A 16-minute walk from the Dunn Loring Metro stop (we timed it), the Mosaic District in Fairfax is a treasure chest of locally owned boutiques and specialty shops. And as of late, it’s developed a white-hot dining scene. “What’s going on out here is really eclectic and cool,” chef R.J. Cooper says of the mix of restaurants, including his newly opened Gypsy Soul. “You have different layers of concepts within the same community.” If you can overlook the construction surrounding it, the shiny new development (owned by the company behind Union Market) offers a concentrated mix of D.C.’s finest, as well as a few unique establishments.
8298 Glass Alley, Suite 105, Fairfax; 703-676-3550, bsidecuts.com
Don’t miss: the Italian beef burger
By now, D.C. residents are probably familiar with Nate Anda’s cooking: The chef/butcher mans the menu at all three Red Apron Butcheries. At his new project — a 50-seat bistro adjoined to the Mosaic District location of Red Apron — Anda complements fancy cocktails from mixologist Jeff Faile with charcuterie, cheeses and small plates like arepas, pork belly pupusas and meatballs. “The food is an added benefit of a great beverage program,” Anda says.
Don’t miss: the fried chicken skins
James Beard Award-winning chef R.J. Cooper has been spinning culinary gold at Rogue 24, his rule-bending fine dining restaurant in Blagden Alley, since 2011. In comparison, his new 135-seat bistro features a more casual — yet just as mindful — menu. Though dishes are approachable, don’t expect traditional preparations. “We don’t serve ketchup or mustard at Gypsy Soul,” Cooper says. “But we develop the flavors on the burger with mustard seed and green tomato jam.”
True Food Kitchen
2910 District Ave., Suite 170, Fairfax; 571-326-1616, truefoodkitchen.com
Founded in Phoenix in 2008, this healthful restaurant serves nutrient-rich dishes based on the “Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid” created by co-owner Dr. Andrew Weil. The pyramid stresses fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, Asian mushrooms, spices, dairy and chocolate (in moderation). It translates to produce-stacked plates with minimal salt and little fat as well as fresh-pressed juices. Though this locale is the restaurant’s 10th, it’s the first East Coast outpost. (The next closest True Food Kitchen is in Atlanta.)
In addition to the notable newcomers, the Mosaic District houses outposts of these D.C.-based favorites. H.S.
- A third location of Ted’s Bulletin, the 1930s-inspired diner based in Capitol Hill, opened on Monday.
- sweetgreen, D.C.’s beloved build-a-salad spot, has been a fixture at the Mosaic District since 2012.
- Cava Mezze Grill serves fast-casual spin-offs from Cava, the more formal restaurant on Barracks Row.
- Since 2012, Dolcezza has scooped its signature all-natural gelatos to the Fairfax audience.
- The Mosaic District Taylor Gourmet serves the same quality sandwiches as the other locales.
- This Matchbox offers the same wood-fired pizzas, plus a private dining room.
- Brine, a seafood-heavy joint from the Rappahannock Oyster Co. team
- A second location of DGS, the Jewish deli with roots in Dupont Circle from Nick and David Wiseman
- Sisters, Old Town Fairfax’s Thai food mainstay, plans to open a second location in the spring
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