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Denim and Pearls - Chef John Payne's Italian in the Former Iron Bridge Wine Company Space at 29 Main Street, Warrenton

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On 1/16/2015 at 2:57 PM, DonRocks said:

The Bridge was sold, closed on September 5th, renovated, and reopened on December 3rd as "The New Bridge." with owner John Molière and chef Sebastien Agez.

(a new owner + a new name = a new thread)

Thanks to FauquierNow.com for the article.

Annnnd... The New Bridge has closed and  re-re-opened as "Denim and Pearls", a nominally Italian restaurant. The New Bridge team is out (save for the building owner) and Chef John Payne is in. We stopped by for lunch on Monday, and see very little reason to return, sadly. DnP is not ready for prime time.

We ordered fairly simply and were seated to the back of the sparsely populated dining room. Our group ordered a "housemade mozzarella" salad with heriloom tomatoes, basil and balsamic to start, two meatball subs, pasta with meatballs and fettuccine alfredo with flank steak. Our server took our order, brought us drinks, and we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

At the twenty minute mark (for a salad, mind you) we asked our server if the salad would be forthcoming. At this point the lunch could have been rescued by a sympathetic word or an update - basically any interaction. However our server returned about ten minutes later with our full order. One of our group pointed out that we had asked for the salad to start, and was given a shrug in response.

That aside, the mains were pretty solid, save the fettuccine. Meatball subs were a generous portion of pretty light meatballs in a bright tomato sauce, and the spaghetti and meatballs were basically the same, sans bread. Nothing groundbreaking, but acceptable. The fettuccine came topped with three slices of flank steak, cooked far beyond the requested medium rare. The alfredo sauce was fine, but the plate had a coating of balsamic vinegar around the rim and under the sauce. I now know why you rarely see alfredo sauce combined with a heavy dose of balsamic vinegar. Blech. The dish was a total failure.

Between the overcooked steak, long wait and subpar fettuccine I don't see much reason to return until we hear that the ship has been righted, or this location has yet another iteration. Cafe Torino provides a reliable, if atmosphere-less option for Italian-American cuisine in Warrenton.

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It looks like there is a new chef in town:  Rob Szydlowski.  Biz Buzz: New chef and new community theatre leader, April 20, 2018, on fauquiernow.com.  I do like a place that does not close between lunch and dinner service, and they had a small but hardy group of customers enjoying a late lunch on Labor Day around 3pm.  The caprese salad with house made mozzarella, tomato, fresh basil, spring mix, olive oil, and balsamic reduction was more than acceptable (although I do expect more from my tomatoes) and was ably accented with the addition of 5 perfectly seared scallops which turned it from an appetizer into a meal.  I had never heard of a Fusilli Caesar Salad, but sure enough, there it was on the menu.  A Google search reveals this is not as uncommon as I had first assumed.  I thought the ceasar dressing was quite well done but the presence of the fusilli I just found confusing, so I am not fully on board with this trend, if that is what it is.  All in all it was a nice meal, in a warm relaxed setting, with a friendly bartender.  That puts it on my list of places eligible for a return visit.  They also have a Honor Brewing Company tap paying tribute to a local fallen hero.

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10 hours ago, mtureck said:

Denim and Pearls?

They used the Hipster Business Name Generator, didn't they?

A tad pretentious, perhaps.  Per their website:


The actual name is from a Country Song, by Drake White, “Making Me Look Good Again”. There’s a line in the song that goes “leather and lace, denim and pearls, whiskey and wine”. The “denim and pearls” part just stuck with me.

I have never heard of this song.  And nothing about this makes me want to Google it.

The hipster name I generated was:  Empress & Iron.  If I were to own a tailor shop, I would definitely use that.

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