Sign In or Register here

AROUND TOWN/Alexandria is Hopping

Gale Curcio
By Gale Curcio
Posted on Oct 24,2012
Filed Under Restaurants , Local Tastes,

Photo by Gale Curcio
Girls enjoy dancing during the second Annual Best Chef of Alexandria.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - October has been a busy month in Alexandria – and it’s not over yet.

Early in the month, local restaurants dazzled guests with their culinary expertise at the second Annual Best Chef of Alexandria.

Photo by Steven Halperson
Alex McGuinness, Doug Baj, Angel Mendoza,
and James O'Brien represent RedRocks Pizza
Napoletana at last week's Alexandria Rotary
Taste for Giving.

Held at The Carlyle Club, the event was sponsored by the Alexandria Democratic Committee. Nearly 100 people attended the event, raising more than $5000.  

Organizer Dak Hardwick said, “Best Chef of Alexandria was a terrific evening and we owe many thanks to our organizers and volunteers who helped us pull it together. We'll be back again next year for the 3rd Annual Best Chef of Alexandria and look forward to crowning another Alexandria restaurant as the best in the city.”

Participating restaurants included: Austin Grill; Divine Dining; La Strada, Pork Barrel BBQ, RedRocks Pizza Napoletana; and Southside 815.

Austin Grill took home this year’s honors with their array of chicken wings; steak quesadillas and mini flans. RedRocks and Divine Dining were runners-up.

Congressman Jim Moran addressed the crowd and talked about the upcoming election. Guests then stayed to watch the first presidential debate.

Two days later, even more restaurants came out for the Alexandria Rotary Taste of Giving. Held at the Torpedo Factory and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Alexandria, the event attracted over 300 people. Proceeds from the evening will be used to help local charities supported by the Alexandria Rotary Foundation.

Photo by Gale Curcio
Nicole Iona Bonfils and Joanie Stewart enjoy the
Old Town Alexandria Connections (OTAC)’s fifth
annual “Your Connection Reception.”

The attendees enjoyed gourmet food and drink from some of Alexandria's finest restaurants and bid on treasures in the live and silent auctions.

Guests sampled food from 17 restaurants, among them Alexandria Pastry Shop; Ben & Jerry’s; Bittersweet; Chadwicks; Chart House; Columbia Firehouse; Finn & Porter; Happy Tart; Hard Times Cafe; La Tasca; Laporta’s Restaurant; The Majestic; Overwood; Pork Barrel BBQ; RedRocks Pizzeria; Tempo Restaurant; and Union Street Public House.

DelFosse Vineyards and Winery was the wine sponsor and music was provided by Dale Cinski, guitarist.

The following week, the Old Town Alexandria Connections (OTAC) held their fifth annual “Your Connection Reception” at Waterman Place.

About a hundred guests enjoyed food catered by Catie Archuletta, one of the 40 OTAC members. OTAC is a networking group that meets bi-monthly at Belle Haven Country Club.

A limited number of guests are invited by members to this annual event which allows guests to network, socialize, and enjoy delicious refreshments at Alexandria's premiere business event.

Photo by Gale Curcio
John D. Pellegrin and Katy Fike greet each other
at the Old Town Alexandria Connections (OTAC)’s
fifth annual “Your Connection Reception.”

Peter Baldwin said, “Over the five years that OTAC has been offering Your Connection Reception to invited leaders of the business community, this year’s event had the highest attendance and included several business professionals who returned because of the valuable contacts they made and the great time they had at prior receptions. OTAC expects the popularity of Your Connection Reception to grow each year and its value to increase for those businesses located or providing services in the Alexandria region.”

Members donated an assortment of door prizes, including art work, gift certificates and member services.

Bridget Weaver was honored at the Campagna Center Circle of 1000 reception that was held at the home of Douglas and Grace Marie Turner.

About 70 people, all donors who contribute a thousand dollars and more, enjoyed food catered by Tasteful Affairs.

Lindsay Hutter presented Bridget Weaver with the Elizabeth Anne Campagna award and Carter Flemming was the circle event chair.

Tom Curcio, Tom Swinson and Ed Farino were out in front leading the elite runners in the third annual Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon.

Photo by Steven Halperson
Members of OTAC gather at the annual reception.

Several thousand runners ran from Mount Vernon to National Harbor, MD and donations were made to several charitable partners.


  • MV-Lee Chamber Business Expo

Tuesday, October 23
o  7 to 9 p.m.
o  Stroll down "Main Street" and see the businesses in your community.
o  Knights of Columbus
o  8592 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA  22309

  • Art on the Rocks

o Wednesday, October 24
o  6 to 9 p.m.
o  The Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA 22314

  • November Tourism Marketing Holiday Season Preview
Photo by Steven Halperson
Peter Williams and Peter Baldwin address the
guests at the Old Town Alexandria Connections
(OTAC)’s fifth annual “Your Connection

o Friday, November 2
o 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
o The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

For more information on the Rotary Club of Alexandria, visit

For more information on the Alexandria Democratic Committee, visit

For more information on OTAC, visit

For more information on The Campagna Center, visit

For more information on The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Race, visit

Photo by Gale Curcio
Dak Hardwick (left) and Melissa Feld (right) congratulate the winners of the second Annual Best Chef of Alexandria.

Loading Loading..

Shopping and Services Guide

Exclusive deals from the best locals!

Browse our highlighted partners
Spas, retailers, restaurants and…
so much more.