Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Well worth all those $ .50 tolls

NoVa, where it all goes down. I have been to Northern VA several times in the last year. There's a bunch of good beer going on and as i learn more and more each trip, there is some amazing food. Best part of it all of course is that in most cases the two can be found in the same place at the same time.

After reading and hearing about the triumvirat of Magnolia at the Mill, Tuscarora Mill, and Fire Works, i finally got a chance to hit all three in a couple of hours last week and holy smokes, talk about a best foot forward. Now, in eye catching 'list' format is a quick word on each for those in the area who may only have time for one.

Fire Works - Leesburg, VA

We popped our heads in just for a beer and a hello and the hunger that was majorly present prior ballooned when the smell of the wood grill hit me. The pizza special of the day featured shrimps, ramps, and fiddleheads. Oh how i love seasonality. Everything looked and smelled delicious and after a pint of Lagunitas Undercover Shutdown it was time to see about some lunch of our own.

Tuscarora Mill - Leesburg, VA

Tuskies had a strong lunch crowd. A good weekday lunch crowd tips the odds towards the probability of a nice plate of food. The taps are set low, just under the bar so you have to look down at the markers to see what's on (aside from the up to date beer list of course) and after turning down an Aventinus draft (i'll have to make a run to Quotations) we set about ordering and just grabbed a little bit of everything. My lunch mates and i settled on a small mid-day feast and darn near cleared every inch of every plate. We had house charcuterie with a really nice country pate, pork rillette, soppresatta, chorizo, and pepperoni before diving into a plate of sweet breads, a nice seared ahi with soba noodles, Cippino with lobster butter, little necks, mussels, corvina, and scallops, broiled trout with fresh asparagus (tis the season, ya know) and one of the day's specials: Tempura oysters on spinach salad with lava salt. Wow, that's lunch mind you. Stone Brewing just did a beer dinner at Tuskies and i would go to any of their events in a heartbeat. The staff knows their beer and their food and it's mighty good. Those in the area can rush in to see if our Golden Cap Saison is still on tap.

Magnolia's at the Mill - Purcellville, VA

Mile long tap towers in a beautiful old building greet you at Magnolia's and chef Mark Morrocco's food is just plain out of site. We were in for the New Holland beer dinner and i found myself keeping my beer intro's on the short side because i couldn't let myself stray from any of the courses for very long. A nice, fun crowd came out for the event and the pairings were spot on. A'la a little cut and paste i present you the menu:

Greeting Beer
Full Circle Kolsch-Style Ale

1st Course
Chilled Sweet Corn & Crab Soup
With Avocado & Chili Oil
Golden Cap Saison Ale

2nd Course
Hickory Grilled Lamb Slider
With Harissa & Mint Aioli
Served with Spring Herb Tabouli
Mad Hatter IPA

3rd Course
Soft Shell Crab
With Pickled Green Tomatoes
Black Tulip Trippel

4th Course
Hickory Grilled Veal Medallion
With Dijon Rosemary Potatoes Au Gratin
Dragons Milk Aged Oak Barrel Ale

5th Course
Espresso Panna Cotta
With Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
Poet Stout

Existential Ale
That’s it

I loved the pairings here. Dragon's Milk and Black Tulip both, because of their strength and construction, often end up as dessert beers and i was very excited to see these earlier in the meal. Every single course was more amazing than the one prior. I still have the taste of the panna cotta on my tongue.

So there you have it. All three are sure fire can't misses if you are in the area. Also some great finds on this trip were products from the Haskins Family Farm, the wonderful selection & delectable BBQ @ Paeonian Grocery, as well as James his hard work at Red, White, & Bleu in Fall's Church.

The latterest of the above in addition to great beer, wine, cheese, and meats had some exciting news (and samples to share) this was my first time hearing and tasting anything (a smoked duck sausage that was just amazing) from Jamie Stachowski. Stories of an outlandish looking man who smells like a smokehouse had me, the list of different charcuterie he offers was the nail in the coffin. Other than restaurants, it seems Red, White, and Bleu is the only place you can buy Stachowski's offerings for home use.

In all, a great pre-Savor trip with fun food surprises.

No comments: