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Found 8 results

  1. My son's baseball schedule has finally stopped, but had us traveling througout VA and beyond this summer. Last weekend saw us heading home from West VA via route 340. In an effort to avoid eating in West Virginia we headed into Berryville to try the rumored Neighborhood Italian Kitchen (NIK) offshoot. For those who are unfamiliar, NIK is probably the best restaurant in Winchester now that One Block West is going away. A strip-mall Italian-American joint that makes it's own mozzarella, cooks everything to order from scratch, and cuts no corners. NIK's Broiler room has opened just off the main strip in Berryville, conveniently located next to the ABC. In addition to the "regular" menu we have come to enjoy from NIK's Winchester, the Broiler room has added a selection of steaks, dry-aged in house. As with the NIK in Winchester, the prices are unbelieveable. $24 for a 20 oz bone in shell steak with your choice of side, and $13.95 for a chicken parm dinner large enough to serve two! While I can't comment on the ingredient sourcing other than to say that (a) mozz is made in house, and (b) suffice to say that the steak isn't wagyu and the chicken isn't green circle I can say that the dishes are made with care. We started with mushrooms oreganata and calamari, both of which were excellent - I prefer the sauteed calamari at NIK's Winchester, but was over-ruled on this order. The oreganata was well balanced between garlic, oregano and parsley - you'll often see versions leaning too heavily on the garlic, but not here. Mains were Rigatoni with Meatballs, Chicken Parm x2 and the 20 oz. shell steak with fries. The Rigatoni and meatballs were enjoyed - the bite i was able to steal impressed me with the brightness of the tomato sauce. The meatballs themselves were large but relatively light - I would guess a ground beef and pork sausage mix. The chickens parm were also excellent - the very same bright tomato sauce worked as well as a topping as it did in a more starring role with the rigatoni. Finally, my son inhaled the 20 oz shell steak, which came cooked to the requested medium rare, and with a generously charred exterior. The fries were potato wedges, and seemed to be made in house vs. the frozen variety. We were far too full to contemplate dessert, and left with basically an entire chicken parm dinner ready for the following day. The wine "list" is short and unremarkable, however they do have at least three offerings from Winchester's Escutcheon Brewing Co on tap, so I'd lean in that direction. We will be back.
  2. One Block West - A wonderful dining experience. While the service had some hiccups and the wine pairing pours were barely enough to scrape through the course, I would absolutely return and do the tasting menu again. It was $65 plus $45 for the pairings. First: salmon three ways - tartar, smoked and roe. A little over olive oily. I do not eat sushi but ate the tartar and smoked pieces nonetheless. Quite tasty. Second: drum over crisp razor thin bean slices with a sweet potato puree. OMG this was phenomenal. The whole combo just worked wonderfully. Third: Rabbit wrapped in prosciutto with feta and spinach over squash puree. Not a big feta fan, thought it was a bit overwhelming, but this was also very good. Fourth: Sausage with a sauerkraut eggroll. It really wasn't an eggroll, but it was wrapped in cabbage. (My wonderful german mother who fed us pork and saurkraut every new years day as what I thought was punishment for coming home drunk the night before would flip if she heard me say this) The saurkraut was amazing! It was not vinegary, which is how I grew up hating, I mean eating, it, but very sweet. Went tremendously well with the sausage. (edited to add this correct description of the dish) Fifth: Bourbon sorbet. Yum, yum, yum. Sixth: Lamb. Tender, flavorful, delicious. Seventh: Dessert. I didn't write it down, so I don't remember. I do remember eating the whole thing and being pissed b/c it was so good but I was full but I couldn't stop eating it. (edited again - clearly should have looked at the website before I wrote this. This was f-ing awesome. This place is absolutely worth the trip from DC. We stayed at the Wyndham right there in town. 2 blocks from the walking district, very convenient and only about 120 bucks. (although based on the aforementioned pairing pour sizes, I certainly would not have been nervous about driving back if it was required). I read great things about One Block West and am happy to report that the food was incredibly good. Oh, they had a person playing accoustic guitar in the dining room during dinner, which was quite nice. I wish this place was closer to home. We also walked around and stopped into the pub (Union something I think). Friendly people and staff, excellent beer selection and wines by the glass.
  3. We had a wonderful dinner at a new place in Winchester, eM Restaurant, which is a block off the Pedestrian Mall. It's very small, under 40 seats, with a 5 stool bar area and reminds me of the chic noveau Old Town Alexandria restaurants both in style and quality. We went on a Friday evening with an early reservation and by the time we left at 7:30 it was packed. The wait staff was attentive but not intrusive. We started with drinks...my wife had a cocktail named "Sitting by the Campfire" which was a mix of Godiva liqueur and marshmellow vodka, an incredible chocolate grahamcracker dust on the rim, and finished with flaming marshmellow that was so good she had another during dinner, a rare event. I started with an Anchor Steam beer and moved to a Samuel Smith chocolate stout for the meal...two favorite brewers of mine that I was shocked they carried. Normally we'd have wine with dinner and reviewing the list, it is a small, but smart, selection of wines designed to complement the food. The menu changes daily. We started with a cheese, sprigs, and sun dried tomato flatbread that was delicious. My wife had the vegetarian eggplant cannelloni with assorted vegetables and ricotta cheese that was a taste treat. I had the Angus filet, which was a beautiful piece of meat seared to perfection with a touch of salt and spice, then covered with a delicious reduction that enhanced the flavors. We ended the meal with a maple creme brulee that was out of this world. I tasted it the entire 40 minute trip back home. Chef Will Mason has created a masterpiece in Winchester. There aren't many places in the Valley, apart from the Inn at Little Washington, I know I'm going back to. This is one of them.
  4. Any suggestions for a Saturday lunch in Winchester VA? Last time we were there we ate at One Block West but it's not open for Saturday lunch, only Sunday Brunch. TIA
  5. Stopped in 50/50 Taphouse recently. Large place near the south end of the pedestrian mall, bar area was doing decent business at a Saturday lunchtime. The deal here is that they have 50 taps (more than 50 now, actually), and 50 burgers. The beer list tended towards high-ABV stuff that I wasn't in a position to drink at the time, so I went with an Avery White Rascal, which I'm not sure I'd ever had on tap before and had a noticeable alcohol character that I don't remember from the canned version, and a Civil Life American Brown, which I liked. Both were about $1 cheaper than standard DC-area prices. The "50 burgers" thing sounded gimmicky given that any place with a standard list of toppings will have more than 50 permutations, but they do in fact have 50 burgers that aren't just combinations of the same small group of toppings. The 50/50 Burger ($11) was a little busy (cheese and cheese sauce together?) but an okay bar burger. They have a few "extreme" burgers on their menu that get up to $20. Friendly bartenders. Not knowledgeable about the Winchester dining scene at all, but I'd rate this a solid beer and burger joint. Speaking of beer, the Wal-Mart in Winchester had a nice display featuring Virginia craft beers--I never go to Wal-Mart locally, is this a standard thing? Picked up a six-pack of Brothers Good Adweiss (Hefeweizen) for the hot days to come.
  6. Just saw this article in The Winchester Star about a new place of interest in my old hometown.... "The Tropical Island Coffee and Cafe features Blue Mountain coffees, Jamaican cuisine, and an owner who runs his business on traditional 'island time' Island Getaway by Mary Huntsberry
  7. Welcome! Why not start a new thread and tell us about some of the restaurants in Winchester? --- The following posts have been split into separate threads: One Block West (lggl) eM Restaurant (pizzler)
  8. Middletown I wanted to share a great place from last weekend. The Inn at Vaucluse Spring is in Middletown, VA about 20-30 min north of Front Royal and the northern entrance to Shenandoah Natl Park/Skyline Drive. While the Inn has very elegant and comfortable rooms in a beautiful setting, my wife and I were very pleasantly surprised at the wonderful meals we had there. The innkeepers Barry and his wife Neil (who does most of the cooking) are very friendly and use great local and fresh seasonal ingredients to make 3 course breakfasts and Friday supper and Saturday dinner. The breakfasts begin fresh squeezed OJ and a "bread" like blueberry scones or zucchini bread with cinnamon/sugar butter. Followed by a fruit course that included ambrosia mix of melons. Then a "hot entree" of gourmet crossaint with heavy cream and peaches or potato and cheese frittata. I'm not doing these entrees justice as they were very creative and presented beautifully. The dinners began first courses like fresh corn and chipotle soup, mozzarella and tomatos from their garden, simple portabello mushrooms on spinach with balsamic dressing and red onions. The Friday main course was a nice grilled rare flank steak with corn seasoned with cilantro and paired with a homey, roast potato salad with scallions. The saturday dinner was almond crusted halibut with watermellon salsa (fresh dice, not gooey sauce) rice medley and another side I can't remember. The desserts were great too taking advantage of late summer peach season. Individual peach cobblers topped with vanilla ice cream and a vanilla bombe with praline crisps inside drizzled with fresh peach sauce. We stayed for 3 nights and we were upset when I found out they don't serve dinner on Sunday night (just friday and saturday). In addition to spectacular countryside only 2 hours from DC, these were great eats!
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