The Columbia Firehouse
The Columbia Firehouse

The Columbia Firehouse

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.columbiafirehouse.com/
  • Phone: 7036831776x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch:



    Tue - Fri: 11:30 am - 3 pm



    Dinner:



    Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm



    Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm



    Sunday: 4:30pm - 9:00pm




    Brunch:



    Saturday - Sunday 11:00am - 3:00pm




    Late Night Menu Available until 1am!!
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: King St.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: There is metered parking available around the restaurant as well as garages. Unfortunately we do not validate.
A word from The Columbia Firehouse
Columbia Firehouse, is a modern American brasserie and bar. The 120 seat first floor focuses on familiar comfort food, a nifty raw bar, small plates for sharing, steamed mussels and fresh salads, sandwiches and suppers. Meanwhile, work will continue on the second floor with a space destined to become a stylish, intimate chop house.
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The Columbia Firehouse reviews from OpenTable diners
162 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (78)fit for foodies (52)special occasion (48)good for groups (44)romantic (39)great for lunch (35)great for brunch (32)notable wine list (29)vibrant bar scene (27)great for outdoor dining (20)kid-friendly (14)hot spot (11)late-night find (10)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Trying to relive old favorites...
    ElizabethVIP
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    My husband and I originally came here on a food tour in January 2011 and fell in love with their scallops and Israeli couscous. We came back a few times before we moved out of the area in March 2012. We happened to be back and were hoping to relive our old date night. Unfortunately, this favorite item has been replaced on the menu. My husband tried the new scallop dish, and while good, admitted that it wasn't what he had hoped for. The braised pork shank was good, but also wasn't what I had hoped for. The wait staff was attentive and patient. No complaints. Food was good, just not what we were looking forward to that evening.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent
    Searay290
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Amazing architecture and food to match. A great spot in old Alexandria!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sonic Boom
    kggoat
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Great looks, good foods. Probably not a good bet on a Saturday night after college football if you want to have a conversation.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great ambiance
    FineEaterVIP
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Appreciated the attention given to the one person in our group that was gluten-free. It took some coordination, but came out well in the end.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • HOT FIREMEN HANG OUT HERE
    PERFECT
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We had a blast here. My friend is a retired fireman. It was fun for our group to go there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 2nd time and still good
    KMCfromDCVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    This is the second time I have eaten here. Always enjoyable and the food is reliably good and consistent. I ordered the mussels. They were smaller than last time, but still tasty in a nice broth.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful dinner
    Megdines3
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Brought my dad here when he was in town. The dining room is stunning with lots of natural light in the old building. We had the butter milk biscuits with Virginia ham and mustard it was a great and unique appitizer. We both tried the fried chucked. It was crispy outside but not heavy and juicy inside. The gravey was rich. The staff was very friendly and prompt. Would definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Summer Sunday Brunch
    musician
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We joined another couple for Sunday brunch before an outdoor concert. Service was great, and the restaurant had just opened and was quiet. We all had breakfast brunch items with eggs. The eggs, bacon and potatoes were all outstanding. But for such a great breakfast, the toast was a said disappointment. I only ate a couple of bites of my wheat toast. It was dry and unappetizing, like sandwich bread gone wrong. I would hope they'd spring for something better in the future. My table mate also commented on the toast quality. Our cappuccinos were also mainly milk froth. I searched long and hard for the coffee.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Must Try Bison Stroganoff
    GaryVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The restaurant is in a converted firehouse for a great ambiance. The beer selection is great offering flights of 3 beers. The Cast Iron Shrimp is a great appetizer which is pan roasted in garlic & herbs. The FRA Diavolo are great mussels in a spicy tomato broth with more than ample bread for dipping into the broth. Absolute standout on the menu was the "Bison Stroganoff." It was fork tender bison short ribs in a rich gravy over pasta. Seasoning was perfect. For dessert, I do not recommend the "Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp." It had very little fruit and almost had the consistency of a jelly. Additionally, the crumble crust was very thick for the amount of filling. Minor issue, the servers need to wipe down the tables between courses.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OK if you live nearby
    StephenVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We were taking advantage of restaurant week to try a new place. The food was OK; nothing special but nothing bad either. Service was poor. It took 10 minutes to get a replacement beer and we often had to remind the server of things we had ordered and which did not show up. The aircon was on high and I was cold. I asked for it to be adjusted. It never was. If you live nearby, it is OK for a convenient meal. I would not, however, make a special trip.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Two thumbs up!
    SuzieH
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We chose this place for restaurant week because of the menu and we were not disappointed! The mussels were to die for as were all the other sides. Our main courses were all great with the exact right portions of each. The ambience is incredible - beautiful woodwork throughout. A great find and we will definitely be going back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice informal place to eat
    DanSteely
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Restaurant Week, Friday night. Happy hour only at bar. Appetizers were the best course -- mussels and soup. Filet was okay. Scallops were good. Ginger beer float and strawberry rhubarb crisp were good. Wine pairings were nice. Overall a good solid experience.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    The food was very good and the service was also very good. Would recommend this place toy friends and family!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So much potential!
    ArlingtonFoodie
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    The menu is creative and a large part of the reason why I booked here for our dinner of 6. The décor had not changed from how it look when it was Portner's homey in the bar area, and airy and light in the dining room. Our server, although friendly and eager to please, was unfortunately unkempt in appearance. The peanut hummus was intriguing on the menu, but bland in delivery. The same with the curry mussels. They were a bit gritty as if not properly washed. Now - here is the good news - everything else was well done. The scallops, salads, and especially the soup of the day - cauliflower. Will have to give it another try to see how it goes.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mediocre food
    CCEley
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    The food was medicocre and tasteless. They charge $12 for a glass of Malbec!?!?! As a first timer, I will not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Restaurant week
    Callalily091
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Went here for restaurant week with some friends, the fried chicken was dry, the catfish had no flavor, filet minon was unevenly cooked, scallops were good, but the cauliflower "cous cous" was overly salty. Bone marrow app is good. The strawberry rhubarb crisp was bad, tasted like pizza because of the cornmeal crust, was just odd. The water filler guy was good but the server was a bit spotty. Overall I enjoyed my meal, but my friends did not. I'd go back with a significant other or for a special occasion
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great ambiance; lousy brunch
    sunnytwo
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Maybe I'm spoiled by Portland, Oregon's food scene but these chef's should be disappointed to put brunch on the plate. We were a group of four during Restaurant Week. Seated on time, the staff was very helpful. Unfortunately our table was against the wall of a booth. Whenever the people moved in the booth, our table was knocked. It was unsettling. The food was unseasoned. Toast was of the supermarket variety. Hash was tasteless, with the corned beef indistinguishable from the potatoes. Salads and burgers were tasty and perfectly prepared. Stick to the mussels (which weren't included in restaurant week.)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Restaurant Week Buzz
    TheWakoKid
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Reservations were required during restaurant week. The place was very busy, slowing service considerably. We were seated promptly. We were not rushed (they could not have rushed us if they wanted to). We were at the restaurant for 2+ hours (and none of us pulled out a phone to 'socialize' or take pictures of our food). I'm not griping, we were fine with the relaxed pace, but at times it seemed as if the staff (kitchen and floor) could not keep up with the volume of diners. The food was excellent. Their restaurant week menu was fantastic: They offered nearly everything from their standard menu (excepting a couple of obvious choices for exclusion). Would return for restaurant week, but probably avoid the place during regular pricing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I'm coming back.
    ReneeCVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Historial Drink menu. Scallops to die for Steak that melted in your mouth Knowledgeable servers
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice dinner, good value
    JDMc
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    We had a nice meal at Columbia Firehouse. It was Restaurant Week so the place was really busy. I appreciated the restaurant offered the regular menu (with minimal exceptions) for restaurant week (though we visited not intending to order from it.) The service was good, but not fine dining 'great' (oops to the food runner who swapped our dishes upon delivery)- cocktails were delicious. Food was really good as well (cannot complain when you receive your steak perfectly cooked to your liking. Restaurant added some special touches to help us celebrate our anniversary (noted in opentable reservation.) Would certainly come back and recommend to others!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • This isn't what I remember...
    MusselsFreak
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Where's the Columbia Firehouse I've so enjoyed in the past? The food just didn't do it for my wife or I this last visit. Yes, it was good, but not memorable. Sorry.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice, but not great
    foodcouplewilltravel
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    You do not need a reservation for dinner, and when we went there were maybe 2 other tables at 8p on a Sunday. They were out of half a dozen items, including french fries, and for the price the food was sub par. They overdid the burger (ordered medium rare and came out medium well) and steaks do not come with any sides. The fried chicken was good, but overall just too expensive for the quality. Since there was so many other restaurants in Alexandria, I would save your money for somewhere better.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good Bloody Mary
    kh1234
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The bloody mary was really good- thick, flavorful, and refreshing. The pickle garnish had cardamom, which was a little weird but didn't affect the beverage. The Virginia ham biscuits small plate was really good. I've definitely had bigger and better oysters. The salad with grilled peaches was awesome.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    Black13
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    I emailed the Columbia Firehouse one week before my wedding anniversary. When my wife and I arrived the service was outstanding and all of the staff kept wishing us a Happy Anniversary. There attention to detail and making us feel special was absolutely wonderful. I have and will continue to recommend this restaurant to family and friends. Whenever you are in Alexandria, VA make sure you stop by the Columbia Fire House. The experience is out of sight!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service felt rushed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We came on a Friday night for dinner and surprisingly there were a few vacant tables available. Yet our server rushed us through the meal when we were trying to relax and take our time. I would understand if the restaurant was packed with diners waiting to eat, but it wasn't! Food was average. Would not eat here again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Rather disappointed
    DamedelaChaine
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    So I've been here before for brunch and Columbia deserves it's brunch reputation. However, this occasion I choose to have lunch with a friend who hadn't been here before and I thought this would be a great experience. The lunch sandwiches we were served we're mediocre, yet the server offered "is everything delicious?" There's plenty of other options in Old Town for lunch, I'll be going there before I go here again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great place!
    RUTOY
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    This was our second time here and we brought a friend! Service was awesome!(Jon) and the food was delicious again! I had the burger my wife had the wedge salad and our friend had the fries chicken! It was great and we had another great dining experience at the Columbia Firehouse! Thanks again and we will see you again soon!! Keep up the great work!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Greeters at the desk by entrance
    SaturdayNiteDining
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    I've been going to the Columbia Fire Station since it was opened as Portner's. It's great - beautiful bar, cozy dining areas, good food, but I have to say, I again noticed the folks (3 of them) behind the front desk were absolutely bland, bordering on "you've got to be kidding me!" NO personality, barely a greeting, one was eating something from a bag of....candy, maybe. More of a "I'd rather be having a root canal" attitude and I watched from the corner table under the TV while waiting for my dinner companion - they pretty much maintained that low energy level for everyone coming in after me. Very disappointing; I almost asked for a manager while there to mention it. First impressions...so important....
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Columbia Firehouse
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    The food was tasty and the service was good enough. My only criticism is that the menu is about 90 percent ala carte. I feel like if I pay $34 for a 16oz cut of prime rib, l should at least get one side with it instead of paying an extra $8 for some green beans or $6 for mushrooms.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed with food this time
    Chippy1
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Have eaten here before and it was good, but ordered croque Monsieur for brunch and it was very dry: dry bread, dry ham, dry turkey. Not at all what I was expecting and not consistent with other meals I have enjoyed here. Nice cocktail menu and service is good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Saturday Night Dinner
    Emily
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    I will definitely be back. We went for an eary (6:30) dinner on Saturday. The restaurant was nearly empty, only a few other tables. So the noise level was quiet, which was nice. By the time we left around 7:30 - the restaurant was much busier and it was very loud. The food was amazing. The menu is limited, which Gordon Ramsey always says is a good sign. it means they do a few things, but they do them VERY well. The Pork Shank and Bison special were especially tasty.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great service & ambience;bland food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    We picked Columbia Firehouse because of the lovely outdoor courtyard. We waited an hour to get outdoor seating & had drinks at the bar while we waited. The drinks were great & the service was excellent. The service at our table was also excellent, but the food was rather bland. We got salads and split the potato gnocchi dish. Our friend got the portobello sandwich. Both dishes were mediocre & could have used spices to liven them up. The server was kind enough to bring the bison stroganoff which was a bit better but still on the bland side. (Another friend got steak of some type and enjoyed it.) The restaurant has lots of promise but the food needs to improve. There are many competitors in the area with better food for a comparable price.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food was not fresh
    Green4444
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Food was not fresh by any means. My husband and I went there for our wedding anniversary and the our entree was not warm at all. Felt as if we were given someone's leftovers. My vegetables were cold as well as the fish. The fish had no flavor, at all. No salt, no sauce just a thick crust on the fish. The dessert was even worse. We were so excited to pick out what we did assuming that the chef was going to display everything in such a unique mouth watering way but of course as it was brought to us, it was very misleading..it looked like it was picked up from 7-11. We were very excited about this place but lesson learned. We will not come back here. Pros: very beautiful restaurant with romantic lighting.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • lovely meal
    food4life
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Took the family for a nice dinner. The mussels were great, cocktails were tasty and strong, our waitress was efficient and engaging. The meats were cooked to the proper temperature and color. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • amazing time
    davenash
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    there was not one flaw about this restaurant. I had set up an online reservation for 9 o clock and because of traffic I was running behind. we called ahead of time and they displayed professionalism at its finest. the waiter we had was amazing. she had a great deal of knowledge in regards to the food and was extremely helpful. I ordered a tavern steak. delicious. it was a hands down great experience. the scenery was very romantic..ect ect. I could go on all day. long story short, great place.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Too pricey for the food quality. Restaurant is also loud and dark.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Great dinner with friends from out of town. Menu had an interesting selection, food was well prepared, and service was attentive. Ambience of restaurant was really nice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A great dining experience!
    Jess6521
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    I'd been to The Columbia Firehouse for lunch, and dinner did not disappoint. The food was spot on and the service was outstanding. We waited at the bar for a few minutes before our table was ready and it was fast and drinks were excellent. Would definitely recommend. We saw families there with older children, so the vibe was a bit more laid back, but they did have some seating areas that were more private/romantic. I would have liked to have had a table there, but they sat us in the sunny open area, which was nice too. Excellent restaurant, excellent service. Lunch or dinner.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great July Fourth lunch
    jc6202VIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    We had a last minute idea to go to lunch and picked The Columbia Firehouse in Old Town Alexandria. We had been here years ago when it was Portner's. We were greeted warmly, had a wonderful server and the food was delicious. Great atmosphere, everyone was very kind and again, great food!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    We celebrated our wedding anniversary here in 2014 and the staff were amazing in making it a memorable occasion. (Missy was awesome! ) The food was great. The wine was amazing. The desserts I'd go back for alone. We had a great time! I'm glad we chose to spend our special day there!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.