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“Wish All Fine Dining Were This Fine” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Brabo Tasting Room

Brabo Tasting Room
1602 King Street, Alexandria, VA
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Ranked #4 of 642 restaurants in Alexandria
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Indiana, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Wish All Fine Dining Were This Fine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

I had the pleasure of staying at the Lorien Hotel in Alexandria, VA this past June. Everyone we talked to there recommended having brunch at Brabo Tasting Room, which is the hotel restaurant. There are a lot of options in Alexandria, and we almost opted for one of them. Fortunately, at the last minute we decided to stay for the Brabo brunch, and am I ever glad we did. The crepe pancakes are the absolute best I've ever had in my life. Thicker, yet lighter and fluffier, and much more delicious than anything I've had before. The atmosphere there, service, and prices were all outstanding. Both the Lorien Hotel and Brabo Tasting Room are a real find. The brunch is not to be missed.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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82 reviews from our community

95% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Congers, New York
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
“Wish all restaurants were this good!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

Only having one night to stay in the Alexandria area, my husband and I opted for dinner at Brabo Tasting Room, and are glad we did. It offers the perfect combination of excellent, fresh food, great portions, moderate prices and a casual, clean and contemporary decor.

THE SERVICE: Since the restaurant does not take reservations, we were seated at the bar for our meal. The bartender was very pleasant and attentive, filling glasses at the appropriate time, without being intrusive. We would have preferred a table, but there were none left at 6:30 pm on a Monday night. Apparently, this place has been discovered! Courses were timed well, with adequate time in-between for conversation.

THE FOOD: My husband and I ordered 3 plates to share, which was probably one too many. Portion sizes are pretty good, so I would advise on 1 per customer. We started with the Charcuterie Platter, which was a seemingly bottomless plate of cold meats, olives and something new for us -- caperberries (which were yummy). Then, we shared mussels (classic preparation), which were among the best we've ever had. They were delicious, with no grit or sand, and a perfect sauce for dipping bread in. They are the restaurant's specialty (and with good reason). We also had the mushroom tart, which is really, let's call it correctly -- a pizza. Pancetta was a little smoky in flavor, which was not our favorite, but not bad either. Definitely did not need to eat the "tart" - by that time we were already too stuffed to appreciate.

THE ATMOSPHERE: Very lively and hip little place, with all white decor and Edison lamps. Pretty small, maybe 12 tables plus seating at the bar and a "communal" table in the middle, so maybe get there early if you want one of those. Seems to attract a hip, young crowd.

THE VALUE: At around $80 for dinner, this was more than decently priced for the amount and quality of the food we enjoyed. We have definitely paid more for meals that were not nearly as good.

All in all, this is a great, unpretentious spot in the area. Plentiful and fresh food in a casual atmosphere. With food this delicious and seemingly affordable, why bother eating next door at the "fine dining" establishment?? Go for the mussels - you'll be glad you did!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Sanaa, Yemen
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“Casual Elegance with Great Eats”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

This bistro style restaurant is truly classy with exceptional choices of craft beers and hard to find wines. The food menu is perfect for those times when you want excellent food and reasonably sizd portions. The Classic Mussels are a "must try" item and all of their "Tarts" (aka gourmet pizza) are winners. Enjoy an evening with friends in this hip place in Old Town that is within walking distance of the King Street Metro.

Visited August 2013
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Clearwater, Florida
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Easy dining and a touch of romance, AFTER work”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

In DC for business and after a long work day mid-week, my wife found this restaurant through TripAdvisor (I married a Very Smart woman). There is both the Tasting Room (smaller, more casual) and the more formal, upscale and separate restaurant, Brabo. We ate in the Tasting Room. While still dressed from work (suits), there were a blend of more casually dressed, NoVA's and business dressed folks. First, the ambiance: GREAT background music ! While a compact sized restaurant (read "Tasting Room"), the Vibe in the place was excellent (a bit noisy, as the tables by necessity are very close together). This was a Wednesday in Summer, so we can only imagine what the weekends are like. FOOD: wonderful; Excellent, first rate presentations and freshly, locally sourced. The Tasting Room is less formal than the main restaurant. The Tasting Room was busy, but service could have been more attentive. Note: NO reservations, so there may be a long wait. My recommendation: Go enjoy AND wait patiently, if necessary.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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North Carolina
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Best Meat Loaf Sandwich Ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

Delicious food....extensive wine list, you can order a "Taste" or a glass...thereby sampling several. Top-notch service. Small, not too many tables but we had no problem being seated. Same menu as room service in the nearby Lorian Hotel

Visited August 2013
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