A local foodie's list of her favorite restaurants, hot spots in downtown Leesburg, VA and sometimes outside the Town . . .
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Thursday, March 26, 2015
LIVE EARLIER TODAY on Good Morning Washington . . . THE WINE KITCHEN IN LEESBURG - Eat, drink and be educated!
"Good Morning Washington" on local Channel 9 (WUSA) visited the WINE KITCHEN in Leesburg, VA today!
The Wine Kitchen, whose motto is "Eat, Drink, Simply" has gotten it right. They are filled to capacity every night for dinner . . . their staff has grown and is always extremely educated and friendly. With a more recent Happy Hour Menu , they offer samples of delectable morsels in a much more light-hearted fashion while still presenting their always inviting DC-style atmosphere. The Wine Kitchen's great vibe brings me in to one of my all-time favorite American Bistros time-after-time.
The Executive Chef, Tim Rowley, is a prized possession at the Wine Kitchen and his style and relaxed demeanor add to the enjoyment of the dining experience. He listens to his patrons if they have something to share and is available. The local meats, produce and cheeses that he incorporates into his diverse menu, equally mirror this very "real" yet relaxed and palette-discriminating food style. It is food you can feel good about eating, simply.
NOTE: The Wine Kitchen currently donates a portion of all our weekday lunch proceeds to Loudoun Free Clinic to help in their mission to support health care services for Loudoun County residents who would otherwise do without.
As originally posted, I try to visit every new restaurant in the area, and the Wine Kitchen is no exception. Not only is their food and wine selection superb, but they have a willingness to educate us and add a bit of "social" to our dining experience. I think you will just love The Wine Kitchen that has paired with local farms and others to impress your palette.
The décor in Leesburg reminds me of a DC restaurant. Their style though is quite unique in that they not only serve you food and wine, but you are adorned with a "descriptive wine card" paired with each glass of wine that you order. I love this concept because it's both educational and social.
Whether you are ordering food or wine by the glass (prices vary and are very competitive) or you are partaking in one of their "Flights," they add a unique touch by serving you one of their Wine Cards. It adds to your dining experience as you try to decipher from your own glass of wine whatever flavors they have poetically described on this little card. I think you will enjoy this fun, learning experience and walk away with one of those little wine cards as a special souvenir from a very special restaurant. It's a great concept.
There are too many dishes on the menu that I love to name, but suffice it to say "everything is top-notch." The gourmet infusion into their farm-style dishes, as well as European introductions, appeal to the most meticulous taste buds and will possibly cause you to pause. Some of my favorite dishes (they change often) have been the scallops (however they are being offered), the Butternut Squash Soup, and the Burrata is to die for you must try. Others I've enjoyed have been:
The Rosemary Gnocchi - sweet potato, kale, walnuts, blue cheese and pomegranate reduction
The Hanger Steak (A FAVORITE ) celeriac walnut risotto, sautéed spinach and shallot gastrique
The Braised Short Ribs - celeriac and black garlic puree, smoked mushrooms, sweet pan soy sauce
Each day they have a selection of wonderful cheeses they present on their blackboard and under "Cheese and Charcuterie" offering three artisanal cheeses for $13 or a Charcuterie Plate for $12. This is one of my favorite menu items, being Italian and enjoying worldly cheeses and platters of this type. If you want to get a glimpse before dining, they have more than one location but the Dinner Menu noting happy hour morselsin Leesburg is wonderful.
When it comes to their wines, it goes without saying that their name says it all! The fact that they offer numerous non-domestic wines too from all around the world, I very much appreciate. For several years now, I have given up on US wines (unless they are produced by a local, small vineyard) because they did not agree with my head, and I learned this stems from possibly the pesticides used or added preservatives for a long-term shelf life. I have no worry at the Wine Kitchen, regardless, and with plenty of wine varietals to choose from and the obvious success of this restaurant today, others should mirror the concept.
What also makes the Wine Kitchen so unique, is the offering of a smaller size portion of plated food (smaller plates). They are certainly hearty enough, and I find them to be the ideal portion. The Wine Kitchen in Leesburg was one of the first to offer what I deem "gourmet" food in a lighter quantity and at a reasonable price. The best part of this concept for me, I do not go home stuffed and feeling like I spent a fortune on dinner and a glass of wine. Nor do I feel guilty not able to finish and having to bring home food I did not need to pay for in the first place.
The small plate concept is smart amidst a Town filled with busy, working locals, tourists on a budget venturing out, and simply people that like to go out to eat without spending a fortune . . . the Wine Kitchen has gotten it right, in my opinion, and they are filled to capacity every night for dinner because they have.
Because I originally wasn't keen on a few aesthetics of the restaurant (when they first opened up), I didn't feel compelled to return over and over if I was venturing out on a busy weekend night. If you arrive early for your reserved table or you do not have a reservation for even one of their bar stools, you have to find a comfortable place to wait and it's not easy. Their bar is not your typical restaurant bar, so it's too awkward to stand behind it because of those having dinner. This leaves you in an open area amidst on-looking tables of diners and no comfortable place to lean and wait . . . this has been my only criticism of this beautiful restaurant to date.
The Wine Kitchen is a hot spot in Leesburg and you need to wait it out - your table, the food and the wine are all well worth it and your experience will hopefully be FABULOUS.
Enjoy yourself - Mary!
The Wine Kitchen - Leesburg
7 South King Street
Leesburg, VA 20175
(703) 777-9463 The Wine Kitchen