Around Town

Merrifield area restaurant tops Northern Virginia Magazine list of region’s best

The landscaping outside 2491 helped land it the no. 1 spot on Northern Virginia Magazine’s 2023 50 Best Restaurants list (file photo)

The best place to eat in Northern Virginia right now is an upscale restaurant tucked away in an office building outside Merrifield that also houses the U.S. headquarters of defense contractor BAE Systems.

At least that’s the designation bestowed upon 2941 by Northern Virginia Magazine’s food critics, whose ranking of the 50 best restaurants in the region for 2023 hit newsstands on Friday (Oct. 27) as part of its November issue.

While the full list can only be found in print, reviews for the top 10 restaurants are online, led by 2941. Located at 2941 Fairview Park Drive, the restaurant impressed the magazine’s critics with the artistry of both its cuisine and setting, which features landscaping, a koi pond and a view of an artificial lake.

“Inside the soaring space, a talented contemporary American kitchen staff transforms top-flight ingredients into culinary art,” the review said, highlighting a five-course tasting menu curated by Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel as well as a la carte dishes like a “grilled rib-eye with crisped potatoes.”

Self-described on its website as “one of the most celebrated restaurants in the metropolitan area,” 2941 previously topped Northern Virginia Magazine’s annual rankings in 2021 and came in second last year. It has also been recognized in the past by Washingtonian, Eater DC and the Washington Post.

“We’re ecstatic to share that we’ve been ranked as the #1 restaurant in Northern Virginia!” the restaurant said in a Facebook post. “This recognition wouldn’t be possible without our incredible team and the support of our loyal customers. Thank you for making…us the best in the region.”

2941 isn’t the only Fairfax County restaurant to place in the top 10. It was joined by Nostos in Tysons (No. 6), L’Auberge Chez François in Great Falls (No. 8), Trummer’s in Clifton (No. 9) and Trio Grill in Merrifield proper (No. 10).

Praised for proving that there’s “much more to Greek cuisine” than gyros, Nostos (8100 Boone Blvd) was among Washingtonian’s “very best restaurants” in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Its owners are behind Vienna’s incoming Yellow Diner, which is expected to open at 501 Maple Avenue West early next year.

L’Auberge Chez François has been operating at 332 Springvale Road since 1976, when it moved from its original home in D.C. Also recently lauded by Washingtonian, the French establishment is a “captivating destination for celebrating life’s special moments” with “masterful cuisine” and “exquisite service,” according to Northern Virginia Magazine.

Trummer’s (7134 Main Street) originally opened as a fine dining restaurant in 2009, but it has been steadily evolving into a more casual American bistro, dropping the “on Main” portion of its name in 2019. Northern Virginia Magazine highlights its “skillful” blending of “Austrian and regional American traditions.”

Near the Mosaic District at 8100 Route 29, Trio Grill comes from Metropolitan Hospitality Group, which is also behind Open Road, Circa and El Bebe. When it opened a decade ago, Northern Virginia Magazine dinged the eatery for not taking more risks with its menu, but it now says Trio Grill offers “a night of fine food and camaraderie.”

Falls Church was also represented with Ellie Bird at No. 5 and the Vietnamese restaurant NUE coming in seventh. Both restaurants opened earlier this year in the city’s new Founders Row development on West and Broad streets.