Friday, May 11, 2012
Del Ray Cafe
Alexandria, VA 22301
I have to admit that I have a man crush on Del Ray. I've been in and around this area for practically my whole life and I'm wondering why I've never been to this great part of the DMV neighborhood before. It's a quaint, quiet little neighborhood that has some chic little storefronts and feels like its brimming with quirkiness and creativity. It's like a countrified Brooklyn when Brooklyn isn't trying to hard to live up to its hipster reputation. I went to lunch at Evening Star a couple of weeks back and I read about a new restaurant opening up just around the corner called Del Ray Cafe so I decided to give it a go.
Les Abeilles in Sablet (in Provence) which I had the pleasure of visiting about two years ago. Del Ray Cafe may not be as creative or ambitious as that place but the feel and atmosphere is definitely in the same ball park.
To start of my meal I ordered the Soup de Jour (Soup of the Day for you Dumb and Dumber fans). It was Carrot and Ginger which sounded good so I had that (thanks folks, I'm here all week). To me, the soup was a little too thin which was odd since there clearly was a ton of cream, or creme fraiche or some other type of creamy substance, in the flavor of the soup. In fact, the creaminess was a bit more prevalent than the carrot and the ginger, especially the ginger which I only got tiny hints of here and there. I do prefer my soups to be more cream based than anything so I enjoyed the comfort and rustic feel of the dish. I also enjoyed the simple presentation of it all. It was just soup with some fresh herbs on top with no other flourishes.
Del Ray Cafe is even more of a work in progress than Green Pig Bistro with construction still going on in the front and light fixtures with no light bulbs as of yet. But, the concept is big and grand and ambitious and I hope it succeeds. I've never quite come across an all day restaurant that offers comfortingly rustic french cuisine but from the setting and feel to the elegant yet simple dishes I saw on the menu, I really enjoyed the meal and I am very excited about the vision of the place. I am most excited about trying out their breakfast since it gives an option beyond traditional diner fare or the local fast food breakfast burrito.