Masticator Extraordinaire: Favorite Dining Spots Near Home October 17, 2007Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.
masticate: to grind or crush (food) with or as if with the teeth : CHEW
(Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)
…and I bet you thought I was being dirty!
Because I love food and eating out so much, I thought I’d give a rundown of my favorite local dining spots (in no particular order).
Mike’s American Grill
Love, love, love their crab & corn chowder. Make sure you time your visit accordingly because they only serve this soup on specific days. Salads typically sound so drab, but I just can’t get enough of the Mike’s Roast Chicken Salad and Monterey Salad with Spiced Pecans…don’t forget to add goat cheese! Casey loves their Virginia Trout and orders it at almost every visit. I can also vouch for their Jambalaya Pasta and the Sauteed Filet Mignon Tips (w/ tequila lime cream). Mike’s has call ahead seating of which you should definitely take advantage. Call ahead and they’ll tell you what time to arrive saving you the agony of standing around for over an hour!
There are several locations, but we prefer the one in Old Town. I highly recommend the Fettucine alla Bolognese. The Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir pairs nicely with this dish. Their pizza is pretty kickin’, too.
Del Merei Grille
If you go for no other reason than to eat the Frickles, it’s well worth it. Not to mention, their sweet tea ain’t too shabby.
Evening Star Café
We go here for brunch almost every Sunday. My recommendations are the eggs benedict, cinnamon-apple french toast, or bacon/egg/cheese sandwich. Never pass up on the garlic cheddar grits.
There are multiple locations, but we frequent the Tysons Corner locale. I’ve never tried anything that I didn’t like. The pan-roasted shrimp and sea scallops as well as the pan-roasted seabass rank as two of our favorites. Their fire-roasted tomato soup and tilapia BLT sandwich also please the palate. I also recommend trying a side of their Gruyere Mac & Cheese. If you like red wine, I highly recommend their Penfolds Cabernet/Shiraz blend. They have a good selection of beers and Monday nights all of their bottles of wine are half price.
This is a great hangout! They have over 30 beers on tap and 250 bottled selections. The food is equally spectacular! They serve Mosaics which are three small entrees of food within the same family but focusing on different flavors. Sounds confusing, I know, but, trust me, they are delicious. I’m a fan of the Mac & Cheese Trio: (1) lobster & brandy cream with pennette, (2) house cured pancetta and peas with elbows, and (3) shiitake and sherry with cavatelli. You just can’t get a better mac & cheese!! Check out their website for other yummy options and a more thorough description of their Mosaics!
This is one of our slightly “fancy pants” picks. We usually eat here on semi-special occasions. Their menu changes seasonally and, generally, doesn’t disappoint.
Located in historic Leesburg, Tusccorora Mill occupies an old grain mill. Trust me, it is WORTH THE DRIVE! Again, their menu changes seasonally and NEVER disappoints. Recently, I tried the shrimp and grits and it was so good that I wanted to lick the plate! Reservations are definitely recommended. Make a day of your trip and hit up the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets before wrapping up your day with dinner at Tuscorora Mill.
This place has the most spectacular views of the river, the city, and the airport. They have an awesome outdoor bar/deck that is open during the warmer months. The menu is a little pricey, but the food is good. I recommend the Sweet Corn Glazed Rockfish.
The food is good, but the calamari ROCKS! It’s not always listed on the menu, so you may have to ask for it. It is typically fried in a light, tempura batter and served with a plum dipping sauce.
I know, I know…it’s a chain restaurant, but a very good chain restaurant. Start out with the bang bang shrimp which are very tasty with just the right amount of spice. As for entrees, I’m a big fan of the pistachio parmesan crusted rainbow trout, and Casey usually opts for something from their specialty menu which changes seasonally. Did I mention how awesome their martinis are? I’m usually not a fan of martinis because they are too “alcohol-y”, but not at Bonefish. Their specialty martinis are extremely tasty and I suggest trying the Hypnotiq Breeze (which comes with a mini glow stick)!