Falls Church / Modern American / $$$$
You won’t see it coming. There shouldn’t be a restaurant here, not in the 15-story office building surrounded by wooded trails. And if there is, it shouldn’t be this good. Chef Bertrand Chemel’s cuisine is hidden in plain sight, but the secret has long been out.
It’s not the setting you would expect, but one look at the goat cheese ravioli and you’ll be thoroughly disarmed. There’s nothing “office park” about the handmade pasta, shaded with a forest of julienned black truffle. Service, too, is far from what one might expect in such a building—your waiter knows his return customers’ preferences and quirks as well as he knows the menu.
To a meat lover, he recommends the fork-tender braised lamb shoulder, woven with yet more fungi in the form of wild mushrooms. Their flavor of the forest floor melds marvelously with soft porcini polenta. He guides a sweet tooth toward the clafoutis, a cherry dessert presented with housemade vanilla ice cream. “You need the vitamin C,” he jokes.
Yes, you’re in an office building, but you’re no drone. This is where diners come to escape the ordinary, one compelling plate at a time.
See This: The koi pond and manmade waterfall are impossible to ignore, but once inside, soaring ceilings make the modern space feel almost as if you’re still outdoors.
Eat This: Goat cheese ravioli, braised lamb shoulder with porcini polenta, cherry cake clafoutis
When to Visit: You want an ultra-modern experience without heading into the city.