Amid the small nail salons, wine shops and convenience marts of the strip malls that dot the path of Lee Highway in the Yorktown neighborhood of Arlington, Yorktown Bistro has staked a posh space in an effort to distinguish itself from the environing hoi polloi.
Barely a year old, the Yorktown Bistro is seeking to secure diners looking for a combination of class and affordable dining, as well as late night drinks in a comfortable setting. The restaurant’s ambiance carries a good deal of bold colored panache, with deep yellows and reds and soft, chic lighting that, along with the high ceilings and unobstrusive bars, lends the bistro a high-end, urban feel. Inside, the strip mall feels distant.
In search for a piece of the neighborhood heart, Yorktown Bistro has been catering to all parties, from the worker out for a quick meal to the evening repast between lovers, family or the man looking to take advantage of one of the bistro’s several weekly specials like, for example, Monday’s “Half-price pasta night” or the lunch buffet ($7.95). Carpe carne!
With friendly faces from the door to the seat, the overall service was prompt as the servers were cordial and helpful. The Monday afternoon crowd was fairly slim, but one might well suspect that the business would be fairly trim for the hour. (Perhaps the crowds were anticipating the impending pasta special commencing at 4 p.m.)
Yorktown Bistro’s menu covers all of the bases one would expect of a neighborhood restaurant, with a choice of appetizers, pizzas, entrees and the like. For a smaller restaurant, one hopes that they can cover all bases with quality, too.
To start, I chose the crab meat stuffed mushrooms ($8.50), which stood out from the array of dips and sticks that tend to find their way into “starters” – some sort of correlation of pre-meal snack and fried foods. The mushrooms were not fried stiff in golden batter; however, they weren’t very stiff at all. This is the one dish that left more to the initial imagination than to the its actual appearance at the table. The small mushroom caps were loosely stuffed with Maryland blue crab meat, and tasted a bit fishy – slightly underwhelming.
A side order of grilled pita bread with hummus and a portion of greens and halved cherry tomatoes ($4) satisfyingly cleaned the palate in preparation for the main dish, one of Yorktown Bistro’s gourmet pizzas with dough that is made fresh daily. My choice was the 16-inch roasted eggplant pizza with fresh tomatoes and garlic ($15) – more than gastronomically ample enough for me and my carry-out guests.
The pizza satiated us well, being pleasantly baked with a firm crust and a decent amount of tomato and cheese that never outdid the other. There was enough eggplant and garlic to make the pizza savory, as well. Another delicious option among the vegetarian choices was the Mediterranean pizza ($16), which used no cheese, as in more traditional Italian recipes, and a healthy load of garlic, mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes and olives – talk about a (more) complete food pyramid on one pie!
With their reasonably priced wines and beers, in addition to special nights like $2 Miller Lite drafts on Wednesdays, the Yorktown Bistro is seeking to make a late night name for itself, too. The Burgundy Room Wine and Lounge Bar is open until midnight from Monday – Thursday, and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
5171 Lee Highway
Open daily, Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., with brunch served from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.