By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano
Springfield | Afghan | $$
When Afghan Bistro opened three years ago it felt like a new chapter for Central Asian dining in the region. There’s always been great strip mall kabab houses, but this restaurant in Springfield found fame with composed plates and huge chunks of tender meats, like the Arcosian goat seasoned with garam masala, that seemingly dissolves into rice adorned with shredded carrots and raisins.
The vegetable dishes should get just as much attention: roasted eggplant that’s just a delight, savory, spicy, soulful. Whether tucked inside of a dumpling or snuggled up to a melange of other vegetables, fall-approved, orange-hued winter squash is just a hint sweet and can ramp up thanks to the quad of house sauces on the table (a favorite is the bright green avocado one with a hint of jalapeno).
Most everything is cooked long and slow, making this cozy, crowded spot a place to tuck into as the nights creep cooler. // 8081 Alban Rd D, Springfield, VA 22150