Friday, May 1, 2015

Tuscarora Mill, Leesburg VA

Friday of vacation week came way too soon. I knew we wanted to go out to lunch somewhere and I knew we wanted to stay far, far away from Winchester and the madness of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, so I suggested going to Leesburg for lunch. I had in mind one of the small ethnic restaurants there, but Ann insisted she wanted to go some place with a good wine list and she chose Tuskies. I haven't eaten there in 20 years.

We arrived for a late lunch around 1:30 and started with a glass of sparkling wine while I looked over the wine list. I really wanted a nice Pinot for lunch but their Pinot list is not good. I did spy a bottle of Vietti Perbacco Nebbiolo which is always a nice buy. Vietti always chooses some of its precocious barrels of Barolo Castiglione and bottles them early as Perbacco. Baby read-to-drink Barolo at a great price, what is not to like?

Vietti Perbacco, Always a Great Buy
While I looked at the wine list, Ann picked a bunch of small plates from the menu for us to eat, five appetizers and an entrée.

Flatbread with Chorizo, Spinach, Provolone and Balsamic Glaze
The most successful dish of the day was this flatbread which with its super thin crust was really outstanding pizza. I was a little leery of the balsamic reduction on the pizza, but it worked really well. This is the best pizza I've had in a long time and is better than anything we've had at their sister restaurant next door, Fireworks Pizza.

Tuna, Seaweed Salad, Daikon

Country Pâté and Duck Rillettes with Onion Jam
The tuna was OK for the price, but it is not something I would have chosen for myself. Anybody can scoop seaweed salad out of a container and on to a plate. The pâté was pretty good, but I wonder if it was made in house. The rillettes needed some seasoning. We always make ours from duck confit with copious amounts of nutmeg and thyme. The smoked onion jam was delicious, but really super (i.e., too) smoky as if the onions weren't smoked at all and were flavored with smoked salt after being caramelized.

Crispy Pork Belly Tacos, Scallion Pancakes, Korean Slaw
And last was this plate. It looks a mess and unfortunately tasted a mess and we were highly disappointed. The scallion pancake and crispy pork belly tacos were put into a mini taco stand and then buried in a heap of overly sweet slaw. As a result, the pancakes were soggy and the pork belly no longer crispy. Our restaurant has some acclaim on the East Coast for our pork belly and I have yet to find a restaurant that does it even half as well as we do. Pity. We also got a crab dip that was pretty mediocre, so mediocre that I didn't feel the need to waste storage on a photo of it.

We are used to food not being up to our admittedly exceedingly high standards, so that didn't really dampen our day. In all, the experience was pleasant and we had a great time.

After lunch, I suggested that we pick up a couple of pizzas next door to take home for dinner. And we did. Not remembering that we ordered the Barcelona pizza on our previous visit and found that it wasn't as delicious as it sounded on paper, Ann ordered another. And we had the same experience. The roasted red peppers dominated all the other toppings. Blah.

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