Critic rating
(Excellent)
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Neighborhood: Old Town Alexandria
Cuisine: Nouveau American
Price: $$$ ($25-$34)
Sound check: 72 decibels (Must speak with raised voice)
Tripe? Trust me, you'll love the way the funky innards are combined with buckwheat pasta and soft peppers.
Our Review

2012 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012

The Tasting Room within Restaurant Eve is considered more exclusive, but this season, the Bistro is where I prefer to reserve when I want to experience the cooking of Cathal (silent ‘t,' please) Armstrong. With its skylights and small chandeliers, the bistro is as inviting as the rarer treat beyond it, and while every service member in the Old Town destination is polished, the team in the bistro appear noticeably more relaxed. Then there's the food. The Tasting Room requires you to commit to a minimum of five courses; the menu in the bistro is a la carte -- and wonderful. If you're looking for some of the best sweetbreads or falafel (yes, chickpea fritters), the bistro is where you'll find them. Armstrong takes flavors from around the world and combines them in fresh ways. That's a prompt to consider lush fluke sashimi served with “chili bomb" mayonnaise as an appetizer and a crisp-tender block of mahogany pork belly set off with kimchi-flavored watermelon radishes -- one of the best uses of pork belly I've ever had. Tripe? Trust me, you'll love the way the funky innards are combined with buckwheat pasta and soft peppers. Crisp branzino arranged with a teasing chanterelle relish and gravity-defying gnocchi show you're in the hands of a master chef, too. By now you should know you'll also be drinking well -- sommelier Todd Thrasher is a wizard with cocktails -- and the creations of a new pastry chef, Joshua Jarvis, have me lingering over a course that I can usually take or leave.

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