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ON THE COVER: Chef Richard Wright of L’Auberge Provencale in Boyce prepares the butternut squash bisque with duck confit tortellini. Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star. Turn to page 8 to read more about this dish and three others that local chefs are excited about this fall. Special thanks to Shenandoah Conservatory for supplying promotional photography.


Special Projects ACCESS MONTHLY is published by The Winchester Star



upcoming U P CO M I N G


Get out your calendar and pencil in these dates. . .





An early morning 13.1 mile run through the scenic countryside is a good way to start your weekend. Pre-registration required. 8 a.m.; Kernstown Battlefield, $85 - $110.

The bi-annual Kiwanis Pancake Day is practically a local holiday. All pancakes and sausage, all day, and proceeds benefit Apple Valley Head Start. 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., War Memorial Building in Jim Barnett Park, $6 advance; $7 door.

10 - 12 "NOISES OFF"

Find out why this Tony-award winning Broadway play about the behind-thescenes of a theater production was called "the funniest farce ever written" by the New York Post. 2:30 & 8 p.m.. showtimes, Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, $12 - $23.

10 - 25


This beloved tale of secrets and the lies that secrets create, of hope and unspoken passion, reminds us what it is to fall completely in love. 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. showtimes, Winchester Little Theatre, $18.50 - $22.75.



As if you need to be convinced to go to a festival where you can enjoy free samples of all kinds of baked goods, from donuts to pies. We didn't think so. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., MarkerMiller Orchards; free



Pre-burn off some of those Thanksgiving calories with Berryville's annual Turkey Trot, in a 2-, 4- , or 6-mile race. 10 a.m., Clarke County fitness trail, $13, registration available day-of.



Performing together on tour for the first time, legendary Grammy-award winning blues singer Irma Thomas teams up with New Orleans' Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet and sixtime Grammy Award winning Blind Boys of Alabama. You'll think you're in the French Quarter as they bring a night of southern blues, jazz, and gospel to our backyard. 8 p.m., Armstrong Concert Hall, $12 - $28.



Enjoy the best of the Virginia wine country harvest at L'Auberge Provencale's annual six-course wine dinner, featuring winemakers Jim Law of Linden Vineyard and Rutger de Vink of RdV Vineyard. 12:30 p.m., L'Auberge Provencale, $135.



Get out your flapper costume and long pearls or derby hat and vest — because you'll be wearing it for an all-inclusive brunch on the third floor at Union Jack Pub, with unlimited Bloody Marys and mimosas. Two seatings: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., and 1:30 - 4 p.m. Union Jack Pub, $30. Call for reservations, 540.722-2055.

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Why fight the crowds at the big box stores, when you can enjoy a charming morning strolling the shops of Old Town Winchester and scoring some unique gifts. Some shops open as early as 6 a.m., and all offer various deals and discounts. Old Town Winchester,



fall food & wine


“It’s a task,” said Dan Kalber, executive chef of Village Square on the Loudoun Street Mall. He’s talking about the act of eating the Chef Dan Burger, possibly one of the tallest burgers a burger fan will ever encounter. Standing 8 to 10 inches tall, Kalber said when patrons see the burger they understand why it’s his namesake. “Most people who know me know I’m 6 foot 7, I’m a big dude,” he said. The big burger made its way onto Village Square’s dinner menu about a year ago. Kalber said he would often make himself a burger to enjoy, and other patrons would see it and inquire about it. Now, it has a permanent place on the restaurant’s menu, and gets changed up every two months. For summer, he served the 3/4 pound of black Angus ground beef with a fried green tomato and tasso ham. It currently is enjoying a setting of blue cheese, bacon, BBQ mayonnaise, and arugula and is served with housemade beer battered onion rings. But what really makes this burger special is not the size or the toppings —- it’s the beef. Kalber said they source the beef from a local farm that raises breed-specific, fully-traceable black Angus beef. “That means they can tell us the lineage of the black Angus. Where it comes from, they DNA test it, it’s non-hormone and fully finished on grain, and it’s very specific to how I want it finished,” he said. “What separates it from most ground beef is this beef we whole carcass dry age it for 28 days. The meat is from that, which gives it a little bit of a cool buttery, nut-toasted essence to the beef.” With beef so tasty, this sounds like a task you may want to add to your dining to-do list.



Standing at 8-plus inches tall, the Chef Dan burger at Village Square is possibly the tallest burger in town.

fall food & wine


Executive Chef Barbara Hineline of Fresco Kitchen has the perfect good-for-you fall-inspired recipe. Get your recipe book out. “People are funny. They either like Brussels sprouts or they hate them. There is no middle ground,” said Barbara Hineline, executive chef and owner of Fresco Kitchen in Old Town Winchester. Brussels sprouts play a leading role in her harvest bowl, a seasonal offering she debuted this fall. Hineline felt she was taking a bit of a risk with the infamous vegetable, but patrons have flocked to the dish that combines roasted local sweet potatoes, red onion, sliced almonds and golden raisins, topped with a housemade apple cider viniagrette. It can be served on a bed of spinach or brown rice. “Everybody loves it. I’m amazed at the amount of people who are say, oh my gosh, you have brussels sprouts? That’s fabulous!” Hineline was inspired by other variations of the dish, which she crafted to make it her own. One version she saw used spiced pears; she decided to use spiced apples because that was more local to Winchester. Her version also includes roasted red onion, an ingredient she is a big fan of. With the holidays coming up, which tempts our palates away from healthier fare, this hearty whole foods bowl recipe is one you should add to your collection.

Harvest Bowl 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved 1 red onion, sliced 2 sweet potatoes, cut into small cubes 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp dried thyme kosher salt freshly ground black pepper 2 cups finely chopped spinach 1/2 cup golden raisins 1/2 cup sliced almonds 3 cups cooked brown rice Preheat oven to 425. On a large, parchment lined baking sheet, mix Brussels sprouts, sweet potato and red onion with 1 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and thyme. Bake until vegetables are tender, 25 - 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the viniagrette. In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 shallot minced, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp honey, whisk until combined. Season with kosher salt and ground black pepper. In a bowl, mix spinach with cranberries and almonds. Add 1/3 cup prepared dressing to the salad and toss. To assemble bowls top 1 cup rice with 1 cup roasted vegetables, 1/2 cup salad, and top with a drizzle of dressing and serve.







fall food & wine

THE INFLUENCE OF Executive Chef Cheryl Ash on how the spirit of New Orleans — from old cookbooks and " big mamas" to music and memorabilia — fuels her inspiration. by JENNY BAKER photography by GINGER PERRY

“If you’re a foodie, it kind of reads like a romance novel,” said Cheryl Ash, as she thumbed through the pages of a well-loved and used recipe book, the “Times Picayune Creole Cook Book.” Ash, the executive chef and owner of Sweet NOLA’s on North Loudoun Street in Winchester, was given the cookbook by local artist Genevieve Clark, who is from Louisiana. Originally published in 1901, the second edition from 1971 was handed down through Miles’ family for generations. Ash has used this bible of Creole cooking ever since she first opened the restaurant three years ago, to amend and improve her own New Orleans-inspired dishes. It’s shown her tips like the difference between using filé powder in the pot when cooking as opposed to putting it in the serving bowls, changing the sequence of preparation, and has introduced her to herbs that she’s never used before. One thing she loves most about the cookbook is that it gives historical details about each dish, something she incorporates onto her own menu “so it reads like a mini foodie history lesson.” She also gets inspiration straight from the source — the “big mamas” of Louisiana. “People refer to their aunties and moms down there as ‘big mamas,’” she said. “I’ve been cooking with them and learning how they did things in their house. It was really eye opening, seeing how they do things. You can read a cookbook, read procedurals, annotations… But once you sit there and see them, they’re like, ‘oh no no no, you don’t have to do that. You can skip that, you just do this. You don’t have to stir it that long, ecetera.’” Last year a busload of women from Lake Charles, Louisiana on the way to New York City stopped to eat at Sweet NOLA’s. Ash said they loved her food, but did give her a few tips that has forever changed the way she makes gumbo. Ash’s love for New Orleans was born when she and her husband were helping to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. They specifically were able to help out local musicians and artists in the Tremé neighborhood of the city, which is where jazz was invented. “We immersed ourselves in the culture, the food, the music,” said Ash. “I have fallen in love with the place and I can’t even put my finger on why. I have a New Orleans problem, that’s what it is,” she laughed as she looked around her restaurant, which is decked floor to ceiling with New Orleans memorabilia — autographed jazz posters, beads, antique mirrors, hats, even a trombone from Glen

David Andrews, The Tremé Prince. Just as jazz music is all about improvisation, Ash takes that approach to her dishes, putting her own spin on classics. “I’ve always felt like food preparation was akin to an art installation,” she said. “Sometimes that art has some dirty south flavor-love I fused into it. That's the fun part for me. . . Paying homage to tradition while sprinkling some inventive love onto whatever recipe I'm working with.” New this fall is a pumpkin gumbo with bourbon pecan rice, which has fast become a favorite with patrons. “People usually call in to reserve seats, but now they call to reserve the gumbo because we sell out so fast.” The vegetarian and gluten free dish uses coconut flour for the roux instead of wheat flour, and grilled andouille, shrimp, or a crab cake can be added for those seeking protein. Ash goes back to New Orleans every two months to learn more, spending time in other restaurants, and talking with chefs and cooks about how they do things. You can bet she has quite a few favorite restaurants. Ash counts Coop’s Place, Mother’s Restaurant, Willie May’s Scotch House, and Napoleon House as must-visits. Besides the food of New Orleans, another flavor from the Big Easy Ash brings into her restaurant is the music. She regularly hosts musicians from the city she met while doing rebuilding work, who often call to let her know they are passing through the area on the way to cities like New York, Baltimore, or D.C. She has also arranged Sweet NOLA's own house band, The Sweet NOLA’s Po’boys, made up of Shenandoah Conservatory jazz students. Enjoying a bowl of gumbo and taking in their music on a Saturday at lunch or Wednesday evening, you’d have a hard time believing you’re not in the Crescent City — and that’s the point. “I really wanted people to experience New Orleans,” she said. “I wanted eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, everything. That’s what we worked really hard to accomplish.” “There’s a French phrase, joie de vivre, love of life. That is the spirit of the people there in New Orleans, it just creates this giant warm hug when you come there. Then you throw in the music, the food, on top of that, it’s a remarkable situation,” she said. “I could never duplicate that here 100 percent, but I’m really trying to have a piece of that.”



fall food & wine


“It’s not just a sipping soup, you can chew it,” said Richard Wright, executive chef for L’Auberge Provencale. Inspired by the bounty of butternut squash at Shenandoah Seasonal farm just one mile down the road from the inn in Clarke County, Wright created this unique take on the classic fall soup (top left). But this isn't just any butternut squash bisque — those beautiful fluffy clouds in the middle are housemade tortellini stuffed with duck confit. “Confit is a classic French preparation,” said Wright. “You cure the duck legs with salt which pulls out moisture, and cook it in its own fat. You cook it really slow and at a low temperature, which keeps it really moist and tender.” Wright then took the cooked duck confit, chopped it fine and mixed it with cheese like marscopone and added classic fall spices of cloves, cinnamon. “It complements the duck well,” he said. The dish is further dressed up with delicate leaves of roasted Brussels sprouts, frisee, cranberries, drizzled with pumpkin seed oil, and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds. To drink: The 2012 Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay from Sonoma County.


When the cooler weather descends, we automatically start to crave coziness: warm sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, curling up with a good book by the fireplace, and undoubtedly, hot, hearty comfort food. Executive Chef Scott Bilstad’s braised short rib gnocchi with Brussels sprouts (bottom left) will certainly inspire that same pleasure. He takes grass-fed beef from Ayrshire Farm in nearby Upperville, and pairs it with “freshly made pillows of potato goodness,” gnocchi. “Gnocchis are a wonderful pasta-like dumpling that loves saucy,” said Bilstad, referring to the drippings from the rendered short rib. “With the flavor of tender short rib meat, and the reduction from the natural juice they act like a sponge to absorb the beef flavor of our grass-fed beef.” Another item he’s excited about on his new fall menu is the Kentucky Hot Brown pizza, a wood-fired pizza inspired by the famous Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich. “We are using our fresh daily made pizza dough, a white sauce, and topping it with fresh chicken, ham, bacon, then more cheese.” To drink: The Ranger Reserve from Gray Ghost Vineyards in Amissville, Virginia, a red blend that pairs well with the gnocchi.



fall food & wine

We talk to four local chefs to find out what they're most excited about on their fall menu. by JENNY BAKER photography by SCOTT MASON + JEFF TAYLOR


Executive Chef John Lawrence has a bit of New Orleans in his blood — his father is from there, which means that Lawrence grew up with a diet of Creole and Cajun food. He likes to use that influence in certain dishes, like the crabcakes and corn maque choux (top right), a dish on George’s new fall menu. “Maque choux means false cabbage,” said Lawrence. “It’s a sauce of cream, demi-glace, corn, trinity (celery, onions, and peppers), and I saute that with andouille and a little bit of crawfish.” The rich texture is a nice complement to the lightness of the crabcakes, which are topped with blanched and sauteed baby carrots and turnips. The crabcakes have been featured before as a special, but will find a permanent spot on George’s Food & Spirits’ fall menu, which recently debuted. To drink: A red wine from the Médoc AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée) like a Bordeaux, or if you are a craft beer drinker, Lawrence recommends a Devil’s Backbone IPA.


Executive Chef Riccardo Stocco can’t name just one favorite fall dish. For him, it’s based on inspiration. “The fall is one of my favorite seasons, not only because of the leaves changing, the cooler weather, it’s the culmination of the harvest — the wine is being produced in the fall, the apples are being picked,” he said. Stocco takes much of his inspiration from Mayfair Farm at the Freight Station Farmers Market in Winchester. The butternut squash in this particular dish (bottom right) is from there, which gives the dish a slightly sweet taste and smooth texture. The white truffles, a rare find in the U.S. outside of California, were grown by a local farmer who has been “babying them” for five years. The risotto is made with a dry-aged acquerello rice from the foothills of the Alps in Italy's Piedmont region. This dish is about discovering the delicate side of Italian cooking, where a small number of ingredients come together, allowing their unique flavors to shine through. To drink: Stocco said to choose a light-bodied red wine that won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the truffle and risotto. He recommends Segreto Rosso, a red blend made up of five grapes from old reclaimed vines.







fall food & wine

WHAT TO DO WITH Tired of the usual leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwich? Take a cue from siblings and executive chefs Jimmy Parks and Sandy Gallagher from The Butcher Station in Creekside Station, and try something totally different. “Everyone makes turkey sandwiches or turkey casserole, but my grandmother made turkey curry,” said Parks. It’s a recipe that he and Gallagher have enjoyed since they were young kids in Maryland. “It was real interactive because the kids got to chop things, play in the kitchen with grandma,” he recalled. “Once you sat down to eat, there were a bunch of little bowls with different toppings, you’d put your curry over your rice and spoon your toppings over the curry.” Parks and Gallagher keep the memory of their grandmother alive by continuing to make this dish each year after the Thanksgiving turkey is stripped of its leftover meat. They have made a couple of adjustments, however. “The change that we made was that we make our own curry powder,” said Gallagher. “That’s not something that my family would have done. Our stock is made here as well, so that’s something that is a little different.” Parks loves using the turkey (or chicken) carcass to make his own stock. “It makes the most flavorful stock, it’s going to be way better than anything you’re going to buy at the grocery store. And you’re making use of something a lot of people just throw away. The carcass is very useful.”

by JENNY BAKER photography by JEFF TAYLOR

To make your own stock, Parks said to combine chopped onions, celery, carrots, rosemary, thyme, bayleaf, black peppercorns into a pot with the turkey carcass, and boil it for a couple of hours.

Curry Turkey 2 cups leftover turkey or chicken 1 tbsp butter 1/2 cup chopped onion 2 tbsp cornstarch 2 - 3 tsp curry powder 3/4 cup cold turkey stock (or chicken stock) 2 cups milk salt to taste Put butter, onion, and curry powder in stock pot. Saute until onions are softened over medium heat. Stir cornstarch into the cold stock. Stir into onion mixture. Add milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add turkey and heat through. Serve with cooked rice, and assorted toppings like crushed peanuts, apples, celery, raisins, and pineapple.



fall food & wine


by JENNY BAKER photography by GINGER PERRY

We go behind-the-scenes of the grape harvesting process at Veramar Vineyard. It was 8:30 on a cool, foggy Monday morning in mid-September, and I was being carted through the 26 acres of vineyards at Veramar Vineyard in Clarke County — not exactly my typical Monday morning. My guide was Coy Ferrell, the marketing director for the Bogaty Wine Group, which owns Veramar, James Charles Winery in Frederick County, and Bogati Bodega in Loudoun County. Coy was showing me the Traminette and Norton vines, which were being harvested that morning. Ten harvesters had finished the 1.5 acres of Traiminette in just two hours; they had started at 6 a.m. They were now deep into the Norton grape vines. This was just one step of many in the process of harvesting wine grapes. The entire harvesting season began in August, when the sugar content (the brix) in the grapes is high enough. Seyval Blanc and Chardonnay are the first to be picked, as white wine grapes are harvested first. After the Traminette and Norton, the final grapes to be harvested will be Cabernet Franc, which take about 12 hours because there are 6 acres to harvest of that varietal. After all is said and done, they will have processed around 150 tons of grapes this season, which translates into just under 25,000 gallons of wine.



Each season yields different harvests, and like any crop, is based greatly on the weather. “In the run-up to the harvest of most white-wine grapes, it was definitely colder during the day and we had somewhat significant rain. This increases the risk of rot, so that’s something we had to monitor especially closely this season,” said Justin Bogaty, who is winemaker for his family’s vineyards. “Overall, though, this harvest’s yield was higher than average.” Bogaty said the harvest for red wine grapes is turning out especially well, thanks to the warmer, dry weather and cool nights we’ve had in the past few weeks. There’s a lot that happens between the grape and the wine bottle. Once the grapes have been picked — they are cut by whole clusters — the yellow field containers are emptied into large gray bins which are lifted by a forklift to pour into the whole cluster wine press. Each gray bin holds 800 pounds to one ton of grapes, and the wine press can handle two tons of grapes at a time. “Inside the (wine press) chamber, there is a membrane bladder that inflates and press

fall food & wine HARVEST FACTS Bogaty will process about 150 tons of grapes this season, which equals just under 25,000 gallons of juice.

Veramar has 26 acres of grapes, some of which are not ready to harvest yet, with plans to plant more acres. Harvesting at Veramar begins in mid-August and continues through early November. Norton is the easiest grape to grow in Virginia. Viognier is among the most difficult varietal to grow, due to its susceptibility to mildew. Viognier is the state’s official grape.

es the grapes against slots on the sides, which slowly liberates the juice from the grapes,” explained Bogaty. From there, the juice is pumped into a strainer and then into a holding tank where the juice will sit overnight to cold settle. Next, the juice is transferred to either a stainless steel tank or oak barrel, where it will ferment. “Fermentation is quite literally a living process — yeasts and bacteria and acids are busy converting compounds and shaping chemical structures,” said Bogaty. Yeast, which converts sugars into alcohol, is usually added right after the juice has been pressed for white wines, and destemmed for red wines. Something that Bogaty does which is fairly unusual for an East Coast vineyard, is co-inoculation, which means they start Malolactic Fermentation (MLF) at the same time. Bogaty said they introduce a blend of lactic acid bacteria to the juice, which converts the naturally-occurring tart malic acids, to softer, creamier lactic acids. “We do this for several reasons,” said Bogaty. “The need for this process to complete before the weather is too cold for the process to continue; doing MLF earlier, instead of waiting until the initial fermentation process is done, gives the wine a higher pH, which gives it a more rounded mouth feel, and makes it less tart ultimately.” He added that by controlling this process from the outset, it lowers the chance that a non-ideal acid could be introduced

to the wine inadvertently, ultimately creating a negative affect on the flavor. The fermentation process is different for red and white grapes. White wine fermentation takes about 90 days, because the yeast can only convert the juice itself — the skins, stems, seeds, and pulp were pressed off, therefore it takes longer for the yeast to finish converting the sugar, as there is less “stuff” to work with. Red wine fermentation is a quicker process, taking only about 14 days. Because the fermentation process began while the juice is still macerating in the skins and seeds, there is more substance for the yeast to convert, and the process goes faster. Every day, Bogaty tastes at least one of the wines while in the stainless steel tank or barrel. During fermentation, he usually tastes them all because it is such a critical time. He tastes the wines for several reasons: to monitor the speed of the fermentation process; to detect any faults in a wine early so that they can be corrected; to determine when the wine needs to be transferred to a new container, (known as racking) which is a way to eliminate sediment from affecting the ultimate taste of the wine. After the wines have aged anywhere from 7 to 10 months in stainless steel or oak, it is then time for the next step: bottling. But that’s another story.

All grapes begin as green and change colors during the last month in a process known as verasion. Those that are “red” turn red, and white grapes turn from green to golden or translucent during that last month. Older vines produce less fruit, but higher-quality fruit. Veramar’s oldest vines were planted in 1995. Smaller grapes have more flavor. Larger grapes can often mean that it rained a lot during the season which dillutes the flavor of the grape — it’s better to have a dry summer. Most grape juice is naturally colorless, even in red-wine grapes. The Norton grape is an exception; its juice is already red.



the roundup

BRUNCH Alesation Brewing Co. 23 N. Loudoun St., Winchester Brunch hours: Saturdays, noon - 3 p.m. Highlights: Shrimp & grits with pancetta gravy and fried capers, wood-fired breakfast pizza. Alesation craft beer and wine available.

jazz or burlesque bingo. Menu changes with each event, but examples include Pain Perdue and Scotch eggs with a New Orleans twist. Local wine and themed sangrias. Union Jack Pub 101 N. Loudoun St., Winchester Brunch hours: Sundays, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Highlights: Regular English brunch offered every Sunday, and special themed brunches (Harry Potter, The Great Gatsby, etc.) offered every 2-3 weeks. Bloody Marys and mimosas.

L’Auberge Provencale 13630 Lord Fairfax Hwy., White Post Brunch hours: Sundays, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Highlights: Eggs benedict, open face BLT with basil aioli. Housemade Bloody Mary, mimosas. Bistecca Italian Chop House 242 Millwood Ave., Winchester Brunch hours: Sundays, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Highlights: Chicken and waffles with pepper jam, bourbon syrup, and sweet potato puree. Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and autumn apple sangria. Bonnie Blue Southern Market & Bakery 334 W. Boscawen St., Winchester Brunch hours: Saturdays, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Highlights: Eggs benedict with country ham on house-made buttermilk biscuits. Mimosas available. IJ Canns American Grille 3111 Valley Ave., Winchester Brunch hours: Sundays, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Highlights: Amaretto French toast topped



Joe’s Steakhouse 25 W. Piccadilly St., Winchester Brunch hours: Sundays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Highlights: Buffet-style brunch with a Prime rib car ving station and omelet station. Bloody Marys and mimosas.

Region’s 117 104 Hawthorne Ct., Lake Frederick Brunch hours: Sundays, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Highlights: Untraditional eggs benedict with house-made Tasso ham, Texas toast, and whole-grain mustard hollandaise; croissant French toast. Bloody Marys and flavored mimosas like bloody orange, peach, or raspberry.

La Niçoise Café 12 S. Braddock St., Winchester Brunch hours: Sundays, 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Highlights: Mini crabcake benedict, crepe with mixed berries, mussels. Mimosas.

Sweet NOLA's 688 N. Loudoun St., Winchester Brunch hours: Monthly — check the Sweet NOLA's Facebook page for events. Highlights: Live music and fun themes like

with shaved almonds and amaretto cream cheese. Bloody Marys and mimosas.

Village Square Restaurant 103 N. Loudoun St., Winchester Brunch hours: Sundays, 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Highlights: Salmon cake benedict, goat cheese and mushroom ravioli. Bloody Mary and mimosa bar with various toppings. Future brunches Sexi-Mexi Burrito Bar Details: Coming soon on Saturdays George’s Food & Spirits Details: Coming this spring, both Saturdays and Sundays. Fresco Kitchen Details: A monthly “Community Kitchen” brunch, benefitting a local non-profit. The first one is Nov. 19. ABOVE: Bistecca Italian Chop House’s Eggs Benedict Italiano, with apple fennel sausage, toasted focaccia, poached eggs, tomato, and dried figs. Photo by Jenny Baker.

the roundup



Home of the Virginia slice, and one of the biggest pizzas you’ll ever see — 28 inches. Named for an actual Benny who worked his way up in the kitchens of Italian chefs in New York, Benny later moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and is now owner of 16 Benny's in Virginia, as well as North Carolina and South Carolina. Benny's last name is never revealed, because "anonymity is important to him, which is why every Benny’s represents a different side of him and is given a different name," according to the company's website. The menu is sparse — only a few limited topping pizzas plus a few monthly topping specials, and beverages including craft beer. Target opening Nov. 1. 19 E. Boscawen St., Winchester.


Local folks have been wanting a wine bar, and now we’re getting one opening soon at Creekside Station. Besides having 50-plus wines on tap to try by glass, flight, or bottle, they will offer Spanish and Italian tapas, plus luxury game meats and caviars. Owners Branden and Tracy Goldizen said they are "excited to be able to offer Winchester a new, casual upscale venue to enjoy a comprehensive wine selection, unique beers, premium sakes and small plate tapas pairings." Target opening: Nov. 15 - Dec. 1. 3031-103 Valley Ave., Winchester.


Sure, you can get a pepperoni pizza at Oak Stone, but with creative offerings like the "The Bee's Knees," with white sauce, brie, goat cheese, asiago, roasted apples, sweet onion, rosemary, and Tulepo honey, why would you? Executive chef and owners Patrick Dinh and Frank Mayo created a stylish urban, industrial-inspired space with unique wood-fired pizzas and menu items like chicken "brat" sliders and glazed pork belly with zippy chow-chow and cornbread. They also specialize in craft cocktails and "mocktails" for those under 21. Opened late Sept. 1000 Valley Ave., Winchester.


One of the most popular food trucks in the region, Sexi-Mexi Burritos is opening a much-anticipated burrito bar in Old Town Winchester. No stranger to the restaurant industry, owner Cristina Willis has owned and operated Cristina's Cafe in Strasburg with her sister Wendy since 2009 and started the food truck in 2013. The new restaurant will feature all the items from their food truck like Cristina's Crazy Cuban, a burrito or bowl of slow-roasted pork, black beans, avocado, pickled onions, jalapeños, cheese & chipotle aioli. They also will have cocktails, happy hour, a Saturday brunch, and will serve breakfast. Target opening: Nov. 1. 21 E. Boscawen St., Winchester. www.

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Access Monthly -- Nov. 2017  
Access Monthly -- Nov. 2017