Market Table Bistro – Northern Virginia Magazine’s Top 50 Restaurants

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Tinsley’s TakeMarket Table Bistro – #19 Northern Virginia Magazine’s Top 50 Restaurants

I grew up in the heart of a small farm town. Growing up in corn fields and playing in tomato plant vines has allowed me to develop a strong appreciation for the food that comes from local “mom and pop” farms. I would like to believe this is why I adore farm-to-table restaurants. In my mind, these little towns are where I would want to see small, rustic farm cafes and bistros thrive. Unfortunately, many of these towns have missed an amazing opportunity to showcase the fruits of their labor.

I was so thrilled to see that Market Table Bistro was located in the small Loudon County farm town of Lovettsville, VA. There is no question that this cute little restaurant deserves its place as #19 on Northern Virginia’s Top 50 Restaurants of 2012.

The owners and chefs of this bistro focus on one thing, the food. They kept the décor simple with a rustic charm and subtle touches, like fresh herbs of their garden in place of flowers in mason jars for reach table. They work with local growers to ensure that their menu reflects clean and local flavors. If you are wondering where the meat, cheese, or veggies come from, they tell you (and it’s on their menu).

If I lived closer to Lovettsville, I would be dining with them (at least) once a week, which is why I will give them a 3 out of 5. I can’t wait go back. In fact, I am planning a day at the wineries with my girlfriends and plan to finish the day with dinner at Market Table Bistro.

Jason’s Judgement

If you’re anything like us, this should sound familiar. When it’s dinner time and we’ve decided to go out rather than cook, which is rare, we’re met with a difficult decision – where to go? Queue the tennis match. Back and forth we go with, ‘Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know, where do you want to go?” Quite often our decision to eat out is very last minute, so having reservations is usually not an option. I don’t know how many times we’ve ran out the door only to sit in the car debating (we’ll call it debating to keep the peace) where to eat. Often the only thing available around us last minute and without reservations are your typical chain restaurants (ugh!), which is one of the main reasons for the tennis debate. Sound familiar?

One very late evening we decided to eat out, but couldn’t make up our minds where. As we sat in our car ‘debating’, we pulled up Northern Virginia Magazine’s top 50 list and ultimately decided to give Mark Table Bistro a try. Tinsley asks me if I know where it is generally and I thought I did. She calls and is able to reserve a table and off we go. Little did we know just how far out we’d have to travel.

By this time it is nearly dark and the GPS has us winding up and down Loudoun county country roads, with the arrival time indicating 15 minutes past our reservation time. With sport mode dialed in and two hands firmly gripping the wheel, I drive like a crazed maniac, praying not to make road kill out of a poor passing animal. We end up arriving only 5 minutes late with country-sized appetites.

There’s not much to Lovettsville, and perhaps that’s the charm the locals like. Market Table Bistro is set along the main, historic street with both indoor and outdoor seating. We opted for indoor seating given the oppressive humidity. The interior is fairly nice for the area, but would feel awkward if placed in more trendy neighborhoods such as Arlington or Alexandria. Tables nicely decorated and service was prompt and cordial.

As for my meal, I started with the mac and cheese, which was just okay. It was lacking a little something to put it over the top. Perhaps I’m spoiled because I tend to compare mac and cheese to the dish The Wine Kitchen serves, which is my absolute favorite. My entre was the filet. Much to my surprise, Market Table Bistro’s filet was hands-down, the best steak I’ve ever had. Ever. And I eat as often as I can at Ruth’s Cris, The Palm and the like. Market Table Bistro on this night topped them all. Perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked, beautifuly presented. The steak was gone in 4 seconds flat. Was it a one-time fluke? All that matters is I still think about that steak all the time.

Overall, we had a lovely evening, a good meal and we’d recommend making the trek out to Lovettsville.

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