The Columbia Firehouse
109 South St. Asaph St.
Alexandria, VA 22314Neighborhood:
AmericanPrice: $30 and under
The Columbia Firehouse
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.columbiafirehouse.com/
- Phone: 7036831776x
- Hours of Operation:
Tue - Fri: 11:30 am - 3 pm
Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm
Sunday: 4:30pm - 9:00pm
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
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.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
The Columbia Firehouse reviews from OpenTable diners
175 reviews since May 4, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (82)fit for foodies (59)special occasion (57)romantic (42)good for groups (42)great for brunch (41)great for lunch (34)notable wine list (33)vibrant bar scene (30)great for outdoor dining (26)kid-friendly (12)late-night find (12)hot spot (12)scenic view (2)Show More
- Must Try Bison StroganoffGaryVIPDined on 8/30/2014The 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:
- OK if you live nearbyStephenVIPDined on 8/23/2014We 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.
- Two thumbs up!SuzieHDined on 8/23/2014We 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:
- Nice informal place to eatDanSteelyDined on 8/22/2014Restaurant 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Superb food and serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/21/2014The food was very good and the service was also very good. Would recommend this place toy friends and family!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- So much potential!ArlingtonFoodieDined on 8/21/2014The 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:
- Mediocre foodCCEleyDined on 8/20/2014The food was medicocre and tasteless. They charge $12 for a glass of Malbec!?!?! As a first timer, I will not return.
- Restaurant weekCallalily091Dined on 8/18/2014Went 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 occasionSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great ambiance; lousy brunchsunnytwoDined on 8/17/2014Maybe 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.)
- Restaurant Week BuzzTheWakoKidDined on 8/15/2014Reservations 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:
- I'm coming back.ReneeCVIPDined on 8/15/2014Historial Drink menu. Scallops to die for Steak that melted in your mouth Knowledgeable serversSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice dinner, good valueJDMcDined on 8/14/2014We 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:
- This isn't what I remember...MusselsFreakDined on 8/13/2014Where'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.
- Nice, but not greatfoodcouplewilltravelDined on 8/10/2014You 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:
- Good Bloody Marykh1234Dined on 8/9/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fantastic!Black13Dined on 8/8/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service felt rushedOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 8/8/2014We 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.
- Rather disappointedDamedelaChaineDined on 8/8/2014So 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.
- Great place!RUTOYDined on 7/31/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Greeters at the desk by entranceSaturdayNiteDiningDined on 7/26/2014I'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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Columbia FirehouseOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/26/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disappointed with food this timeChippy1Dined on 7/20/2014Have 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Saturday Night DinnerEmilyDined on 7/19/2014I 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:
- Great service & ambience;bland foodOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 7/18/2014We 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:
- Food was not freshGreen4444Dined on 7/15/2014Food 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.
- lovely mealfood4lifeDined on 7/13/2014Took 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- amazing timedavenashDined on 7/12/2014there 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:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 7/12/2014Too pricey for the food quality. Restaurant is also loud and dark.
- Great DinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 7/12/2014Great 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A great dining experience!Jess6521Dined on 7/12/2014I'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:
- A great July Fourth lunchjc6202VIPDined on 7/4/2014We 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 timeOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/2/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great first timeRUTOYDined on 7/2/2014Overall great experience! We live in Old Town and we finally made it here for early dinner! Service and good were awesome! Missy was a great server! We definitely will go again and it would be a great spot for a group event!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Below expectationsOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/28/2014Great initial impression but that wore off, generally, the venue needs to be refreshed, especially the carpets and details. We were Seated in the atrium, maybe because we had kids, but it was noisier than it should have been. Brunch was over-priced and under-sized for the price. Impressive wine and beer list, classic bar - shame I was not drinking!
- Came recommendedbowl4uDined on 6/27/2014A co-worker of mine reached out to a friend from the area for restaurant suggestions and the Columbia Firehouse came highly recommended. Our steaks came out the way we wanted. The waitress was very friendly and made excellent suggestions. This place didn't disappoint. We would definitely return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Above averageTommyTailspinDined on 6/27/2014Not sure if it is Open Table or me but every time I reserve through Open Table we end up with a lousy table. Tonight it was at the foot of the stairs leading from the bar area. This meant a constant stream of traffic past our table and the clomp of shoes on the steps going up and down. That being said, the waitstaff was very knowledgeable and attentive throughout our meal. The menu had a good selection although my wife was surprised that the Chophouse entrees were all ala carte. I had ordered my steak medium and received a medium-rare, but still a good steak. We were celebrating a birthday and after the waiter presented us with a desert menu which we declined - he brought out some apple-pear fritters with a birthday candle.Special Features:
- Inconsistent dininghilmoDined on 6/26/2014Last month, I would have given the Firehouse five stars for food and service. We were in the lower (more romantic) dining area. Our food was fantastic. This visit was very different. We were seated in the brighter, casual dining room (which was fine, just casual and less romantic). I had the fried chicken plate, which they are supposed to be well known for. It was dry, the crust was soggy where it sat in gravy, and the mashed potatoes were just ok. The coleslaw was wilted and had no dressing and very little flavor. Last time we had a basket of fresh, hot biscuits and cornbread. This time we got two pieces of cold cornbread and when we asked for biscuits, the server said they don't give them out in baskets. We won't be returning.Special Features:
- Great diningChristinaDined on 6/23/2014What a great dining experience! The food was great, service was exemplary and the wine list was extensive. The restaraunt is situated in the most charming old firehouse giving a special vintage feel even though the decor is very modern. I would definitely visit again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Happy 29thdineamicduoDined on 6/21/2014My wife and I were returning to the site of our first date while celebrating our 29th anniversary. While the the restaurant had changed hands the upstairs dining room looked virtually the same. We were treated quite well by the all the staff. I was quite impressed that our waiter, Gustavo, was familiar with the history of the building and the progression of owners up to the current Columbia Firehouse. A lovely and memorable evening!Special Features:
- awesomeaLocalDined on 6/21/2014It was our first time at Columbia Firehouse and the food was awesome! A very laid-back but elegant place to dine.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.