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One by one, we’re running through the 50 restaurants that made the cut on this year’s Young & Hungry Dining Guide. If you have visited the day’s featured restaurant, let us know what you think. If you’re planning to visit for the first time, tell us about your meal when you return.
Amela and Ivica Svalina have come full circle with Restaurant Cosmopolitan. The Bosnian refugees first opened their full-service eatery in 2004 off N. Kings Highway in Alexandria, only to close the following year when they realized the joint’s 99 seats were too much for one family to handle. Within days, the Svalinas retreated to the carryout comfort of Cosmopolitan Bakery, just a few doors down from their former restaurant. It was at this no-frills, no-tables operation in 2007 that I first encountered Ivica Svalina’s mouthwatering cevapcici, these little beef torpedoes, spiked with black pepper and garlic, that are sandwiched between spongy halves of grilled lepina bread. So simple. So goddamn delicious. I quickly fell in love with cevapcici and Svalina’s other Bosnian street foods, and just as quickly never paid Cosmopolitan Bakery another visit. So imagine my surprise upon learning that the Svalinas have resurrected Restaurant Cosmopolitan on Richmond Highway, where you can now sit down and enjoy a “Bosnian burger” or the area’s best wiener schnitzel with a cold, heady Warsteiner. Of course, you also have to suffer through an endless loop of ’80s pop hits on the cable channel, but, hey, Huey Lewis is a small price to pay to eat your cevapcici in comfort.
Restaurant Cosmopolitan, 7770 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, Va., (703) 360-3660
Photo by Darrow Montgomery