Chadwick’s of Old Town
With all of the demolition taking place along the Potomac River, we thought that we would visit one of Alexandria’s iconic restaurants that has been there since 1979 and will still be there after the new waterfront is completed. Located on The Strand along the waterfront Chadwicks has endured high water and hurricanes over the years and will be one of the buildings that is grandfathered in throughout the development phase.
A long time favorite watering hole of locals (including me), Chadwicks has always offered the right combination of friendly folks, lively spirits and good food and a fair price. As are most stores and restaurants, Chadwicks is located n a 200-year-old warehouse. The stone and brick walls give the restaurant a certain old world character to go along with the dark woods and center staircase. A long wooden bar dominates the right side of the first floor with table seating to the left. The huge staircase in the middle takes you to the second floor where there is another bar, dining and large windows that look out on the Potomac River.
The overall ambiance of Chadwicks is casual…no white tablecloths here. I had wanted to get back to Chadwicks and try their Chicken Virginia. Many years ago I had chicken with crabmeat at The Summerhouse Restaurant in Rehoboth, Delaware and loved it. Chadwick’s version did not disappoint. Two succulent chicken breasts covered with lump crab and country ham in a sherry cream sauce. The combination was a taste treat. The sides of fresh green beans and jasmine rice made for a very pleasant meal. The rice was placed on the plate with a scoop which gave it a cafeteria appearance, but once I dug into it the shape disappeared and the rice was very good…a great addition to the sherry cream sauce. The green beans were cooked just right and had a nice crispness to them. At $21.00, I thought that the meal was spot on.
My dining companion opted for a starter and ordered the Arugula & Roasted Beet salad– this comes adorned with feta cheese, spiced walnuts, dried cranberries and is dressed with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette. It’s a good thing I didn’t opt for a starter since this salad was plenty for two people. It is a fantastic combination of all of the aforementioned ingredients in perfect proportions. I can see it being ordered as an entrée alone and they do give you the option to add a protein. The Pecan Crusted Rainbow Trout came next. This dish is made with maple bourbon butter and as the name indicates is “crusted” with chopped pecans. While the combination itself is very good, they are a little heavy handed with the crusting and it takes away from the delicate flavor of the trout. After removing one side of the crust, the flavors and texture was very good. She said she would definitely order it again but make sure to ask for a very “light” crusting. The trout is normally served with green beans and mashed potatoes but she substituted them for the Jasmine rice. At $17, this is a great value as well.
Other favorites at Chadwicks are the Herbed Ribeye Steak, Jumbo Crab Cakes, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and Black & Blue (Blackened Petite Tenderloin with melted blue cheese), sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes. This food is down home cooking with no frills…great on the palate and easy on the wallet.
They offer a special each day that they refer to as “Comforts” on the menu. These specials include Beer Can Chicken, Turkey Platter, Meatloaf and Spaghetti and Meatballs on Sunday. Chadwicks has a large selection of desserts as well. We opted for the Mudpie…whipped Kona coffee ice cream with Kalua on an Oreo cookie crust with gobs of chocolate over the top. Plenty for two people to share.
Chadwicks has also always been a popular destination for Sunday brunch, which is also offered on Saturday. They have all of the brunch classics…Three Egg Omlette, Eggs Benedict, French toast, Buttermilk Pancakes and Eggs Chesapeake, as well as an assortment of sandwiches and Chef Specials. All items are reasonably priced and a great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning gazing out at the Potomac River.
While the wine list isn’t extensive it has plenty to offer with something for everyone’s palate. They do, however, have a pretty extensive beer list and just about any adult beverage you want in the liquor department.
While you are home for the holidays or just taking a break from your holiday shopping, enjoy a meal at one of Old Town Alexandria’s restaurant icons!