The Wharf

Bar/Restaurant, Seafood
$$$$ ($15-$24)
The predictability of this Old Town restaurant makes it particularly appealing to the less adventuresome.
Lunch Mon-Sat 11 am-4 pm
Sun 11 am-3 pm
Dinner Mon-Thu 4 pm-10:30 pm
Fri-Sat 4 pm-11 pm
Sun 3-10 pm
(Old Town Alexandria)
King Street (Blue and Yellow lines)

Editorial Review

This dark and narrow restaurant sits in a historic Old Town building that still retains some original wood beams and brick walls. The better lit and newly renovated upstairs (formerly a bar with live music) is used for overflow crowds and private parties.

The Wharf is a good old-fashioned seafood restaurant with good old standards like lobster, stuffed flounder, crab and lobster Norfolk, crab cakes, and sauteed shrimp. Its predictability makes it particularly appealing to the less adventuresome.

The restaurant attracts old and young alike, with a mixture of locals, business travelers and tourists.

On weekends, arrive before 8 p.m. or you'll have to queue up if you don't have a reservation. Coming early makes it more likely you'll find on-street parking nearby. Plus, you'll have more time after dinner to walk off a few calories around Old Town.

Highly recommended are the prime rib and the crab imperial, jumbo chunks of crab meat topped with a Dijon mustard sauce. Daily specials offer fish with a creative flair: Rockfish with a cashew crust on a bed of spinach and shiitake mushrooms or Chilean seabass with a black bean and sun-dried tomato puree. You'll be happy you saved room for dessert -- an inviting assortment that includes chocolate bourbon pecan pie, key lime chess pie, and mocha cappuccino creme brulee.

-- Alice Criets