America Eats Tavern

Located in the Ritz Carlton Hotel
1700 Tysons Blvd.
McLean, VA 22102

American | $$

Recently I was in Tysons Corner at lunch time and decided to see if I could get into the new America Eats Tavern at the Ritz Carlton. The latest offering from Chef José Andrés and his Think Food Group has a patriotic theme throughout. I highly recommend reservations, it was very busy and I was lucky to get a table.

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The America Eats name defines the menu’s rich array of home-style foods featuring local and regional flavors. Chef Nate Waugaman has done an outstanding job with the menu and getting the 138 seat restaurant running. Not an easy job considering the discriminating clientele at the Ritz Carlton.

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The restaurant was participating in Washington, DC’s Restaurant Week so I ordered off the special menu and selected an appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $20.14. To start I chose the Hush Puppies with South Mountain Creamery Butter.

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They were left in the fryer just a little too long giving them a darker than normal look but not long enough to distract from their wonderful taste.

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For my entrée I ordered the Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog with Yellow Mustard, Onion, and Sweet Pickle Relish in a Sport Pepper bun. The 100% certified all natural organic grass fed loved and hugged every night beef hot dog was fabulous and anything wrapped in bacon is always kicked up a notch. I reserve yellow mustard for the ball park but the turmeric flavor of the mustard was a nice complement to the sweet pickle relish.

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Because restaurants at which I dine are apparently forbidden by law to offer butterscotch pudding I habitually choose a chocolate dessert. This was an excellent cake, moist and not super rich. I particularly liked the use of a chocolate pudding like filler between the layers and not just the same outer icing.

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Coffee and cake go hand-in-hand and this was a pleasant full-bodied coffee. I especially like coffee in a cup easy to hold and doesn’t look like it came from a Barbie tea set.

Service was good but a little slow to refill my iced tea. The wait staff is friendly and the young man tagging along in training with my waiter seemed like he was on his way to learning the menu and providing excellent service. The restaurant was full when I dined and the noise level was good at 71 decibels, just at the bottom of the hard to hear scale.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from such a new establishment but I was pleasantly surprised, it was an enjoyable lunch. I can’t wait to go back for dinner and try the Gordonsville, VA inspired Fried Chicken.