Some airlines don’t even give out free peanuts these days, so it’s best to chow down before you take off. Luckily for frequent fliers, airport restaurateurs have started offering first-class fare that takes its inspiration from destinations near and far. “The ideal dining experience has good food and great service done quickly,” says Cheri Cernak, co-owner of Obrycki’s at BWI. “Our goal is to get you out when you want, but if you want to hang out while you’re waiting for a flight, you’re more than welcome to do so.” Just don’t relax so much that you miss your boarding call.
Washington Dulles International Airport
Unless you speak Italian, you probably don’t get the double entendre at work in this airport wine bar’s name: Vino Volo means “wine flight” in the language of Mario Batali. No matter whether you choose a red, white or rosé, the menu’s small plates stand out. If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, you can order any of the dishes as an entrée. Try the crunchy and creamy smoked salmon and crab crostini ($9, $15 for a full portion), or the braised pork tacos that hide a hint of heat, topped with crunchy cabbage slaw and a squeeze of fresh lime juice ($5, $9 for a full portion).
Concourse C; 703-661-1999, Vinovolo.com
Photo of crab cakes courtesy of Obrycki’s.