by Rachael Bender, special to Edible DC
As I wandered down District Avenue, window shopping at neighboring stores Ah Love Oil & Vinegar and Capital Teas, loud clapping and roaring cheers emanated from the new restaurant on the corner that was about to open its doors to one of its first crops of patrons. I can only imagine it was the staff – ready to get the party started.
Next week, True Food Kitchen officially opens their tenth location in Fairfax’s Mosaic District. The restaurant’s concept is based on the anti-inflammatory diet from Dr. Andrew Weil, which seeks to help your body avoid a state of chronic inflammation that has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and cancer. The menu features items that range from gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian to sustainably caught seafood and grass-fed bison, while using locally sourced and fresh ingredients whenever possible. So fresh, in fact, that some tables sit right next to the potted herbs that will eventually land on their plates.
The restaurant goes all out on decor, sporting a wooded accent wall and eco-friendly chairs that are each made from 111 recycled plastic soda bottles. But sitting on the heated outdoor patio, what really stands out is the array of choices on the menu. From Asian-inspired albacore tataki to pizza and gluten-free street tacos, the options make you salivate while staying true to health and wellness.
Take the kale and avocado dip, for instance. The first notes you expect in a guacamole riff are lime and salt. Instead, here you have hints of pink grapefruit. The unconventional citrus invigorates the smooth and creamy avocado with a tang that harmonizes perfectly with the rest of the appetizer’s ingredients.
Follow that up with the chicken tandoori, where the meat is so moist it falls off the bone and the accompanying beluga lentils fill you up without letting you down. Finish your meal with the squash pie that’s topped with such an airy, delicate coconut whipped cream that there is no way you’ll believe it’s a vegan dessert. The view to the open kitchen shows its chefs working furiously to prepare many more satisfying dishes.
And it’s not just the food that adheres to the True Food philosophy; many of the wines on the list come from organic or sustainably farmed grapes. Plus, numerous beers that round out the menu are from local breweries we already know and love.
A meal here makes you feel indulgent, but without the guilt. What could be better? As their website notes, you don’t have to be a die-hard Yogi to dine at True Food Kitchen.
True Food Kitchen: 2910 District Ave #170 Mosaic District, Fairfax, Virginia 22031 www.truefoodkitchen.com