Discovering a fabulous restaurant is one of the pure joys of traveling on business. Add a colleague who enjoys the discovery as much as I do makes for a great adventure. After situating ourselves in our rooms at the enormous Gaylord National Hotel in Maryland, my friend Michael De Meyer and I hopped in a cab and took the ten minute cab ride across the channel to Old Town Alexandria. The concierge at Gaylord recommended the Landini Brothers restaurant on King Street.
Landini Brothers, in some ways, is an Italian restaurant you can expect to see in any major food city. Cozy atmosphere with dark woods, exposed stone walls, white tablecloths, waiters in vests, the aroma of garlic and Frank Sinatra belting It might as well be Spring. I expected to see brothers Franco and Noe in their dark suits and strong Italian-American accents greeting each guests as they enter the cave-like establishment. But to my disappointment, neither was present on this beautiful evening in Alexandria.
Michael and I jumped on the opportunity to sit outside on the front porch - a definite treat for Michiganders in March. As expected, throngs of tourists and St. Patty's revelers filled the sidewalks of King Street, Old Town's main outpost for shops, restaurants and people watching.
We noshed on the risotto with truffles to start our Tuscan evening. While I would normally order an Italian red wine, our server highly suggested the Trefethen cabernet sauvignon - a cab my wife and I used to enjoy during our stint in Peter Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands. Just as I remembered, the wine is a softer cab with just the right balance of oak, plums and black cherry. It was a perfect match for the cozze alla marinara and my perfectly cooked bistecca di manzo alla aglio.
A nice cab, good Tuscan food, al fresco dining, seventy degrees and Sinatra...it couldn't have been more perfect.
Risotto with Cream and Truffles
Salad with Vegetables and Italian Vinaigrette
Mussels cooked in Marinara
NY Strip Steak with Garlic Butter
Fettucine with Truffles
2006 Trefethen Cab