Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One Block West

No, I'm not giving you directions. Its the name of a restaurant in Winchester Va near where I grew up.  Winchester is not exactly a bustling metropolis nor is it known for its fine cuisine. In fact I would categorize it as a small college town (home to my alma mater Shenandoah University, originally a music conservatory) full of country folk to put it nicely. Though I will give Winchester credit that over the last few years they've grown up a bit in trying to compete with nearby counties Loudoun and Fairfax.  However they still have a ways to go.

wild boar terrine
Israeli couscous risotto

This is why, when last month my family wanted to get together in Winchester to celebrate my parents 41st wedding anniversary, I was a little skeptical that we'd find a decent place appropriate for the occasion.  But my sister assured me she would find a couple good choices.  And she came through. We decided on One Block West.

seared fois gras
crab cakes and fancy slaw

There is a section of Winchester called Old Town where there is a quaint outdoor mall with neat little shops and restaurants and coffee shops.  Well, just "one block west" of this mall is the restaurant One Block West...hence the name...

osso bucco complete with marrow in the bone
wild mushroom puff pastry

I was pleasantly surprised (after having to walk down a dark alley) to arrive at this romantic and elegant yet comfortable setting, where my parents, my sister and her husband were waiting for Superking and I.  I was also pleased to learn that the menu is very seasonal, often changing daily, because the chef and owner takes pride in finding and using local fresh ingredients from local farmers markets. The menu even includes wine pairings from local wineries in and around the Shenandoah Valley.

rabbit cassoulet with brussel sprouts

port and blue cheese tasting plate

caramelized orange upside down cake

The food we had was great.  We've had better especially for the price.  It seemed a little expensive.  I don't mind shelling out the big bucks for quality, especially seasonal, food but I felt like we've gotten more for our money elsewhere. Having said that, the food was still very good, the atmosphere was nice, and the company wasn't too bad either ;)  One Block West is definitely a surprising little gem in an unlikely place. Happy 41 years, Mom and Dad!

chocolate truffles for the road

Left to right: Me, Superking, dad, mom, sister Lisa, her husband Scott

1 comment:

  1. vafoodandwineloverFebruary 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM, next time you wont doubt my ability to suggest a good place to eat! :) I know my food!! I have more in mond for you as well. We had a good time as well! Love ya!