Tempo Restaurant

Seafood
$$$$ ($15-$24)
All sorts of people populate this busy, popular restaurant, but core patrons are a cheery middle-aged to older group.
Lunch Sun-Fri 11:30am- 2:30pm Dinner Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10pm Sun 5:30pm-9pm
(Alexandria (Other))
King Street (Blue and Yellow lines)
703-370-7900
'

Editorial Review

Tempo Restaurant's windowed, spotlighted white dining room, punctuated with paintings of coastal scenes, is an immediate mood lifter. The California look is enhanced by the waiters' brightly patterned vests and ties.

All sorts of people populate this busy, popular restaurant, but core patrons are a cheery middle-aged to older group. When regulars congregate for brunch on Sunday morning, there's a nice chemistry evident between staff and customers; good humor permeates the room.
When ordering, take your cue from the owners' culinary backgrounds - he's from southwestern France, she's from California. The boeuf bourguignon is masterfully flavored, and seafood dishes are abundant and inventive. "Have fish," advises our waiter. "Definitely. They're very fussy about the freshness here." On the brunch menu, tilapia Skippy is tilapia fish served in a delicate peanut and coconut milk sauce, and garnished with perfect little mussels.
The dessert tray is a wonder - aesthetically and quantitatively. You'll find the classic cream puff-based Gateau St. Honore, authentic key lime pie, an over-the-top candy bar pie and, for the level-headed, fresh raspberries. -- Joanne Leonard