Carlyle Square Transformed Into Festival
About 5,000 people braved Saturday’s heat to sample morsels from 10 of Arlington’s best restaurants and wines from 15 of Virginia’s burgeoning wineries.
In its second year, the Alexandria Food & Wine Festival transforms John Carlyle Square in the Carlyle District of Old Town into a lively festival, complete with live entertainment, a children’s corner, food and wine tasting. There were also booths with vendors selling their wares or passing out information.
The festival expanded from one wine tent last year to two this year. Maurisa Potts from Spotted MP, a spokesperson for the event, told DC on Heels they plan to add another tent for the 2014 festival.
Local restaurants competed for the best appetizer, the best main course and the best desert. Winning the best appetizer was Trademark with its bacon candy (bacon soak in maple syrup served on a stick). Taking top prize in the entrée category was Walker’s Grille with its jumbo sauted sea scallop served over creamy corn. Alexandria Cupcakes took the desert prize with its pricey (selling for an equivalent of $7.50 at the festival) cupcakes.
My favorite bite was Walker’s Grille’s scallop. A close second was the chicken and vegetable empanada from La Tasca Alexandia. Make sure you try the garlic aioli on it.
My favorite wine was the Odeimin, a strawberry wine from Mataponi Winery in Spotsylvania, Va. Close seconds were the Pow Wow, a chocholate-covered strawberry wine from Mataponi and the raspberry merlot from The Williamsburg Winery.
The event is free. Tickets for the wine tent cost $10 and included a wine glass, bottle of water and unlimited tastings. Food tickets cost $15 for eight and samples ranged from one to four tickets.