Three-Course Dinner and Book Signing with Brian Voltaggio, Family Meal, Ashburn, VA

You may have read in one of my earlier blog posts, Family Meal is one of my favorite restaurants. I love the casual atmosphere and the farm-to-table driven menu. When Family Meal announced that they would host a special three-course meal and book signing with Brian Voltaggio, I had to jump at the chance.


We started out with a sampling of some of Family Meals’ customer-favorite appetizers. My favorite: the Deviled Ham with Eggs. I never order these before but I think I am going to have to start. What makes them special is the deviled ham at the bottom of the whipped egg yolks. Yummy! The Pimento Cheese Hush Puppies were also a favorite with a crispy, crunchy outside and the gooey, peppery, cheese inside.

First Course

We ordered the Collard Greens Caesar Salad with romaine and greens served with a house caesar dressing and crisped, cornflake-coated oysters. And a Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho with basil oil and a watermelon granita. Refreshing!

Second Course

For the second course, we ordered the spaghetti and meatballs with a pomodoro sauce and mozzarella focaccia. And the roasted sea bass with cranberry sea beans, shiitake mushrooms and lemon butter. The spaghetti and meatballs are only served on the kids’ menu and not on the regular menu. But it just goes to show you that it is a dish that satisfies both adults and kids.


Home book and dessert

Dinner ended with these amazing desserts. Caramel Corn Sundae with peanut butter ice cream drizzled with caramel. And the goat cheesecake with blueberry-gin compote and chocolate graham cracker crust. This dessert is not usually on the menu and was a feature for this special dinner. But Family Meal needs to reconsider that. It is one of my favorite dessert that I have ever had at Family Meal. Tangy and creamy.

Highlight of the evening was having Chef Brian Voltaggio come to the table and talk with us. He personalized and signed my book of Home. A great evening and one of my favorite dining experiences!

Fontina Focaccia Bruschetta, Ozzie’s Corner, Fairfax, VA

Fontina Focaccia Brushetta, Ozzie's Corner, Fairfax, VA

Have you ever gone to a restaurant that you frequent often and discover something on the menu that you have overlooked? That is what happen when I ordered the Fontina Focaccia Bruschetta at Ozzie’s Corner in Fairfax, VA.

I just loved the way they prepared this dish. The focaccia is split in half and they fill it with sharp fontina cheese. They grill it until it is crispy and golden brown. It is topped with fresh plum tomatoes and mozzarella. Then it is drizzled with sweet, syrupy balsamic vinegar. It comes to the table with the cheese oozing out of the sides. It is a grown up grilled cheese. The only thing I regret is that I had to share it with my dining partner. Next time, an order just for me!