I was recently so cordially invited to a lovely dinner out on the town in the heart of a beautiful town just on the outskirts of DC called Great Falls, Virginia. Seeing as I was driving from DC, I opted to take the scenic route of Georgetown Pike to usher me away from the city and through the rolling hills dotted with rows of large-scale, luxury country homes. Much better than fighting my way through the loop on 495!
As I was driving through this back road route, it struck me that it is very reminiscent of driving through the back roads of Greenwich, CT with its understated charm, and winding, tree lined, narrow roads. It turned out to be quite the enjoyable trip and made me realize that it really is nice to get out of the DC cocoon every once in a while (that so many of us Washingtonians seem to become entranced by) and explore my nearby surroundings and all that they have to offer.
My destination on this fine evening was a restaurant in Falls Church called Brix American Bistro. I had no idea what to expect, as I can fairly confidently say that I have never eaten in the midst of this charming borough, but I was eager to see what the town had to offer.
Brix is modestly tucked away in a high-end shopping center, so much so that if you blinked you could feasibly miss it. Not so once you breeze through the grand entryway. I was completely blown away by the super chic bar scene and impeccably decorated space with its trendy decor and grand expanses. It could have easily been mistaken for any of the most hip and happening bars around DC, Arlington or Bethesda. A very warm and inviting atmosphere indeed.
After arriving, I head to the bar to meet my entourage for the evening for a Happy Friday cocktail before dinner. I was meeting Kitty Kat and his boss, boss’s wife, another colleague and his girlfriend. They were already at the bar waiting on a table, but we were seated shortly thereafter.
While being seated, I spied some amazing recipes on the towering specials chalkboard that lines the far wall of the bar leading to the massive dining area. We were ushered to one of the most cozy seats in the restaurant from what I could surmise from first glance. A nice circular table with cushy bench seats and high-sided booth walls, ensconcing the group in a comfy and semi-private setting.
We chatted for a spell, drank a little wine, enjoyed the sparkling conversation…and then…of course came time to order!
This menu was full of really unique options that I wanted to try. I sat desperately in indecision, feeling pangs of anxiety listening to the groups outstanding orders that I would no doubt be drooling over with jealousy, but alas, I finally resigned to the fact that I couldn’t avoid entree envy, so I stuck to my guns and ordered the first item that jumped out to me. This was the fresh grilled halibut featured prominently at eye level on the entryway specials board. Not having had fresh fish for a while, I was pretty excited to say the least.
As for the table, my eating companions ordered a variety of tasty meals, including:
Filet Tip Stir Fry, combining Lo-mein, Oriental Vegetables, in a Ginger Teryaki Sauce, topped with Crispy Noodles, Scallions and Sesame Seeds. (not pictured here so as to not alienate my dinner host)
Chicken Piccata, with Pan Sauteed, Egg-Dipped Chicken served in a Lemon Caper Sauce over a bed of Linguine and paired with sauteed vegetables. (also not pictured here due to politeness constraints)
Now onto the photographed dishes:
Pictured above was the beautiful Roast Leg of Lamb accompanied by Mashed Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables in a Port Wine Reduction.
If you peek just beyond the lamb, you will also see the Grilled Petite Filet with Asparagus and Gorgonzola Scalloped Potatoes in a Port Wine Reduction. Yum all around!
Above you see Kitty Kat displaying his prized NY Strip Steak served with a Baked Potato, Seasonal Vegetables and Sauteed Mushrooms in a Red Wine Sauce. And, since he was in fork stabbing range, I managed to rustle up a taste and I can attest that it was outrageously delicious in every way.
And, once again, if you peek past the steak, you can catch a glimpse of our host’s yummy Filet Tip Stir Fry, which looked equally as delicious as the other dishes on the table.
Just a slightly closer look at the scrumptious sauce and and fresh vegetables tastily smothering the steak.
And lastly, but again not least, here is a look at my very own dish, which I uncharacteristically devoured in full. This Grilled Halibut topped with a Pureed Red Pepper Sauce, served with Seasonal Vegetables with a Creamy Polenta that was to die for…this coming from a finicky polenta eater.
For those who haven’t had it or heard of it, polenta can take many forms, but it is a popular side dish, predominantly in high end Italian restaurants, that is traditionally made from ground yellow or white cornmeal, and often augmented with cheeses for additional flavor depending on the dish it is served alongside. Some polenta comes formed in a more gelatinous texture, but this creamy version pictured above is my personal favorite, emitting a similar taste and texture to southern grits.
Just a slightly closer look at this deliciously flavorful dish. If you are ever in Great Falls, definitely give this place a try. A true, hidden DC gem.
Lead photo only courtesy of Plum District blog. All other photos are original from Delectabelle.