Monday, September 6, 2010
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The Best Loudoun Beer and Music Scene - Vintage 50 (Leesburg) and 51 (South Riding)
The past 12 years here in the Rt. 50 Corridor/Dulles South exurbia area of Northern Virginia's Loudoun County have been an exercise in waiting - waiting for a real local music scene, waiting for decent restaurants, waiting for more upscale martini bars and brewpubs, waiting for the traffic, schools and economy to improve....Basically, waiting for the Dulles South region (Eastern Loudoun, Western Fairfax and Western Prince William counties) to evolve its entertainment, retail and cultural offerings in the same manner as the Dulles North area already has (i.e. Ashburn).
The wait's over, finally - at least for those in the Chantilly/South Riding area who enjoy professional and local live music, handcrafted and locally-sourced classic American meals in an "urban lounge" setting, and a spectacular selection of custom martinis, Loudoun wines and regional craft beers not seen to date this side of Rt. 15 and the Dulles Toll Road.
Vintage 51 Restaurant and Brew Lounge fully opened recently in South Riding's Market Square, at the intersection of Rt. 50 and the Loudoun County parkway. Vintage 51 is an extension of the very popular Vintage 50 Brew Lounge in Leesburg, already voted one of "Loudoun's hottest new restaurants".
Loudoun's Best Beer
While Vintage 51 in South Riding is currently unable to serve handcrafted brews created over at its own Leesburg microbrewery, it does serve an inspired selection of wines, custom martinis and cocktails, and a huge selection of great beers (in the spirit of the Northern Virginia Brewfest series) from breweries including Clipper City, Flying Dog, and Dogfish Head. We purchased our own custom "Vintage Growler" with Bell's Two-Hearted Ale for some Thanksgiving cheer...
Loudoun's Finest Wines
For the Loudoun wine lovers, the Vintage 50/51 restaurant wine bars offer over 200 wines by the glass or bottle - ranging from international to very local Loudoun winery selections including Chrysalis and Fabbioli Cellars.
Loudoun's Best Live Music
The live music scene in Loudoun County and Dulles South is dramatically improved with the addition of Vintage 51 live performers and local music events weekdays and weekends. We'll provide a lot more information on this Dulles South/Loudoun music scene shortly - last night at Vintage 51, for example, we thoroughly enjoyed the smooth, reggae-infused, heavily-improvised acoustic rock classics by Purcellville's own Miguel Aubertin, a popular favorite and regular around the Loudoun vineyard and Vintage 50 music venues. Sample his music at http://www.myspace.com/miguelandros09.
Loudoun's Hottest New Restaurant
The Vintage 50 and Vintage 51 menus are a savory collection of locally-raised beef, lamb, pork and wild fowl dinners, fresh seasonal vegetables, herbs, fruits and cheeses, creative seafood appetizers, and classically modern, innovative New American comfort food. The "Made in Loudoun" initiative is clearly in play here - from the delicious lunch sandwiches with local ingredients and handmade sauerkraut, to organic meat entrees made with local ingredients from Loudoun's own organic farm at the Fields of Athenry.
Check out the new Loudoun and Dulles South restaurant, brew lounge and live music scene now on a regular basis - in South Riding.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
New Brewery in Southern Maryland - the Ruddy Duck!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Dulles South Chicken Wing Wars
We ordered twice; same results both times (aside from the blue cheese - read below).
1 - The chicken wings themselves were nice and big, lots of meat
2 - The selection of sauces was very good, per the menu, with coconut, cajun, tai and other great options
3 - The price was reasonable - a "sampler" of 5 different kinds for little more than $20.
4 - We ordered the "hottest" wings they had (Buffalo 3 - "off the chart") - these weren't hot by anybody's standards or off anybody's "chart", even by the most temperate, bland, Northern Virginia standards. We really like extra hot and spicy wings - we had to actually mix our own hot sauce at home (tabasco and butter) for dipping.
5 - Extras - our first order (confirmed by others), we got a paltry dipping cup with a dab of blue cheese (along with the celery); only enough for about 2 wings. We asked for more, and the Manager complied (for $1.50) with 2 dipping cups - but no celery. Must be growing pains.
6 - The wings were all very slightly under-cooked; not that they were pink or anything, but could've been a little hotter, a little crisper, a little more well-done for perfect chewing and dipping enjoyment.
On to the next!
Friday, March 21, 2008
South Riding's Ruby Tuesday's
Altogether, a reasonably comfortable and tasty outing for a big family, easy to get in, and easy to find good things to eat.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Vintage 50 Leesburg - Beers and Kids for Dinner
Having, in three days, experienced both the Adults side (a Modern Moms Magazine outing on Thursday night) and Family side (with the kids at 5PM on a Sunday), there's truly nothing to disappoint. Here's the rundown:
- Darn good beers, made onsite - simply walking through the restaurant's malt and hops-laced air was reward enough - after the sampler, our favorite's the "point of rocks pale ale", followed closely by a not-too-bitter "E.S.B. Extra Special Bitter" and an extra-alcoholic "Angels Share". Worth the trip, by themselves, solidly taking the top positions in the ongoing Loudoun's Best Beers survey.
- Appetizers - very tasty, well presented (though perhaps a bit conservative in volume, for a microbrewery) - Crispy Chili Pepper Shrimp, Sausage stuffed Calamari and a really good Tuna Tartar set the stage.
- We only had one entree (just the beers and appetizers were so good), the Asiago Stuffed Baby Tortellini - very well done, not too heavy with cream, and with lightly-cooked roasted peppers and squashes.
- Kid's menu, typical chicken tenders, waffle fries and honey mustard sauce, plus a kids cheese pizza (which was, though delicious to me, a bit exotic to our kid's sensitive palates, with the plump tomatoes and all)
- Kid's drinks and entertainment - this is where few adult-family crossover restaurants get it right - drinks with lids and straws (saving the close-call spills), and the highlight of the night...."super doodlers" (plastic drawing pads with instant erase, far less messy and more entertaining than typical crayons and paper). We actually got to sample 5 different beers while the kids entertained themselves
- Dessert - the "Winter Sundae" - warm, chocolate truffle brownies with select Giffords ice cream and fruit sauces - 4 chunks for 4 kids and lots of finger-licking goodness
- Very nice, attentive, polite and knowledgeable waitress plus Anthony, the owner, never out of eyesight with lots of extra help as needed.
- French-press coffee (after the last drop of beer was put away) - nice touch.
Altogether a very satisfying outing with lots of return visits to come.