The Dish: Cozy Winter Spots

by WL Author

Three warm, cozy spots to wait out the dreary Washington winter.

By Katie Test

Brabo in Old Town, Alexandria, Photo Credit: Len De Pas

Brabo in Old Town, Alexandria, Photo Credit: Len De Pas

I don’t know about you, but the way I survive winter is to grab a blanket, a warm drink and sit by the fireplace. The only way you can drag me out of my blanketed bliss is to promise an equally cozy spot for dinner. So here are three of my favorite wintertime retreats.

BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier
Located in the Lorien Hotel in Old Town, Alexandria, Wiedmaier’s newest spot dishes up sophisticated, comfortable food. The gold and brown low-lit interior invites diners in out of the cold on King Street and into a the chic eat place for a thaw.

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Chef de Cuisine Chris Watson‘s chestnut soup or seafood stew defrosts any cold hearts, and the creamy, savory foie gras special is not to be missed. For a non-traditional dessert, ask for a scoop of the white pepper ice cream. Just don’t forget to order a coffee to warm back up afterward.

I’m a huge fan of this charming Dupont neighborhood eatery. A tree trunk hung with lanterns sits in the center of the dining room creating a whimsical atmosphere. The tea lights twinkle while Firefly tucks diners into banquettes surrounded by the homey feeling of rustic retreat. Executive Chef Danny Bortnick has created a menu full of down-home staples like shrimp and grits or twists on staples such as butternut squash and porcini mushroom casserole. The braised lamb shoulder and fresh papardelle pasta is a hearty favorite, and a side of brussel sprouts rounds out the wintertime menu.

Tabard Inn
Nothing is as quintessential Washington as The Restaurant at Hotel Tabard Inn. Chef Paul Pelt is known for a seasonal menu, and the Hotel’s sitting room is toasty as a fire crackles in the fireplace while guests lounge on couches. One of the hardest-to-get reservations in the city, Tabard Inn’s brunch is a must-do for any city dweller. Try the warm homemade cinnamon and sugar donuts or the toasted pecan waffles.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’m going back into hibernation ’til March.

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