THE WINE KITCHEN
7 S. King Street in Leesburg, Virginia 20175
130 Purcellville Gateway Drive Purcellville, VA 20132
THE WINE KITCHEN, a “wine-centric” restaurant serving seasonal American bistro menu dishes in the heart of historic downtown Leesburg, prides itself on preparing wonderfully eclectic meals, quirkily labeled wines and purposefully limited seating.
Regretfully, I was too busy moving this past weekend … too busy, evidently, to have noticed The Wine Kitchen’s latest status update on Facebook:
“Sunday SPECIAL – French toast and fresh fruit salad is pretty divine. So too is Huevos Rancheros with fresh corn tortillas and house – made swine (bacon). Josh Walker will be here today from 12pm – 3pm. Sunday afternoon + jazz + wine = warm fuzzy feelings.” How I would have loved to have been there for the French toast! And my husband surely would have enjoyed the Huevos Rancheros himself. As for the wine and the warm fuzzy feelings, I am certain the hubby and I could have both benefited greatly from those as well! For any of you wondering just exactly what is “The Wine Kitchen,” I think the name kind of says it all. The Wine Kitchen is, as The Washington Post describes it: “a wine-centric” restaurant serving Nouveau American meals. Located purposefully in the heart of downtown Leesburg, the restaurant occupies an 1860s-era building near the busy intersection of King Street and Route 7. “We always knew we wanted to be in Leesburg,” shares co-owner Jason Miller. “Leesburg is a great location; it’s surrounded by countless wineries and local farms.” Both clearly are of vital importance to this dining establishment which prides itself on preparing dishes with local produce and the best of the area’s freshest ingredients.
The topic of ingredients and the restaurant’s menu is one that, while being discussed, reveals Miller’s steadfast commitment to incorporating locally grown produce into The Wine Kitchen’s menu. “While not all the produce and ingredients we use are local, most are,” explains Miller. “We are one of 20 or so restaurants in the area participating in this year’s Farm-to-Fork Loudoun celebration which requires chefs and restaurant owners to use locally sourced food. We actually use locally sourced food all year round but this event helps spotlight area dining establishments that participate actively with Loudoun-based farms.”
For those who live in or near Loudoun County and who are active consumers or participants in the farm-to-table community, the Farm-to-Fork Loudoun outreach project may be of high interest. According to the movement’s web site, Farm-to-Fork Loudoun is “a collaborative effort between the agricultural, culinary, and winery communities of Loudoun County, Virginia. All participating chefs and restaurant owners have committed to using at least 70 percent locally sourced food July 21 through 31, when restaurant patrons may order from specially created Farm-to-Fork Loudoun menus featuring some of the county’s best locally grown and raised produce, beef, lamb, and poultry, complimented by a selection of Loudoun wine and spirits.”
Aligning The Wine Kitchen with an event celebrating the incorporation of locally grown produce makes incredible sense for a restaurant that changes its menu as often as the seasons. “We change our menu all the time,” states Miller, who describes the restaurant’s menu as fluid and nimble. “Since our dishes are heavily dependent on locally sourced food, our menu has to be updated regularly to reflect when various ingredients are in or out of season. For example, we have a risotto and asparagus dish that’s currently being transitioned. Asparagus is pretty much coming out of season. We will be replacing that dish with something more in season; possibly a citrus salad dish of some sort.”
While the change in seasons is the primary impetus behind most menu updates, Miller admits another factor in menu changes are the restaurant patrons themselves. “We listen to what diners are saying about the meals we serve,” shares Miller. “We work with our chef, Justin Garrison, and brainstorm on ideas. We go back and forth a lot in an effort to refine the menu and keep things fresh and interesting. Sometimes, if we want to introduce something new, we ‘test’ by serving new items as specials.”
Of special note is Miller’s reference to a nimble and fluid menu. In part, Miller attributes the ability to be flexible in the menu to The Wine Kitchen’s limited seating. “Our restaurant can only seat about 38. Our limited seating was and is purposeful. Michael Mercer, my co-owner, and I decided early on we did not want to be a large restaurant. Some of the advantages of staying small is having the ability to change the menu frequently as well as providing more personalized service to patrons.” Sparse seating does come with its challenges, however. Some of the online reviews mention the limited seating causes wait periods to be rather long so it’s wise to come early. As one online reviewer advised, “They do not close between lunch and dinner. Skip out of work early and beat the crowds!”
Despite the seating and wait period details, it is clear the patrons of The Wine Kitchen are avid fans of, what else, the food! As Chris D. from Leesburg posted online, “The food? Pretty damn great… and reasonably priced too.” According to other reviewers, some of the more popular dish include Chicken and Waffles, the charcuterie and the mac & cheese which Dylan M. from Leesburg describes as “divine.” Uri P. of Arlington gushes about the root vegetable bisque which was “light and delicious.” And his espresso rubbed pork chop with bacon spaetzle? “Phenomenal,” he posted. “I spent a summer working in Leesburg, and this is by far my favorite restaurant in the pleasant little town.”
The Wine Kitchen is located at 7 S. King Street in Leesburg, Virginia. To learn more about the restaurant and view its menu, please visit the web site at www.TheWineKitchen.com.
- Address 7 S. King Street in Leesburg, Virginia
- Website www.TheWineKitchen.com
- Category Food
- Location Leesburg, VA