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Hank’s Oyster Bar Owner’s Newly-Revamped Italian Outpost in Alexandria Opens This Week

Chef Chris Edwards is leading the kitchen at Hank & Mitzi’s Italian Kitchen, instead of previously announced chef Will Artley

Linguine and clam sauce from Hank & Mitzi’s, which announced it has closed “for the foreseeable future” in Alexandria
Chef Leeds’ signature linguine with clam sauce
Photo: Hank & Mitzi’s

Hank’s Oyster Bar impresario Jamie Leeds is ready to finally open the doors of Hank & Mitzi’s Italian Kitchen in Alexandria, formerly known as Hank’s Pasta Bar, which has been closed for renovations since last fall.

Hank & Mitzi’s, named in honor of Leeds’ parents, opens for dinner service on Thursday, August 13 (600 Montgomery Street, Alexandria).

“My mom, Mitzi, always wanted me to add pizza, one of her favorite foods, to my menu,” says Leeds, in a press release. “And this new concept was my opportunity to honor her request.”

The casual Italian neighborhood spot will indeed serve up individual pizzas (like the Mitzi, topped with mozzarella, provolone, and asiago), as well as pasta dishes (including a few from Hank’s Pasta Bar like linguine and clams). Diners can start their meals with small plates of grilled octopus or fried calamari to share, and Leeds’ family recipes made the menu too, as seen in “Hank’s Meatballs” and Leeds’ mother’s own chicken cacciatore recipe.

The Hank pizza with hot sausage, cotto, and pepperoni
Photo: Hank & Mitzi’s

Executive chef Chris Edwards, most recently of Hank’s Oyster Bar on the Wharf, will oversee the kitchen at Hank & Mitzi’s. Edwards’ more than 20 years of experience includes stints at the Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg, Va. as well as at Patowmack Farm restaurant in Lovettsville, Va.

That’s a change from the original plan to install Will Artley, veteran of Evening Star Café, Pizzeria Orso, and short-lived English restaurant Scotts, at Hank & Mitzi’s.

“The only reason Chef Will Artley is no longer involved in the project is due to COVID-19,” Leeds told Eater in a statement. “Will and I were friends before the project and we still are, he is very talented. But given the lack in business across the restaurants due to the pandemic, I wanted to keep chefs with seniority employed. I’m happy to say that Chef Chris Edwards, the opening chef at Hank’s on the Wharf, will use his talents and experience at Hank & Mitzi’s.”

Small plates at Hank & Mitzi’s
Photo: Hank & Mitzi’s
Mitzi’s Chicken Cacciatore is a half chicken with mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes, garlic
Photo: Hank & Mitzi’s

The wine offerings at Hank & Mitzi’s draws mainly from Italy, while cocktails lean toward Italian classics too, featuring ingredients like Campari, rosé wine, and San Pellegrino. The beer list will rotate seasonally, and will include Italian favorites.

Cocktails include “Harvey Dent Was Framed,” made with rye, Cynar, Campari, and lemon juice
Photo: Hank & Mitzi’s

Hanks & Mitzi’s will be open for outdoor and indoor dining, takeout, and delivery. Hours of operation will be 4 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday through Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 12 to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

The menu at Hank & Mitzi’s Italian Kitchen
Hank & Mitzi’s
The drinks menu for Hank & Mitzi’s