Along the Potomac River, Blackwall Hitch perches just beyond reach from the water’s edge. Once a busy trading port, Alexandria’s waterfront was the docking location of those traveling from the historic Blackwall seaport in London where most of the 17th century colonialization expeditions departed. True to the restaurant’s nautical environment and acquired history, blackwall hitch also references a type of knot known for securing a piece of rope to a hook. Executive Chef Michael Wagner’s culinary history is just as intriguing. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he has worked in along the eastern coast from Florida to New York to Maryland, and now Virginia. Constantly challenging himself as well as his diners, Michael invites guests to delve a bit deeper into the menu and ask questions, as he believes the conversation about his food should be a fluid one. While there, we dined on a few courses while gazing through the large, open windows that provide a stellar view of the river. Although the new kid on the block, Blackwall Hitch is a welcomed addition to Old Town Alexandria.
Start off with a Watermelon Saketini. For a humid Virginia afternoon, it’s refreshingly light and fruity. Made with watermelon puree’, Odzeki Sake, fresh mint and lime juice, a few of these won’t cause any disruptions to your day.
This had to be our most relished dish as the simple but flavorful ingredients within their Antipasto Chopped Salad are noticeable. Crisp, fresh green beans tossed with chickpeas, salami, pepperoni, roasted red peppers drizzled with a Parmesan-oregano vinaigrette is worth every penny.
One would expect great seafood from a restaurant that sits along the waterfront, and the Crispy Soft Shell Crab delivers. A thin but crunchy batter coats a plump soft shell crab whose succulent, sweet meat complements the parsley tabbouleh and creamy lemon butter.
End with a semi-sweet apple dumpling encased inside a flaky, puff pastry stuffed with Granny Smith apples and paired with vanilla bean ice cream. With a happy hour, gluten-free, late night and brunch menu, you’ll have more than enough time to sample the various dishes on their menu; however, don’t get too comfortable as Chef Wagner looks forward to totally blowing your mind this fall with new additions to the menu.
5 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Jai is a culinary/travel photographer, author whose photography has been seen in publications such as Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Munchies (VICE), and Ad Week. Jai has been with GMF since 2014 is the former GMF Editor-in-Chief. She has photographed for both domestic and international tourism boards. Additionally, her work was selected as a semi-finalist in competitions such as Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s RAMMYs in Focus, and The Historical Society of D.C.’s For the Record. Contributing her photography to books like New York One-Food Wonders and Discovering Vintage Washington, DC, Jai’s creative spirit focuses on the food, beverage, and travel industries. Co-authoring Plantations of Virginia with six-time New York Press Club award winner Charlene C. Giannetti, their book is currently in its third printing within a year of being released. Jai enjoys collaborating with her clients to bring their vision to life.