Holiday dining


Nestled in Old Town Alexandria since February, Brabo by award-winning Chef Robert Wiedmaier is celebrating its holiday debut with specials, events and gifts. Brabo’s Belgian tradition and French flair stand out in its imported riches and locally grown, brewed and hunted selections this harvest season. On Nov. 19, Brabo will serve a five-course game feast of duck consommé with duck confit pinwheel, braised rabbit, and Pennsylvania venison, paired with wines from local vineyards. Starting Wednesday, the restaurant will prepare turkey orders for pickup, and Chef Chris Watson will demonstrate turkey carving at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening. 

In the spirit of the season, Brabo General Manager Gonzague Muchery says he is thankful for his guests. “We don’t take anything for granted. If you want good food and service, come to Brabo,” he said.

On Thanksgiving Day, from 2:30 to 7 p.m., guests can indulge in a three-course dinner of butternut squash soup, seared Chesapeake rockfish, and of course, turkey with sweet potatoes, cranberry relish and chestnut dressing.

To get in the Christmas mood, Brabo will serve a four-course champagne dinner at 7 p.m. Dec. 1. Last week, the winter Belgium beer selection opened, featuring dark roasted malts, heavy and flavorful. Christmas Eve dinner will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and will have three courses with fare like roast chestnut soup, Scottish smoked salmon and seared rib eye steak.

A step away from the dining room, Brabo’s Butcher’s Block, a gourmet food and wine market, is stocked for holiday shopping.

Guests can buy squab, lamb tenderloin, homemade sausages and many other foods. The Butcher’s Block is also pairing gift creations, like small caviar vials with champagne, and truffle packages.


On the other side of the Potomac River, the 1789 Restaurant in Georgetown is planning a magnificent holiday menu and display.  Throughout November, fresh-roasted Pennsylvania chestnuts are incorporated into appetizers, entrées and desserts. On Thanksgiving Day, start off with oyster and applewood smoked bacon gratin or perhaps pumpkin soup or sweet potato gnocchi. A few of Executive Chef Daniel Giusti’s entrées include rack of lamb, butter-poached Maine lobster, and traditional roasted turkey. 

Every Christmas, the 1789 Restaurant transforms its six dining rooms into dazzling Christmas parlors.  Inside and out, the restaurant is adorned with lights, mantels, foliage, candles and antique toys, and carolers from the Washington Men’s Camerata bring back warm memories of holiday magic. 


Located in the heart of downtown Washington, Potenza will bask in Southern Italian tradition this Christmas Eve with the Feast of Seven Fishes, a joyful and symbolic Catholic ceremony to await the midnight birth.  Known in Italian as La Vigilia, this feast combines rich history and family warmth, as well as Executive Chef Bryan Moscatello’s favorite seafood dishes. 

From five to 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the Italian trattoria, bakery and wine story will present baccala bruschetta, white anchovy-stuffed foccacia, stuffed calamari, pizza al vongole, pan-roasted tuna, mussels and spicy soppresata, and linguine nero and black squid ink pasta with caramelized shrimp. No dinner is complete without Italian wine and dessert, and Potenza is proud of its tempting choices.

Bourbon Steak

Also in Georgetown is Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak, which is celebrating the holidays with seasonal ingredients in its classic and contemporary American cuisine. Bourbon Steak will serve an a la carte Thanksgiving Day menu from 6 to 10 p.m. Delicious specials include brown-butter-basted Maine lobster, roasted chestnut soup with foie gras cromesguis, and roasted Ayreshire Farm heirloom turkey with stuffing and cranberry-orange confit, to name a few.

The Christmas Day a la carte dinner, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., is sure to invoke warm holiday cheer. Not to be missed are pomegranate and rogue creamery smokey blue, roasted Griggstown Farm goose with stuffing and cabbage and salt-roasted prime rib with Yorkshire pudding and braised oxtail.

Make a New Year’s toast on Bourbon Steak this season and enjoy a four- or six-course dinner, live music and a glass of midnight champagne. 

Taberna Del Alabardero

Taberna Del Alabardero, one of Washington’s most famous restaurants, is celebrating its 20th anniversary by hosting guests’ holiday parties.  A Christmas dinner runs from Dec. 1 to Dec. 30 and features items from Old Spain and plenty of Spanish holiday wines. 

For starters, try delicacies like jamón Ibérico and queso manchego, or creamy saffron and lobster rice, or roasted bell pepper salad with tuna belly and orange vinaigrette. Dinner creations include hake on parsley sauce with clams and asparagus heads, and lamb chop with glaze shallots and almond pepper sauce.