When patrons drive up the winding, tree-lined road to their restaurant destination, valets immediately whisk away their cars with a complimentary service. And patrons can then embark on an amazing culinary experience in one of Northern Virginia’s hidden treats: 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church. With its imposing interior of dining areas and the bar section overlooking a lake below, the restaurant ranks high on the connoisseur’s list of go-to destinations for wedding receptions, special events, happy hours, date nights, and everything in between.
But even the casual folks out for an elegant dining experience for lunch or dinner will be wowed by the courteous staff and the diverse range of dishes, from the lobster and shrimp rolls or the crispy calamari that introduce the lunch menu to the pan-seared scallops over potato gnocchi with peas and a truffle cream sauce to the restaurant’s signature “burger” (yes, burger) made with freshly ground duck and cured foie gras served on a brioche bun. And these constitute only a few of the entrée choices.
The dinner options and bar menus are equally attractive to DC foodies. For one, dinner appetizers include bacon-wrapped tiger shrimp; lobster carpaccio with a kalmansi-mango coulis; and Strube Ranch Wagyu tartare with a poached quail egg and zucchini blossom tempura. Of course, patrons must remember that what chef Chemel creates and offers depends on the seasonality of ingredients.
During the late spring and summer months, for example, guests can often enjoy dishes and handcrafted cocktails accented with ingredients freshly plucked from chef Chemel's on-site garden. But it’s also likely that dinner entrées of roasted duck breast with baby bok choy or the 8-ounce filet mignon with crushed peas and potatoes and bacon crisp are usually on the menu but with some seasonal touches.
For those who prefer to sit and sip with friends over one of the hand crafted cocktails, craft beer selections, or unusual wines, the kitchen puts out a small-bites bar menu with choices that will pair well with duck rabbit amber ale or a bubbly beatitude cocktail with domaine de canton, cranberry sorbet, and Prosecco. And for guests wanting to linger at the bar, they can indulge in the restaurant’s full tasting menus.
To wrap up any meal, no one should bypass the dessert menu, titled amusingly Never Say Never. Thanks to award-winning pastry chef Caitlin Dysart patrons can conclude with such sweet bites as a coconut tres leches with a jalapeño coulis and white chocolate or a peanut butter baked Alaska. Each dessert choice comes with suggested wine or dessert liqueur pairings.
Whether with a few friends or in a large group, patrons should spend some time eying the others who have gathered for a pampering experience. Because the restaurant transitioned several years ago from fine dining to a more upscale yet casual experience, the dress code is more relaxed, but well-heeled guests still make up the majority of the patrons. Lastly, if you have not gathered by now, 2941 celebrates contemporary American dining in what can only be described as an amazingly picturesque setting.
And that is the other clincher for why folks come to the restaurant. Not only is the interior set with a marble bar and elegant table- and glassware, the three-story dining room is shaped so that the floor-to-ceiling picture windows overlook the spectacular woodsy slope going down to the lake below. It’s city and country all in one experience.
In the end, to do it all over again, look for any of the chef’s shrimp or lobster appetizers — or any shrimp or lobster anything — order the daffy burger with cured foie gras and the pan-seared scallops with potato gnocchi. Make sure to explore the wine list or sip a cocktail or two, and wrap up the meal with the peanut butter baked Alaska.
To find out more about 2941 Restaurant, click here.
For more Washington DC dining and travel news, click here. Alexandra Greeley is the D.C. Restaurant Editor and a food writer for The Daily Meal.