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Best Restaurants Thread

Discussion in 'Area Restaurants, Dining and Food' started by ExRIGuy, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. ExRIGuy

    ExRIGuy New Member

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    Has this been done? Please use self-restraint and don't just list every place you've been. Just the truly special ones and within lets say a 15 mile radius of Ashburn.
     
  2. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    29 Diner: close to the corner of 123 and 50 in Fairfax
     
  3. sunnydog

    sunnydog New Member

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    Tastee 29? Boy are you an old timer ;)
     
  4. ExRIGuy

    ExRIGuy New Member

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    What is 29 diner known for?

    Here are a few in addition to the obvious like Lightfoot and Tuskie's:

    Best Pizza: Bertucci's in Herndon. It's a chain, but I've yet to find any other good pizza within 15 miles.
    Best Bargain Donuts: Shoppers Food Warehouse: monstrous, good, and only $3.50 a dozen.
    Best Breakfast/Bakery: Amphora and their satellite bakery in Herndon.
     
  5. Dutchml

    Dutchml Member

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    Must be where AFGM got his first kiss. :dance:
     
  6. sunnydog

    sunnydog New Member

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    Best French: Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Leesburg
    Best Italian close by: Zeffereli's in Leesburg, or in Herndon
    Best Brunch: Reston Hyatt - Market Street
    Best food portions for the price: Meditteranean Breeze, Old Ashburn
    Best grown up ambiance in da hood: Bonefish
    As to the diner, check this out: http://www.29diner.com/
     
  7. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    Now that's funny!

    I do remember one of many nights there late and being in "fine" shape. Went there with a friend and two girls we were trying to impress. One of the girls ordered hot chocolate. The hot chocolate arrived, cup of hot water with a mound of powered chocolate on top. Very nice. Girl looked shocked. Waitress, with little patience said, "stir it yourself sweetie". True story.

     
  8. ExRIGuy

    ExRIGuy New Member

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    Best Sports Bar: Ashburn Steak & Sports Theatre
     
  9. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

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    Here is a rundown of many of the places in the area!

    I posted a link but it does not work so here is the list and comments.

    More Choices, More Variety in Local Dining

    By Nancy Lewis
    Thursday, April 21, 2005; Page LZ22

    The number of restaurants in Loudoun and Fauquier counties is beginning to catch up with the demand created by surging population growth. The past several months have seen the opening of three privately owned upscale restaurants: Aster in Middleburg, Girasole in The Plains and 321 Ashland in the Broadlands Village Shopping Center.

    Although surrounding shopping centers continue to attract mostly small Asian and pizza restaurants, Broadlands has a full spectrum of dining options: a new Bonefish Grill (part of the Outback Steakhouse family of restaurants), a new Original Steakhouse & Sports Theatre, Rio Bravo Pizza, San Vito Italian restaurant, and small Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese eateries.

    The menu at 321 Ashland in Ashburn, one of several new upscale restaurants in Loudoun, is small but elegant. Pictured here: the restaurant's grilled veal chop, left, and salmon with jumbo lump crabmeat, right. (Tracy A. Woodward -- The Washington Post)

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    Downtown Leesburg has seen the opening of Thoroughbreds Grill & Brewing and Xuan Saigon. At the same time, new restaurant choices in the western part of Loudoun include Magnolias at the Mill and The Grill at Market Station. And Vocelli Pizza continues to expand across the area.

    Here are dining recommendations for Loudoun and Fauquier counties:

    DINER: Warrenton's Frost Diner (55 Broadview Ave., 540-347-3047) is the quintessential roadside diner. It may not be as shiny as it was when it was built in 1955, but you can still catch a gleam of stainless steel as you drive on the town's main commercial strip. The menu is traditional blue-plate specials, the breakfasts are hearty and the sausage gravy over biscuits is mouth-wateringly good. The Leesburg Restaurant (9 S. King St., Leesburg, 703-777-3292) isn't a diner in the classic sense, but the menu is much the same, and it's the place where the courthouse crowd and other locals gather. There's a small soda fountain with homemade milkshakes, peanut soup and luncheon specials that will leave you change for a $10 bill and provide your fat intake for a whole day. Johnson's Charcoal Beef House (401 E. Market St., Leesburg, 703-777-1116) prides itself on its steaks, but it's really an overgrown diner, drawing a big breakfast crowd. There is also the Marshall Diner (8453 W. Main St., Marshall, 540-364-6015) as well as the Round Hill Diner (2 Loudoun St. East, Round Hill, 540-338-3663).

    BARBECUE: The Mighty Midget Kitchen (202-A Harrison St. SE, Leesburg, 703-777-6406) has a justifiable reputation as a great place for barbecue. It may look like a tollbooth that the Tin Man of "The Wizard of Oz" might have built, but it's really part of an airplane fuselage. It's so tiny that much of the prep work is done in an adjacent building. The smoker is a locomotive-shaped affair that sits outside the one-person-size building, and outside is where all the seating is, too. They prepare ribs only on Fridays and Saturdays, but you can get wonderfully flavorful pulled pork any day the restaurant is open, along with hamburgers and a few other items. Don't miss the french fries. Doc's Barbecue is actually located in Paris, over the Clarke County line. But you can buy Doc's ribs (weekends only) and pulled pork at Aldie's Country Store (39285 John Mosby Hwy. [Route 50], Aldie, 703-327-6347).

    There are branches of the Arlington-based Red, Hot & Blue chain in Leesburg (541 E. Market St., 703-669-4242) and in Warrenton (360 Broadview Ave., 540-349-7100, www.redhotandblue.com). This is Tennessee-style barbecue with a tomato-mustardy sauce, though the menu has expanded far beyond ribs and pulled pork sandwiches.

    Jammin' Joe's BBQ (5282 Lee Hwy., New Baltimore, 540-347-9700, www.jamminjoesbbq.com) cooks over a real wood fire: A steel pit is on the back end (or maybe that's the front end) of the mobile unit parked along Route 29 in the wide spot known as New Baltimore. The pulled pork has a deep, smoky flavor and the characteristic pink color. The ribs have the same distinctive pink hue, are very meaty and have a nice, crusty outside.

    SEAFOOD: Despite the proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, seafood is not a big specialty here. The Bonefish Grill (43135 Broadlands Center Plaza Blvd., Ashburn, 703-723-8246, www.bonefishgrill.com) is changing that, with a menu that emphasizes fish flown in daily. The restaurant lists the fish available and lets the customer choose the type of preparation and sauce. For openers, don't miss the Bang Bang shrimp. Although the Blue Ridge Grill (955 Edwards Ferry Rd., Leesburg, 703-669-5505) doesn't specialize in fish, there are always several good fish dishes on the menu, including the smoked salmon appetizer (a big chunk of salmon that has been smoked, not brined like lox) and a salmon entree. There is also a fish-of-the-day special.

    STEAKS: The Lansdowne Grille in the Lansdowne Resort (44050 Woodridge Pkwy., Leesburg, 703-729-4073, www.lansdowneresort.com) is the most upscale place for aged steaks and such steakhouse favorites as oysters Rockefeller, shrimp cocktail and lobster bisque. But a new favorite is the Original Steakhouse & Sports Theatre in Broadlands (43150 Broadlands Center Plaza Blvd., Ashburn, 571-223-0100). The steaks are displayed in a refrigerated case at the entrance, but you might be distracted by the huge television screens in the bar and dining area -- every one tuned to a sporting event. The screens in the bar are projection, almost theater size, and on a Sunday afternoon you may be able to catch 10 or more football games at once. This is not the kind of place where you have to strain to read the score. If you want a little less overwhelming sports presence, the main dining room just has large televisions.

    ASIAN: The new star in Leesburg is Xuan Saigon Vietnamese (11 Fort Evans Rd. NE, 703-669-6714), a spare, family-run restaurant. This is the place to indulge your spring roll cravings. The rolls are nearly greaseless, crispy and flavorful. Though the summer rolls are a little dry on the outside, the Saigon pancake -- two huge, fluffy pancakes filled with shrimp, chicken and vegetables -- is a thing of beauty. The menu is long, packed with traditional favorites, and the warm welcome makes you feel like you're dining at the owners' home.

    The Big Mango Thai Bistro (126 Edds Lane, Sterling, in the Countryside Shopping Center, 703-444-8510) is spare and serene, too, decorated with weavings and sculptures from Thailand. Owner Tom Krairit, who came here to work in the computer industry, hails from a family that owns three restaurants in Bangkok. The menu is long, and most dishes are deftly prepared. This is a place to linger over individually prepared dishes.

    Pacific (46240 Potomac Run Plaza, Sterling, 703-404-5500, www.chengspacific.com) offers a Pan-Asian approach with a twist, such as Peking duck fajitas and fried calamari with coconut wasabi aioli. But somehow it usually works.

    Another local favorite is Tawan Thai (43761 Parkhurst Plaza, Ashburn, 703-858-3870, www.tawancuisine.com). Or try Saigon Star (43150 Broadlands Center Plaza Blvd., Ashburn, 703-723-2604, www.saigon-star.tripod.com).

    There are two Kobe Japanese Steak & Seafood restaurants in Loudoun (120 Edds Lane, Sterling, 703-404-8700, and 514 E. Market St., Leesburg, 703-443-8300), both of which feature communal grill tables and sushi bars. Several shopping centers also have Japanese restaurants such as Samurai (43150 Broadlands Center Plaza Blvd., Ashburn, 703-724-9696), Toyama Sushi (43761 Parkhurst Plaza, Ashburn, 703-726-0972) and Tokyo Sushi (44031 Ashburn Shopping Plaza, Ashburn, 703-858-3434).
     
  10. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

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    The other half of the list since we are limited to 1000 letters.

    Lee


    OTHER ETHNIC: O'Faolain's Irish Restaurant & Pub (20921 Davenport Dr., Sterling, 703-444-9796, www.ofaolains.com) offers Irish cuisine in a sophisticated yet neighborhood setting. From the Kinsale chowder, thick with clams and other seafood, and the Mussels Molly Malone, poached in a bisque of white wine and herbs, to the Wicklow Shepherd's Pie and the Chicken Potpie, the food is all prepared from scratch by an Irishman. And if you like potatoes, don't miss the Boxty (potato cakes with corned beef).

    La Chozita Grill (210 Loudoun St. SE, Leesburg, 703-443-2319) is the place for Peruvian rotisserie chicken. It is marinated for hours and slow roasted in a fire pit just behind the counter in this tiny restaurant. Be sure to try the corn tamales and leave room for the flan. La Fleur de Lis (2 S. Church St., Lovettsville, 540-822-4700) is a country French outpost where you won't go wrong with the onion soup, the rack of lamb and the Grand Marnier soufflé. The specials are usually sure bets, too.

    Eiffel Tower Cafe (107 Loudoun St. SW, Leesburg, 703-777-5142, www.eiffeltowercafe.com) is housed in an old townhouse that is accented with a definite French ambience. The menu is mostly French standards, prepared exceptionally well. Owner Madeleine Sosnitsky, a Paris native, presides over the dining room with a Gallic air.

    The menu of Los Toltecos (50 Pidgeon Hill Dr., Sterling, 703-421-3380, www.toltecos.com) includes Tex-Mex favorites but also more complex Mexican dishes, such as Pork Enchiladas Alla Mexicana and various dishes with moles.

    LOCAL FAVORITES: Despite the recent profusion of ethnic restaurants, New American is the fare of choice. Tuscarora Mill (203 Harrison St. SE, Leesburg, 703-478-1141 or 703-771-9300, www.tuskies.com) is known simply as Tuskie's to the locals. Located in an 1899 mill that was moved to its current site in 1985, the restaurant features a bar in the front and a more formal dining room in the back. The menu changes often and is wide ranging. (Look for the buffalo strip steak, elk and Kobe beef.) There are about a dozen wines offered by the glass from the reasonably priced wine list. The service here is a little too efficient and impersonal for my taste, but that doesn't seem to keep locals from packing the place. Magnolias at the Mill (198 N. 21st St., Purcellville, 540-338-9800, www.magnoliasmill.com) is owned by the Tuskie's folk but has a more informal atmosphere and a warmer welcome. The menu features small plates and medium plates, sandwiches, main courses and gourmet pizzas, which Magnolias calls flatbread, and they are not to be missed. The setting is rustic, with pulleys and wheels still in place from the building's original life as a seed and feed mill. In the year it has been open, Magnolias has become a stalwart of western Loudoun.

    Another Purcellville newcomer is the The Grille at Main Street Station (1020 E. Main St., 540-338-2550). It's a smartly appointed space, with a large bar and an art-filled dining room. Deep, upholstered booths line ring the dining area, and elegant Queen Anne-style chairs flank the tables in the center of the room. There is also a smaller dining room that can be used for private parties. The atmosphere is lively, but you can carry on a conversation without shouting or straining to hear. Even more rare: The servers are enthusiastic, energetic and attentive. Many of the menu items are standard preparation, given a New Orleans or Italian tweak. Among the main dishes, order anything with the onion crisps, or order these slender onion rings by themselves. They are that good.

    The front room of the Black Coffee Bistro (3 W. Washington St., Middleburg, 540-687-3632, www.blackcoffeebistro.com) is dominated by small, paned windows overlooking horse country's main street. The limited menu includes salads and sandwiches at lunch, along with a few entrees, and a slightly larger selection for dinner. But things aren't as simple as that. One of the starters is venison sausage, or a ring-necked pheasant confit. The chocolate pâté is like the richest fudge, studded with crushed amaretti cookies, accented with a strawberry for what our server said was a "healthy touch." And there is a stunning à la carte Sunday brunch.

    The Rail Stop Restaurant (6478 Main St., The Plains, 540-253-5644, www.railstoprestaurant.com) may no longer be co-owned by actor Robert Duvall, but that doesn't mean you won't run into him there. The reason to visit, however, is the ambitious cooking of chef Tom Kee that is grounded in traditional American fare with an emphasis on Virginia products. Quail, rabbit, pork chops and duck are likely to be on the menu, along with lobster salad and regional cheeses. Hunter's Head Tavern (9048 John Mosby Hwy., Rte. 50, Upperville, 540-592-9020, www.ayrshirefarm.com) is a proper English pub that offers a cozy fire and such pub food standards as Guinness stew, shepherd's pie and afternoon tea. The organic beef comes from the owner's own herd at nearby Ayshire Farm, and most of the foods are grown locally.

    It's open only from April through November, Thursday through Saturday, but Patowmack Farm's Dinner in the Garden (42461 Lovettsville Rd., Lovettsville, 540-822-9017, www.patowmackfarm.com) is a unique experience in organic dining. Most of the vegetables are grown at the certified organic farm, but the meats and fish get the same attention, even if they have to be specially flown in.

    Sweetwater Tavern (45980 Waterview Plaza, Sterling, 571-434-6500, www.greatamericanrestaurants.com) has a boisterous dining room that is very forgiving of domestic commotions. In other words, it's child friendly. There is plenty on the menu to satisfy the younger crowd as well as their parents and grandparents. The service is attentive and enthusiastic. The signature chocolate waffle is a must dessert.

    The Manor House at Poplar Springs Inn (9245 Rogues Rd., Casanova, in Fauquier County, 540-788-3400, www.poplarspringsinn.com) is a grand Virginia estate built to look like a grand European estate where the food may make you think you have arrived in France. The impressive space features 30-foot stone walls, a massive fireplace, sumptuously upholstered rounded banquettes, generously spaced tables and a view overlooking the 200-acre estate. The menu is inventive and eclectic, with such appetizers as salmon three ways (tartar, gravlax and mousse), grilled quail, sautéed foie gras and pan-seared scallops, and entrees include breast of pheasant and bison strip steak. A pianist plays during dinner.

    321 Ashland (43135 Broadlands Center Plaza Blvd., Ashburn, 703-723-0703) is one of the county's newest restaurants and one of the most expensive. Located amid a cluster of chain eateries in the Broadlands Shopping Center, 321 Ashland is elegant and serene. (Though I hope they are adding drapes so you don't have to stare at the nearby neon Atlantic Tanning sign.) Owner Terrance Caugh, a veteran of a barbecue catering company, has brought in French-trained chef Christopher Brown, who worked with renowned chef Paul Bocuse. The menu, though small, is elegant: a tower of jumbo lump crabmeat bound in a lemon cream, lobster ravioli with snails and wild mushrooms, seared diver scallops, filet mignon and guinea fowl ragout. Even the Caesar salad is elegant: a sheaf of Romaine leaves caressed by a wafer-thin pastry ring. There is expert tableside service, including bananas Foster. It promises to be an outstanding addition to the local scene.

    BRUNCH: The Riverside Hearth Restaurant at Lansdowne Resort (44050 Woodridge Pkwy., Lansdowne, 703-729-4105) has a sumptuous buffet that includes a raw bar, pasta station, salads, waffles, omelets, roasted meats and just about anything else you can imagine. You can't quite see the Potomac River from the expansive windows (the view is of a golf green), but the large resort hotel space is certainly a calm oasis. The new Thoroughbreds Grill & Brewing (50 Catoctin Cir. NE, Leesburg, 703-777-5785, www.thoroughbredsgrill.com) has attracted attention mostly for its brews. But its Sunday brunch is also a hit, with such offerings as steak and eggs and grilled salmon and biscuits. But it's the bloody mary bar that should not be missed.

    A PLACE TO CELEBRATE: Received a promotion, won the office pool, just settled on your dream house? Lightfoot Restaurant (11 N. King St., Leesburg, 703-771-2233, www.lightfootrestaurant.com) is the place to party. It's in a historic bank building, wonderful vintage European advertising posters decorate both levels, the bar nibbles are homemade, including potato chips with dip and chips and salsa, the well-executed menu ranges from a terrific tomato soup to great steaks and fish, and the Sunday brunch is inviting for all ages. The service can be a little slow, but everyone from the hostess to the bartender makes you feel that they are glad you are there and that they will do everything possible to make your visit enjoyable. In addition to all that, on Friday and Saturday nights there is piano music at the mezzanine bar that fills the entire space.

    A ROMANTIC DINNER: Girasole (4244 Loudoun Ave., The Plains, 540-253-5501) is in a stone building just outside the center of The Plains (well, around the corner from the main intersection), but it can make you feel like you are under the Tuscan sun. The menu may seem spare until you listen to the daily specials, which are apt to be more numerous than the items on the printed menu. One day it's sun-kissed tomatoes served with grilled vegetables and homemade mozzarella or broiled Nantucket scallops, gently robed in breadcrumbs and butter. The bread is a star here: chewy and flavorful. And the lemon tart is sublime. Chef/owner Louis Patierno spent many years at Washington's legendary Tiberio restaurant, and he certainly knows his stuff.

    Lee
     
  11. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

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    Part 3

    Lee

    An elegant home on a Middleburg side street has been converted into the Aster Restaurant (101 S. Madison St., 540-687-4080, www.asterrestaurant.com), perhaps the county's most ambitious and inventive dining establishment. Cuban-born chef Hump (short for Humberto) is also an interior designer, and he excels at both. The lights are low, the chairs are comfortable and the china and glassware are lovely. Start with gently scrambled eggs, topped with crème fraiche and accented with a quenelle of caviar. Or tuna, presented as a "prosciutto" and seared rare inside a pepper crust. Grilled "pizzette" of truffled potato, roasted pepper and Taleggio cheese is a revelation. Braised veal cheeks showcase why they are a chef's favorite. And those are just some of the appetizers. All the dishes are beautifully presented, and the service is graceful. Some of the rooms have too many hard surfaces and are therefore a bit noisy. So ask for a table in the wine room. And don't skip dessert, especially the banana and chocolate pudding, served in stemmed glasses and accented with banana fritters.


    Lee
     
  12. tyger31

    tyger31 Member

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    I couldn't agree with you more on the Italian.....I'm Italian and make everything myself and am VERY picky with Italian restaurants, therefore, I usually don't even bother.
     
  13. tyger31

    tyger31 Member

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    Speaking of restaurants - has anyone heard what restaurants they're building on Waxpool by the Embassy Suites? Looks like they're moving right along, but I don't see any signs yet.
     
  14. southernwalkres

    southernwalkres New Member

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    I believe there is a post on this site saying Five Guys is going to be in that little center.

    We could add that to the Best Burgers list. And the Best Place to Get a Full Bag of Fries list. Greasily delicious! :butthead:
     
  15. tyger31

    tyger31 Member

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    That's one...there are four buildings being built......
     
  16. SarasMom

    SarasMom Member

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  17. smheese

    smheese New Member

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    Local, Tuscarora Mill.. Fabulous food, wine and service.

    Can anyone rec. Italian within 20 miles? pleease..... dying for a decent Italian restaurant in this state...
     
  18. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Our favorite is Zefferelli's in old downtown Herndon (not the one in Leesburg.)
     
  19. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Second that ...

    If you don't mind going into DC and paying half a months wages: Galileo's ...
     
  20. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

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    I agree and so do my italian friends. :)

    Lee J Buividas
     

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