Saturday, August 14, 2010

Trummer's On Main in Clifton

"Daffodils", Oil, c. Patricia Uchello, 2010

Dear Diary, aka, Imaginary Friend,

Wow, what a delicious trip to Clifton, VA, we took tonight! For the last year, I have wanted to try the new destination restaurant in Clifton, called Trummer's On Main.

If you go, allow 45 minutes drive southwest from Alexandria. Expect to get lost en route! It is in rolling farm country, amidst "starter castles" on 5 acre lots. The restaurant itself in in an old converted historic building, and there are three dining rooms. The only heart-stoppingly pretty one is the Garden Room. It is a visual delight: Gorgeous porportions and a gracious setting with some unusual plank tables. Not to mention the bar in the foyer area, which is onyx, lit from the interior. Glowy madness!

The service is top notch, with so many waiters and servers, they almost trip over each other.
The menu is not large. Trummer's specializes in unique frothy cocktails, a great wine list (try the Austrian Pinot Noir), and a yummy albeit small selection of nouvelle cuisine.
The asparagus appetizer looked like a lovely gift wrapped up. The tomato risotto was outstanding in its intensely tomatoey flavor.
The restaurant was so cold, that I kept asking them to turn down the A/C, as we were under a direct draft. My advice: wear your parka, even in the summer.
I really enjoyed my salmon, but my husband complained that there were not enough vegetarian entree choices. As for me, I usually make a beeline for the shrimp, crab or veal scallop dishes, and there were none of the above.
Trummer's is closed for lunch. Bummer! There are very cute shops in Clifton, including All ThatGlitters, which would encourage me to make a day trip to combine eating and shopping. So many times, I have had lunch at Heart In Hand in Clifton, always disappointed with the food. Trummer's fills that void. Excellent cuisine comes at a fairly steep price, though, much like Restaurant Eve's prices in Old Town, Alexandria.
Clifton now boasts a wine shop, too, and a lovely antique store. It is like Upperville with fewer horses. I can now say definitively, though, that there is better dining in Clifton.
Dinner for two: $100-150.
The hungry traveler,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Leesburg, My Kinda Town!

Patsie, Opening Night, ArtSquare
Dear Diary, aka, Intrepid Reader,

Are you bored, listless, itchy? Having trouble finding anything new to do?

Well, drive out to Leesburg, VA! It could not be simpler.
A) Find King Street.(aka, Route 7)
B) Drive West til you get there.
Voila! A cute little city, with really good restaurants and a great art space.

The art in town revolves around ArtSquare, a new permutation of the Loudoun Academy of the Arts and the former Gallery 222. Located at 12 Cardinal Drive, SE, right off the ubiquitous Route 7, the space is very SoHo/Chelsea, NYC. The high ceilings and white walls are fresh and stark. Good vibe! Run by the lovely Gale Waldron, the gallery gets great attendance at their openings, and has a varied schedule throughout the year with some heavy hitting talents.

What to eat? I thought you would never ask! I have been working night and day all year to find the best eats.

1. Tuskie's, aka, Tuscarora Mills. Loves it! Gotta go there for the Shrimp and Grits, which rock.
2. Fire Works Pizza, for their garlic pizza. Wow! SO much flavor impact. Bring the Tums!
3. Mom's Pies. Love their coconut macaroons! Lots of pie flavors.
4. Palio, Italian.
5. Lightfoot, in a beautiful old bank.
6. Venture further west on Route 7 and you will land in Purcellville, and should eat at Magnolia at the Mill. Yummy stuff there, too.

On my list to try: The Cajun Experience. Very Loo-see-ana. A place after my own heart!

Are you a shopper? Well, Creme de la Creme has beautiful French Provincial items, high end. There is also good antiquing to be had.

Are you a wino? No problem! Leesburg is very close to about 100 Virginia wineries. You can get your swerve on!
Gotta run; am looking for King Street!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

No Substitutions for the "Real" Thing

"Strawberries," Oil, 8 x 10"
Dear Diary, aka, Imaginary Friends,

This week, I decided to make the ultimate compromise: a low-fat quiche. I substituted skim milk in my mushroom quiche, instead of whipping cream. Guess how it came out: No flavor.
The payoff is a few less calories going into my clogged arteries and waistline. Was it a fair trade off? No way. That is like Justin Bieber without the hair. Or like painting with mud.

Just as I want my cooking to taste good, I want my art to look tasty.
(Don't my strawberries look yummy?) You cannot make a great piece of art without the requisite tools and ingredients. Unless you are some kind of genius, and nobody has called me that since my mother died. Tear.

I have been watching with great interest the new show on Bravo called Work of Art. Produced by Sarah Jessica Parker, an artiste of a different ilk, the show features painters and sculptors, mostly young and cute, competing with each other in various challenges. Finally, a reality show without "real" housewives, Spencer and Heidi, or fake tans like Snooky and the Situation. There is no substitution for real content in media, that inspires us as opposed to watching a show featuring attention-starved evil housewives, so that we can decide which one is the least heinous. I know where I will be Wednesday nights: watching Work of Art, and picturing myself executing work to win each challenge.

Your imaginary Friend,
, a not-so-heinous real housewife