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The Jamieson Grille: Surprising yet Familiar

Jordan Wright
By Jordan Wright
Posted on Feb 26,2009
Filed Under Restaurants , Local Tastes,
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Discovering the Jamieson Grill is like finding an old friend on Facebook…surprising yet comfortably familiar.
 
For those of us who have lived in Alexandria for 20 or more years, as I have, we have watched the promising development of the Eisenhower Avenue corridor. Where once there were warehouses, empty fields and a go-cart track, there are now hotels, movie theatres, high-rises and businesses rising up from a previous wasteland.

We’ve seen the old Federal Courthouse on Washington Street, moved to its elegant new building on Courthouse Square and The U.S. Patent and Trade Office with its pulsing night-time light show has brought more than 9,000 new jobs to our town from its Crystal City location. What some of you may not know is throughout this new area, can be found some of the city’s most exciting new venues.

The Westin Alexandria opened in 2007 and recently I had the opportunity to visit the Jamieson Grill and Trademark Bar that are centered in this emerging community.

This sleek hotel with its mid-century modern interior is well located in the Eisenhower Valley area of Alexandria. The Grill offers valet parking for its dinner guests, an auspicious way to start your evening...and on a weekend night that is a real convenience.

The entrance to the restaurant, through the grand lobby passes by the spectacular 20-foot high kinetic wooden clock by artist James Borden.

Made of walnut, cherry and maple this dramatic sculpture sets the tone for the restaurant’s contemporary design. Glass mosaic tiled columns and a blend of blond and dark woods are bathed in a changing arc of colored light that envelops the room.

Chef Nadine Thomas, formerly of the Westin Copley Plaza in Boston, has created a

menu sourcing local ingredients while following the current trend for heart-warming American-inspired dishes such as Braised Short Ribs with peppercorns and cabernet, a lovely and soulful rendering and a half Roast Amish Chicken with lemon garlic jus, which is everyone’s idea of comfort food. Pair these with Parmesan Truffled Potato Fries or Anson Mills Blue Hills Grits and you are simultaneously down home and upscale.

Crab Cakes with a roasted pepper beurre blanc and the very satisfying Great Eastern Mussels with chorizo, cilantro, pepper flakes and sauvignon blanc, saved me a drive to my favorite crab house in Annapolis.

I sampled two other dishes that were particularly outstanding, though I would never have thought to order them had they not been suggested by our server. The Butternut Squash Ravioli in Brown Butter with sauteed spinach, bacon lardons and aged provolone was delightful, the smoky bacon and bright spinach a perfect foil for the butternut squash.
 
My pick for “Dish-I-couldn’t-get-enough-of” was the perfectly articulated Carpaccio of Beef with arugula, shaved parmesan and lemon vinaigrette. The sheer slices of beef were silken and rosy and the well-selected accompaniments enhanced the excellent quality of the meat.

As for dessert the Jamieson Grill has been waiting for you. Yes, you. You know who you are. There are three distinct types of indecision-makers. “I can’t decide which one I want.” “Just a little teeny piece, not a whole big serving.” “Could you please bring us two forks?”
At $2.00 apiece you can have one or all five of their dessert selections, Carrot Cake, White Chocolate Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Raspberry Pie, Mocha Cream Pie or Pecan Pie. Served in a shot glass and placed on a brushed steel tray it is a stunning presentation.

If You're Going...

Jamieson Grill at The Westin Alexandria, 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314 is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week. Go to www.starwoodhotels.com or call 703 253-8640 for hours of operation.



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