After missing the Brew Ridge Festival on Saturday, I was glad for the chance to make the drive to Northern Virginia on Sunday to visit the new Dogfish Alehouse. The Alehouse opened opened last week in Fairfax (Chantilly), Virginia. After picking up a friend, our first order of business was a visit to Norm's Beer and Wine in Vienna. I wanted to find the latest installment in the new Mutiny Series from Clipper City, Prosit! - Imperial Octoberfest. Naturally, I was tempted to pick up a few other goodies while there.
That mission accomplished, we headed over to the Dogfish Head Alehouse. Arriving too late for the lunch crowd, but early for dinner, we were seated quickly. There were a few other diners present, but most of the crowd was seated at the bar. The bar is located on a sunken section in the center of the restaurant, with tables located around the perimeter. The noise from the bar is carried throughout the restaurant, making for a somewhat noisy atmosphere. It was apparent the folks at the bar where enjoying themselves.
My plan for the afternoon was to finally have a taste of Dogfish Head Theobroma. However, I noticed right away that Theobroma was not on the ale boards. Our server informed me that it had run out the day before. I was disappointed, but then opted for the Alehouse-only, 75 Minute IPA. The menu at Fairfax is the same as at the Fall Church location, and just as we did during our visit there, started with the Alehouse Wings ("Extra serving of blue cheese dressing please.") Three of our party opted for the smoky, wood-grilled burgers. My son chose a pepperoni pizza. All of our selections arrived quickly, were tasty and well prepared.
We spent a few hours eating, drinking, and talking. The crowd built up steadily as the afternoon progressed. The service was attentive at all times and we never lacked for refills or having plates removed.
Since we were on an "extended stay" we opted for couple of desserts. The brownie sundae was your typical combination of ice cream, brownie and chocolate sauce, and deliciously decadent. The other dish was the Dogfish version of bread pudding. The "pudding" was warmed, served with ice cream on the side and topped with chocolate sauce. Not your typical serving suggestion. The bread pudding was tasty, but the chocolate sauce seemed out of place. Perhaps I'm too much of a traditionalist. In any event, my son, who selected the dish, enjoyed it.
The drive home seemed all the longer due to the stuffed feeling from all the good food and drink, but we all enjoyed our visit and look forward to returning. (Maybe I'll get that Theobroma next time.)