911 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
American | $$$
Every once in a while we find ourselves at a restaurant that astounds us. The Majestic turned out to be a special dining experience. I have thought about visiting The Majestic before but parking in Alexandria can be such a challenge it’s a deterrent to even the most diehard foodies. Since we were shopping in the area we stopped by without a reservation to see if they could seat us. Something I don’t recommend since the restaurant fills quickly.
The restaurant has a history as a café in its current location dating back to the 1940s. It was transformed into The Majestic in 2007 by Chef Cathal Armstrong’s Eat Good Food Group. Armstrong is best known for his Restaurant Eve, also in Alexandria and as a James Beard Foundation 7 time nominee for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.
At the helm of The Majestic’s kitchen is Chef Shannon Overmiller who did a masterful job preparing dinner. Having worked under Chef Armstrong at Restaurant Eve she is well suited for the roll of executive chef. Her love of the region drives her desire to source ingredients locally and gives her the ability to tell you from which farm or fisherman your dish came. Watching her at work can mesmerize as she moves between the kitchen, staff, and guests, directing, inspecting and having a hand in each dish.
Our first appetizer was an amazing Chicken Liver Mousse with a Blackberry Compote and Black Truffles. It comes with toasted French baguette slices but after the first bite my wife told the waiter “we’re going to need more bread, we’re leaving none of this behind.” Served slightly chilled as a mousse it has a consistency close to whipped butter. The favor is muted and not as strong as a liver pâté. Amid bites my wife alternated between saying the names of friends who would love this and we have to come back here.
For our second appetizer we were sold on the Red’s She Crap Soup when Chef Overmiller told us it was an old family recipe. Made with Lump Crab, Cream, Sherry and Oyster Crackers it was delectable. It had a nice creamy consistency without being too thick. The homemade oyster crackers were a nice touch.
I chose the Amish ‛Jerk’ Chicken with a Creamy Cucumber Sauce and Spoonbread for my main course. The spoonbread was cooked perfectly with a great corn pudding like taste. The chicken was mouthwateringly moist and had the wonderful Jerk spice taste to the crispy skin. The cucumber sauce was light, refreshing, and helped cool down the Jerk spice.
My wife’s dish was the Chef’s Special of Grilled Caves Liver and Onions with Whipped Potatoes. The hand-cut liver was tender with a light liver taste. The combination of pearl and sweet onions in a savory sauce was perfect.
My French Press coffee with dessert was excellent, full bodied and smooth.
My wife had this silky smooth Key Lime Pie for dessert. The pie had a nice crust sitting on a luscious Coconut Crème Anglaise with ripe succulent Kiwi.
Given a choice I almost always pick a chocolate dessert. I am glad I tried the Chocolate ‛Lava’ Cake with Chocolate Sauce and Pistachio Brittle. The warm molten chocolate combined with the vanilla ice cream was heavenly. It is rich and probably best shared by two.
To finish the meal the chef sent us these nice ricotta and cocoa rolled in coconut truffles. I am not fond of coconut but these were really good.
We dinned about 5:30pm when the restaurant seats. The noise level was low and grew as the restaurant filled. It was never over 72 decibels which puts it at the low end of the hard-to-hear scale. The lighting is pleasant and won’t give you that dimly lit dungeon dinning effect that seems so popular these days. The wait staff is professional, attentive and personable. Our waiter Jamie answered all of our menu questions and made excellent suggestions. He was always nearby and our glasses were never less than half full. I hope he is available on our next visit.
If you are looking for an exceptional dining experience for a special occasion or just a culinary treat move The Majestic to the top of your list.