Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Face in the Neighborhood!

FW&D Remodeling is excited to welcome a new team member! Ron Bateman, longtime Virginian, is joining FW&D as a Project Manager. Ron has over 35 years of Construction Management experience and brings his wealth of knowledge to the FW&D remodeling experience. He is excited about the family-oriented aspects of FW&D Remodeling and looks forward to working with customers throughout the entire remodeling process, ensuring that high expectations are met and that our unique On-Time Guarantee is upheld. In his free time, Ron is an avid outdoor sportsman, and enjoys the beautiful wildlife of Virginia – he even has bears that come to his bird feeder! Welcome to the team, Ron!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pizzaiolo Cafe on Fern

Looking for a place to relax on these gorgeous summer evenings while enjoying some absolutely delicious food? Looking for a laidback restaurant that you can bring your friends, your kids, or Fido? Craving some authentic Italian food in Alexandria?

Well, look no further – Café on Fern, a member of the Pizzaiolo family of restaurants, is serving up all of the above! While this place might not look like the most impressive Italian restaurant, it serves up big flavor while making you feel like a part of a big Italian family (let’s be honest – it’s a pretty appealing idea…)
Café on Fern is located precisely where the name implies, and is so easily accessible. There is plenty of sitting room inside, but the beautiful weather, finally starting to warm, prompted us to choose the outdoor seating area. There’s nothing better than a beautiful night, a gorgeous sunset, and a bottle of wine.

Pizzaiolo’s menu gives options for various moods – there’s classic pasta dishes, pizza, antipasto – even true Italian subs – warning – those subs may become your new favorite lunch. The wine list, rightly stocked with Italian wines, complemented the food impeccably. We decided to get some classic Italian appetizers – both were so perfect for our outdoor summer meal. First up was the Antipasto Platter:

This was exceptional. All three meats were so flavorful, and the smoked mozzarella and provolone were fresh and creamy. The greens and peppers were made spectacular with a light balsamic vinaigrette. This is a sizable appetizer, and could be split easily, although I wouldn’t count on wanting to share!
We also tried the Bruschetta Platter.

The plate came out with three different bruschettas, all very light and fresh. There was the classic Tomato Caprese, a Pesto version with incredibly fresh mozzarella pearls, and a third with roasted red and yellow peppers. As with the whole experience that night, everything was aesthetically pleasing, with nothing added that didn’t need to be there.
We were now ready for the main portion of our meal, the White Pizza, which our waitress had confided was not only her favorite, but what she was taking home for dinner herself that night!

We quickly understood why – this pizza was nothing short of perfect. The traditional mozzarella (again, so fresh) was given a rich depth with the addition of smoked mozzarella and parmesan, then immediately lightened with dollops of ricotta. Combined with garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil (all instant winners in my book) and topped off with spinach, this pizza had layers of flavor in every bite, down to the thin crust. There were the rich flavors without the heaviness that is too often present. It was truly an experience.
After we finished up, we decided to check out the inside of the establishment, having glimpsed through the window at what appeared to be an impressive espresso and wine bar.

Yes, you are seeing correctly. That is indeed a gelato counter as well. Truly, a good gelato is reason enough to go anywhere. The girls behind the counter were kind enough to let us try several flavors before we settled on our choices. I, of course, chose the Chocolate Hazelnut. I am a firm believer in “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” (really, you can’t go wrong in choosing Nutella), but they gave theirs a surprising edge by having actual flecks of hazelnut, as opposed to just the flavor. Some of their other flavors were close runners-up. The Toasted Almond was an unexpected delight, and they had both more common flavors (chocolate, mint chocolate chip) and the more unexpected (pistachio, lemon). Who knows, maybe in a couple times, I might get something else. Miracles do happen.
Overall, this was a delightful establishment, perfect for a nice sit-down meal and equally as appealing for a quick sub at lunch. In addition, everything at Pizzaiolo’s Café on Fern is available for pickup or carryout – including their beer and wine selections. Whether you’re enjoying on the patio ,watching the sunset, inside at the cool bar, or in the comfort of your own home, this is a place that is sure to please.
Pizzaiolo Café on Fern