Washington Post food critic highlights favorite restaurants, including an Alexandria spot

Vermilion at 1120 King Street has some pretty prestigious fans.

Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema shared a list of his five favorite spots around the area with an emphasis on international cuisine.

The last location on the list was Vermiilion, an Americana restaurant in Old Town known for its wine pairings.

Sietsema particularly praised the work of head chef Tony Chittum:

 Seemingly overnight, Chittum jump-started the Old Town stalwart with dishes that marry local bounty with practiced creativity.

Fried oysters? Been there, done that, but never where the crisp oysters are staged atop shells filled with what tastes like Waldorf salad. Chittum’s salads are beautiful haystacks, one night speckled radicchio with sheeps’ milk cheese, chips of fried Jerusalem artichokes and folds of country ham. Sweet scallops share their plate with fritters that mimic scrapple, and even steak — straightforward steak — is elevated when the beef comes with a bright salsa and blue cheese suspended in tempura.

Sietsema also praised the aesthetics of the restaurant, from the brick walls to flickering lanterns.

The restaurant is open nightly for dinner starting at 5 p.m. The bar opens at 4 p.m. Weekend brunch runs from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Photo via Vermilion Restaurant & Bar/Facebook