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“Expectations Exceeded in Fairfax City” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Wine House

The Wine House
3950 University Dr., Suite 212, Fairfax, VA 22030
703 352-2211
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Ranked #50 of 331 Restaurants in Fairfax
Certificate of Excellence
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
118 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Expectations Exceeded in Fairfax City”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Our party of 5 had dinner last night at The Wine House and our expectations were pleasantly exceeded. Knowing that they don't take reservations (except for a 6pm seating) we were prepared to wait up to an hour. Every table was full so the very friendly hostess found us a "spot" to wait and enjoy a drink. It wasn't a great spot but this place is small and I appreciate that she gave us a place to "call home" for a bit. As it turned out, we were seated in about 10 minutes. Our server, also a Sommolier, guided us in choosing our wines which was nice to try something we may not have considered. (They have a nice selection of wines that won't break the bank.) He was friendly, knowledgeable, and made the evening fun. While it was obvious he was busy, we felt well taken care of.

Now, onto the food. My last 2 experiences at The Wine House had been good and enjoyable. This experience was far better than expected. We started with the bagette which comes with 3 types of spreads. They were all good, but the Salmon Rillette was out of this world good with capers and arugula salad to top off the salmon. Presentation was elegant and reminded me of a restaurant in Napa Valley.

Our entrees included 2 of the crab cake, the sea bass special, the wild boar sausage, and the beef burgundy. Each person raved about their meal. I tasted the mustard/mushroom sauce that came with the crab cake and it was delicious; an unexpected twist for a crabcake. The crab cake itself was a large portion, full of meat, and prepared perfectly (and this from 2 people who love their crabcakes!). The wild boar sausage was ordered by my brother who isn't an overly adventurous eater. Our server assured him that the sausage wasn't real gamey and that it was quite good. My brother agreed and enjoyed every last bite. My beef loving sister-in-law ordered the sea bass and said at least 3 times how delicious it was. The beef burgundy was enjoyable with a deep rich taste to the sauce that comes from a low and slow cooking time. My only disappointment was the noodles. They seemed very generic for such a dish. After trying it, I was wishing for some homemade, wide egg noodles, but hey, it was only $18 and I have left- overs for today. So, this isn't really a complaint!!

Dessert...we decided to try 2 of the 3 options but our server highly recommended the white chocolate bread pudding, so we tried all 3!! I love bread pudding but some of the others aren't fans. We had a passion fruit creme brulee, a dark chocolate "turine" and the bread pudding. Hands down the bread pudding was the best. EVERYONE loved it and agreed that it was delicious. The dark chocolate dish was meant to be very dense. It was good but a bit "dry" if that's possible in chocolate and the passion creme brulee was just to tangy for us to enjoy.

While we were finishing our wine, my sister-in-law, having enjoyed the evening so much, went and bought her good friend a gift certificate for a birthday present. It says a lot when you want to come back the very next week with friends. A great place to enjoy a night out!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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75 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Fairfax Station, Virginia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great food and wonderful people!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We have eaten at the Wine House twice for special dinners with wine pairings and will definitely go back. The food is good and the service has been excellent. It's a little on the pricey side but good food isn't cheap.
Go!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clifton, Virginia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful food, wine and service!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

We had a wonderful weeknight dinner at The Wine House. Ryan did an excellent job of pairing the perfect wines with our entrees, and the service was exceptional! I had the mussels in coconut milk, and my husband had the rack of lamb special. Both were excellent, and we will defintely be back!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
104 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“An Unexpected Treat in Suburbia”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

The Wine House was completely full on the Saturday evening that our foursome visited, so we were glad to have made the single reservation possible, for a 6:00 pm seating. Patrons might generally know that the Wine House is a very good retail wine store that also offers meals. As such, bottles are offered at cost plus a $10 corkage fee. Patrons can select from the wide selection on the shelves, but the menu also lists certain bottles with the corkage fee included, which are also available by the glass.

The Wine House is conveniently located in the center of Fairfax, in a complex that provides free parking and includes other restaurants, such as Bollywood Bistro and Asian Bistro. I suspect The Wine House is the best of the lot. It has a sophisticated urban ambience, with a spare, business-like interior evident in butcher-block tables with stools. The youngish crowd seemed quite chic, and so I could have easily imagined that I was in DC, rather than 20 miles away in Fairfax.

The Wine House offers a thoughtfully assembled “cheese and charcuterie board,” allowing patrons to select from a list of cheeses and meats with a choice of four costing $16 and six for $24. We selected a sopressata (an Italian dried salami), prosciutto, and the house pate, plus three cheeses. The selection arrived with a baguette, slices of brown bread, two types of biscuits (one of which was Carr’s), seedless grapes, and thinly sliced green apples. It arrived quickly, and, all in all, it was the perfect starter for our meal.

Our main courses were artfully prepared. I had the beef tenderloin (at $25, the most expensive dish on the menu), while others had a salmon filet with asparagus, boneless short ribs with chipotle and cumin, and pork belly. The beef tenderloin was cooked to perfection, and the accompanying green beans practically snapped when bitten. The one minor quibble was that the sauce that accompanied the short ribs (which were quite tender) was unexpectedly sweet. We also shared a bottle of Dom Pere Caboche from Cotes du Rhone. The wine was a bit thin, but had a complex aftertaste, probably a better complement to the salmon and pork belly rather than my tenderloin.

Altogether, with tip, our tab was $170. I will definitely be back, especially since the restaurant is just two miles from my house.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great wine, excellent food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

I took out of town guests to The Wine House for a weekday early dinner and we all enjoyed it very much. The wine selection is outstanding and we each enjoyed a different wine. Among us, we had lamb chops, fish and beef short ribs and everything was delicious. The vibe is laid back, which was perfect for us, as my friends had just come in from the west coast and were tired (and hungry). This was a Tuesday night and we didn't have reservations, but had no trouble getting a table right away.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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