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The Beer Joint (Formerly Vintage 50), Leesburg - Bankrupt and Closed


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Hi everyone

I went here today for the first time with a friend of mine. I had never even heard of it!

It is on Catoctin Circle and they brew their beer on site. In fact, you can only get their own beer there. They also have a decent sized wine list and I had a Cab from Washington - "14 Hands". The wine was love at first sip. Very smooth and I went to Wegmans afterwards in search of it (not successful, they do not carry it but the "sommelier" mentioned perhaps Total Wine may. (what would you call the wine clerks there? "Clerk" doesn't sound quite right because I'm betting they are quite educated in wines...)

My meal was a lobster/brie grilled cheese sandwich (with pesto spread inside, I believe it was) and a side of roasted tomato soup (also waffle fries). My total bill incl tax and tip was 26 bucks. My friend had their curry chicken salad (grapes, cashews, and a few other items tucked inside) and roasted tomato soup and iced tea. Her bill was perhaps 5 less than mine with tax/ tip. I tasted her chicken salad and it was so good that I wished I had gotten that instead. The lobster grilled brie sandwich was interesting but not stupendous (I think it could have done without the pesto perhaps?).

I would definitely go back here, no question.

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Hi everyone

I went here today for the first time with a friend of mine. I had never even heard of it!

It is on Catoctin Circle and they brew their beer on site. In fact, you can only get their own beer there. They also have a decent sized wine list and I had a Cab from Washington - "14 Hands". The wine was love at first sip. Very smooth and I went to Wegmans afterwards in search of it (not successful, they do not carry it but the "sommelier" mentioned perhaps Total Wine may. (what would you call the wine clerks there? "Clerk" doesn't sound quite right because I'm betting they are quite educated in wines...)

My meal was a lobster/brie grilled cheese sandwich (with pesto spread inside, I believe it was) and a side of roasted tomato soup (also waffle fries). My total bill incl tax and tip was 26 bucks. My friend had their curry chicken salad (grapes, cashews, and a few other items tucked inside) and roasted tomato soup and iced tea. Her bill was perhaps 5 less than mine with tax/ tip. I tasted her chicken salad and it was so good that I wished I had gotten that instead. The lobster grilled brie sandwich was interesting but not stupendous (I think it could have done without the pesto perhaps?).

I would definitely go back here, no question.

"14 Hands" cab is an $11.99/bottle of wine ( http://store.14hands.com/shared/StoreFront...tore=parameters ) that you are going to have a bit of difficulty finding. WineZap (www.winezap.com) and wine-searcher.com show it in Winchester but you can also buy directly from the winery and have it shipped here. This may not be worth it considering its price. I have not tasted it but I am kind of guessing that Columbia Crest Grand Estates may have a bit of similarity while also being at the same price point. http://www.wineaccess.com/store/totalwine-...uct_id=10070892 This is readily available at Total.

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My husband and I went there one evening specifically for the excellent beer selection and we decided to have dinner in their dining room (instead of the bar). We were significantly disappointed in the food ingredient combinations, presentation, and service provided by the staff. People dining next to us ordered the same seafood appetizer and received a completely different looking dish, and they were not happy with the taste either. Our waitress knew little about wines other than her own preferences; not necessarily complemented the food (that really need some help). We were so disappointed and unsatiated, we ordered fries just to have, hopefully, some food on board and even those were underdone. The chef seems way over his head with dinner style menu; possibly the bar food is OK and is his/her forte, we can't say. My recommendations: go for the beer not the food.

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I've been here three times over the last four or five months. I can definitely appreciate a place where I can indulge my fondness for beer and also get something to eat other than wings and potato skins. Vintage 50 tries hard, and doesn't always execute, but I think its place in Leesburg is a welcome addition to the endless chain food that has proliferated during the massive growth of Loudoun county. My husband and I wished on Thursday (when we were there last) that we had something similar in Reston. Tavern on the Lake attempted to be like this (funky bar/lounge atmosphere with small plates, etc) but ultimately failed.

The beer is nothing spectacular but I would certainly put it above Sweetwater's offerings of late. We have tried the mussels (decent - below Beck, Granville, etc but above Clydes and others), ahi tuna salad (very satisfying - comes with glass noodles, soy marinated vegetables, etc), peach marinated grilled shrimp (fresh shrimp, not too sweet sauce), and the four cheese flatbread pizza (was expecting a flatter crust but was still better than most of its ilk and they heeded my "well done" request). I commented that nearly everything I saw going by looked good - pierogies with red pepper cream, pork belly, and s'mores.

I have found the service to be pleasant and earnest each time we've been. We sat outside last week after quite a day of downpours and the staff was very good about ensuring wet cushions were wiped down and no one was forgotten in favor of the packed inside bar.

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I'm not sure if this necessitates a new thread or not but we went to the South Riding outpost, Vintage 51 last night.

It was a rainy night and I would say that the place was about 25 percent full. We arrived around 6:20 ahead of another family we were dining with. We immediately put in an order for an appetizer and a kids meal. When you are dining with a 2 year old, you are on the clock. The other family joined us around 6:40 and we put our dinner order in about 5 minutes later. Our appetizer and kids meal came out around 7:00. Or order came out around 7:20. At that point, my friend's wife had to leave with their son as he was starting to melt down. We wollfed down our food and bailed about 20 minutes after our food arrived, taking most of it home.

The beer:

My friend and I each had the purgatory pilsner. Reasonably priced and tasty.

The food:

My son had the lamb and gnochi kids meal. Hands down the best kids meal we have gotten at a restaurant. He demolished it and what was left did not make it past Mom and Dad. Mom doesn't even normally like lamb.

I got a burger which was solid. It was no Ray's hell burger but I would not mind getting it again. We also had the tater tots as an appetizer which were very good. My wife had the salmon which she enjoyed. The kid's meal came with a scoop of gellato. My son had the blueberry gellato which was "ok".

The service:

Margaret was great. She knew we had kids and were on a clock and did everything she could to speed things up. She was hamstrung by the kitchen which seemed to be understaffed. She also remembered exactly what was ordered and caught that they left the grilled onions off my burger. She got a good tip.

Other tables around us with kids looked stressed and anxious to be receiving their food before their children melted down. Hopefully the kitchen was having a bad night because the food came out slow. 30 minutes for an appetizer seems a little long. If the place was any more full they would have had a problem on their hands.

All in all this was a good place, ideal I think if you were not dining with children. The drink selection, ambiance and food makes it a good alternative to the other South Riding options. If you have kids you may want to consider going elsewhere, coming early, or bringing something to distract them. While the food is good, your kids may not be able to handle the wait.

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Had a second visit on Saturday. Pleased to say that the food came out a lot quicker. The Lamb Gnochi was still excellent. My Duck and my wife's Roast Chicken were both good. If you live in South Riding and are thinking of going to Ruby Tuesday, hit yourself in the head and come here instead.

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