As the cherry blossoms have hit their peak and you are in the DC area just to see those pretty petals (I just love cherry blossom “snow”) or if you are traveling up I-95, I can guarantee that you cannot go wrong with stopping in the Old Town of Alexandria, VA. It is a very quaint and friendly area. I asked around and so many people pointed me in the direction of The Majestic, I simply could not ignore it. From the looks of their reservation site, it can be hard to get a table. That is a very good sign. Busy can also mean “touristy”, which I was kind of trying to avoid. However, once we got there, the casual, “swanky” vibe of the place and the low key ambiance didn’t seem touristy at all.
The Majestic is part of a small, but renowned restaurant group in Alexandria that prides itself on sustainable practices, relationships with farmers and generally blowing the socks off people who eat at their establishments. We opted for the Majestic because it was casual and had a kids menu and we were told it was rustic and amazing. It’s in a building which housed the “old” Majestic and the owners came in and saved it from closing its doors and reinvented the place. It’s located among other wonderful shops and cafes along King Street…kind of the main drag in Old Town. You can park and then just window shop (or really shop) for hours in this area.
First of all, the service is incredible. The hostess and our server were so friendly, welcoming and helpful. Before we ordered the food we decided it was necessary for our sanity to have a cocktail. We’d been in the car since Virginia Beach. In traffic…a LOT! I have no idea what I ordered but it was served in this beautiful champagne glass and I know it had tequila in it. So if you are there, you will find that ordering this is refreshing and will set you right. Mr. ordered an Old Fashioned. Here at The Majestic, they soak their own beautiful cherries. What you get is a very drunken cherry and you will frown at anything out of a jar evermore.
Our server suggested The Royal Fixe menu which features an appetizer, entree and dessert for $35 per person. We decided that would be an acceptable way to really sample the goods, and be able to let the kidlets have one of the desserts. Mr. foodie ordered the Chicken Liver appetizer with toast points and fruit compote. The pate was incredible. It had such a delicious smokiness to it. I got a Wedge salad featuring the house-cured bacon, bleu cheese and their homemade buttermilk bleu dressing. It was quite big and very satisfying. I shared with Mr. He “kind of” shared with me. I can hardly blame him.
As if we didn’t get enough at the table, I was informed that one of the signature dishes and one that is an overwhelming standout is…wait for it…Liver and Onions. Ewww….really? I’ve heard that liver “done right” is wonderful. You are not supposed to overcook it or it gets that blech texture we all dread. I took her advice and ordered it. Mr. foodie couldn’t believe it. It was a dark and rich dish with beautiful pearl onions, lardons (kind of like chunks of bacon), mushrooms and sage in a tasty marsala sauce. Yes, I ate every bit of it. The liver did not have a funky taste. It was not mealy. I will say that if you chew it to death, you could get some of that weird texture, but I just didn’t chew it to mush. I’d definitely get it again.
Mr. foodie ordered the Braised Lamb Shank. He is a fan of lamb so if it’s not up to snuff, he will know. The shank was tender and flavorful…simply falling off the bone with roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, polenta taragna, red wine-olive sauce, gremolata. Hearty and delicious.
Girl kidlet got a burger which was delicious with a nice char and boy got a grilled cheese. It was great too. They also loved the fries.
And then dessert happened. We went with the “signature” Coconut Cake with coconut creme anglaise and the Death by Chocolate for the kids. That coconut cake was a dream. And the chocolate cake was also very good and basically bulldozered and inhaled by the kids. But that Coconut Cake…mmmmm. Well, it was the winner of the dessert round.
See? They didn’t wait for me to take a pic. I was snapping away at Coconut over here and off those kids went.
The pics are a little blurry…not the best lighting and I forgot the fancy cam. But they really should call it Happiness by Chocolate. Because it was obviously enjoyed.
So, when you are beyond the Triad and you find yourself in one of the sweetest little areas outside of our nation’s capital, you might want to point yourself to King Street in Old Town Alexandria and find the neon sign that leads you right inside this awesome place. And while you are at it, do a little research and you might just decide to share the love at a couple of The Majestic’s sister restaurants.