Brabo Tasting Room

$$$$ ($15-$24)
Find casual fare in this offshoot of Robert Wiedmaier's Brabo.
Mon-Thu 11:30 am-11 pm
Fri-Sat 11:30 am-midnight
Sat 11:30 am-10 pm
(Old Town Alexandria)

Editorial Review

Tom Sietsema wrote about the Brabo Tasting Room as part of a longer review on June 21, 2009.

One door over from the hotel, the Tasting Room looks hard to resist. Poke your head inside what is actually two small rooms, and you'll see all sorts of reasons to aim for a seat: flatbreads exiting a wood-fired oven, a little zinc bar that would look at home in a tony part of Amsterdam or Berlin, a chalkboard that sums up the small retreat's MO. ("Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.") The kitchen mixes a satisfying salad and fixes a good sandwich. After sampling baby bibb lettuce and beets splashed with an assertive mustard vinaigrette and a roast chicken sandwich moistened with goat cheese mayonnaise, I can imagine a diner putting the place on a future to-do list.

The signature flatbreads, on the other hand, are disappointing. They're thin and crisp, as they should be, but also gummy in parts. The toppings run from satisfying (winy prosciutto with fresh basil) to sorry (clumps of bitter radicchio and a smattering of arid duck confit). The Tasting Room doles out its steamed mussels by what looks like the bushelful; they're fat but not very flavorful, and the sauce I tried, tomato with Parmesan, didn't taste much of either ingredient. French onion soup is plenty cheesy but lacks depth in its broth.