Tysons Corner was finally recognized as an official destination by the US Postal Service earlier this year. But as anyone who lives or works there will tell you, the quota for good restaurants and bars in the immediate area has yet to be met. Chef Geoff’s in Tysons has been working to change that since it took over the former Colvin Run Tavern location, across the entrance to Tysons Galleria (off of Route 7).
Chef Geoff’s layout is comfortable and spacious, dominated by the long bar in the center of the restaurant. On a recent Friday night I observed a very busy happy hour, and witnessed both professional and personal negotiations were going on at the bar. The crowd encompassed a range of ages and the ambiance was professional, yet not as formal as some other Tysons watering holes.
Happy hours offers a number of discounted specials, but unfortunately not the wines by the glass. Nevertheless, Chef Geoff Tysons provides a good selection. The Arbor Brook Willamette Pinot Noir and the Clisos Tempranillo from Federico Paternina get two thumbs up. Less satisfying were the Pont di Crillon Cotes du Rhone and the Rumpus Syrah blend. The prices are hefty for the pour you receive, which might be an issue if you’re not using the “expense account”.
My wife and I also enjoyed dinner at the restaurant. The tables are in different rooms, with tasteful partitions breaking up the space and giving a feel of intimacy. The best appetizer we had was the calamari, which was fried very well, not too heavy or greasy. It came with three sides but the clear winner for us was the marinara, not the two mayonnaise based sauces.
I had the rabbit Bolognese for my entree, and my wife had scallops over mushroom risotto. The Bolognese was a flavorful, hearty dish just right for early winter. The rabbit was very flavorful and the pasta as black pepper pappardelle, lending some added heat and interest to the dish. My wife’s scallops dish was well prepared and the risotto was delicious, if a little on the heavy side.
Service was prompt and professional. In particular, it was nice to have the table crumbed between courses. For me that was a pleasant throwback to a time when such attention to detail wasn’t so unusual during a nice dinner out. Our server seemed to welcome questions about the food and wine and made clear recommendations. The butter that came with the bread had too much honey added to it for our tastes.
With three other locations in the metro Washington area, I’d expect the food and the service to be consistent. Based on my experiences, Chef Geoff’s and Tysons Corner is a good match. Tysons Corner continues to expand economically, with the Silver Line construction and an increased focus on residential housing.
Chef Geoff’s Tysons Corner seems to be in the right place, at the right time. And it wants to cater to local businesses. If you want to customize your experience for a private event, the email address to set that up is right on the menu.
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Christopher Parente is managing director and partner of Strategic Communications Group, a social media and public relations consultancy based in Silver Spring, Maryland and Tysons Corner, Virginia. He also publishes Work, Wine and Wheels, a global top 500K web site as measured by Alexa, an online measurement company. You can follow Chris on LinkedIn or Twitter.