Located in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, Vermilion Restaurant offers diners upscale, modern American cuisine. Executive Chef Anthony Chittum changes the menu seasonally, sticking to classic dishes like Hanger Steak and Roasted Chicken Sausage. Vermilion is one of various restaurants owned by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, who also oversees Virginia favorites Rustico and Eatbar, as well as D.C. hotspots Birch and Barley and Churchkey. Vermilion’s interior is effortlessly chic, combining deep red colors and dark wood. On this lunch occasion, our party of two was welcomed by the friendly host and seated promptly in a dining room upstairs overlooking bustling King Street. Vermilion’s lunch menu has a “power lunch box,” allowing guests to pair soup or salad with a sandwich or main course. We settled on ordering the “junior VP” (choice of Davon Crest Greens or Butternut Squash Soup and any sandwich) and “the ceo” (choice of any soup or salad and any main course).
Our server brought out the soups first, which were both beautifully presented. The Butternut Squash Soup was topped with a sprinkling of Honeycrisp Apples, Amaretti Cookies and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds. The flavors of the soup were rich with a hearty consistency – perfect for warming up on this cold, winter day. The unexpected twist of the sweet Apples and Cookies paired well with the Pumpkin Seeds, and truly made for a festive and seasonal starter.
The Lemon Chicken Soup was equally as enjoyable. Served with Orzo Pasta, Glazed Root Vegetables, Hollandaise and Crispy Lemon, the soup was a bit lighter than the Butternut Squash, yet still packed with flavors in its own right. The Pasta and Root Vegetables added substance to the soup, while the rich and buttery Hollandaise tied the dish together.
After polishing off our soups, the main courses were served – a Maine Shrimp “Roll” and Hanger Steak. The Maine Shrimp “Roll” was very fresh and well-seasoned. Sliced Avocado, Oven Roasted Cherry Tomato and Spiced Caper Aioli were the perfect touches to complete the tasty sandwich. Served with Potato Salad and Pickles, the Maine Shrimp “Roll” was a scrumptious choice for the lunch selection.
The Hanger Steak, beautifully cooked with a red center, was tender and juicy. The accompanying Baby Greens were simple and lightly dressed and the Porcini Dusted Fries had a zesty flavor. The plate overall was delicious, and the large portion size was an unexpected pleasant surprise for a lunch course.
Lunch at Vermilion was a pleasure. The reasonably priced selections is an added plus – and shows that fantastic fare doesn’t always have to be pricy. With great ambiance, service and food, Vermilion is a wonderful place to grab a drink, a bite for lunch, or partake in an enjoyable dinner.