Village at Leesburg’s ice sculpture contest to dazzle locals for a second year

Times-Mirror/David Manning Don Harrison, of Philadelphia, Pa., sprays ice during a National Ice Carving Association competition at the Village at Leesburg on Saturday, January 31, 2015 in Leesburg, Va. Eight professional carvers competed for a $2000 first prize where they carved eight blocks of ice in eight hours, limited to one block per hour.

A carver at last year’s inaugural competition in Leesburg lets the ice chips fly. Times-Mirror File Photo

World-class ice carvers from all over the country will go head-to-head on Jan. 16 at the Village at Leesburg’s Annual Winter Ice Fest and Mega Block Ice Carving Competition.

Last year’s event attracted hundreds of spectators who braved temperatures in the teens to marvel at the artistry and skill exhibited by the competitors.

“We were thrilled at the community response to this event last year, and we’re so glad to be able to bring it back,” said Staci Harris, marketing director for Village at Leesburg in a prepared statement.

The competition will be stiffer this year as two more competitors join, bringing the total number of ice carvers to 10.

The competition, sanctioned by the National Ice Carving Association, will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until dark. After the sun sets, the entries will be illuminated and the winner will be announced.

Four competitors are returning, including last year’s winner Todd Dawson.

Baltimore-based Ice Lab Ice Sculptures is organizing the competition and will design a surprise signature piece for the festival.

“We’re excited that this is something people have already started looking forward to each year,” said Casey Lee Conner, owner of Ice Lab.

The event is free and open to the public. All sculptures will remain on display until they melt.

 

Article posted from the Loudoun Times-Mirror >>

World Class Ice Carvers Return to Village at Leesburg

World-class ice carvers from all over the country will go head to head Saturday, Jan. 16 as Village at Leesburg hosts its 3rd Annual Winter Ice Fest and 2nd Annual Mega Block Ice Carving Competition. Last year�s event attracted hundreds of spectators who braved temperatures in the teens to marvel at the artistry and skill exhibited by the competitors. The competition will be stiffer this year as two more competitors join, bringing the total number of ice carvers to ten.

The competition, sanctioned by the National Ice Carving Association, will begin at 9am and continue until dark, when the entries are illuminated and the winner is announced. Four competitors are returning, including last year�s winner Todd Dawson, who will look to retain his title.

�We were thrilled at the community response to this event last year, and we�re so glad to be able to bring it back,� said Staci Harris, marketing director for Village at Leesburg.

Baltimore-based Ice Lab Ice Sculptures is organizing the competition and will again be designing a surprise signature piece for the festival. All sculptures will remain on display until they melt. �We�re excited that this is something people have already started looking forward to each year,� said owner Casey Lee Conner.

The event is free and open to the public.

Article published by the Purcellville Gazette >>

Winter Ice Fest & Mega Block Ice Carving Competition

Cozy on up to the Village at Leesburg for their 3rd Annual Winter Ice Fest & Mega Block Ice Carving Competition on January 16, 2016! Enjoy music, treats, and warming stations along the boulevard while feasting your eyes on ten of the most renowned ice carvers as they compete for prizes! Peruse your favorite shops and grab a bite to eat in one of the many outstanding restaurants at the Village. The ice carving competition starts at 9 am but the fun will last all day! For more information on this event, please click here.

Winter Ice Fest and Mega Block Ice Carving Competition at Village at Leesburg is being held at 1602 Village Market Blvd. SE, Leesburg, VA 70125. Connect: Online | Facebook | Twitter | (571) 291-2288.

Article posted from Loudoun Moms >>

A ‘Big Ten’ sports bistro coming to Village at Leesburg

LTM - TenSpotTen Spot sports bistro will open in Village at Leesburg next March. Times-Mirror/Christie Boyden

A new eatery is coming to the Village at Leesburg. Ten Spot Kitchen & Tap, an American bistro hoping to blend in the energy of a sports pub, will open in March 2016 next to Travinia Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar.

“I was looking for an awesome sports bar to watch Big Ten games but wasn’t thrilled with the ambiance or food options,” owner Melia Wilder said. “I wanted to open a restaurant that filled the gaps I saw and serve a growing community of sports fans.”

A native of Ohio and Ohio State alumnae, Wilder now calls Northern Virginia home. After considering other areas closer in to D.C., Wilder saw the Village at Leesburg as a better fit.

“There is a strong presence of Big Ten alumni and fans in our area,” Wilder said in a statement. “I also notice a presence of local school spirit, and the trend of eating cleaner and healthier. Ten Spot is bringing all of those interests to life in one destination.”

With her husband Van, a 20-year veteran of Anheuser-Busch, by her side, Wilder wants Ten Spot to change the stereotype of a sports bar with fewer beer signs on the wall and fresh food.

The first restaurant Wilder will wholly own, Ten Spot will source its food both locally and from regions in the Midwest where many of the Big Ten schools are located, including Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio.

“We’re putting food first instead of sports first and pulling the common thread of the Big Ten conference through with food and drink sourced from those regions,’’ Wilder said.

While Ten Spot’s cleaner, fresher menu will still include the guilty pleasures associated with watching college sports, Wilder plans to stay away from high-processed, genetically modified foods.

“We’re not claiming to be healthy and organic, but we want to have the best clean, fresh, ingredients possible,” Wilder said.

Ten Spot is also re-envisioning the interior decor of a sports bar. With a design philosophy focused on re-purpose, restyle, and restore, Wilder is sourcing fixtures from Loudoun County to find rustic and chic items like reclaimed lumber and century-old fixtures like fireplaces and antiques.

“We won’t be the sports bar with memorabilia plastered on the walls,” Wilder said. “By re-purposing materials, we’re trying to minimize our footprint while also giving the place a vintage, hip feel.”

Ten Spot replaces Thai restaurant Faang, which closed in early 2014, and joins several nearby restaurants like Smokehouse Live!, BurgerFi, King Pinz and Firebirds.

Article published by the Loudoun Times-Mirror >>

Leesburg’s Smokehouse Live: A Carnivore’s Dream

ShL-Carnivore's Dream by Ray LopezPhoto by Rey Lopez

By Warren Rojas

Smokehouse Live lights up the local barbecue scene

“This is probably the wrong place to be a vegetarian,” a folksy singer joked to the crowd assembled within Smokehouse Live for a taste of local barbecue.

Her set filler may qualify as the understatement of the year.

The cavernous eatery—which boasts an open-air patio, curbside seating, dedicated stage for live music, interior bar and full-service barbecue market—has been vying to keep Northern Virginia bellies full of tempting proteins since rolling out the welcome mat in early June.

Cofounders Kris Diemar and Jim Foss, the latter a veteran of Penn Quarter’s Hill Country, devoted roughly a year and a half to developing the dining establishment of their dreams.

The decor is pretty basic. There are scattered picnic tables, corrugated metal walls and plywood dividers.

The one thing you’ll wish they’d invested in: screens. I swatted away more flies at Smokehouse Live than I did during the more than seven hours I spent waiting outside Franklin’s Barbecue in Austin.

Then again, the place is supposed to appeal to our primal selves, transporting us back to a time when feasting took place around smoldering embers.

The 40 minute-plus wait times I encountered during weekend trips to Smokehouse Live suggest that local carnivores have no qualms about getting back to nature.

“You can have meat AND sides,” one excited little girl informed a friend evidently new to the cafeteria-style ordering process. “I just want mac and cheese,” her gal pal opined. “No meat? I don’t think you can do that,” the incredulous host sputtered out.

And who can blame her?

Foss and executive chef Bryan Yealy—he’s the one in the Denver Broncos cap dishing out Texas-style grub in Loudoun County—have set the table with a slew of hand-carved meats that spend anywhere from a few hours (up to three for the signature Savannah chicken) to the better part of a day (the pork shoulder takes 18) basking in the glow of slowly exhausted timber.

Tougher-than-expected burnt ends are slathered in zesty barbecue sauce, enrobed in lusty bacon and sprinkled with crunchy potato sticks in one uneven opener. House pork belly (Foss says all the swine is supplied by Smithfield) steals the show in a self-styled bahn mi composed of unctuous piggy, fiery Sriracha mayo and cooling cabbage slaw stuffed into a crusty baguette.

Beef shoulder is lean; a thin ring of fat surrounds an otherwise muscular cut that should sate aficionados of traditional roast beef.

“Oh, that looks guuuuud,” a meat lover who apparently hadn’t yet figured on what to order opined upon spotting the slab of sanguine prime rib a market aide was shepherding onto my serving tray. The no-nonsense steak displays only trace amounts of salt and pepper.

Brisket sports a man-made bark (the product, Foss says, of 10 hours spent in a proprietary rub) while the inherent marbling produces bites of melt-in-your-mouth bliss.

Buttermilk-soaked turkey breast is tasty while warm but works wonders the day after as sandwich fodder. Conversely, the sweet tea-brined chicken offered at brunch is served cold, greeting hungry mouths with fried bird laced with syrupy undertones. Ladle on a spoonful of the spectacularly rich sausage gravy for a killer counterbalance.

Smoked chicken begs to be devoured. The fork-tender bird is basted in mustardy sauce and speckled with baked-on herbs that elicit a tangy-sweet, jerk-like zing.

Pork spare ribs play coy, revealing just a hint of caramelized brown sugar before the heat from the signature spice blend sticks you in the back of the throat. Brawny short ribs clobber hunger, yielding mouthfuls of succulent beef that smacks of cumin, pepper and smoke.

Artisan meat packer Lothar Erbe initially played an essential link in the Smokehouse Live food chain, feeding the fledgling joint traditional brats and jalapeno-cheddar specimens that were greedily snatched up by pork lovers. By the end of the summer, Yealy et al. had seized control of the sausage-making operation, cranking out Shiner Bock-spiked brats and cheddar-laced Red Hots now handcrafted in-house.

Extra chunky pimento dip, layered with shredded cheese and diced sweet peppers, opens up the appetite better than curiously bland pulled pork-bacon hush puppies (which conjured up neither). Lightly scorched grits bolstered by sharp cheddar and hot peppers left a more lasting impression than the appropriately gooey but not particularly distinctive mac and cheese.

Greenery is scarce but worth seeking out. My favorite garden fare would have to be split between the refreshing spring pea-pearl onion salad (love the tongue-teasing mint and squishy noodles) and the wonderfully tart whiskey-dill pickles.

Early risers who trek out that way on the Lord’s day are rewarded with an all-you-can-eat spread populated by myriad egg dishes (a chorizo and mixed peppers medley went from good to great courtesy of a spoonful of guacamole forged from buttery avocados), brown sugared-ham (s’aright) and pulled pork (rather dry; rescue it with a hit of the vinegary Carolina sauce).

Skip all that and load up on the hearty casseroles.

One lasagna-like breakfast bake weaves together crumbled ground beef, chopped brisket and melted cheese beneath a canopy of tender noodles. A Thanksgiving-themed selection brings the best of turkey day to your lips in heaping spoonfuls loaded with smoked bird, mashed potatoes, cornbread and gravy.

Still hungry?

Staff floats around at all hours dispensing freshly baked sweets.

“May I offer you a cinnamon roll with candied bacon?” a server, hoisting aloft a tray lined with glazed buns studded with glistening pig, posits in what must be the absolute easiest sales pitch of all time. (The bacon is crunchy and the spice-filled center velvety smooth.)

A young woman carrying bite-sized caramel apple tarts (scrumptious) sidled up another time, while happy hour guests made short work of the chewy chocolate chip cookies a manager waved under their collective noses.

What left this hired mouth all shook up was the Elvis cake. The King-sized confection intersperses chocolate cake with layers of peanut butter filling and banana pudding, then crowns everything with silky chocolate frosting, crushed nuts and smoky-sweet strips of glazed bacon.

Uh-huh, you sweet delight!

Notes

Scoop:
The massive smokers are stoked with hunks of oak procured right down the road in Leesburg.
Dishes:
Appetizers: $5-$12; Entrees: $12-$26
Open:
Lunch Monday through Saturday, dinner daily, brunch Sunday.
Contact:
1602 Village Market Blvd., Leesburg; smokehouse-live.com

ShL -childcake-550x367 by Rey Lopez

(October 2015)

Article posted from The Washington Post »

Holidays in the Village at Leesburg

VALTree1

By Sarah Pixley

Head west of D.C. for a less-congested holiday celebration in the village of Leesburg, where you’ll find a five-story tree with more than 15,000 lights.
Leesburg will also play host to live music and plenty of holiday-themed events. This year, the village is celebrating the coming holidays with free horse-drawn carriage rides and breakfast with Santa at participating restos. Kids can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy breakfast or lunch and receive a photo and souvenir.
Full Holiday Event Schedule:
Horse-Drawn Carriage rides: Fridays & Saturdays 5-9 p.m. through Dec. 19

Spectacular Musical Tree Shows: Daily music and light shows through Jan. 3, noon-9 p.m. every hour on the hour.

Visit with Santa: Wednesdays and Thursdays now through Dec. 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (bring your own camera). Wednesdays are pet-friendly.

International TUBACHRISTMAS Concert: A flashmob-esque group of tuba players will gather and playing Christmas music, Dec. 13 from 2-3 p.m.

Hanukkah Celebration: Dec. 13 at 4 p.m.

Annual Winter Ice Fest & Mega Block Ice Carving Competition: Jan. 16; more details to come.
Breakfast With Santa: reservations required, $15/seat. Kids 4 and under free. Locations:
King Pinz
Saturday, Dec. 5
9 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
Call (703) 443-8001

Smokehouse Live
Saturday, Dec. 12
8:30 a.m. & 10 a.m.
Call (571) 447-5483

Eggspectation
Saturday, Dec. 19
8:30 a.m. & 10 a.m.
Call (703) 777-4127
You are also encouraged to bring a donation for Toys for Tots.
The Village at Leesburg is centered around 1602 Village Market Blvd. SE, about an hour from downtown D.C.

Article posted from NBC Washintion >>

Holidays in the Village of Leesburg

VALTree1

Article By Sarah Pixley

Photo: Village at Leesburg
Head west of D.C. for a less-congested holiday celebration in the village of Leesburg, where you’ll find a five-story tree with more than 15,000 lights.
Leesburg will also play host to live music and plenty of holiday-themed events. This year, the village is celebrating the coming holidays with free horse-drawn carriage rides and breakfast with Santa at participating restos. Kids can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy breakfast or lunch and receive a photo and souvenir.
Full Holiday Event Schedule:
Horse-Drawn Carriage rides: Fridays & Saturdays 5-9 p.m. through Dec. 19

Spectacular Musical Tree Shows: Daily music and light shows through Jan. 3, noon-9 p.m. every hour on the hour.

Visit with Santa: Wednesdays and Thursdays now through Dec. 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (bring your own camera). Wednesdays are pet-friendly.

International TUBACHRISTMAS Concert: A flashmob-esque group of tuba players will gather and playing Christmas music, Dec. 13 from 2-3 p.m.

Hanukkah Celebration: Dec. 13 at 4 p.m.

Annual Winter Ice Fest & Mega Block Ice Carving Competition: Jan. 16; more details to come.
Breakfast With Santa: reservations required, $15/seat. Kids 4 and under free. Locations:
King Pinz
Saturday, Dec. 5
9 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
Call (703) 443-8001

Smokehouse Live
Saturday, Dec. 12
8:30 a.m. & 10 a.m.
Call (571) 447-5483

Eggspectation
Saturday, Dec. 19
8:30 a.m. & 10 a.m.
Call (703) 777-4127
You are also encouraged to bring a donation for Toys for Tots.
The Village at Leesburg is centered around 1602 Village Market Blvd. SE, about an hour from downtown D.C.
Published at 6:10 PM EST on Dec 2, 2015

Article posted from NBC4 Washinton >>