Walk 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.
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.
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.
While 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.
10579 Fairfax Blvd. in Fairfax, VA 22030 (703) 272-8113
- Ample parking
- Outdoor patio; smoking is allowed on patio
- Small, well-behaved dogs are welcome on the patio