Restaurant dishes

8 Warming Winter Restaurant Dishes Around Northern Virginia


Not all you’ll be eating this winter to keep you cheerful and bright is broth. Try these stews, pastas and dumplings when you need a boost. We don’t claim to have a cure for depression, but one of these restaurants is virtually guaranteed to temporarily lift your mood and keep you warm during the freezing months.

Jacques Brewery

Beef bourguignon
The lesson at Jacques’ Brasserie is that this French winter classic doesn’t have to be heavy. Chef-owner Jacques Haeringer proves it by using fresh, organic vegetables to lighten up his almost tender beef stew with his red wine braise that becomes a sticky reduction. 332 Springvale Road, Great Falls

Il Cappero piccata (Photo by Alice Levitt)

Il Cappero

chicken Piccata
At Il Cappero, Naples-native Tony Iliano brings his Southern Italian cuisine to Loudoun in the form of pasta dishes that are sure to please. Our favourite? This piccata that ideally balances buttery comfort with the lively lemon and capers that give the restaurant its name. If you like your spaghetti al dente, this is the place. 19307 Promenade Drive, Leesburg

At Mattie and Eddie’s

House Corned Beef
Not simple slices of marinated meat at Mattie & Eddie’s. Instead, chef-owner Cathal Armstrong takes her time (three weeks) to prepare her huge slices of brisket for customers. Fork-tender flesh is dipped in a creamy parsley sauce and rests on a bed of buttered cabbage. 1301 S. Joyce St., Arlington

smokecraft macaroni and cheese
Mac and cheese at Smokecraft Modern Barbecue. (Photo by Rey Lopez)

Modern Smokecraft Grill

Cheese macaroni
OK, so it’s officially a side dish. Don’t let that stop you from whipping up a meal of our favorite addition to Smokecraft Modern Barbecue’s smoked meats, like Chipotle-Cherry Duck and Barbacoa Beef Tacos. The noodles are cooked to a tantalizing bronze in a sauce made with Jack, cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella and “a secret ingredient”. Don’t ask what it is, enjoy it. 1051 N. Highland St., Arlington

Saravana Palace

Palak Paneer
Vegetarians already know the secret: Few things will make you experience the edible equivalent of hygge like a well-spiced dish with bouncy, squeaky Indian cheese for protein. Saravana Palace’s take on the earthy spinach dish, paired with a duo of balloon-shaped Poori buns, is sure to leave you feeling cozy. Even better? Hit the all-vegetarian lunch buffet to try even more dishes. 11725 Lee Hwy, Ste. A15, Fairfax

Quesabirria in La China Poblana
Quesabirria at La China Poblana (Photo by Alice Levitt)

China Poblana Taqueria

Braised meat, melted cheese and spicy soup for dipping. We can’t think of a better combination to beat the cold. For these occasions, La China Poblana offers the fashionable birria quesadilla. Can’t smell the quesadilla? There are tacos, burritos, pizzas, and mulitas that use the same ingredients. 9792 Center Street, Manassas

Hawk & Griffin Pie
Steak and Stout Pie, $15 (Photo by Alice Levitt)

Falcon and Griffin

Steak and Stout Pie
Leave it to Michael Burgess, the mind behind Vienna’s Pure Pasty Co., to top this cuddly stew in one of Hawk & Griffin’s most flaky shortcrust pastries. Local Mast Farms provides the Black Angus cubes that crumble into a deep, dark Guinness sauce. Thanks to carrots, celery and fresh onion, you will even get your vegetables. 435 Maple Avenue West, Vienna

Yu noodles

soup dumplings
There are three varieties of xiaolongbao broth at Yu Noodles. The wrappers are thick, but that only helps contain the rich broth inside. We really like the standard pork or shrimp and pork pockets, but for something you won’t find anywhere else, try the Spicy Pepper Soup Dumpling. 11217-C Lee Road, Fairfax

This story originally appeared in our january issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly magazine.

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