ISO Local gems in Nova -
I would love to find a few treasured restaurants in Sterling, Reston. Herndon, Leesburg and surrounds.
I'm looking for places for special food and/or good service. Non-chain. I would prefer moderate prices and if possible, places that might cater to dietary salt restrictions.
My favorite cuisines are Italian, American, Seafood, Chinese - and I prefer UNSPICY food to be available.
I'm looking forward to trying your recommendations
El Manantial for lunch is reasonable for what you get - it's Mediterranean in a coastal style.
Other local gems along a similar price range brings up Ice House Cafe in oldtown Herndon, Cafe Montmartre at Lake Anne (great for outdoor dining), and Euro Bistro in Herndon that mainly focuses on German, but they have Italian dishes as well.
American (bar) - Jimmy's in oldtown Herndon makes above average food for what you'd think.
Chinese - not much that's special in this direct area. Seafood - same except for PassionFish which isn't price moderate.
For Italian there's also Zefferelli's, though I've not been (generally it's recommended, but not a Chow destination).
There IS good Thai, Indian, Central American, Kebab houses from different locales.
Hopefully this is a start for you.
Sweetwater Tavern in Sterling. It's part of an excellent group of local restaurants, but not a "chain" in the sense I suspect you mean. The salmon, the jambalaya, the pecan salad, and the hot Aussie rolls are incredible. Enjoy!
3066 Gate House Plz, Falls Church, VA 22042