Columbia Firehouse (Washington DC)

As anticipated, Dr. A and I ended our Saturday (American History Museum + massage day) with a most perfect dinner at the Columbia Firehouse in Alexandria. CF is owned by the same people who have ….

The menu

To start with the wine and beer list was a fun place to start with draught and bottle beer from all over the US (although mostly from the NE) and wine from all over the world. My DC Brau Pauncy oatmeal stout was a good choice. The dinner menu for actual food had a short list of petite snacks, mussels, raw bar items, sandwiches, salads, small plates, supper items, sides, chop-house pieces and daily plates. There were only about two to ten items under each section of the menu, but they ALL looked delicious! It was great to have a bunch of different options for how to approach dinner without being overwhelmed.

Dr. A and I decided to share a few smaller items on the menu so we didn’t have to pick just one thing. I strongly recommend this approach as everything we got was delicious and plenty of other things were also calling my name.

In no particular order…

We each got a bowl of the pumpkin basil soup which was fantastic!

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pumpkin basil soup

It wasn’t so much that it’d be a good stand alone dinner, but it worked great as one of our many dinner parts ūüôā

We also go the anson mills roasted heirloom hominy off of the petite snacks –

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anson mills roasted heirloom hominy

And the cornbread panzanella with buttermilk vinaigrette off of the sides –

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cornbread panzanella with buttermilk vinaigrette

This was so so¬†so¬†good, despite looking like it was saturated in too much dressing, which it was not. If there was a gun to my head and I had to pick one favorite dish, this one would probably be it. Who doesn’t keep talking about food with a gun to their head?

We also got the buttermilk brined onion rings off of the small plates.

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buttermilk brined onion rings + cornbread muffins

Dinner also came with the best complementary corn bread muffins (they are hanging out with the onion rings above).

The staff

The waitress was nice and helpful enough. There was nothing remarkable about her and that was just fine. The rest of the staff were nice and helpful as well.

The ambiance

So I’m not sure what the building used to be that the CF has taken over, but now it’s damn cool. We were actually seated in what used to be a big hallway leading from a door to the outside to another room in the back (now a dining room). There were benches for the sides of the table against the wall and chairs for the other sides of the table. The ceiling was super high with interesting old light fixtures, dark wood and bras lined the walls, and the whole restaurant was cozy and warm. There was a bar in another large dining room off of the hallway and additional rooms upstairs. The background chatter/noise level was nice, and there was no problem holding a conversation.

$$

Considering the quality and quantity of food we got the prices were VERY reasonable. To be quite honest, we both ate more than we probably should have (what would be fun if we didn’t do that though?) and I was drinking (as usual) and the bill was still less than $30/person (including tip). Of course, this probably isn’t the best plan for dinner every night of the week (as I would be broke¬†and¬†needing an ever expanding – in the wrong direction – wardrobe) but it was most definitely¬†a perfect plan for our Saturday night!

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