Laporta's

American, Seafood, Steakhouse
$$$$ ($15-$24)
Live jazz and great wine help this Duke Street restaurant stand out.
Mon-Fri 11:30 am-midnight
Sat 5 pm-midnight
Sun 11 am-midnight
(Old Town Alexandria)
King Street (Blue and Yellow lines)
703-683-6313
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Editorial Review

Its location is more reminiscent of an office than a restaurant, but Laporta's sets its atmosphere with spacious wine cabinets, Impressionist prints and floral decor. Live jazz is featured seven nights a week and draws an after-work crowd. If you aren't in the mood for music, the bar is set apart from the main dining room.

The menu features out-of-the-ordinary appetizers such as calamari and lobster in creamy white wine sauce ($6 to $13). There are also the usual soups and salads, as well as pasta, seafood, poultry and beef dishes ($12 to $18). The beers are familiar and moderately priced, but the emphasis here is obviously on the wines. The lighting is comfortably dim, though the place is remarkably airy considering the low ceilings and pro-tobacco policy that helps draw Alexandria's working community.

– Bob Massey