Restaurant Review – Vespucci in Fairfax

vespucciWalk through the front door at Vespucci, an Italian restaurant in Fairfax, and if you time your visit right you’ll catch the live entertainment that plays there on occasion.  Ample seating offers a perfect view of the small stage and there is a piano, as well as a flat screen TV setup in the bar.  The outdoor patio offers plenty of seating as well, with whimsical lights and a fire pit that is lit during cooler months.  

Vespucci restaurant was started after multiple requests were received from patrons of Cooking & Company Catering, to make available daily, the mouth-watering dishes that could be found on the catering menu.      

We were seated and handed a nice cold drink within just a moment of walking in.  Despite the extensive wine list, I settled on my requisite gin and tonic.  Shortly afterward, we were staring at a beautifully roasted head of garlic, sprinkled with parmesan and resting in a pool of olive oil.  Accompanied by crusty italian bread, it was the perfect start to the evening.  yummy garlic

Always interested to taste different house dressings, we kept with the theme and ordered the house salad.  This decision did not disappoint.  Crunchy mixed greens, kalamata olives and hearts of palm were all dressed with a distinctly tasting vinaigrette that I could not put my finger on.  I learned from our friendly server Youssef that it was pomegranate.  What a surprising taste! It was so tangy and sweet and all but kisses the taste buds.  

While taking a tour of the kitchen with the owner Ray, we met the lovely head chef and saw our meals being prepared to order.  Mine was rigatoni vespucci, which presented the perfect amount of sun-dried tomatoes and Italian sausage tossed with a creamy parmesan sauce.  The tomatoes provided a burst of flavor to contrast the mild creaminess of the dish and the salt in the sausage brought out just the right touch of sweetness.  The dish was right up my alley.  rigatoni vespucci

For those who know Mr. Cheese, you can likely bet that he had meat and you’d be right.  He enjoyed the filet with porcini mushroom sauce.  Although he would have preferred his to be cooked more well done than any chef wants to cook a piece of meat, he loved the deep, woodsy flavors.  

patioWhile we were there, a party of four friends – all vegetarians – were enjoying an evening out on the patio.  That’s one thing to appreciate about Vespucci.  They place great emphasis on the wholeness of ingredients and claim to be the first and only restaurant in the Washington DC area that is trans-fat free, and they provide a pretty extensive vegetarian selection, as well.  Overall, we had a lovely evening out with outstanding service, delicious food and good ambiance.  A solid find.  

Rating:  4 cheese slices4 cheese slices4 cheese slices4 cheese slices (out of 5)

Vespucci – Check out their website.  You can see the menu, join their mailing list, and get a coupon for 15% off your next visit. 

10579 Fairfax Blvd. in Fairfax, VA 22030 (703) 272-8113

  • $$
  • Ample parking
  • Non-smoking
  • Outdoor patio; smoking is allowed on patio
  • Small, well-behaved dogs are welcome on the patio



About tossingtheswissaround

I have been obsessed with food since I can remember. I grew up watching the Frugal Gourmet and Julia Childs in black and white repeats on TV. I made an elementary version of veal parmesan when I was all of 8 years old and even concocted a homemade version of vomit to drizzle along the hallway and oh-so-carefully in the bathroom so I could get of school whenever I wanted. Dad never caught on but I eventually came clean about that vomit recipe. About two years ago. My skills have greatly improved and my obsession has only deepened as the years go by. In the mornings, I ask my co-workers what’s for lunch, what they ate last night and what is on the menu tonight. I groan when I eat almost anything I like because I can barely contain my excitement. Because, well, because it’s food! I was technically trained and once worked as a formal chef but physically that takes its toll so I joined the much less strenuous, albeit entertaining, world of HR. Food is still at the forefront of my mind as I continue to cook and love all things food. Enjoy!
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