A quarter of my clients relocate from another part of the world, and they are typically eager to get out of the McLean Hilton to explore their new life in the D.C. suburbs. And a key part of that search for meaning is finding a new favorite restaurant. Not necessarily a place like Cheers, but I imagine restaurants with local personality, charm, a decent menu or wine list. It’s all part of the experience of establishing yourself any where you might be moving to, no?
Well, a few months ago when picking a client up at the hotel, I asked where she and her husband had eaten dinner. She promptly replied that they had been craving Italian food and went to the Olive Garden. Yes, my eyes rolled without her seeing me. She had been stuck in the hotel waiting hours for him to finish work, and then they went to an Italian restaurant in Vienna that is virtually indistinguishable from one in Atlanta or Phoenix.
Where is the exciting sense of adventure in that?
Relocating is fun with the excitement of starting a new life. There are always special spots that may take years to find and careful insider tips are always appreciated. So I gave them a suggestion that is a little more authentic Italian food for next time, Da Domenico located close to his office off Greensboro Drive. As it turns out, he had been there before and loved it but did not realize where it was located
It was time to get specific so I suggested they go out on a limb that night and try a special restaurant in Vienna called Bazin’s on Church Street. The next day I heard only raves about the cooking, wine list, service and the nice couple who run the place (thank you Patrick) who introduced themselves and made the evening special. Even making a special desert just for them.
Getting to know your new home town, just a little deeper, gives extra excitement to the relocation and what the future may hold for you. And knowing some good local restaurants is a good start.