There are not many places left offering two rounds of dishes—a basket of housemade sourdough, focaccia and Parker House rolls with housemade butter and a seasonally appropriate amuse bouche—before the first course arrives. While Vermilion might technically not qualify as old-school fine dining, a restaurant category dwindling in 2018, the thoughtful, gracefully prepared food here upholds those standards.
Pasta, because it’s made fresh, rivals the adorning accompaniments of sweet corn and chanterelles and crispy little breadcrumbs that is the preferred garnish. Vegetables are taken seriously here, with darling, delicious baby eggplants upstaging salty-charred slices of ribeye cap for best-of-show. After more than a decade on King Street, this fall Vermilion received a refresh with new paint and a new menu, but luckily, not a new chef.
Modern American | $$$
1120 King St., Alexandria