Society Fair Opens in Old Town on South Washington
A food lover's dream emporium! The wine bar set to open for evening hours this weekend
This week marked the soft opening of Old Town Alexandria's highly anticipated Society Fair, located at 277 South Washington Street.
The concept, conceived by restaurateurs Chef Cathal Armstrong and his wife and business partner Meshelle, features a wine bar, demo kitchen, cafe, butcher shop, food market, and bakery. Delicacies include assorted cheeses, spices, pastries, and ingredients used by the EatGoodFood Group—a finishing oil Chef Armstrong uses at Restaurant Eve, Todd Thrasher's dirty martini mix, and the group's favorite Irish butter, to name a few.
The wine bar will feature light fare offerings including a salad of the day, various cheeses and cured meats, sandwiches, a sampling of baked sweets, and vittles including roasted nuts, an assortment of olives and a pickle plate.
Demo dinners are scheduled Tuesday through Saturday evenings, by reservation only. Each night will feature a different food theme, such as "comfort", "luxury" or "chef's choice". The three-course dinners are priced at $45 per person, Tuesday through Thursday, and Friday and Saturday at $55 per person. Reservations at the demo bar can be made via email.
Seasonal sandwich selections include "My Turkish Cousin"—lamb shoulder with preserved lemon yoghurt, sultana mostarda, and sauteed spinach, served on flatbread; the vegetarian "TNT"—roasted fennel, ricotta, garlic kale and lemon stuffed inside a pressed baguette; the "Recess"—a gourmet PBJ, with house-made peanut butter and Irish strawberry jam on toasted multigrain pullman bread. The "DQMW" also caught my eye, a toasted ciabatta roll with braised short ribs, horseradish sauce and hot pickled leeks.
The in-house bakery (headed by Nathan Hatfield) will include daily fresh options including baguettes, ciabatta, focaccia, potato rolls, whole wheat, multigrain, and many more offerings.
Wine-based cocktails, or "Tails from the Vine", created by Todd Thrasher, include "I Want to Eat an Onion Tart" made with Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling, sweet white onions, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, Flor de Cana Four Year "Extra Dry Rum", house-made lemon bitters and a bacon cracker. Or enjoy the "Whiskey and Wine", a combination of Roumieu-Lacoste, Sauternes, cardamom, star anise, cloves, orange peel, Forty Creek 'Barrel Select' Whiskey, Four Roses 'Yellow' Bourbon, and Regan's No. 6 Orange Bitters.
Society's hours are evolving, with the market currently open at 11:30 a.m. and the wine bar slated to open at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. Product development manager Rob Shinn says you can expect a daily lunch and dinner to begin next week, and of course, breakfast: think freshly-made croissants, scones and breakfast sandwiches along with a fresh cup of coffee, to begin in the following weeks.