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The Light Horse combines classy dining and a casual sports bar

I’ve now been to The Light Horse — a classy restaurant and casual bar in Old Town Alexandria — for dinner, brunch and, most recently, just drinks.

After dining just down the block at Iranian kabob eatery Parsian Restaurant last Friday, my roommate and I headed to The Light Horse for a drink at the upstairs bar. It was our first time upstairs, and we were pleasantly surprised to find a full-on sports bar above the King Street restaurant.

Sophisticated menu downstairs

Late last year, Amanda and I ate at The Light Horse with one of our friends. The dinner menu is on the pricier side with entrees starting at $17. I remember having a difficult time finding something to order, and I ended up eating a thick butternut squash soup and a salad.

Butternut squash soup at The Light Horse in December 2012.

Butternut squash soup at The Light Horse in December 2012.

Although I wasn’t crazy about the winter menu, it appears that the menu changes seasonally. The spring dinner menu sounds much more appealing to me than the winter one did. It now features a spring strozzapreti pasta that sounds pretty amazing. The pasta has peas, ramps, sunchokes, asparagus, parmesan and crushed red pepper. Perhaps, this is a restaurant that deserves another go. I might just have to dine here again and update you on my new findings.

Sports bar upstairs

Last Friday, Amanda and I were looking for a spot for a drink or two following dinner. Walking up the stairs at The Light Horse, we weren’t sure what to expect. What we found was a casual and inviting sports bar with shuffle and dart boards in the back, a main bar area front and center and additional seating in front of TV screens displaying the Capitals game. I ordered a local Virginia cider, Bold Rock, that was crisp and refreshing. The menu has an impressive list of beer offerings, including craft beers from near and far.

The bar menu offers a few select entrees from the menu downstairs, which are served until 9:30 p.m. The menu also offers a variety of appetizers and sandwiches ranging in price from $4 for deviled eggs to $18 for a surf and turf burger topped with fried oysters and foie gras butter. This isn’t your typical pub grub. The bar menu is the same as for the weekend lunch, at which I’ve dined with my friends Katie and Curtis, who were visiting Northern Virginia from the Detroit area for a wedding last month.

A delicious Bloody Mary, and only $5 during brunch!

A delicious Bloody Mary, and only $5 during brunch!

While dining with Katie and Curtis, we ordered the chorizo and cheese dip appetizer. The white cheese blended well with the spicy chorizo, and the appetizer paired nicely with the $5 Bloody Marys we each ordered. For an entree, Curtis and I both chose the $15 crab cake sandwich made with Dragon Creek lump crab meat and topped with a pepperonata aioli, lettuce, tomato and onion. It’s speared with a pickle and served with fries on the side, but you can opt for sweet potato fries (like I did), a cup of tomato soup or a side salad for $2 more. This crab cake was one of the most moist that I’ve ever eaten. I would totally order it again. Katie debated about getting the Heart Attack Burger — a burger sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches — for a bargain of three meals in one for $17! Ultimately, she went with The Big Cheese, a three-cheese grilled cheese sandwich with garlic and chives for about half the price as her first choice.

This is one of the best crab cakes I've ever eaten.

This is one of the best crab cakes I’ve ever eaten.

Promotions worth noting

One reason why I’d like to go back to The Light Horse is for the bar’s Sunday Funday with happy hour drink specials from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and live music from 2 to 5 p.m. as well. Also, the dining room offers discounts on select bottles of wine — 50 percent off on Sunday, 40 percent on Monday, 30 percent on Tuesday and 20 percent off on Wednesday. Both deals are reasons to become a returning customer, I think.

The Light Horse on Urbanspoon

Wish you were here,


P.S. I shared this post with Katie, who I mentioned brunching with last month at The Light Horse. Her reply was, “You only forgot to mention how much the Blood Marys rocked!” So, now you know. The Blood Mary does rock.

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