A Chinese dumpling shop; limited, affordable, unique. The dumplings are very good. It is one of those spots that are truly unique and maintain their culture by not trying hard to show everyone that they are maintaining their Chinese immigrant roots. They have one bulletin board that showcases their accomplishments from local newspapers and businesses that capture the founders inspiring story that sits behind a couple of weird oriental trinkets. Other than that, it looks like a humble shop with a bell counter where you pick up your food and drop off your money. If you want water, you can grab it from a plastic trey on the counter where they fill up plastic cups from the sink. You can take it back to your tiny space at your tiny table where you listen to pop music played from a chintzy radio that is made to look like a record turntable. Marco & Luca is looking to impress no-one! They simply let their dumplings speak for themselves. Its nice to see an honest mom and pop without any gimmicks. I mean…they don’t even have a website. Additionally, because M&L refrains from adopting a trendy brand, they are often passed over by the bougie college crowd looking for something more along the lines of the Sky Bar down the street, usually just stopping in as a preventative recovery srtategy after a night of binge drinking. However, M&L just opened a second shop in the mall. So check it out before they become mainstream and will most likely be forced to sacrifice their genuine identity for the sake of scalability.
Good spot to bring coworkers or someone you want to impressive with your street knowledge of the local area. If you didn’t know where Alley Light was located, you would walk right passed it. The door to the place is down a crappy little alley under a crappy little light (hence the name). But once you go in, it is a small, up scale restaurant with a sweet bar. I especially love it because the bourbon selection is awesome. However, Virginia has some weird laws where they can’t get select brands such as Willett. The only thing that would make it better is if they snuck in the restricted labels and served it out of another bottle… then they can be a real speak easy!
Beautiful, impressive, intriguing, controversal. Thomas Jefferson’s estate is as brilliant and curious as he was. The visit is a delightful twist of beauty, (a creative and unique date spot), history (intriguing insight to the life and thoughts of a founding father and author of our country’s constitution), and controversy (the awe and intrigue manifested while walking through those corridors was ironically built upon the backs of slaves owned by the man that penned “all men are created equal”). This really is a pretty legit spot where you can spend anywhere from an hour to a day. Also, James Madison’s digs is near by along with some other sweet historic sites if you want to get yourself some more ‘Merca!