Brabo - Lorien Hotel & Spa
Cocktails, Conversation and Classic French Cuisine
Executive Chef Sebastien Rondier unites contemporary American fare seasonal, local ingredients and French techniques. Enjoy a selection from our award-winning wine list, collection of craft beers, or rotating cocktail list in Old Town Alexandria.
Casual fayre served with French Flair!
Next door to Brabo and open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Pair shared plates from the brick oven with a Belgian beer or one of our 40 wines by the glass in our lively, casual dining space. The Tasting Room does not take reservations.
Brabo Brasserie accept reservations for up to 10 guests, Sunday through Thursday, and up to 8 guests on Friday and Saturday. We will be happy to work with you to provide a special menu and experience for your larger gathering!
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Have dined several times at Brabo and it has always hit the highest mark. Unfortunately, our dining experience this go around for brunch did not fare as well as other times. Over 45 minutes for our food, which was lackluster at best. Two of the plates were cold and one did not come out until we had all finished dining. I was told there was “absolutely no way” to get lettuce for my burger— which left me and my fellow brunchers jaw agape. Refills on water and coffee had to be begged for. Completely forgivable if the restaurant was very busy or short-staffed but alas this did not seem the case.
This is a brunch review. I chose this place because of the high reviews. My peanut butter waffle came out without peanut butter - I actually wasn’t upset - it happens but when it did come correctly it was just so underwhelming! Peanut butter spread all over the plate :(. It wasn’t special at all and just not that great. I could have made that. My friend had crab omelette - it just seemed okay. Tables for two are quite long so you are sitting far away from each other which is not ideal when the restaurant is loud and with an elderly person who can’t hear as well. Service was also just okay - our waiter was nice but one of the servers was just not very together. She seemed to just not understand simple things (this was not a language barrier issue either). I asked her to help track down our waiter because I had been waiting a while for him to take the check but she just said okay and did nothing to resolve the situation. So I got out of my seat and tracked him down myself. How does this place get such good reviews? I’m stunned!
Really nice place in old town Alexandria. Breakfast was delicious. Will try their dinner on day.
Birthday celebration and we were treated wonderfully!!!
Great French style Brasserie food with an extensive wine list. Front dining room might be loud due to proximity of the bar.
Great Meal & Environment. We ordered the Lamb & Mahi entrees and both were cooked perfectly. We highly recommend eating here for any occasion and will be returning the next time we are in the area.
Everything here is still great. The quality and the service first rate.
The new menu is a bit strange. Pay $1.50 for bread and an extra charge now if you want frites with your mussels.
Business dinner was excellent. We sat away from the bar area and was much quieter. Service was excellent and our waiters recommendation for the pork entre was great and the fillet was perfect. The sea bass was very good just small portion.
I had not been for several years and they have maintained an excellent level in all areas.
We had dinner at Brabo on a Rainy Sunday night. The restaurant is welcoming and friendly and on a cold rainy night we were glad to have valet parking with an escort holding an umbrella over our heads so we didn't get soaked. The cocktails were really good with a special spin and the food was delicious and different. Example, we had the blue cheese mussels and the sauce was great for dipping crusty bread. The main course was just also wonderful. Drinks are not cheap, but they are good so come prepared to spend some money but it will be worth it. We will be coming back!
The food was excellent. I had the Elvis waffle (I believe it was singular in the menu) which was actually three of the tiny circular waffles. While it tasted great, it was a bit less than I had hoped for and they were also a little cheap with the peanut butter. She had the crab omelette which was also very good but again, as brunch menus seem to go, somewhat small. It was at least five minutes before being asked for our drink order and from there everything seemed to take longer than it should except for when the check came. So, overall I’d say the food was excellent but the portions (brunch menu) and service left a little to be desired.
Brabo used to be a "fine dining" restaurant with a tasting menu, but the new chef has moved to a "brasserie" concept. That means that the menu is pretty short and most of the main plates are relatively conventional takes on standards -- two seared fish options (mahi and sea bass), a roasted chicken, amd a roasted pork chop for example. There is also steak frites, mussels, and a burger. The entrees run in the low 30's for the most part, which seems a bit steep for this relatively straightforward type of food. Indeed, the entire pricing strategy is aggressive. A bottle of Adelsheim pinot noir, 30 bucks at retail, was 79 dollars. Bread is not free -- costs a buck fifty per person. This might be OK if the food was amazing but my steak frites were actually disappointing. My steak, ordered medium, was underdone -- a game restaurants always play because they figure if you are unhappy they can take it back and cook it some more. The peppercorn sauce had a great texture but was bland with almost no taste of pepper. The fries were fine, but not terribly crispy. It just didn't seem like a 33 dollar plate of food. Moreover, the space was incredibly loud -- there was a large party seated near us and we really did need to shout to have conversation. On the plus side our server was charming, and the chef sent out a few complementary items to make up for the noise. If I wanted a really loud French Brasserie, I'd go to LeDip in the District. The food is much better.
I thought the staff was friendly and helpful, and ambiance nice, but thought the food/drinks were somewhat overpriced compared to the quality and flavor.
We were really looking forward to our dinner. Unfortunately, poor service resulted in us leaving after our drink and appetizer. Given the price point and reputation, we expected quality service. Drink orders (glass of wine and martini) came 15-20 minutes after our appetizer arrived. That is too long. The bar was not entirely full and we could have walked over and gotten it faster. A good service oriented restaurant would have (i) asked if we preferred to wait on our appetizer until drinks arrived; (ii) once appetizer was served and we waited for our drinks, no one stopped to see if there was a problem (iii) would have offered to comp said drinks OR even offer baguette and butter (which they charge for). We spoke with manager who could have made an easy call with a "make nice" gesture and he did not so we left. We walked down to Vermillion as was able to eat at the bar on a busy Saturday night. Perhaps food was not as good as what we might have had at Brabo but the service was far superior. Do not expect service like Le Diplomate or Restaurant Eve (no longer) or Carlyle. Beware.
Food overall was nothing special, fries could have been from McDonalds. Filet seemed like it was more of a sirloin cut and had no real flavor to it. The Pepper Cognac sauce was way too peppery and inedible. Service was OK, but mainly just kept apologizing for the slow service bar all night. Water guy was the best part of the experience. Not sure how this is so well rated overall.
What a wonderful dining experience! The meal was delicious! From the starters, to the main course ending with the desserts, it was superb and utterly delicious! I chose Brabo for wife’s birthday and the staff and the chef’s knocked it out if the park! I wish I could shake everyone’s hand and tell them how impressed I am with every facet of our meal. THANK YOU for making wife’s birthday celebration as special as she is to me. THANK YOU for the most delicious meal we have had in a long time! We will back!!
Came here for our 2 year wedding anniversary. We loved every part about it
This is my all time favorite restaurant. Chose it to celebrate my birthday. They gave me and my husband a complementary glass of champagne to start out the night of celebration. Food was absolutely amazing per usual. Cant say enough how much I love this place not only for the food but also the service.
Food was great, service was not. A rotating group of servers continually forgot to bring us things that we had ordered, and do basic things like refill coffee.
20 minute wait for someone to take drink order, 20 minutes to get drinks. Another 20 minutes before meal order taken. Waiter kept apologizing for the delays but they continued. Not impressed with the main courses, 6 oz. Filet was more like 3 maybe 4 oz. We were asked if we would like dessert, which we did, we were given the dessert menu and told "oh we are out of everything except the sorbet". What's the point of the menu then? This was for an 8 PM reservation on the Saturday after Valentine's day, you would expect them to be better prepared, seeing they were promoting it.
Nice table, reasonable service. Food the problem. Beef cheeks tough, hard to even chew. Rabbit gnocchi doughy with minuscule rabbit, chicken so over salted pretty inedible.
I never write negative review but this is considered best restaurant in old town va and is far from that. Expensive, crowded and the food is definitely not on the plate.
The food was delicious. Very creative dishes. Could've been bit more substantial, though.
Fixed menu is difficult to please all. Our steak was over cooked.
The food was fabulous and the menu changes each season to take advantages of the freshness of various garden vegetables, and more. The service was outstanding very friendly explaining everything, always available if needed. Really added to the whole experience. It was out first time, we will be back soon!
Wonderful food wine good but overpriced; ambiance was nice - not as quiet as I expected. Overall very nice experience.
The food was phenominal. The staff were wonderful, courteous and put up with us having a good time. I would definately recommend and will definately return. Just might be my new favorite happy hour spot.
very happy with our experience, we came for the duck a lorange and what a delicious dish, we never rally had duck prepared this way so its definitely great to see the French doing it, thanks to Chef sebastien to take the time to explain and flambee and carve the duck for us, what a great moment, thanks brabo you are our favorite brasserie, cannot wait for the lamb dish that chef told us about for the spring menu.
Our server was not as good as we expected in this fine dining restaurant. She was not attentive , mostly attending to the tables around us. And no, they weren’t busy . Food wise, the Caesar salad was fresh , no surprises!
We followed with octopus which was tender and very flavorful. Ended with mussels , lots of them and the broth was
So good we soaked our leftover bread in it.
Went for restaurant week on a Sunday night. It was very quite with only a few guests in the spacious dining room. Staff was friendly, but service was incredibly fast. We were not there for a full hour and we felt the quick pace. Staff cleared one plate before both guests were finished eating. We paid for restaurant week food, but also received discount service. I expected more and hope this is not the norm for the regular price tag.
Super disappointed. Made this reservation a month ahead of time for an afternoon brunch with close friends we don’t often see, and got a babysitter, and drove an hour from Annapolis for this lunch. Made our reservation for 2pm, and arrived on time and were seated right away. But coffee served to the table was lukewarm, and brunch portions were small, as was the menu- not many options. When I asked for a refill of my drink I was told the kitchen closed at 2:30pm, so it was “last call for drinks”. If the kitchen closes at 2:30, why take a reservation for lunch at 2pm?!!
Super disappointed. The ambiance was pleasant but the place was dead quiet- just one other couple dining. The restrooms are inside the hotel lobby. All the hype around this restaurant in my opinion is not well deserved- it’s your average and overpriced hotel bar/restaurant. Vermillion was a million times better in all regards, and worth the price. I’m disappointed in Brabo.
Based on the reviews we booked a table for 8 for a family reunion brunch. First hint that it would not go well was a presence of a very loud table of 11 women near us. Next the waitress came took drink orders and we told her we needed to order quickly because one of us needed to catch a plane. 10 minutes before she came back with cokes and coffees. We ordered 8 entrees and a pastry basket. She brought the pastry and a few minutes later the entree for one who had to leave.
ONE HOUR WENT BY!!! Multiple complaints and entrees came. Three stone cold, the others lukewarm. Nothing exceptional flavor wise. We ate and left quickly almost two hours after our reservation. Their excuse: the pastry was a starter and it’s their policy to space the meal!!!!
Forget eating here!
I made a reservation for 10 people for brunch a month in advance, and yet the service was painstakingly slow. We ended up being there for almost 3 hours. The food might have been ok but was very cold, as if it had been sitting for a while before it came out to us. My dish said it came with bacon and grilled bread, and it came out with neither.
A couple of times, we asked a question from someone who was helping out filling our drinks, and they would respond that we needed to ask our server. Also, our server went back through and asked everyone individually how much they had had to drink so she could ring up the bill. Management needs to do a better job with training the staff.
Brabo is amazing! The manager. Ian, is great! Always making certain our needs are met. The staff is so kind, efficient, professional, and so friendly! Our normal server, Valerie, is truly amazing, and so knowledgeable in food and wine selections. We look so forward to dining at this amazing restaurant! And the menu is truly spectacular!
Brabo came recommended to me by members of the club I run and being in the business, I'm always a little skeptical of recommendations. Not only did they meet, but they exceeded my expectations. Ian and Alexis are managers that really know how to take care of their guests and our server, Michael, was absolutely delightful. He was professional and knowledgeable of his menu and wine list. I would highly recommend Brabo to my friends, family and colleagues. We will definitely be back!
We were not thrilled with the service. Our waitress was not friendly and the service seemed rushed - several times they attempted to retrieve our plates and drinks without asking if we were done. We did the tasting menu for restaurant week, which we found was less than we expected, especially the salad and the desserts.
Excellent food. Service so-so. Appetizers served before drinks that were ordered first. Desserts served before after-dinner drinks. Very noisy dining room. No tablecloths. At Restaurant Week prices, it was a decent value but I wouldn't return at full menu prices.
A very nice restaurant with out of the ordinary French cuisine. The atmosphere was pleasant and the service was attentive. It is also on a quieter section of King where parking is easier to find.
Staff was friendly and host/ess was able to accommodate a last minute reservation change which was appreciated. Cocktails were decent. Soups and salad were quite good. Entree portions were noticeably small ('a tasting or an entree?' was my thought), though the presentation was lovely. One of our party's entree was quite cool, but he decided to eat anyway. 1/2 way through my dish (which was appropriately hot), I got a bite of cold food and realized the heat lamps must not be working properly. At that point, it felt too late to send it back. Overall, I wanted it to be excellent, but woke up the next morning and realized the experience was just good, but not at all special or great. If I were to go again, I would be sure to ask for a hot entree and to not be too hungry.
Birthday dinner for a friend
So very disappointing. Food (quiche, salmon salad, crab risotto, fish, chocolate mousse) was ok, but nothing special. Not good enough to tempt me back to Brabo. Service was exceedingly slow. Way beyond leisurely.
We had a wonderful experience at Brabo. The service is excellent and the food is exquisite. It’s perfect for special occasions too. Highly recommend.