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Lightfoot or Tuscarora for nice dinner in Leesburg?

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My wife and I are staying at the Landsdowne Resort on Sunday night and their own formal restaurant is not open on Sundays. So where should we go for a nice dinner as part of her Christmas present? I'm framing it as a battle of the traditional favorites in Leesburg, but if there's something else besides Lightfoot or Tuscarora that will blow us away, please feel free to add it to the discussion. Thanks!

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  1. It's been years since I've been to Lightfoot, but I've always had good experiences at Tuscarora Mill. I like the ambiance and the food has always been good, but not great. A bonus for me is their beer selection, it's great!!!!

    4 Replies
    1. re: sbouldin

      This probably won't help Scott at all, but I've never been to Tuscarora and have always enjoyed Lightfoot! :D

      1. re: anni

        Well, that's one vote for each. Anyone else? Also, anyone have any other suggestions? I've seen good reveiws of Vintage 50, the beer/wine bar...what's the atmosphere like? I don't mind casual, but don't want loud/bar-like.

        1. re: Scott in Shaw

          Well, we really enjoy Lightfoot but haven't been to Tuscarora. So I'm not sure that counts as a vote, exactly. But I don't think you'd be disappointed if you choose Lightfoot. The food is excellent and the atmosphere interesting and attractive. (It's in an elegant old bank building.)

          1. re: chriscatva

            I think Lightfoot is more a Christmas present kind of place. The seating at Tuscarora Mill can be cramped and overall the place isn't too exciting looking, same for the food. I think Lightfoot is a great looking place with good ambience, space between the tables, a good bar (stop by for a drink and the house made free goodies before you are seated) and good, if not great food.

    2. I live in Leesburg, and have been to both frequently. You will have a great dinner at either. I think Tuskie's dishes are a bit more adventurous/unusual while Lightfoot is a bit more traditional/expected. Lightfoot may have the edge on decor.

      A third choice I'd suggest if you're looking for a classic, quiet and romantic spot is the Eiffel Tower Cafe.

      Really comes down to the food you and your wife enjoy. All three places have menus posted on their web sites:
      http://www.tuskies.com/
      http://www.lightfootrestaurant.com/
      http://www.eiffeltowercafe.com/

      4 Replies
      1. re: Elizabeth E.

        Elizabethe E., a really interesting, incisive post. Totally agree with your perspectives. Scott, you also have a third alternative about ten minutes towards D. C.: L'Auberge Chez Francois. (i.e. route 7 to the turn for Great Falls then left on Springdale road-literally ten minutes or so from where you will be staying.) I was critical of it for Thanksgiving but, overall, for a Christmas present it would, indeed, by special when they are not trying to run several hundred people through on a holiday. I think you'll find the age range to be considerably younger than what I wrote about. It really will feel like Christmas there. You may have a problem getting in on short notice-it is VERY popular and you would have to have an early Sunday dinner.

        1. re: Joe H

          Thanks for all of the suggestions and advice, everyone! I've made a reservation at Lightfoot and will check back in to let other Chowhounds know what we thought. We have a bit of French food fatigue right now, so it came down to the two original options. Both menus looked good to me, but my wife loves prime rib so I'm hoping it will be available Sunday at Lightfoot. Plus we have a fondness for graphic art (Cappiello!), so Lightfoot looked like a really cool space. Thanks again!

          1. re: Scott in Shaw

            Just to close the loop on this...

            We went to Lightfoot on Sunday night. We arrived early and had a drink at the bar before being led to a wonderfully romantic table directly in front of a roaring fireplace. The whole restaurant was decorated for Christmas and it was beautiful. Our waiter was friendly and helpful. We snatched up the last lamb shank special at his suggestion and also ordered a pork chop special. Both were delicious. The pork came with a bread pudding-like side that had sausage, broccoli and cheddar cheese -- it was amazing. The sweet potato and garlic fries were okay. The salads were impressive; mine was a special with walnuts, pears, bacon and some sort of honey mustard-y dressing.

            All in all, it was exactly what I was looking for and made for the perfect special evening with my wife.

            1. re: Scott in Shaw

              I'm so glad to read this! :)