I might not have gotten away as much as I wanted to over the summer, but I was damned if I would let Labor Day Weekend pass with me in the city. Enter my cousin, who invites me to come down to visit her in Ashburn, Va. for the long weekend.
Many great times have been had at my cousin and her boyfriend Bob’s home. Friendsgiving is one of the most memorable, but this trip would be my first in the summer and with my new fur-son, Angus Bear, to meet cousin Blue, the handsome Chihuahua.
Angus and I hopped on a bus to Washington, D.C., in the early afternoon, and four hours later, we were scooped up by Quinn for the drive out to Ashburn. The time gave Quinn and me a chance to catch each other up on our worlds and for Quinn to lay out the holiday weekend plans. They were considerable, and I was here for all of it.
There is a lot to unpack here, so let me get right to it. The food highlights were visits to two vineyards (one of which was dog friendly) and a #roseallday vibe, the local farmers market for a bacon forward breakfast from @BaconWeakling and chopping it up with the market creator, a dope home-cooked Italian feast and some surprisingly good delivery.
The first of the two vineyards, Fleetwood Farm Winery (23075 Evergreen Mills Rd., Leesburg, Va., 703-722-2124, www.fleetwoodfarmwinery.com) was a gem of a Saturday evening. New to the scene, this small but so quaint winery was modern, lively and welcomed Bluewater Kitchen (@BWKitchen) catering, who held a whole-pig roast and an all-pork menu.
We dove into their pork sandwich and locally sourced sides of German-style potato salad, cider slaw, mac n’ cheese and stewed green beans. A dope bottle of rosé, music and a fantastic sunset, and other spirited patrons had me not believing I was in Virginia, but I was.
Sunday, we packed up Angus for our second vineyard romp to Stone Tower Vineyard (@StoneTowerWine, 19925 Hogback Mountain Rd., Leesburg, Va., 703-777-2797, www.stonetowerwinery.com). Just the views up the driveway gave me everything. Much larger than Fleetwood, Stone Tower has multiple tasting rooms and some large pergolas for guests to drink wines, eat and look over the vineyard vistas. Our wine of choice? You know it. Rosé!
That night, to celebrate the stay and to thank Bob and Quinn, I prepared an outstanding Italian meal of angel hair pasta in white clam sauce and sautéed broccoli rabe with garlic and chilies. Both went with Quinn’s caprese salad of truffle burrata, heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil.
Grazie mille, famiglia! Alla prossima!
Happy eating and thanks for reading!
Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for more than 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!