I have received no compensation in exchange for this post. I simply wanted to review this restaurant. Some menu items that were featured are seasonal. Subject to availability.
Downtown Fairfax is full of historic buildings that are now used for local businesses. At the Moore-McCandlish House there is a gem of a restaurant called Hamrocks. I would describe the food as upscale and homestyle cuisine. Some upscale foods from the menu include Shrimp Provencal, Grilled Filet Mignon, and Duck Breast a la Orange. The restaurant also has lovely comforting homestyle foods like Southern Fried Chicken and Grilled Meatloaf. The menu also includes vegetarian options like Saffron and Vegetable Risotto and Moroccan Chickpeas with Crispy Tofu. They love having a seasonal menu that features fresh seasonal ingredients.
To be more COVID-19 conscious patrons can sit outside on the beautiful wrap-around porch that has heaters. The tables were spaced out nicely. All the servers wore masks and cleaned the spaces in a timely manner. Take out options are also available for those who do not want a sit down experience.
The Moore-McCandlish House has a bit of history to it. It was built in 1842 and in 1855 it was purchased by Thomas Murray. Thomas Murray would be imprisoned after being accused of housing Confederate Colonel Mosby while Colonel Mosby plotted to capture Union General Stoughton. The namesake owner of the house was Thomas Moore. His son would become the Assistant Secretary of State for President Franklin D. Roosevelt which meant that President Roosevelt would eventually visit the Moore House. Although it was rumored that the first president to visit the Moore-McCandlish House was President William Howard Taft. Taft may have attended a garden party at the house at some time after he was president. The house turned from a family home to a place of business sometime during the 1980s. The restaurant Hamrocks is owned by Bill and Susie Hamrocks. Bill Hamrocks is also the head chef of the establishment.
One thing that Hamrocks is known for is having a collection of fine wines. I love going and seeing what is new for the season. I knew I was going to have seafood for dinner so I felt white wine would pair well. Then on the menu I saw something I had never seen before; a white Bordeaux. I was curious and decided to order a glass. The white Bordeaux was from France. It was crisp, full bodied, and had a bit of a bite to it.
Hamrocks signature bread basket includes popovers and mini corn bread muffins. There is always a dish of maple butter to spread on the bread. The popovers were airy, buttery, and delicious. The mini corn bread muffins were as light as clouds.
I ordered from the fall seasonal menu where one can order items a la carte or they can have three courses; a starter, an entrée, and a dessert. I thought it would be fun to do the three course option. I started my meal with the Lobster Bisque. It was topped with a drizzle of cream and a sprinkling of parsley. The cup of soup was hot, creamy, and tasted of herbs and lobster. The bisque was smooth with a medium consistency.
I decided on the seasonal Sautéed Scallops as my entrée. The scallops on the fall menu are pan sautéed and sit on a bed of pesto cream sauce and corn succotash. The dish also includes broccoli and a crispy polenta cake that is topped with roasted peppers. The scallops were beautifully done; cooked to perfection and were lovingly browned in butter. They were tender and flavorful. The basil cream sauce had just enough body for such a delicate piece of seafood. The corn succotash tasted as if the corn had been grilled before slicing off the kernels. It was delightful. I especially enjoyed the crispy polenta cake and the roasted peppers. The crunchy polenta gave a nice contrast to the soft and succulent sea scallops, while the roasted peppers gave a punch of flavor to the mellow dish.
They have sautéed scallops on their all-year menu, but it is a little different. The Sautéed Sea Scallops are drizzled with pesto cream sauce and served with broccoli and a Mediterranean orzo risotto that includes tomatoes, roasted peppers, feta, and parmesan.
For my dessert, I chose the Key Lime Pie. The pie has a raspberry sauce and is served with whipped cream and fresh berries. I enjoyed the mixture of tanginess and sweetness of the pie. The filling was creamy and went beautifully with the graham cracker crust. The raspberry sauce gave the pie an added sweetness while the whipped cream helped cleanse the palette.
My husband’s go to order whenever we go to Hamrocks are the Chesapeake Crab Cakes. They are beautifully crispy lump crab bakes that are served with an Old Bay remoulade, an au gratin potato cake, and grilled zucchini. The crab cakes were meaty on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The au gratin potato cake was soft and had almost a creamy texture. It was nicely flavored with parmesan, cheddar, garlic, shallots and a rosemary cream.
We had a lovely time at the restaurant as always. The servers and hosts were all very friendly and accommodating. Our server even brought an extra glass of ice, because the ice was melting too quickly in my husband’s iced tea. All the food was delectable and lovingly prepared. We will definitely be back!
Lunch Mon-Fri 11:00-2:30
Dinner Sun-Thurs 5:00-9:00 Fri-Sat 5:00-10:00
Brunch Sat-Sun 10:00-2:30
3950 Chain Bridge Rd
Fairfax, VA 22030
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