Last week I told you a little about my weekend getaway to D.C. Wine Country where I stayed in Leesburg, Va. When I’m traveling, I like to support small, independent restaurants that support their local farmers and food producers. Before I went, I researched the restaurants in the area to see if there were any. I found several, and our first night in Leesburg, my friend Susan and I decided to check one of them out.
The Wine Kitchen is in the heart of historic Leesburg. The tagline on its website says Eat, Drink, Simply, and its small menu of local foods and good wines reflected that. This restaurant was hopping on a cold Saturday night at the end of January when several restaurants surrounding it were empty as we walked by.
We sat at the bar where the full menu was available so we didn’t have to wait. Before we ordered food, however, we took a look at the small but impressive wine menu. Each wine was available by the glass but was also paired with two other wines for a flight. There was one flight of local Virginia wines. I’ve noticed that often restaurants that go to great lengths to feature local foods can often neglect the wines of the region. I liked seeing three local wines on the list.
On to the food. It was good. Really good. Susan ordered Parisian herb gnocchi with brussels sprouts, ricotta and a brown butter sauce. I ordered Coq au Vin made from a local chicken with a side of mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, the photos I took with my iPhone didn’t do the food justice, so you’ll just have to believe me when I say that the food looked as appealing as it tasted.
Somehow the Coq au Vin got mixed up with a Croque monsieur sandwich — a yummy thick ham and cheese sandwich. Instead of sending it back to the kitchen to be wasted, we were given the sandwich in addition to our two entrees. Between the two of us, we dove into all three entrees and weren’t disappointed in any of them. Desert came in the form of a cheese platter with one local Virginia cheese next to two other cheeses.
I asked Jason Miller, one of The Wine Kitchen’s owners, about their commitment to local. About half of the items on their menu including all of the chicken, pork, sausage and lamb (when it’s on the menu) are sourced locally. They always are pouring three Virginia wines and often have others available by the bottle.
Jason told me that supporting the local economy is very important to him and his partner. They also feel that local produce, meats and vegetables allow them to serve the freshest and highest quality foods.
We found the prices at The Wine Kitchen quite reasonable and the portion sizes were just enough. We did end up taking some of the cheese with us since we weren’t able to finish it all, and I was pleased to see an eco-friendly to go container handed to us.
If you find yourself visiting D.C. Wine Country, I recommend that you stop into The Wine Kitchen in Leesburg for a satisfying, local meal. If you aren’t a big wine drinker, that’s okay. They had a few beers on the menu, too.
The Wine Kitchen is located at 7 South King Street, Leesburg, Virginia.
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