At FW&D, we take great pride in the work we do for our customers. Therefore, if we have done work for you, we’d like to get your thoughts and your reviews on Angie’s List. Also, if you have an account, you can read reviews from other customers. Remember, if you’re looking for a reputable remodeling company in Northern Virginia, FW&D has to be your top choice.
FW&D recently came across this commercial and want to share it with all of you so that when you decide to hire someone to do work in your home, you take all the necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from unforeseen circumstances. A fully licensed and insured contractor may not necessarily be the most economical one but in the end, it could save you a lot of money while providing quality work that they will be proud of and that their reputation is dependent on. When interviewing or getting estimates from a contractor, always ask yourself “why is this cheaper?”. You will find a reason and most likely, that reason will have a negative impact on you financially or aesthetically either short or long term.
Here’s our latest installment of the addition we’re currently working on in the Mt. Vernon area of Alexandria, VA. Stay tuned for more videos coming soon through completion. Videos 1 through 5 are available on our Youtube channel in case you haven’t watched them. Take a look at see the process from beginning to end (not that we’re finished yet). If you’re looking to make additional space in your home, this may be the way to go. Don’t hesitate to contact us or recommend us to your friends. We’re your community remodeler.
Recently, Whirlpool introduced a new premium exterior finish they call “White Ice.” With clean lines, silver accents and streamlined controls, the new collection’s refrigerator, range, dishwasher, and microwave are a departure from the flash and glitz of stainless steel and its many lookalikes. In fact, the combination of a white finish, stainless handles and mirrored glass appear to have a lot in common with Apple’s …. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE!
Homeowner’s exquisite taste required the use of multiple Hampton Carrara Marble products including the 7 1/2 by 15 cm polished marble tile in a subway pattern. The shower area also had a decorative band and the edges were finished with a Hampton Carrara marble bullnose. The floor tile, also Hampton Carrara Marble, was installed with a 3 inch hexagonal pattern with Carrara marble skirting. A classic modern style vanity with fixtures from Pottery barn was installed and a touch of chic was added with the glass shelves. FW&D Remodeling is located in Springfield Virginia and performs these types of remodeling transformations all over Northern Virginia.
This month’s review takes FW&D to the Del Ray Café, on Howell Street off Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray, Alexandria. FW&D has been spending quite a bit of time in Alexandria, particularly in the Mt. Vernon area, where we recently remodeled a front entryway and currently are working on an addition on the back of a home.
Owned by Laurent and Margaret Janowsky of La Bergerie fame, Del Ray Café calls itself “a French café serving local, natural and organic foods” on its website. The Café is committed to sustainability and buying locally, from the organic vegetables and meats it purchases, to the old furnishings it repurposes, to the businesses it contracts with. The restaurant’s Chef is Sylvain Tonello.
The restaurant is housed in a beautifully restored, two-story, white American four square built in 1925. Red French doors and blue-framed windows provide dashes of color, and a screened-in side porch adds to its charm. The landscaping includes “green” details like rain barrels made from old whiskey barrels for gathering water. Even the parking lot around back is pretty and glows at night with festive lanterns.
Approaching the entryway, we were greeted warmly at the front door by a friendly hostess. A glance to the right showed a glimpse of the kitchen area, revealing rotisserie chickens on spits and earthen dishware. A small dining room on the left with gleaming wood floors made from reclaimed pinewood accommodated smaller parties. A built-in bench along the far wall provided comfortable seating, and a table/bar at the front window offered a view of passersby.
Climbing a flight of stairs to the upper dining area, we were greeted by our friendly server Nadir, who whisked away our coats. Straight ahead, a door with a fabric-covered window contained an old-fashioned chalkboard listed specials. To the left, a private room decorated with red patterned curtains was reserved mainly for VIPs, big parties, and overflow dining.
To the right of the stairs was the main dining room, with casual French country décor. Neutral walls were accented with unique decorations such as an oversized clock, a painting of the Eiffel Tower on a gray wood slat, and a hanging stained glass window with what looked to be original frames. The high, rustic wood ceiling and two fans lent the room a lofty feeling, and a long antiqued mirror along one wall opened the room and gave it the illusion of being much larger. Dark wood chairs with light wood tables, and a large rustic picnic table reinforced the casual feeling, while red-checked napkins and green patterned curtains emphasized the country theme. Contemporary-sounding French music played softly in the background.
Nadir told us a little about the history and details of the restaurant, likening it to a friendly French neighborhood bistro. Since its opening in May, the restaurant has become a breakfast favorite, with many neighbors walking dogs and stopping by for croissants.
The Café‘s commitment to sustainability extended even to the wine choices. Five varieties of sustainable house wine were available in half carafes. Bottles of wine, including at least 20 choices each of whites and reds, rounded out the wine list. Perhaps our only critique for the evening was that we would have liked to select wines by the glass to better pair with the different courses. We compromised on the house chardonnay, which arrived in a small glass pitcher with a handle and was served in little juice glasses. Our server toasted in perfect French, “À vos santé” or “to your health.”
Del Ray Café’s dinner menu offers daily specials, a dozen appetizers, and nearly as many main courses, along with some unique sides. FW&D visited on a Thursday evening, when the special on the menu was halibut; additional specials featured whole striped bass, tile fish, and butternut squash soup.
While we pondered the menu, French bread and butter arrived and we dug in. The bread was perfection—just the right texture, crispy on outside but chewy and pliant inside. For starters, we ordered a half dozen snails and a charcuterie platter.
The Burgundy Snails in Garlic, Parsley Butter were nestled in six holes around the perimeter of a round dish. They were covered in a warm, delicate sauce that contained lots of fresh garlic and butter, yet the dish managed to be light and the garlic was not overpowering. The snails got high ratings from those who tasted them, though others were reluctant to try. But what a pleasant surprise to find such an unusual delicacy on the menu!
The Olli Salumeria Charcuterie Platter and Homemade Paté with Cornichons, Mustard & Toasted Bread was served on a charcuterie board. In the center, a small circle of salad with olive oil dressing was both wrapped and topped with prosciutto or smoked jambon (ham). Pepper garlic sausage, which had a nice and unexpected heat, surrounded the salad. A side plate offered two triangles of homemade Paté de Campagne, or country paté, also made from jambon. The entire appetizer covered a hidden slice of ham, which was a nice surprise as we ate our way through the dish. All of the meats were fresh and delicious, and the cornichons, mustard, and bread provided salty, tangy, and crunchy complements.
The starters were so wonderful that we would have been happy if we had ordered nothing else; however, they also built the anticipation for dinner.
For the main course, FW&D chose the halibut special and the scallops. The first dish, Filet of Halibut stuffed with Fresh Herbs, served with Wild Rice and Kumquat Sauce, was as pretty as it was tasty. The mild, tender white fish rolled up to hold the flavorful herbs. The hearty Wild Rice sat atop the cold Kumquat Sauce, which provided an unexpected but pleasant temperature contrast. The sauce had a mild yet distinctive flavor, with a nice acidic quality and slight sweetness. Fresh vegetables included asparagus and baby carrots.
The second dish was U10 Diver Sea Scallops with Grapefruit Gastrique Sauce served with Parsnips & Cauliflower. The four large scallops, beautifully seared and meaty, sat on a puree of parsnips. Fresh vegetables included cauliflower, haricots verts, and carrots. The Grapefruit Gastrique was unique and a little bitter as expected with grapefruit, but it provided a nice foil to the sweetness of the scallops.
To complete the meal and enjoy some of the other fresh vegetable offerings, we ordered sides of Ratatouille and Cremini Mushroom. The Ratatouille was thick and hearty, like a stew, containing eggplant, carrot, and tomato. The Cremini Mushrooms stood out on their own without a lot of dressing, allowing the flavor of the mushrooms to shine. Each side was served in mini covered cookware that looked like Le Creuset casserole dishes.
Although we’d had plenty to eat, FW&D decided that we couldn’t leave without trying the dessert. The Café serves crepes at any time, along with half a dozen other dessert choices. We opted for the Chocolate Mousse and Strawberry Tarte, which was not on the menu but recommended by our server.
The Chocolate Mousse was served in a glass with a layer of strawberry sauce on the bottom and whipped cream, strawberries, and strawberry sauce on top. For chocolate mousse fans, this dish did not disappoint and was very chocolatey yet light.
The Strawberry Tarte was served with scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream and covered with strawberry sauce. The tarte was thin and dense, and not overly sweet. The crust was good and dense as well. Cappuccino finished the desserts nicely.
FW&D highly recommends Del Ray Café for its quality, freshness, and delicious French dishes. The Café offers fine dining and exquisitely prepared food in an accessible, family-friendly setting. Kids can order burgers and fries, while parents enjoy sophisticated dishes like lobster and lamb. We tried to pick a favorite dish, but could not decide, as all of the food was truly outstanding. The restaurant would be good choice for a casual date night, an evening with friends, a family dinner, or a special occasion in the VIP room.
Del Ray Café is located at 205 E. Howell Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301, 703-717-9151, http://www.delraycafe.net/. Reservations are accepted for parties of 6 or more. The Café is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with brunch served on weekends and holidays. Croissants, baguettes, coffee, and rotisserie chicken are available to go, with prices ranging from $3 to $17. Appetizer prices range from $6 to $17; main courses from $17 to $31.
(Review written by Christine M. Chirichella for FW&D.)
At FW&D Remodeling, we care about keeping your valuables safe. That is why, when we came across this novel idea, we had to share it with you. We introduce you to the wall safe which we can easily and quickly install in your home.
The Hidden Wall Safe is handy because most burglars spend less than six minutes inside a victim’s home and only have time to check the most obvious places for valuables. These unique wall safes allow you to hide valuables inside one of many identical looking wall outlets you already have in your home, the last place someone is likely to look. According to the Police, these units are better than a locked safe and a hundred times cheaper. Worried about the outlet cover not matching your other outlets? No sweat, you can interchange any standard plug cover for this one to match your other plugs.
High impact plastic and metal
Once installed it pivots out to reveal the secret hiding place
Comes with cutout saw and template for easy installation in just minutes
Dimensions: 7″H x 3.5″W x 2.5″D
Jewelry and money not included!
We received this video testimonial today from a client in Burke, VA and we just had to share it with you!
FW&D Recently completed the makeover of a front entryway on a 1960′s split level home in the Mt. Vernon area of Fairfax County, VA. The homeowner wanted better accessibility to the front entry door so FW&D’s designer developed a plan to move the focal point of the entryway in line with the front door.
An integral part of this project was the landscaping which was broken down into two parts, hardscape and softscape. The hardscape involved relocating the walkway with a single curve which was enhanced with colonial brick edging, the same type used on the steps.
To enhance the focal point from a street level perspective and provide a more formal access, a new gable end porch roof was built. We also removed the concrete porch which had double access and replaced it with a more traditional, single access, colonial looking brick for the steps and porch floor. Additionally, we replaced a double hung window with a Pella expanded 5 lite bow window. Once all the excavation was backfilled, the softscape added some color and finishing touches to a beautiful finished project.
Here’s our latest installment of the addition we’re currently working on in the Mt. Vernon area of Alexandria, VA. Stay tuned for more videos coming soon through completion. Videos 1 through 4 are available on our Youtube channel in case you haven’t watched them. Take a look at see the process from beginning to end (not that we’re finished yet). If you’re looking to make additional space in your home, this may be the way to go. Don’t hesitate to contact us or recommend us to your friends. We’re your community remodeler.
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