So, I'm kind of obsessed with the new shopping area called Mosaic District, I spend a lot of time there. It has a lot of restaurants, but not many of them are sit-down type places. Of the few that are there, I like Matchbox the best. The food is good, the drinks are decent, and it's right next to the movie theater. For these reasons, it tends to always be crowded. But don't let availability on Open Table fool you - every single time it has claimed to have no reservations, we have walked in and been seated in less than 15 minutes. It's billed as a pizza joint, but more than half the menu is other types of food. I'd say it's pretty comparable to Chef Geoff's, but in a better location.
One thing that is pretty cool is that they have wines on tap, so you can order by the glass pretty easily. But what's even cooler is a deal with Swirl and Sip where if you buy a bottle of wine from them, Matchbox will waive the corkage fee!
This is one of my favorite pizzas - the prosciutto and black mission fig with black pepper, arugula, and honey.
Another favorite (for Jasper, as well) is the chicken pesto pizza.
This is the crab and avocado salad with roasted corn and tarragon aioli.
Earlier this year I wrote about a restaurant called Sea Pearl, mostly in regards to their brunch. That review was pretty positive. I've been back a few more times for lunch with more mediocre results.
This lobster roll was pretty decent, but not my favorite in the area. It's very herby, which isn't bad - I just don't prefer it personally. I would say that Coastal Flats has better. Also, though the garlic rosemary fries were good, I wasn't a fan of the boring side salad that came with.
This burger was pretty good with the caramelized and pickled onions. But the foie gras was unnecessary. I can't believe I'm saying that because it was the main reason I ordered the burger, but it just felt like it didn't belong (unlike the stellar version at Mockingbird Bistro in Houston, TX).
Lastly, the Hudson Valley roll was a huge flop. Seared foie gras, raw tuna, and green apple with a balsamic plum wine reduction. This just didn't work, and the foie had a weird bitter taste. I noticed it on the burger, too, so however they are cooking their foie here is no good.
I think I'm going to be sticking to brunch for awhile.
The new Mosaic Shopping Center in Merrifield, VA is super cool. There's a Target, an indie movie theater, a gym, boutiques, and cafes. Sea Pearl is one of the larger, less casual restaurants in the center. The website describes it as "Asian inspired modern American cuisine." The main focus is seafood - they have both cooked dishes and sushi - but they also have some meat dishes and a pretty good brunch (on Saturday, too, which I love). It's quite large and the decor is really lovely. It's a little on the feminine side, which would make it perfect for ladies' brunch or girls' night out (the drinks are good, but with DC prices). I've never seen it packed, so large groups could be seated easily.
Let's start with Brunch, because that is what I go for most often.
Cinnamon churros with warm chocolate dipping sauce: these are super awesome - hot, fresh, crunchy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. Love it.
Ricotta fritters with honey and seasonal fruit (this time it was apple): these are good too, fluffy and rich. If you had to choose only one pastry though, I'd go with the churros.