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Lightfoot Restaurant, Old-Town Leesburg - Owners Ingrid and Carrie Gustavson in a Beautiful Old Bank


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It's not bad!

I was just there for lunch today for the first time in about three years - excellent tomato soup and very good cobb salad, spinach salad and lobster pasta were had by all.

With my less-adventurous mother in town for the holidays, we had considered Lightfoot for dinner earlier in the week, but I thought the dinner menu seemed a little expensive and leaning more towards the "meat/sauce/starch/vegetable" format.

But there were few items on the munch menu that didn't intrigue me and the costs were much more in line with what I would expect from a place like this in a town like Leesburg.

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I have only been to Lightfoot once, and it was several years ago. I found that the food was rather convoluted. Each dish had far too many components, and it was only on my first visit to Colvin Run that I found a restaurant that surpassed them in this vice. To make matters worse, they stacked the food and created a garish spectacle of consumables. From what I remember the food was OK, but there were too many elements to get any of them done well. Simplicity and restraint were not buzz words around the kitchen.

Again, it has been several years so things might have changed.

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I have only been to Lightfoot once, and it was several years ago.  I found that the food was rather convoluted.  Each dish had far too many components, and it was only on my first visit to Colvin Run that I found a restaurant that surpassed them in this vice.  To make matters worse, they stacked the food and created a garish spectacle of consumables.  From what I remember the food was OK, but there were too many elements to get any of them done well.  Simplicity and restraint were not buzz words around the kitchen.

Again, it has been several years so things might have changed.

Exactly my experience. While the room is really nice, the food was awfully convoluted - everything was over-sauced, over-stacked, and over-garnished. Maybe it's gotten better in the past year, but we'll not be driving an hour out of the District to find out...
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I remember enjoying a mushroom strudel there a couple years ago. More than that I remember really, really enjoying the homemade chips and dip they served as a bar snack. But I was informed recently that their bar snacks are rotating, so that may or may not be on offer any given night.

"We'll not be driving an hour out of the District" pretty much sums up why we haven't been back either.

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As I added in my post above, the dinner menu reads differently than the lunch menu. I did note a few of those "added elements" in the lunch menu though. For example, a meatloaf sandwich sounded good and interested me, but the addition of a curry mayonnaise seemed a bit like gilding the lilly.

It seems like if you order simply you can do well there.

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My last meal at Lightfoot was a couple of years ago, for dinner, and they served perhaps the single saltiest dish I've ever tasted (the Oysters Rockefeller). Dinner that evening was pleasant, but I'm SO glad I went back for lunch yesterday - the first day of nice weather in recent memory - and got to see the dining room in daylight hours. As many of you know, Lightfoot is a wonderful renovation of an old bank, but the sunlight really makes the darkly wooded room shine.

I can't say I cared for the Grilled Cheese of the Day (overpriced at $14.50), a too-gooey jalapeno-cheddar on homemade cheddar bread, served with a spaghetti-sauce-like spicy tomato bisque that worked well as a dipping sauce, but not as a soup. Our chipper server happily substituted a very good Caesar salad (with anchovy) for the green salad the dish was supposed to come with.

The BLT&C ($11) was the winner of the day, the "C" being an unnecessary slice of Provolone which is nearly undetectable because there's so much smoked bacon on the sandwich. Served on good, thick-cut (homemade?) white toast, this wickedly good BLT came with watercress (which I like on my BLTs, especially when it's softened by something such as Lightfoot's garlic-pepper mayonnaise). The plum tomato was an excellent choice for this February sandwich, served with passable homemade fries and throwaway coleslaw. If you're craving a good BLT, and you find yourself near Leesburg, this is your option.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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My last meal at Lightfoot was a couple of years ago, for dinner, and they served perhaps the single saltiest dish I've ever tasted (the Oysters Rockefeller). Dinner that evening was pleasant, but I'm SO glad I went back for lunch yesterday - the first day of nice weather in recent memory - and got to see the dining room in daylight hours. As many of you know, Lightfoot is a wonderful renovation of an old bank, but the sunlight really makes the darkly wooded room shine.

I can't say I cared for the Grilled Cheese of the Day (overpriced at $14.50), a too-gooey jalapeno-cheddar on homemade cheddar bread, served with a spaghetti-sauce-like spicy tomato bisque that worked well as a dipping sauce, but not as a soup. Our chipper server happily substituted a very good Caesar salad (with anchovy) for the green salad the dish was supposed to come with.

The BLT&C ($11) was the winner of the day, the "C" being an unnecessary slice of Provolone which is nearly undetectable because there's so much smoked bacon on the sandwich. Served on good, thick-cut (homemade?) white toast, this wickedly good BLT came with watercress (which I like on my BLTs, especially when it's softened by something such as Lightfoot's garlic-pepper mayonnaise). The plum tomato was an excellent choice for this February sandwich, served with passable homemade fries and throwaway coleslaw. If you're craving a good BLT, and you find yourself near Leesburg, this is your option.

Cheers,

Rocks.

I'll second the review of the BLT&C. I've had it there twice and it is excellent.

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I'll third the BLT&C review, although I enjoyed the coleslaw, but disliked the overcooked, underseasoned fries. We stopped at Lightfoot on the way home from Harrisburg, PA. We had the fried zucchini, which I really enjoyed, too. The in-season yellow and green veggies were lightly battered and quickly fried to perfection. The feta dipping sauce was OK, but minimally tasted of feta. SWMBO had the "French Onion and Field Mushroom Soup" which she enjoyed but thought it was too rich to finish. Apparently, the molten cheese sunk to the bottom and wasn't very appetizing. The flavor was great, according to the eater. The room was beautiful, but sound traveled oddly and conversations several tables over were louder than the person across the table from me. Weird.

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Mediocre food...poor service....equals expensive meal.

Very disappointed with this place...Tuscarora Mill is much better in Leesburg.

My dinner had no taste...my wife's steak was not cooked the way she wanted....never going back there again.

Jaspreet, your posts are generally on the short side, but they're also quite pleasant - what is it about this meal that repelled you so? I've been here several times, and while I once actually had the single saltiest dish of my life here (Oysters Rockefeller, if I recall), Lightfoot - at least, to me - is unrecognizable based on your review. Could you add a little more supporting detail? I've always found the folks here eager to please - and the building is impressive and lovely.

Cheers,

Rocks

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Have been here twice in the past few months, and both times meals and service were very good.  They have a braised pork shank that is excellent, falls off the bone, moist, and very flavorful.  One of their special salads this evening included bacon, homemade buttermilk dressing, with onions, grilled romaine and marinated tomato with blue cheese pieces.  It was one of the best, more complex salads I have ever had.  The paring with a few bottles of one of Joe Wagner's recent compilations was a great touch. 

They have recently added a banana cotton-candy to their dessert presentation which, along with the banana chocolate bread pudding was perfect.  Service and ambiance was special and the place was packed.  We also enjoyed a perfectly cooked filet with mashed potatoes and a braised short-rib in reduction which was also extremely flavorful and fell apart on the plate.  Perhaps worthy of another trip for the doubters out there, the town of Leesburg and quaintness of the immediate area is a bonus.

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On 1/27/2018 at 11:07 PM, Ferris Bueller said:

Perhaps worthy of another trip for the doubters out there, the town of Leesburg and quaintness of the immediate area is a bonus.

Often overlooked is their above average happy hour food menu.  Nothing mind blowing, but many seem to think of this as a 'special occasion' restaurant, and not in a good way (think Grandma's birthday, etc).  Those honey ham biscuits ($5) are addictive.

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