Grandale Farm - Mac & Cheese Will Never be the Same!

Located in the beautiful Hillsboro countryside between Leesburg and the border of West Virginia, Grandale Farm Restaurant offers elegant farm-to-table dining on the grounds of a historic operating farm and the 868 Estate Vineyards.  This award-winning restaurant, which opened in the Fall of 2005, was recently named one of Northern Virginia's top restaurants. Executive Chef Author Clark ensures that every item served is made from scratch using only fresh ingredients and locally sourced meats & produce whenever possible - creating a unique menu that can be categorized as American Contemporary Haute-Cuisine.  With much of the produce grown on the 30 acre farm, Grandale Farm Restaurant is a wonderful place to experience the finest that Loudoun County has to offer.  The restaurant's local commitment is exemplified in the wine list, featuring many of the wines in DC's Wine Country.

The dining room is simple but elegant with additional seating on an outdoor deck overlooking the beautiful farm landscaped gardens.  The tables are dressed in white linen, classic white china, and rustic flatware.  One end of the dinning room features a wood burning fireplace, the other a glimpse into the kitchen through a window.  Whatever you order for either lunch or dinner, be sure to sit back and enjoy the beautiful country views out the back windows.

Their Spring menu featured some very tasty appetizers.  Our favorites were the Pig Mac and Cheese, which we ordered along with the Shrimp and Beet Flatbread.

Grandale-2013-05-23-35-1.jpg

For those of you who are fans of Pixar's Ratatouille movie, experiencing the Pig Mac and Cheese is like reliving Remy's experience of tasting cheese and a strawberry separately and then together: your tastes trigger music and and elegant light and fireworks display in your mind. To quote Ratatouille, "...amazing. Each flavor was totally unique, but combined one flavor with another, and something new was created."The Pig Mac and Cheese starts out on a nice smooth gradual note with the taste of the pieces of pork on top and transitions to the mellow taste of the gruyere cheese with a hint of the Oreccheitte that's cooked perfectly al dente. When you reach down for the bits of pork in the bottom of the dish, your mouth explodes in an exclamation of a note full of intense, luscious pork flavor. As you savor the tastes lingering in your mouth, you can't help but feel the music in your mouth fade to the desire to reach for more. It was a show stealer, and made us wish it was an entrée, not just an appetizer.

The Shrimp and Beet Flatbread was also very good, combining local goat cheese with beet, one of our all time favorite pairings.  For entrées, we followed the waitress's recommendation and went with their New Zealand Lamb Rack and the Skirt Steak Asada.  The lamb was served with mashed potato & asparagus.  The meat was very tender and cooked to our specification.  What made this dish, was the Mustard Ale Demi-glaze on the side, adding just the right amount of delicateness to the dish.  The Skirt Steak Asada was excellent.  The red bean and leek fondue, the tomato and pepper salsa and the avocado coulis all worked together to enhance the steak asada through many different Southwestern flavor experiences, each unique and quite enjoyable. The tortilla strips, the steaks, the salsa and the coulis were each their own separate texture and complimented the overall culinary experience of the dish.

To go with our meal, we went with the 868 Estate Vineyards Chardonnay and 868 Estate Vineyard Meritage 2010.  The Meritage paired nicely with both the Lamb and the Skirt Steak, bringing flavors forward on the palate.  We finished our meal with some sweet and savory desserts - Vanilla Crème Brûlée andChef's Selection Cheeses.  The Crème Brûlée was served with shortbread and strawberries.  The cheese selection included white cheddar and gouda cheeses.  Their dessert menu also includes a strawberry cheesecake made with local organic honey and a black and white chocolate decadence with butterscotch caramel sauce.  All perfect to finish the evening!

The restaurant is open Wednesday & Thursday for dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday for lunch (noon - 4 p.m.) and dinner (5 p.m. - 9 p.m).  For an intimate dinner, we highly suggest going there on a weekday.  Reservations recommended on the weekend.  Before or after dining, we highly recommend enjoying a wine tasting in the 868 Estate Vineyards tasting room, located just a few steps away from Grandale Farm Restaurant.  The Elevated Tasting option at the vineyard is carefully paired with both sweet and savory bites to bring the wine tasting experience to a whole new level.  Casual lunch specials prepared by the restaurant are also available for purchase in the tasting room.