When Bastille relocated to a larger location on North Fayette Street earlier this year, chef Poteaux converted the old space into this classic French restaurant (1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria; 703-519-9110, bistrotroyal.com). Unlike Bastille, which puts a contemporary spin on French dishes, Bistrot Royal focuses on traditional preparations of chicken liver mousse, pommes frites and boeuf Bourguignon. “It’s much more old-school” than Bastille, Poteaux says.
This Richmond-born doughnut shop churns out fresh doughy rounds and coffee throughout the day (804 N. Henry St., Alexandria; 571-406-4734, sugarshackdonuts.com).
Lines often stretch out the door for flavors like Irish creme, salted caramel and espresso with mini M&M’s. The chain is planning further expansions to nearby markets, including Fredericksburg, Midlothian and Charlottesville, Va.
From first-time restaurateurs comes this casual American bistro named after Thompson Mason, a former mayor of Alexandria (728 N. Henry St., Alexandria; 703-548-8800, mason-social.com). Executive chef Joseph Lennon oversees the menu, which includes rustic dishes like hanger steak with confit potatoes, bacon and cider Brussels sprouts and a red wine jus. “There’s a focus on freshness and letting the ingredients be the star,” says Chad Sparrow, who co-owns the project with his brother Justin and friends Teddy Kim and Larry Walston.
This American restaurant comes from the owners of A la Luccia, an Italian bistro just up the street that opened in 2003. Unlike the double-sided broiler used by most steak houses, Hunting Creek (1106 King St., Alexandria; 703-836-5126, huntingcreeksteak.com) uses a charcoal-fired grill to cook steaks, fish and chicken evenly on both sides. “We sear it twice, and put it on the plate,” says chef Michael Nayeri, who insists quality ingredients speak for themselves and seasons meat simply with salt, pepper and rosemary.