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The Food Desk

By Lisa Shapiro


Requin, the upscale French-Mediterranean restaurant by TopChef darlings, Jennifer Carroll and Mike Isabella is now open. The restaurant has opened as a ‘pop-up’ in Fairfax’s Mosaic District before its permanent home at the Wharf development in Southwest D.C. opens in 2017.

Chase the Submarine - Beloved Vienna restaurateurs Michael Amouri (of Caffe Amouri) and husband-and-wife chef duo Tim Ma and Joey Hernandez (of Water & Wall and formerly of Maple Ave Restaurant), celebrated their grand opening Wednesday, November 18, of latest project, Chase the Submarine, offering gourmet sandwiches, butcher shop and coffee shop for just 30 guests located at 132 Church Street (formerly Kiln & Co.). They opened their doors at 10:30 AM and sold out by 2 PM – a huge testament to how supportive the neighborhood has been to local area businesses. Read More here.

American Tandoor - Opened October 30 and offers dishes to reflect India's eclectic culinary heritage with the influences of contemporary American dining. Karan Singh, the man behind American Tandoor, is a native of both the USA and India where he developed a passion and understanding of both cultures and their unique, abundant flavors. Lunch and dinner will be offered, Monday through Friday starting at 11:30 a.m. with brunch on the weekends running from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.  More here.

Street Kitchen - From the same folks at American Tandoor, this sister concept  offers fast casual Indian,  located just next door on the 2nd level of Tysons Corner Center. Menu features Dosas and Frankies.


CRUST Pizzeria Napoletana  - On October 23, Crust celebrated its grand opening with the mission to serve authentic Napolitan Pizza certified by the "Associazione Verace PIZZA Napoletana" cooked in a true Italian wood-fired oven. In addition to serving an authentic Napolitan Pizza,  Crust seeks to educate guests about their use of only fresh, all-natural, non-processed ingredients (imported from Naples or Campania regions), including Certified Mozzarella di Bufala.  The wood burning oven maintaining a temperature of 900 degrees produces an authentic Napolitan pizza verified by V.P.N., Verace Pizza Napoletana in 60-90 seconds. Its characteristics include a thin center and charred puffy edges. Chef and Pizzaiolo, Tonio Topolino says, "We recommend eating it by hand, so save your fork for dessert." The authentic Napolitan pizza was invented in Napoli between 1715 and 1725, with the world-famous Margherita variant first cooked in 1889. Crust says, "a true Napolitan pizza is a labor of love, passion, desire, and high quality ingredients from Campania region." Now open for lunch and dinner daily. 8415 Old Courthouse Rd. Vienna, VA

Earls Tysons Corner -  On October 16, Earls celebrated its grand opening in Tysons Corner with 63 existing locations across the US and Canada. The large dining room, outdoor patio complete with fire pits and cocktail lounge areas are stunning - with a sleek and modern design. It boasts 280 seats and more than 10,000 square feet (photos on our facebook page). Now open for lunch and dinner daily. 8415 Old Courthouse Rd., Vienna, VA

Earls offers a global menu with modern versions of ethnic cuisine. Appetizer selections range from sushi, dry Ribs, and tuna tartare. Enjoy  sandwiches, hand-smashed burgers, premium cuts of steak, bibimbap, noodles and rice bowls, including their popular Kung Pao dish, tacos, and seasonally grown fresh vegetables. In addition, expect breads and desserts that are created and baked in-house daily. Earls works with local suppliers and producers, where possible, a great wine selection, craft beer, and a creative bar program with specialty cocktails such as the "Bees Knees" - a citrusy gin cocktail sweetened with honey and a splash of fresh lemon juice, all in its own unique teddy bear glass made with aviation gin, cointreau, honey, fresh lemon, angostura bitters. 7902 Tysons One Place, McLean, VA.

Coming Soon:

Choolaah (meaning ‘oven’) looks to ‘transform the Indian food experience globally’ and is bringing their fast casual Indian barbecue concept that cooks food in clay tandoor ovens to Mosaic in late summer 2016. They describes themselves as “exotically familiar” and “adventurously American.” Its dishes are centered around chicken, lamb meatballs, salmon, paneer cheese, and veggie croquettes. Chief Creative Officer, Jay Nesbit said, “We were drawn to the Virginia, Maryland and D.C. area because of it’s vibrant economy, ethnic diversity and it’s reputation for embracing new and exciting restaurant concepts. We are very excited to partner with Eden’s Mosaic District for our first location in the area. We are a design centric concept seeking to redefine the Indian dining experience. We saw a similar sensibility of approach with how Mosaic is creating a smart, uniquely designed and well curated shopping environment. Our brand is not only built upon our food, service, marketing and space, but also our location. We were very discerning on where to plant our first flag and Mosaic was for us, the obvious choice. We are on target to open our doors in early summer of 2016 and look forward to being an engaged member of the Northern Virginia community.” More about the concept here:

Dumpling Go started out as a food truck in Arlington and is planning to expand and open it’s first ‘brick-and-mortar’ restaurant. It serves chicken, shrimp, pork, and vegetarian dumplings. There is another New York restaurant called “Dumpling Go”, but it may not be the same concept. More update soon! Takumi Sushi - This new sushi restaurant is coming to the "Tulip Building" in Falls Church, taking over the former Vapor Solutions space between Smashburger and Ayoub Carpet Service at 310 S. Washington Street. Chef Jay Yu, who spent 13 years at Kaz Sushi Bistro in D.C. and also worked at Raku and Cafe Asia, will head up the new 30-seat restaurant which is set to open in November. Takumi’s menu will be heavy on nigiri and sashimi and will also feature warm dishes like fried tofu.

Chef Mike Isabella

Chef Mike IsabellaKapnos Kouzina  - The Mosaic District in Merrifield, VA will be the second location for Chef Mike Isabella's new Kapnos Kouzina, which pulls its name from the Greek word for kitchen. The ambience and menu will match its name, featuring home-style Greek cuisine, rustic Mediterranean dishes and platters to share.

Kapnos Kouzina will feature both small plates and large-format platters served family-style. Greek-spiced crispy chicken with attiki honey, braised lamb top round with lentils, eggplant, tomato and harissa and whole roasted branzino in a spicy clam broth will be among the signature dishes. The Kapnos Kouzina menu will also feature a few favorites from the original Kapnos, notably the stone bread and Greek spreads. Like Kapnos Taverna, Kapnos Kouzina will be open for weekday lunch. Chef Billy Riddle will serve as chef de cuisine at the Mosaic District location.

While Isabella and his team work through plans to renovate the existing space along with a new roof-top patio for Kapnos Kouzina, friend and Top Chef co-star Chef Jen Carroll will use the space as a pop-up for Requin, a French Mediterranean concept she and Isabella will open in D.C. in 2017. The pop-up will serve dinner only, Tuesday-Saturday, beginning this fall and continuing through the end of the year.

Taco Bamba - Chef/Owner Victor Albisu will be expanding his "Best of Falls Church" takeout taqueria which opened in 2013, to two new locations. The primary menu will feature tacos, sopes and tortas while daily specials will rotate tamales, soups and classic Mexican dishes through the offerings.  The new location will also launch a new bar program with margaritas (perhaps on tap), micheladas, palomas, and Mexican beers. "The drink programs are going to be pretty focused," Albisu says. "It's going to be stuff that goes with tacos, for the most part. In Vienna, we'll have probably a bit more of a broader bar, where you can sit down and have a few different styles of cocktails. But I'm not envisioning a 50-item, mixology-driven, craft-cocktail menu at any of these locations. It's still a food-first business." Projected Vienna opening Summer 2016 at 180 Maple Ave. W in Vienna. More here.

TenPenh, the Asian-fusion restaurant that closed its doors on June 30, 2011 after 11 years in DC will relocate and open Spring/Summer 2016 on Westpark Drive in Tysons Corner, possibly in the adjacent retail space next to Nouvelle luxury apartments.  The revived concept will nod to its earlier location in both appearance and food, but there will be plenty of "contemporary and new" aspects, too, Wizenberg said. The restaurant will feature an outdoor area with a fire pit, a lounge and a sushi bar.  Tunks will help develop the new TenPenh, but the group plans to hire a chef de cuisine. Wizenberg said some old favorites, such as the Chinese-style smoked lobster, shrimp curry and crispy whole fish, may appear on the menu.  

Restaurants Review

Thai by Thai
Lisa Shapiro
Thai by Thai serves authentic Thai food in a casual affordable way, at four locations in Northern Virginia seven days a week. They offer a single menu with made-to-order dishes in a quick service style. Fresh ingredients are the focal point of a menu that includes classic traditional items, along with street food and unique dishes native to Thailand. Serving the communities of Sterling, Fairfax, Annandale and Dunn Loring. Hours of operation, directions and menus can be found online at Read more...

Having Fun with Your Food at Sisters Thai
Renee Sklarew

Had Tammie Disayawathana become an interior designer, she would have been very successful. Lucky for us, she became a restaurateur instead. Disayawathana just opened her second restaurant in Fairfax County. The first was Sisters Thai, A Living Room Cafe, in Old Town Fairfax—a cult favorite among the locals. Stop in, anytime, day or night, and you’ll find nearly every table full in this cozy townhouse. Now she’s debuted her second location, this time, in the buzzy Mosaic District. Her second location is more spacious, but equally intriguing. Read more...

Evo Bistro
Beth O’Sullivan

Tucked away at the corner of Dolly Madison Boulevard (Route 123) and Old Chain Bridge Road, Evo Bistro is a cozy bistro that serves upscale Mediterranean-style tapas with a selection of wines from around the world. Outfitted in dark wood, stained concrete floors and modern décor, the 110-seat bistro provides an air of sophistication that attracts diners and bar patrons. Read more...

Arabian Nights: Aldeerah
Renee Sklarew

Aldeerah, the new Saudi Arabian restaurant in Vienna, is feeding a very big need—the hunger Saudi expats have for their native land and its exotic cuisine. Read more...

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