Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Leesburg

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill is one of the newer dining spots in Leesburg.  Opened in 2011 in the Village at Leesburg, this is a chain restaurant based out of Charlotte, NC, but it is so comfortable, cozy and a touch upscale that it doesn’t feel like a run-of-the-mill chain.  The hardwood fired grill lends a smoky aroma and the decor is warm and relaxing. Check out the colorful wall of liquor bottles at the “firebar” and the impressive wall of wine bottles in the main dining area….wow!   Firebirds in Leesburg has a relatively compact menu which leaves the restaurant to concentrate on what it does best…wood fire grilled specialties with a southwest flair.   Open for lunch and dinner at 1607 Village Market Blvd. Leesburg, VA 20175

Los Tios Grill, Leesburg

Though Los Tios Grill is tucked away on the lower level of the Market Station complex in Leesburg, this gem of a restaurant offers some of the best South American cuisine around.  It is tempting to put Los Tios Grill into the “Mexican food” category but doing so would be a disservice to the varied menu which steps beyond the traditional burritos, fajitas and chimichangas.  Los Tios Grill not only offers up the standard fare, and does it quite well, but their menu also features a large selection of traditional El Salvadorean dishes that the friendly wait staff is all too happy to tell you all about, and encourage you to try.  Feel confident about trying something new on the meMapnu, you won’t be disappointed.  Along with the friendly & helpful staff, the atmosphere of the restaurant is cozy and warm – the perfect place to hang out with friends.  Prices are reasonable, portions are generous and the food is quite good.  Los Tios is located in down-town Leesburg near the Loudoun County government center at 201 Harrison Street Southeast, Leesburg, VA 20175.

#86 Dinner Theatre at Grandale Farm Restaurant

Open since 2005, Grandale Farm Restaurant offers elegant farm-to-table dining on a 30-acre historic farm in Neersville.  Serving “Amercan Haute Cuisine”, everything served is prepared fresh from scratch and the food is sourced locally whenever possible.  With 80% of the produce grown on the farm, Grandale Farm is a wonderful place to experience the finest Loudoun has to offer.  In addition to the superb local cuisine, Grandale Farm specializes in weddings, catering, and hosting special events.  One of those special events, coming this spring 2011, is Dinner Theatre featuring Run Rabbit Run Theatre’s production of “The Importance of Being Earnest”.  Playing on selected dates from April 29 – May 15, the event will include the performance and gourmet buffet in Grandale Farm’s Assembly Hall.  Check www.rrrtheatre.org for details of the talented local performers, including Maddy Curtis, who will be headlining the production.  For reservations, call Grandale Farm at 540-668-6000 or visit www.GrandaleFarm.com.  Ticket are $45 per person and include gratuity.  Seating is limited and early reservations are recommended.  Grandale Farm  encourages visitors to enjoy strolling the acreage at the farm so leave time before or after the show to experience the peaceful scenery of western Loudoun County.

 

 

#85 Happy Mardi Gras!

My how time flies!  Mardi Gras is upon us and tomorrow begins the 40 days of Lent before the Easter season.  Regardless of your religious views, embrace the tradition and enjoy some pancakes tonight at one of the local churches or even IHop in Leesburg or Sterling!  Or perhaps you’ve got a taste for some cajun?  The Cajun Experience in Leesburg and Purcellville serves up cuisine from southern Louisiana including but not limited to the ever popular po’ boy, yummy gumbo, fresh beignets and Abita beer.

Wondering what the fuss is all about?  Check out this wiki article that tells everything you ever wanted to know about the interesting and colorful festival that is Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday!

#79 Blue Ridge Grill, Leesburg & Brambleton

Forgive this poster for another food post this week.   It must be something about the winter weather and thoughts of comfort food!   Have you tried the great American cuisine at the Blue Ridge Grill in Leesburg and in Brambleton?   If not, you may be one of the few locals who hasn’t.   The Blue Ridge Grill is nothing new to most locals and acccording to the BRG website, they’ve been “voted Loudoun County’s favorite casual dining establishment five years in a row. As we’ve observed the restaurant to be full at both locations any given night of the week and lunchtime too, we’re inclined to agree!   But, don’t let the full house deter you.  BRG offers call-ahead seating to minimize your wait.

In this land-of-many-dining-choices, what brings in the customers?  The great food, of course, the conscientious wait staff and the casual, yet classy atmosphere.   At the flagship location in Leesburg, just off Edwards Ferry Road, fly fishers and outdoor enthusiasts will delight in the outdoorsman-themed photography that lines the walls.   Closer to Brambleton?   This 2nd more modern location, in the Brambleton Town Center, offers more square footage of dining space but serves up all the BRG favorites!  BRG is known for its crab cakes and 1/2 price wine nights (Monday in Leesburg, Tuesday in Brambleton).  Check out the website for upcoming menu specials and directions.

#78 Thai by Thai, Sterling

OK, so we like Thai food here.   If you’ve been followinig our blog, you might have seen our other post about Thai Pan in Leesburg.   Well, if you like Thai too, here’s another delightful restaurant to try in Loudoun, Thai by Thai!   Thai by Thai is located in Sterling and its unassuming location in a strip mall just off Rt. 7 might cause many to miss it but this little gem is worth finding and trying.  Despite this being an “order at the counter and seat yourself” type of place, it is beyond expectations.   Order at the counter, take a seat and then enjoy your food delivered to your table.   The food is surprisingly good and the portions are generous and the decor is clean and hip.    We did notice during our meal that a few people entered, sat down at a table and then left after not being waited on.   Unfortunately for them, they did not realize you have to order and pay for your food up front.    Don’t make the same mistake and don’t miss out on some good Thai food right in Sterling.   Thai by Thai is located near IHop and the international food market at 46930 Cedar Lake Plaza, Sterling, VA 20164.

#77 Celebrate Chinese New Year at Jasmine, Leesburg

Welcome to the year of the Rabbit!   Looking for great local Chinese cuisine to celebrate Chinese New Year?  Look no further than Jasmine Chinese Cuisine & Sushi in downtown Leesburg.  Not only does Jasmine feature a full menu of traditional Chinese entrees and chef’s specials but they also have an impressive sushi and sashimi bar.  Enjoy carry-out or eat-in in the cozy yet spacious dining room with exposed wooden beams.    A large window looks into the kitchen and if you prefer, you can watch the chefs in action as they prepare your food.   Jasmine keeps a good list of wines to enjoy along with your meal and the staff are always friendly.   Jasmine is located on the ground level of the Tuscarora Mill complex at the just off  Loudoun Street at 110 South Street, Leesburg, VA 20175.   Gung Hay Fat Choy!  (“Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year!”

110 South Street

Leesburg, VA 20175

#67 Thai Pan Restaurant, Leesburg

Thai Pan Restaurant is Leesburg’s quirkly little secret spot for good Thai food.  Where is it, you may ask?  In down-town Leesburg in the Liberty Gas station.   Yes, you read that correctly, at the gas station.   Much of charm of Thai Pan derives from the improbable location so don’t let the location keep you from trying it out.  Enter the  restaurant from the side of the small brick building and enjoy your meal in the comfy-cozy dining room.  Just be warned the door between the restaurant and the convenience store usually stays open as the staff are busy running both.  Despite double-duty, the staff is friendly, service is prompt, and they do a good job of remembering their regular customers.  Prefer not to dine-in?  Thai Pan does a brisk take out business as well.  In spite of the location with the view of the gas pumps and the convenience store, whatever magic is going on in the little kitchen is working well to produce some very enjoyable Thai food.  Save room for dessert:  The mango sticky rice, when mangos are in season, is not to be missed.

Located at Liberty gas station, 2 Harrison Street, Leesburg near the Historic District.    Check out the reviews on Yelp.com

#64 The Wine Kitchen, Leesburg

One of the most talked-about restaurants in Leesburg’s Historic District of late is the Wine Kitchen wine bar on King Street.   The Wine Kitchen serves a “seasonal American bistro menu [highlighting]  the bountiful resources found in and around our region, from wine to meats and produce.” Specializing in flights of wine, the Wine Kitchen has a large selection of wines from many different regions.  Order any one of the themed flights and it will be accompanied by take-home cards with information about each wine, the vintage, and a few words about what the staff thinks of the wine.  The descriptions are  quite creative, amusing and surprisingly spot-on.

The restaurant’s quaint atmosphere with exposed vintage brick, vintage-looking lighting and soft music provide a warm, inviting interior.  Given the restaurant’s location in a historic building, space is at a premium, however.   There is not a lot of seating for larger parties so be prepared to wait a bit on busy nights.    Check out their website at http://www.thewinekitchen.com for details on current wine offerings, menu items, and specials.  Tried a wine there and can’t remember what it was?   Check their website for the downloadable wine list.   Loved the wine you just tried at the Wine Kitchen?   Take home a bottle at $10 off the price listed on the menu.  Like to research before you dine?  There are a number of great reviews online at Yelp.com

Located at 7 South King Street, Leesburg, VA 20175     (703) 777-9463

#60 Dinner & a Movie @ Brambleton Town Center

Looking for a night out with dinner and a large choice of first-run movies?  Brambleton Town Center, at the crossroads of Loudoun County Parkway/Ryan Road and Belmont Ridge Road, has the answer.  Just minutes from many communities in Loudoun, Brambleton boasts what is arguably the best movie theater in Loudoun, Brambleton’s Regal Fox Cinemas multiplex.  Fox features 16 theaters of comfortable stadium seating, a choice-filled concession stand, bathrooms around every corner, and ample covered parking in the close-by garage.  Before or after the movie, enjoy any number of restaurants just steps from the theater, including Loudoun’s ever-popular Blue Ridge Grill, the new Caliente Mex-Sea Kitchen & Bar, or a casual burger & fries at Johnny Rockets.   Staying for dessert or coffee?  There’s a Cold Stone Creamery and Starbucks nearby too!

Brambleton Town Center is located at 22875 Brambleton Plaza, Ashburn, VA 20148.