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Washington DC

Leesburg's Lightfoot Cafe


Restaurants & Bars 4

Leesburg's Lightfoot Cafe

Joe | Oct 20, 2001 11:19 PM

Arguably the hottest restaurant in Loudoun County, certainly the hardest last minute reservation on a Saturday night we arrived at 8:30 for a 9:00PM reservation. This is a converted bank with a 30' ceiling and seating for 345. That's right. The promotional brochure at the hostess' stand said 345.

I have a theory about restaurants that seat more than 100. Or that seat more than 50. But 345. Well, in an earlier post I spent 45 minutes writing about Kinkead's Colvin Run Tavern. For this I think 2 minutes is sufficient. I would describe the food as upscale Hot Shoppes in a room that would be the absolute front runner in a contest for noisest dining room in the D. C. area. My guess is that people who go here have decided that food doesn't matter, only being seen at a restaurant that is currently "

The food was atrociously bad. A filet we asked for medium rare came out well done. Halibut that spent three or four extra minutes under a broiler to be totally dried out. Fried green tomatoes that I've had in Birmingham at a restaurant legendary for them, here, were shamefully overcooked. The batter they were dipped in had actually turned brown from overcooking.

On a plus side this is a "neat" restaurant similar to the Yellow Brick Bank in Shepherdstown, WVA. The vault is located dead center in the middle of the dining room. It is located on King Street in the center of historic Leesburg, a really wonderful, romantic little 18th centrury town to walk around in.

I did notice that the desserts were "humongous:" as an example, carrot cake that was really a thick slab with several scoops of store bought ice cream. My guess is that the crowd they are playing to is easily impressed with this type of "uptown" restaurant caring little for the drive into D. C. or close in Fairfax County to sample something far superior for the price.

Zagat gives this a 23 for food. I would have placed the food rating at 17 or 18. Up the street the Tuscarora Mill delivers much better for the same price. My guess is that five years from now the Tuscarora Mill will still be around while the Lightfoot will be long gone.

In closing I have to say that throughout the meal my wife continued to chastize me for not reserving at a favorite of ours, Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Flint Hill about 25 miles away. This last restaurant is exemplary while Lightfoot needs a lot of work.

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