Northern Virginia

We’ll be staying near Reston Town Center for a few days next week, and are looking to have one nice dinner with my brother and his wife. I’m thinking Mon Ami Gabi, as it offers a variety of choices between beef, fish and other proteins. PassionFish is another possibility, but my brother is more of a red meat eater. I’d prefer to avoid the national chains like Mortons and M&S, and the list above doesn’t show if their Reston locations permit BYO. I’ll be bringing 2 or 3 bottles of wine for us, and am looking for recent experiences and suggestions. Thanks !

Scott, do you like veal? Zeffirelli in Herndon would be close, and $25 corkage.

JoeD, Thanks for the suggestion ! We decided to stay in walking distance and had a very nice meal at Mon Ami Gabi in the Town Center. We brought an '09 Fèvre Vaudésir and '01 Pégaü. Our server broke both corks when opening the bottles, but got the lower halves out intact, so no issues. I watched her when she opened the Pégaü and she didn’t drive the screw all the way into the cork. Probably not a problem when dealing with the newer bottlings on the list … Other than that, service was good and the stemware was fine. Corkage was $20/bottle. Since this is the BYO forum, I’ll just say the food was tasty and well prepared, seemed like a good value and I’d be happy to return.

I guess Clarity in Vienna got too popular or too many people took advantage of their low corkage fee, but the policy is now changed. $25 corkage, limit one bottle per table of four.

Thanks Jeff. Updates and adds up top

I know this is stretching the Northern Virginia boundaries, but I’m not sure where else to put this …

According to the Inn at Little Washington’s web site, corkage is $50 for the 1st bottle and $75 for the second, with a limit of 2 bottles. What’s very nice is this fee is waived for each bottle purchased off their list. When we went last week, we arrived a little early for our reservation and ordered a bottle of Champagne to enjoy while we waited. We also ordered a Chardonnay to accompany our meal and the corkage was completely waived for the 2 bottles we brought. The wine service was outstanding, regardless of which wines were being served.

updated April 6th

Thanks for the update, Joe. One correction on Clarity - they’ve removed the one bottle limit.

Alta Strada, an Italian place in the Mosaic District, allows BYO subject to a $25 per bottle corkage charge.

Update on Clarity in Vienna. Corkage is now up to $30, free on Monday. They still do zero corkage “Raid Your Cellar” dinners where they’ll match the menu to the wines, but $130 pp food cost is steep.

Anyone have any thoughts as to steakhouses around Tyson’s? I rarely eat at steakhouses, particularly around Tysons but have a client in town that I have promised some nice cabernets from the cellar.

Thanks in advance.


This one surprised me. Texas de Brazil - $20 per bottle, nothing on their list. Apparently that is nationwide where permitted by local law.

Here’s another - the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm. $25 per bottle, two bottle limit. It’s at the outer limits of “DC suburbs” but still counts as Northern Virginia.

Been a while since a NoVa update so here’s something new, only open a month. Parc de Ville, a bistro in Merrifield from the owners of Chez Billy Sud in the ill-fated former Gypsy Soul and Requin space. $25 per bottle, max 2 per table, nothing on their list (which is unfortunately not online). Good food and service on a first visit.

Oof. Looks like no NOVA updates since before COVID. I’ll add a couple of places I’ve been to in the past few months that offer corkage…

Thompson’s Italian (Falls Church) — $25
Blend 111 (Vienna) — $20, M-Th only

Looking forward to the plague and freezing weather subsiding long enough to go back out and eat again.


Thanks Chris. How is Thompson overall?

Thompson’s is about a 10-minute walk from my home so it is one of our regular spots. I think that it is perfect for what it is - a neighborhood eatery with quality food and friendly service. You will never confuse it with Masseria or Fiola but that isn’t what they are trying for. I highly recommend

Agree. Prices are okay and the food is good. If you’re looking for a relaxing night out with some great pasta, good service, quality cocktails, then you can’t go wrong. Their back patio is nice with heaters if you want to eat outside, too. The fact that you can BYO makes it even better.

I believe that all three of these restaurants have closed.

Vienna has suddenly become a dining hotspot. The latest entry is Roberto Donna’s new place, Roberto’s Ristorante Italiano. Food was decent but not up to his previous level. $50 corkage, two bottle limit, but the wine list is weak enough that it may be worth considering.