Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap is a beautiful restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia. The name comes from the Yates family matriarch, Lena. Lena’s restaurant was created to promote the gathering of friends and family around a family table. They are currently providing delivery and curbside pickup for Italian food, family meals, party platters, retail items, beer growlers, wine, and cocktails. The menu consists of wood-fired pizza, house-made pastas, panini sandwiches, salads, desserts, and Italian entrees like Chicken Parmigiana and Pork Osso Bucco.
My husband, one of my best friends, and I had lunch at Lena’s Oasis not long ago. Lena’s Oasis is an open air restaurant annex located on the top floor of the Yate’s Corner Parking deck behind Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap restaurant. It is a very creative way that Lena’s has been able to adapt to the current COVID-19 restaurant restrictions. Lena’s Oasis has been around for a few months and it acts as a calming, relaxing place for people to eat outside. The outdoor dining area features all the menu items from Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap as well as beer, wine, and specialty cocktails.
The restaurant was very accommodating with COVID 19 prevention. Patrons would scan a QR code to access the menu. Each table had a bottle of hand sanitizer at it. There were sanitizing stations strategically placed all over the restaurant. All the staff wore masks. The servers also wore gloves. Each table was sanitized in a timely manner.
Lena’s Oasis is an influencer’s photographic dream. Just to the left of the entrance is a New Hollywood Style foliage wall to take photos with friends and family. People could be illuminated by lights of the bright yellow “Ciao Bella” sign. The main structure was a white tent with a white billowy canopy. There was purple and blue underlighting and gold lamp chandeliers to create ambience. Each table had beautiful orange and green Spanish tile design on top. Patrons could sit at brilliant turquoise and canary yellow metal seats. There were all kinds of plants of different shapes and sizes surrounding each table to create a real oasis effect.
There was also outside deck seating drowned in sunshine and twinkly lights. The floor was covered in bright green turf and there were more potted plants everywhere. The outdoor tables and chairs were all teak colored. Each table had a red umbrella for patrons to also have shade. It had a different vibe from the canopy seating, but it was all very fun.
At the recommendation of our server we ordered one of the vegetarian house-made pastas. The butternut squash-ricotta gnocchi was covered with wild mushroom red wine ragu, brown butter sage cream sauce, and parmesan cheese. Each gnocchi dumpling was a soft pillow. They were delectable. The brown butter sage cream sauce was silky and luscious. The brown butter flavor complimented the subtle gnocchi perfectly and each bite of sage was a flavorful surprise. There were crunchy parmesan crisps on top of the dish that added texture. The whole dish had beautiful autumn inspired ingredients and were very thoughtfully put together.
Of course at a place with the word “pizza” in the name, it was necessary to order pizza. I was interested in the Di Carne. We ordered a 10-inch Di Carne pizza, which was perfect for two people to share . It was topped with sweet Italian sausage, pepperoni prosciutto, and fresh mozzarella. The Italian sausage was juicy with a lovely herb bouquet. The pepperoni and prosciutto was lovingly cured and added a nice salty bite to the pizza. The mozzarella melted perfectly and balanced out all the meats. The crust had a light char from the wood-fired oven and was crispy on the outside, but chewy on the inside.
The food was scrumptious. The décor was amazing with all the lovely photo opportunities. The staff was friendly and cordial. Overall, we felt that everyone made us feel welcome. We will definitely be coming back again!
401 E Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22301
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