s festival? Here’s some of the dishes that already have our mouths watering:
- Cheesetique’s gooey Melted Raclette, served with an assortment of dippable accompaniments.
- Wood-fired pizzas from Timber Pizza, specifically the Green Monster, loaded with pesto, zucchini and kale.
- Tacos Al Pastor, stuffed with roasted pork and pineapple, from TTT & Buena Vida.
Hungry yet? Tickets are on sale now, with discounted prices available until May 1. Head over to www.tasteofarlington.com to purchase your tickets today!
Looks like Virginia Square residents won’t have to wait long for the opening of prix-fixe steakhouse Medium Rare.
The restaurant had signs up as early as November 2017, but co-founder Mark Bucher confirmed via email that the restaurant is targeting to open the first week of April.
Currently, the popular chain has three open locations — two in D.C. and one in Bethesda, Md.
Medium Rare is known for its relatively inexpensive pre-fixe dinner menu of bread, salad, and culotte steak with fries and a “secret sauce” for about $20.
Photo courtesy of Leslie Koch
An open air market is coming to Barrett Elementary School in Buckingham, pending an Arlington School Board vote on its license agreement tonight.
The market would be run by Field To Table, Inc., the same nonprofit that operates the Westover Farmers Market, and would pay an annual fee of $200 to use the property.
Proposed operating hours are 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturdays from April to November, with the nonprofit being responsible for premise clean up by 1 p.m. School board document do not list the exact start date of the market.
Superintendent Patrick Murphy’s office has recommended that the school board approve the license agreement at its monthly meeting tonight (March 22).
The market is expected to be called the Lubber Run Farmers Market which, according to a newsletter for the Arlington Forest neighborhood, will “avoid some of the negatives of other suggested names.”
Additional volunteers are being sought to help out with the market, the newsletter says, adding that it will be “an exciting addition to the neighborhood community bringing together residents from Arlington Forest and neighboring areas to enjoy shopping for fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, bread and so on.”
Vendors for a farmers market at Barrett are not yet listed, but current vendors at the Westover Farmers Market include Baltimore’s Dimitri Olive Farms, Woodbridge’s Gina’s Pacific Jams and Jellies, and Arlington’s Mormor Crepes.
(Updated at 8:30 p.m.) An older office building in Crystal City may be converted into apartments, and developer JBG Smith is soliciting public feedback on the project.
JBG Smith is looking to convert a 12-story office building at 1750 Crystal Drive into a 21-story residential building. The building, across from the Crystal City Water Park, would be 257 feet in height.
In the first phase of the “Central District” project, a new 74,000 square foot, street facing retail area would be built, reportedly anchored by an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. The retail area may also include a smaller-format grocery store, like a Trader Joe’s.
A JBG Smith presentation says the project would include “delivery of nine screen Alamo Drafthouse Theater that shows first run and art house films as well as dining, entertainment, and event space hosting.” According to the feedback website, JBG is hoping to start construction in the fall and to have the theater open by the spring of 2020.
As part of the project, a two story, 16,000 square foot retail building would be built at the corner of 18th Street S. and Crystal Drive — next to a proposed second Crystal City Metro entrance — with renderings showing an sizable outdoor dining area adjacent to it.
Feedback from JBG’s online portal is helping to shape the development, said a representative for the company that created the portal.
“It’s a new approach for the developer, which added online outreach to the traditional process involving community meetings,” said the rep. “Over 1,600 people have interacted with the Central District at Crystal City website… Based on the feedback, JBG Smith has committed to providing seating, plantings, and seasonal events in the plaza.”
“The developer is also recruiting a full-service grocery store, which online voters said was the most important element to make the spot a neighborhood destination,” he added.
This year’s Northern Virginia Restaurant Week is kicking off next week.
From Monday, March 19 to Monday, March 26, more than 50 restaurants, around Arlington and the region, will be offering special menus and pricing.
Diners at these restaurants aren’t required to order from the restaurant week menu, and menus and pricing varies by the restaurant. Some restaurants have already listed their restaurant week menus, and customers are encouraged to reserve in advance to guarantee seating.
Some of the Arlington restaurants which have listed their restaurant week menus are below.
Photo via Northern Virginia Restaurant Week
A new Korean bibimbap restaurant has opened in Crystal City.
Rice Bar opened its first Arlington location at 1235 S. Clark Street on Monday, March 5, according to the store’s manager, James Lee. They company’s website lists five additional locations, all in the District.
Bibimbap is a hot rice dish served with meat, egg, sautéed or seasoned vegetables, and other toppings.
Diners can either eat one of seven signature dishes, like the Kalbi Korean BBQ beef rib, or build their own bowl. Toppings include edamame, burdock root, roasted seaweed, and bamboo shoot, and there are seven sauce options listed, like gochujang, a red chili paste.
The restaurant also offers noodle dishes with similar toppings.
Operating hours will be from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with additional hours on Friday from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Rice Bar Crystal City will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays, according to the location’s web page.
The Rosslyn Farmers Market will kick off once again in a few months, but with a new feature: a weekly community supported agriculture program (CSA).
Like other CSA programs, FRESHFARM Share program staff pull together fruit, vegetables, and other goods from local farmers and producers that also sell at the farmers market.
Residents have the option of a regular share, which costs $30 a week and feeds two people or “one person who eats a lot of veggies,” or a large share that will feed two to four people for a week, according to the subscriber website.
A rotating market treat can be added on for $5 per week, and can be anything from pickles to pasta sauce to pastries (and other non-alliterative supplementary snacks).
Subscribers can pick up their share of the week’s crop at the farmers market, which is held weekly at 1800 N. Lynn Street at the Central Place Plaza from late spring through early autumn. The CSA is limited to 40 subscriptions, and members can skip up to two weeks per half season with three days notice.
More from a press release on some subscription logistics:
While the Rosslyn Farmers Market season will begin on May 9 and run through October, FRESHFARM Share will not begin until May 16. If you subscribe for the first half of the season (12 weeks) of FRESHFARM Share, your subscription will run through August 1.
If you subscribe for the second half of the season (12 weeks), your subscription will run from August 8 through October 24. Full season subscriptions are also available (May 16 – October 24). Share pick-ups will be available during the market’s afternoon operating hours.
The announcement of the program, in partnership with the Rosslyn BID, follows the results of a Rosslyn resident and worker survey which noted the neighborhood’s desire for more healthy food options.
Photo courtesy of the Rosslyn BID.
South African spicy chicken restaurant Nando’s is opening its newest location at Rosslyn’s Central Place on Monday (March 12), the company announced today.
A press release noted that players with a Washington sports team will make an appearance for a grand opening charity event to benefit “local underserved youth,” but a Nando’s representative declined to be more specific. A Ballston Nando’s opening in 2016 featured several Washington Capitals players flipping chickens.
The location is the newest of the chain’s now 41 U.S. restaurants. Decorations inside the new location include a portrait by South African artist Nqabutho Phakathi, colorful lighting and an undulating ceiling.
Beginning Monday, the restaurant at 1800 N. Lynn Street, with an entrance on N. Moore Street, will operate from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on weekdays, from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sundays.
Photos courtesy of Nando’s
Gormandizing gaggles will still need to pay to eat or drink at the event, which is being held Sunday, May 20 from noon to 6 p.m.
Listed prices for tickets purchased before May 1 range from $6 for a single beer or wine ticket to $40 for a book of 10 “taste” tickets to $95 for a V.I.P. lounge pass. Tickets purchased after May 1 are more costly, and tickets purchased on the day of the event are even more so.
It’s rain or shine ticketing, so there are no refunds for bad weather.
Local brewery New District Brewing Company is listed as a vendor at a beer and wine garden. A live concert will be held at the beer garden, but no word yet on the performing artists.
Ballston’s SER and Pepita Cantina and Clarendon’s Don Tito and Oz are participating, as well as dozens of other Arlington restaurants and a few from outside of the county. The event web page notes that there will be over 50 food trucks and restaurants serving their specialties, though currently there are only 41 listed.
The festival will be held on Wilson Boulevard between N. Randolph and N. Lincoln streets, approximately along the stretch between the Ballston and Virginia Square Metro stations.
The dog-friendly “BarkPark” will cost $15 for entry, which includes a bandanna and a taste ticket as well as a place for your dog to hang out. A family area with games will be free.
Update at 4:30 p.m. — Reese Gardner, the owner of Dudley’s Sport & Ale and Copperwood Tavern, reached out to ARL now after deadline. The sports bar has a revised projected opening time frame of between May and June 1 this year.
“We’re putting in a steel rooftop with 300 some people on top of a structure never designed to have a rooftop,” said Gardner. “There’s a whole lot of things that go into it.”
An updated construction schedule will be posted soon on the Facebook page, and Gardner says that he believes that they have completed all of the special inspections that were holding them back from opening.
“We’re back in there working, and we think that that is the last hoop that we have to jump through,” said Gardner.
Earlier: Shirlington is still waiting for its sports bar.
Dudley’s Sport & Ale, a sports bar planned for Shirlington, originally had an opening date for set for early 2016. Fast forward to February 2018 and, following numerous delays, the bar — which bills itself as “Est. 2015” — is still under construction.
Replacing the former The Bungalow Sports Grill at 2766 S. Arlington Mills Drive, which closed in June 2015, Dudley’s is bringing a 3,000 square foot rooftop space to Shirlington, the neighborhood’s first such rooftop bar.
According to Dudley’s Facebook page, the owners received a permit to continue construction on the rooftop deck last year. Another post stated that the bar had passed two of six necessary county special inspections.
Calls and emails to Dudley’s and its sister restaurants were not returned.
Delia’s, a mediterranean grill and brick oven pizza parlor with several area locations, is set to open a new location in Arlington Ridge in mid-March.
The location’s general manager, Oliver Garnowski, confirmed the scheduled opening and added that there will be more daily specials than at the Alexandria, Va., location that he currently works at. There will also be a few menu changes.
The restaurant, at 2931 S. Glebe Road, replaces the former Tazza Kitchen, which closed in November 2016.
(Updated at 6:30 p.m.) Rosslyn’s Central Place will soon be welcoming another restaurant option to the neighborhood.
Nando’s, a South-African/Portuguese chicken restaurant, is coming to 1800 N. Lynn Street. It is currently expected to open in March, we’re told.
There are already two Nando’s locations in Arlington: one at Pentagon Row and another a recently-opened Ballston location. The chain, originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, is most well-known for its peri-peri sauce, a chili-based, lemony sauce.
Nando’s is hiring 35 positions in both the front and back of the house, according to the location’s general manager, Jorge Lemus.
A number of restaurants opened last year as part of the Central Place development, including Little Beet, Sweetgreen and a new McDonald’s. Elsewhere in Rosslyn, Poke Bar and Bibimix are expected to open in the next few months.
Photo courtesy of Annathea Cook
Cassatt’s Café, the New Zealand bistro at 4536 Lee Highway, is rolling out a new dinner menu today.
The restaurant is introducing new dishes with ingredients and preparations from other parts of the globe, which will be offered in addition to the usual New Zealand classics. Behind the additions is a new executive chef, Evan Synder.
Synder has cooked at several local restaurants, including the French-Belgian restaurant Marcel’s in Washington, and Volt in Frederick, Md. The Le Cordon Bleu, Orlando, graduate most recently worked as the sous chef at Jose Andrés’ FISH at the MGM casino in Oxon Hill, Md., according to a press release.
“Dishes like Charred Cucumber with Mint, Dill Yogurt & Casovertrano Vin speak to Chef Snyder’s appreciation of Middle Eastern cuisine (specifically Israeli food) and personal love of bold flavors,” said the press release. Other new, less-than-Kiwi menu items include a $16 octopus shawarma dish and a $14 haloumi cheese plate.
The rollout of the new menu is happening on Waitangi Day, a significant New Zealand holiday celebrated annually on Feb. 6.
The restaurant, named after American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt, has been in business for 15 years. It is located in the Lee Heights Shops.
Photos courtesy Cassatt’s Cafe
The Stand, a food stand in Crystal City that has been open since November, has some new offerings.
The food stand, which is located along Crystal Drive, adjacent to the Crystal City water park and an entrance to the Mt. Vernon Trail, has a rotating menu reflecting new food trends in the area.
Here is what The Stand is offering throughout February:
The renovated Ballston Quarter Mall will have a 25,000-square-foot food hall, developer Forest City announced today (Tuesday).
Called Quarter Market, the food hall will feature 18 restaurants, and officials hope it will serve as the anchor for the revamped mall.
The food hall will be centered around a 5,000-square-foot public plaza, accessible via a walkway from Wilson Blvd. The plaza will include outdoor seating for two restaurants, as well as communal seating and space for other activities.
The first nine restaurants to be announced as food hall tenants include hot dog food truck Swizzler, which will open its first brick-and-mortar location; and fast-casual noodle bar Mi & Yu.
Other restaurants will include locally-owned Asian eatery Buredo, Ice Cream Jubilee’s first Virginia location and Pinch Dumplings, which already operates a stand at Nationals Park. More food hall restaurants will be announced at a later date.
“Quarter Market will bring together some of the District’s most original, best-in-class food operators, giving them the opportunity to tap into the incredible market already established in Arlington,” Deborah Ratner Salzberg, president of Forest City Washington, said in a statement. “Once opened, the food hall will truly reenergize Northern Virginia’s food scene, allowing residents to enjoy the region’s most beloved restaurants.”
Construction on the entire mall project, which will include a high-rise apartment complex with more than 400 units, is scheduled to be completed in fall 2018.
Full details from a press release on the first nine restaurants to be announced are after the jump.
- Bartaco: Bartaco is a modern Mexican restaurant, featuring fresh and flavorful menu items such as pork belly, duck or falafel tacos and unique cocktails. Sister restaurant to Barcelona Wine Bar, Bartaco describes their offerings as, “Upscale street food with a coastal vibe in a relaxed environment.” Bartaco will be located adjacent to the food hall with an order window connecting it to the common space.
- Buredo: Buredo is a local DC establishment, owned by two life-long childhood friends and D.C. natives who were looking for a unique, fresh lunch option. The handheld, burrito-size sushi rolls and salads feature Asian and other globally-inspired ingredients and flavors.
- Cucina Al Volo: Cucina Al Volo, which also has locations in Union Market and Adams Morgan, is growing its regional footprint for the first time into Virginia. The rustic casual Italian eatery will feature a wide variety of to-die-for homemade pastas, such as pappardelle with roasted lamb ragu and ossobuco risotto.
- Ice Cream Jubilee: Voted as one of the ‘Best Ice Cream Shops in America’ by Food & Wine Magazine, among many other accolades, Ice Cream Jubilee uses all-natural cream and milk from a local creamery, and they offer creative flavors such as coffee & doughnuts and banana bourbon caramel. This will be its first location in Virginia.
- Mi & Yu Noodle Bar: The Baltimore-based fast casual noodle bar, Mi & Yu Noodle Bar, which has two D.C. locations, features non-traditional ramen and steamed buns, which customers can customize to their liking. Their dishes stand out for their unique ingredients and spices.
- Pinch Dumplings: Pinch Dumplings serves traditional Chinese dumplings that are made from scratch daily, using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Originally started out of Baltimore, this will be the restaurant’s first brick and mortar location in the immediate D.C. area, complementing their stand at Nationals Park.
- Rice Crook: Rice Crook is the first brick and mortar restaurant concept from the founders of Bun’d Up, a Korean steamed bun food stand based out of the DMV. Rice Crook will offer delicious, home-made Korean rice bowls, featuring local, fresh produce and all-natural meats.
- Swizzler: Swizzler is one of the most adored D.C. food trucks, known for their corkscrew-shaped hot dogs and decadent, unique toppings. After participating in a restaurant incubator in D.C. this fall, this will be Swizzler’s first brick and mortar location.
- Timber Pizza Co.: With humble roots selling at farmers markets in the region, Timber Pizza Co. is now a D.C. staple famous for their Neapolitan-style wood-fired pies, with toppings such as chorizo and sweet potato fritters. They have won many accolades, such as ‘Best in D.C.’ from the Washington Post and, they were recently named as one of the ’50 Best New Restaurants in America’ by Bon Appétit.