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Dec 30, 2010 05:15 AM

Top Loudon County Picks -- 2010

The local newspaper in Loudon, The Loudon Times, by writer Rebekah Pizana, has the "top" restaurants and entrees of 2010 in a recent article. I thought it might interest those of you who live in or travel to Loudon. I provide EXCERPTS below. (addresses are in the article).

Here is the link:
Ms. Pizana writes:

"Comfort food tops the charts. Thanks to votes from many of my readers, I was able to put together this list of the top five new eateries of 2010 in Loudoun and top five favorite entrees to order from seasoned restaurants. The final choices came directly from the number of votes each restaurant received from readers."

Top five new restaurants of 2010

1.Windy City Red Hots (Leesburg
)Leesburg’s favorite new lunch stop. ........A Vienna Beef hot dog is served in a steamed poppy seed bun and covered with yellow mustard, green relish, onions, tomato wedges, a kosher-style pickle spear, spicy sport peppers and a dash of celery salt all for under $3.00.

2.Ford’s Fish Shack (Ashburn)
...... Readers favorites include the lobster roll, crabcake sandwich, Maine chips, and fish and chips. ......

3.Palio Ristorante (Leesburg)
[Opened in January 2010 with] gorgeous renovations to the historic building and imported Italian décor. A favorite their Sunday brunch and the Cavallino bar, with..... tapas and a full bar throughout the day. [There is] a large inventory of wines, with more than 90 percent Italian.

4.Blue Ridge Grill (Brambleton)
Royale with Cheese. Barbecue Baby Back Ribs. Simply Grilled Salmon. .... next to Fox Cinemas ..... The new menu offers reduced prices and a few more bar food favorites.

5.Sal’s New York Bar and Grill (Leesburg)
Prior to landing a restaurant front in downtown Leesburg, Sal’s claim to fame was its New York style thin-crust pizza in Broadlands. Not too thick and not too thin, the airy crust is served thin or Sicilian style....

Reader’s top five favorite entrees

1.Coq au Vin at The Wine Kitchen (Leesburg)
With the motto “Eat, Drink, Simply” locals flock to The Wine Kitchen to enjoy the latest wine flight and a plate of Coq au Vin ($14): the chef prepares this succulent chicken from Upperville’s Ayrshire Farm ......

2.Gloucestershire Old Spot Pork Loin at Hunter’s Head Tavern (Upperville)
This English pub-style restaurant serves pub fare, fine cuisine, and homemade desserts. Hunter’s Head pork is organic local meat harvested from the neighboring Ayrshire Farm, an award-winning farm which raises only Certified Humane Raised and Handled® animals. .......Ayrshire was also a winner at this year’s COCHON 555 competition in Washington, D.C.

3.Copper Ridge Beef Tenderloin at Vintage 50 (Leesburg)
....all-American favorites with a seasonal menu and local ingredients. ......[the] beef tenderloin recipe is served with a potato-turnip gratin, autumn root vegetables and spiced squash puree, the Copper Ridge raised beef entrée is $26. .....[Also mentioned prominently: beef tenderloin, house-made pumpkin ale, Sunday “bottomless brunch."]

4.Wood-fired Firecracker Pizza at Fireworks (Leesburg)
..... Nitrate free pepperoni, red onions, kalamata olives, cheese, organic tomato sauce and crushed red pepper top a wood-fired thin crust pizza. Just $11 for a regular and $17 for a large pizza, enjoy with a glass of Bells Two Hearted IPA on draft ($6).

5.New York Style Buffalo Wings at Main Street Wings & Grill (Purcellville)
.....Main Street cooks them in peanut-oil... and has about 20 different homemade sauce variations...... all-you-can-eat on Wednesdays for $14.95. Also a customer favorite: half-price burgers on Thursdays.

Honorable Mention:

Market Table Bistro (Lovettsville)
Lansdowne Resort’s Jason Lage comes to Lovettsville with this destination-style restaurant...... Partnering with local growers, farmers, vintners and culinary artisans, Market Table puts together a seasonal farm-to-table menu.


I personally want to mention the Catoctin Creek Distillery as a spot to visit in the area, too. I have a bottle of their Pear Brandy on hold at ABC for me today, in fact!


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  1. Thanks alka -- interesting to see that Ms. Pizana is still around. She started writing for the Loudoun Times when she was a student at Patrick Henry College. Not the greatest reviewer -- I see from the Loudoun Times web site that her previous review was of PF Changs at Dulles Towne Center and the one before that was of Buffalo Wings; but I guess in LoCo you gotta review what's here -- but I'm glad to see she has apparently chosen food over politics. 8>D

    On a more substantive note, I'll certainly second Windy City Red Hots and Blue Ridge Grill. As for Ford's Fish Shack, we noticed it yesterday when visiting the Ashburn Ice House (which has surprisingly good pizza inside -- Pomodoro's), and I'm glad to see it looks promising. We might try it tomorrow, in fact.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bob W

      is your pomodoro's related to the one in fairfax town center? just had their pizza on wednesday. i love it and the stromboli. mmmmm. do they make their own sausage and ricotta, i wonder?

      i haven't been to loudon in a long while. last time, we ate at what was a former bank on the town square in leesburg. it was pretty inside -- and good food as i recall.... don't know the name.

      1. re: alkapal

        That's Lightfoot. Haven't tried it, but it gets generally good marks.

        As for Pomodoro's, gotta be related. The signage is the same.

        There's actually a whole buncha interesting eateries along the Waxpool-Farmwell-Ashburn Farm corridor now, such as Ford's Fish Shack (see below). Things could be a lot worse around here. It's a shame Sorrento Grill closed (dispute with landlord that closed several other eateries in the same plaza) but there are plenty more places to try.

        1. re: Bob W

          Make Lightfoot your next big nice meal out. It's great.

          1. re: Bob W

            The Sorrento Grill in Herndon is still open though. A favorite

      2. Shame on the reviewer for ignoring anything in Sterling, which has both the excellent Passionfish, and the frightening Thai by Thai. (I say frightening because the listing from the reviewer did not include anything more exotic than Italian-American.) There's also Taste of Burma in Sterling/Dulles Town Center.

        8 Replies
        1. re: PollyG

          PassionFish is not in Sterling or Loudoun County. It is in Reston Town Center, in Fairfax County, albeit not terribly far from Sterling.

          1. re: PollyG

            i didn't get the sense that she was presenting herself as a restaurant or food reviewer, but more a reporter on a readers' poll.

            1. re: alkapal

              Yes, this was a recap of readers' votes, not a review of any of the named restaurants.

              But, I am pleased to report that we just got back from a very good meal at Ford's Fish Shack. The lobster roll was really good, as were the fried clams and calamari, but the real standout for me was the daily catch -- swordfish. A nice thick piece, grilled to juicy perfection.

              The service was excellent -- our main (I originally typed Maine LOL) server's parents hail from a town in RI that adjoins the one I grew up in, so we had a very good rapport. The co-owner also stopped by to chat and told us that a review was coming out in the Wash Post -- I just read it and I think it's spot on. Two stars. Expect mobs.

              Considering we first even learned of this place when we drove by it on Wednesday, I'm quite pleased. With this place, the Dock in Landsdowne, and the soon-to-open Catch 52 in South Riding, we have a nice collection of mid-price, locally owned seafood joints.


              1. re: Bob W

                i wish we had some good mid-price seafood places here in arlington or nearby.

            2. re: PollyG

              Polly, are you thinking of Hooked in Sterling?

              1. re: PollyG

                Is there anything in Sterling or Ashburn that is not a chain restaurant?

                1. re: BlueRidgePro

                  I just posted on this thread about Ford's Fish Shack in Ashburn.

                  1. re: Bob W

                    Going to try Fords this weekend. The Ashburn/Sterling area needs more unique restaurants like this and fewer plastic fast-food chains like the ones springing up in every new strip-mall.