The Reserve

4.7
62 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
After nearly two years in hiatus, we have changed our private dining room into an intimate 30 seat upscale casual dining experience featuring small plates and craft cocktails.

Only open Thursday through Saturday nights from 5-10 for Reserve dinner service.

The door to the left of the Original Del Ray Pizzeria leads to the Reserve's stairwell.
What 62 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.7
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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ML
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding little boutique restaurant. Would much rather come to a place like this than try to find value in the touristy areas of Alexandria. The short ribs and polenta was phenomenal. We will be back!

S
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely love this place. The cocktails are great and the food is wonderful. Feels very cozy and personal.

r
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

we had great cocktails/drinks, delicious plates to share and AMAZING entrees. Mike and staff are terrific!! a must!!!

NC
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

My wife and I live in Del Ray and have enjoyed The Reserve on several prior occasions. Unfortunately, our most recent visit was disappointing. The service was friendly, but very inefficient. We waited for quite some time to have an opportunity to request our bill, and then again to have the bill processed for payment. Our favorite entree, the wagyu sirloin has been revised poorly in our opinion. The dish is now overly sweet with a side of sweet potatoes, grilled pineapple and a blueberry sauce. If the steak were seasoned to offset the rest of the dish, perhaps the concept would work. As is, you need to eat the steak separately followed by the potato side and then the pineapple & sauce can be dessert. As our previous experiences were so stellar, we'll likely try again before moving on - but the area has too many options to have a nice night out end in disappointment.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service and atmosphere. Too bad we were almost the only table in there - more people need to check this place out - definitely worth it!

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service.

FZ
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

This is a good little hidden, eclectic restaurant. The menu is small and sophisticated, but there was at least one entree choice for all of the 4 of us. We all liked our entrees a lot. My only complaint is all of the seating are High Tops, I am not a fan.

OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a fun, capsular atmosphere. We had everything on the menu and it was great!!

AJ
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Favorite thing about The Reserve is the bartender. Always attentive, willing to work with your tastes to create something wonderful.

KS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It’s a great spot for special occasions but prices and comfortable enough for everyday dining. Small place and great service. Very casual and delicious menu chocked with staples and a few new rotating choices.

WW
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious, the staff friendly and accommodating, the atmosphere casual but special. We will definitely be back.

C
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great restaurant Although a bit noisier than I would have liked

LM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The perfect balance between small plates to share and smaller entrees. The menu is small, which I think allows the kitchen to concentrate on making a few dishes really outstanding. We had the fried green tomatoes and burrata to start - everything tasted so fresh with a burst of different, yet complementary flavors. We also shared an entrée - the shrimp and grits base was a creamy bisque-like broth with a kick and the shrimp were gigantic! With room for dessert, we chose to try the crème brulee, which has a perfect crunchy top with the traditional custard interior. Outstanding all around and we left feeling satiated, but not stuffed. Our drinks were quite good as well - we sampled 3 of the house-made cocktails. We came on a Thursday evening during Fairfax County Public School spring break, so it was likely quieter than normal. Loved this and would come back again!

JN
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best cocktails in Del Rey. Food is small plates but is very delicious.

CT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Reserve a local Del Ray Va restaurant is awesome for a great meal. Interesting cocktails and good beer selection. Menu changes often enough that there is always a new item or two when we come back. Food is served as small plates. We usually just order to share so we can sample a wide variety of menu items. Service is friendly and well paced! We have been many times and will go back!

BE
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

The food was pretty good but nothing to rave about. I was surprised by how good the short ribs were and how mediocre the steak was. We ordered two small plates and two entrees and I was annoyed that the entrees came when we were only 2/3 of the way done with our small plates - so they got cold and we felt rushed. Also, without the front curtains open it felt a little claustrophobic since the space is so small.

AA
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite restaurant in the DC metro area. Great for date nights. Excellent food, smaller plates but really great flavor & presentation on every dish we've ordered. Gotta try the scallops. Mixed drink menu is also excellent.

S
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful dining experience. The cocktails were great. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was very cozy and intimate. We will definitely return.

OT
Baltimore
23 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great place for small plates and wine. Creative cocktail and food menu. Great service!

J
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great. Food was awesome. Service awesome. Drinks?? Omg. Awesome.

BD
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Creative menu, great service, cozy neighborhood spot!

KG
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always fabulous!

NN
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent service

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R
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Restaurant was a bit difficult to find, but once we were there, it was delightful. Had a cocktail that was excellent. Small menu including small plate appetizers...each one was excellent. The sides are outstanding and the main course was big enough to share. Really, really enjoyed this place and will return.

BD
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very impressed with The Reserve. A new special spot in Del Ray.

P
Washington DC
39 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was tasty. Too long a delay between dishes. A bit pricey. Wine overpriced.

MA
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved our experience! We tasted the wonderful cocktails and half the menu! Must come back to try the other half. Highly recommend!

KH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

The food and service were fantastic. I will go back. The only thing that could be improved is the ambiance. Small menu but good variety and delicious food. Small dining area and excellent service.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing and delicious food! It is a cozy environment so it is a bit loud, but you settle into the noise. No complaints at all. The Burrata and the wagyu sirloin wet my favorite. Perfect for a group of no more than 4.

A
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

This is one of our favorite restaurants in Alexandria....just avoid after the art festival. Very loud drunk people made it hard to enjoy. I think the management could/should have told the folks to go downstairs to DRP where that noise level is acceptable. Still, the food and service as always was excellent.

TZ
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A truly delish meal. The bang bang broccoli is so good I am craving it for breakfast right now. Our server, Margaret was a pleasure!

TZ
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The coconut crepe brûlée was like a little piece of heaven!

J
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nothing but fantastic things to say about The Reserve. Been wanting to try this place for a while and happy to report it did not disappoint.

Seasonal food, freshly prepared. Small plates that are inspired, and easily shared (or not). The staff and kitchen took the time to "tune" items to our table ensuring sharing of appropriate notes and adjustments for tastes and quantity.

Big kudos to Nolan, who ran the entire evening as bartender, host, sommelier, and waiter. His knowledge of the menu, cocktails, wine list, and easy table demeanor created a truly wonderful dining experience. Pace of dining was superb, dishes delicious, and the care shown in service and execution sublime. The chef even shared a recipe for a divine dressing, and sources of ingredients, much appreciated by our foodie group.

Please do yourself a favor and make a reservation at The Reserve. You will not be disappointed!

BB
Washington DC
82 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Unless you had been the previous restaurant in this location, you might find yourself dining on a different cuisine on the street level. Once up an odoriferous flight of stairs, you open the door to a cozy space. We were greeted by staff who are anxious to make your experience a pleasant one. After being promptly seated, the chef offers a tasty bowl of homemade potato chips and dip. We enjoyed a very flavorful grilled wedge salad; fried green tomatoes were light and on the delicate side with just enough sauce to give it a pop. The chef's real creative touch comes with the sumptuous sea scallops and waygu beef, each perfectly cooked; too tempting to miss is the chef's version of tater tots. They do fried foods very well here. The small plates are enough to satisfy without feeling overloaded. The wines we selected were a little disappointing. As far as the physical space, it is pleasingly minimalist with soft tones; however, it could use a little more light in the form of hanging pendants over the tables. Reading the menu in low light, especially with some pages having been reproduced upside down from the previous page provided a slight challenge. Overall, the food is very tasty and the chef gives promise for creatively wonderful dishes to come.

RI
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great food, but get something to go with the main course if you are at all hungry. Excellent draft beer too.

TM
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Get the scallops—they were fantastic
To go along with good service from knowledgeable staff
And free parking!!!

G
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We learned of this place from Open Table and since it was close by, moderately priced and highly rated we thought we would give it a try. Wow! What a find. Service was friendly and timely. Appetizers were very tasty and the main course was excellent. We also tried a few cocktails and they were fantastic. We took our neighbors and we all agreed that The Reserve was worth a true find.

JA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We were seated right on time, had a very enjoyable evening with attentive service and good food.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I really love the Reserve. It is a hidden gem in my neighborhood!

f
Washington DC
48 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Food is exceptional! We have now been twice and tried almost everything on the menu. Every dish was really delicious. Service is quite good. Seating, however, is very uncomfortable. Tables are all high tops with high stools that have no support for your back. No ambiance either, but considering the location, that’s no surprise. Go for the food, but don’t expect too much more.

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