The wait is over and the view just got infinitely better on the Waterfront in Old Town. The view, that is, if perched on a seat in the newly opened Blackwall Hitch in Alexandria. The anticipation was well worth the wait as Scott and I have been monitoring the progress while they worked to open their doors. Not only will this bi-level, 315 seat restaurant impress you on the inside, but the additional 105 patio seats will ensure you spend the warm weather season at Blackwall Hitch.
Though the weather was not conducive that evening to dining al fresco, we were happy to spend our evening settled in a booth toward the back of the restaurant. The decor is a beautiful marriage of traditional nautical and modern luxury – the result is a trendy coastal tavern, complete with 4 bars located throughout each with a decidedly unique vibe. Our favorite will easily be the Crow’s Nest, a lounge situated on the restaurant’s second level. The skylights and walls of windows offer natural light which help to make the views of the Potomac especially beautiful.
Not only does the light complement the view, but the food could is presented with a finesse that is usually reserved for upscale, fine dining experiences. Blackwall’s menu is a collection of American fare with an obvious emphasis on seafood, though we began our meal with THE FILET FIRE-ROASTED FLATBREAD (filet mignon, caramelized onions, gorgonzola). If the filet is any indication of how the other flatbreads taste, you can’t go wrong.
As we were sharing the meal, we were advised to sample several of the entrees (oooooh, twist my arm….) and hands down were blown away by not only the presentation of the dish, but the quality far exceeded our expectations. The menu prices are modest given the prime real estate and chic atmosphere, and there wasn’t a single bite of disappointment. We tried the SHRIMP ‘n GRITS (Sauteed Jumbo Shrimp with Andouille Sausage and Tomatoes in a White Wine Creole Sauce served over a bed of Creamy Cheddar Grits) and I was an instant fan. CONFESSION: I’ve never had grits before, and I realize now I’ve been missing out all my life.
If you are in the mood for a little spice, try the BAYOU PENNE (Classic Creole Jumbo Shrimp, Andouille Sausage and Grilled Chicken served over Penne Pasta with a Creamy Chipotle Sauce). It definitely had a kick, but in my world the more heat, the better.
Scott and I agreed that the winner of the night (by a hair…) was the BRAISED SHORT RIB (Tender, slow-cooked boneless Beef Short Rib with Roasted Aromatic Vegetables in a Savory Broth served with Redskin Mashed Potatoes and Crispy Onion Straws). Blackwall Hitch proves that you needn’t wait until winter for a true stick-to-your-ribs dish, and we highly suggest giving this a try on your next (or first…) visit.
We finished the meal with another suggestion from the staff – the PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE (House-made Sponge Cake topped with Pineapple Rings baked and glazed with Brown Sugar, finished with Caramel Sauce). Another confession: never been a fan of pineapple, so this item did not jump off the menu for me. However, if I had to recommend a dessert from now on, it would be this one. The pineapple adds a depth of fresh to the plate, but it’s as if you are enjoying the best pancakes you’ve ever had. Tack on the drizzled caramel and it’s an epic win.
I have a soft spot in my heart for the Waterfront in Old Town, as it will always be the place Scott took to bended knee. However, Blackwall Hitch gives us another reason to frequent the water, and no doubt you will find us at one of the 4 bars the next time you visit, as it is now our go-to Date Night spot.
Have you been yet?? Let us know what you think!