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Downtown Alexandria has always been a neighborhood known for its great food, with Jackson 20, Restaurant Eve, Vermillion, and now, The (new and improved) Majestic. The Majestic was popular, but somewhat forgettable. The refurbished look and revised menu pack much more of a punch, with international flavors weaving throughout the menu.


Fried olives start your meal off with a bang: Bitter, meaty olives with a buttery, crunch envelope are served with a creamy pimento aioli for dunking. The perfect pairing to pretty much any cocktail. And it gets even better from there. Sample uber tart feta sprinkled with Middle Eastern spices and served with hunks of fresh grilled bread and/or a hearty beet salad served on top of silky whipped goat cheese and crowned with crunchy chopped pistachios.


Next, move on to my favorite dish on the menu: housemade pasta with a veggie Bolognese sauce. The sauce is rich and dense and oh-so-satisfying—a result of being simmered for hours, as well as being infused with a bevy of herbs and spices. Chef Gaby Hackman started out cooking Italian food, and her background clearly shows in this dish. On the side, try sweet roasted carrots served with dill and a tangy yogurt or grilled asparagus.


Dessert is even better than I expected: the majestic coconut cake has a sweet, buttery cake and layers of silky frosting, and a nutella budino comes with cookies so delicious that when  my sister tasted them she yelled “why are these so good? Are they laced with crack?!” Interestingly, they are actually called crack cookies. The nutella budino is pretty bangin as well.


Going to Alexandria is always a culinary adventure; be sure to add The (new) Majestic to your arsenal of go-to restaurants. The food and service will make you feel like royalty.