By Stefanie Gans
We’re in Ashburn in an Austrian (not Italian) restaurant and we’re actually eating spaetzle, in a blue cheese sauce speckled with torn pieces of spinach. When spaetzle is served as a side—like it is on the jagerschnitzel covered in a decadent and smoky bacon-and-mushroom cream sauce—there is a browned crispness to the dough, cut to the size of raisins.
In the gnocchi knock-off, the potato doppelgangers give slightly to pressure, like a therapeutic pillow. It’s a dish, says chef and owner Thomas Verschnik, found at skiing resorts in Austria; a bowl of creamy comfort in snowy Europe sounds right.
Verschnik, 34, and his childhood friend Sabeena Sachar, 31, opened At Kaiser’s – The Austrian Gasthaus last fall. After training in Austria and cooking across Europe, Verschnick moved to Northern Virginia in 2012. Sachar, who already lived in the area, could never find a proper Austrian restaurant. She told Verschnick, “There’s nothing around besides all those chain restaurants,” and so they put together this gasthaus, a German word for casual restaurant.
Served in a squat, swivel-closure glass jar, a light beef broth shows off its oniony side and in lieu of noodles, offers strips of herby pancake. Somehow, the slivers achieved stasis: They do not swell from the broth or dissolve into mush, but stay doughy.
The wiernerschitzel is less surprising, but still good, as pork, pounded to the height of a piece of paper, gains its taste from a heavy breading and frying and a dab of lingonberry jam.
A pork roast was tough and chewy, but the roasting sauce covers its lack of flavor, as did the mound of vinegary sauerkraut. Bread dumplings, pressed croutons cut into flat disks, tasted of Thanksgiving stuffing from a box.
The wurst platter is thanks to a butcher in Baltimore (Verschnick wouldn’t reveal the name), and the brats are juicy, chewy and meaty. The spice on the debrezeinr sausage is a lovely heat that floats in the mouth.
Dessert comes in the form of a pancake, a traditional Austrian dessert. By whipping the egg whites separately, then folding them into a sweet batter, the pancakes become fluffy. Arriving shredded and caramelized in sugar, with an extra dusting of powdered sugar, it’s like eating the insides of funnel cake.
“We’re not going into fusion cuisines or any exotic food,” says Verschnick. He doesn’t rely on trends to guide the menu, including making the sausages in-house, even though he’s trained. This is not an ambitious restaurant; he’s cooking Austrian standards. “I know it’s a risk,” he says. Sometimes staying classic is.
At Kaiser’s – The Austrian Gasthaus
A brat and 16-ounce beer is $9.50 during happy hour.
Appetizers: $5.50–$14.95; Entrees: $14.95–$21.95
Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner
44110 Ashburn Shopping Plaza, Ashburn, atkaisers.com
By Anjelica Michael
Do you want to do something special for your dog, but don’t have time to make a trip to the pet store? BarkBox may be for you. For as low as $19 per month, your furry friend can get a custom box full of new toys, snacks and products. The boxes are catered to the size of your dog and can be bought in a variety of plans. We talked to Barkbox’s communications director Chris O’Brien to get some more information about this service.
Describe what you aim to do with BarkBox in one sentence.
BarkBox wants to make all dogs happy and healthy.
What prompted the start of BarkBox?
BarkBox was founded by Matt Meeker. He loved spoiling his dog Hugo, a 130-pound Great Dane, but found it really challenging to find great toys and treats for him in New York City Pet stores. He decided to build a business that solved that problem.
What is the process of choosing what goes in each box?
Each months BarkBox is lovingly curated by a team of toy and treat scouts that scour the county to find only the most unique toys and healthiest treats.
What would be in a typical BarkBox?
Each monthly box includes 4 – 6 homemade, all-natural treats and high-quality, unique toys. All our treats are made in the USA or Canada and for the most part these are things you can’t find at the typical big-box pet store.
We’ve seen a lot of your ads on Facebook; do you feel like social media has helped your business?
Everyone loves to take pics of their dog Every month we’re inundated with tens of thousands of pics of our ‘pupscribers’ enjoying their BarkBoxes. Facebook and Instagram have been great places to share these pics.
Tell us about your BarkBox app. What features does it have?
The BarkBox app is the best place for dog parents to reorder items from their favorite BarkBox. The app also gives you a sneak peak at upcoming boxes, but we always ask that the dog parents do not share this info with their pups.
To learn more about BarkBox, visit their website BarkBox.com
To see all their pupstomers, check out their Instagram page Here
Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
By Shelby Robinson
Now that the weather has taken a turn towards pleasant and the sun stays out longer, live music is back in season. Kick off the spring with local food and local music this weekend.
The Hummingbyrds are a Northern Virginia-based Americana music duo who won the Helen Hayes Award for their theater company, Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue. The Hummingbyrds’ music is somewhere between folk and country, which they describe as “in the tradition of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris.” The Hummingbyrds are worthy of Friday night out, with or without the kids.
Friday, April 25, 7 – 10 p.m.
The Hummingbyrds at MS Grill
Reston Town Center
11900 Market Street
No Cover Charge
Great Grapes is a two-day festival of wine and food. Guests are welcome to bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy live music on the main stage. There will be two wine gardens and a variety of food and specialty tasting pavilions.
April 26-27, noon – 6 p.m.
Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival
Reston Town Center
11900 Market Street
Ticket Prices Vary
Gary Smallwood was recently named “Loudoun’s Best Musician” in a poll done by Leesburg Today. Smallwood has been playing music since fifth grade and started touring at the age of 16, sometimes barely making it back from a gig in time to catch his bus to school. His experience and passion is obvious and he puts on a show that is entertaining for both adults and kids. Bring your family out to Leesburg for a relaxing afternoon at Lost Creek Vineyards.
Saturday, April 26, 2 – 5 p.m.
Live Music by Gary Smallwood
Lost Creek Vineyards
43277 Spinks Ferry Road
Bill Emerson has been called a “Banjo Legend” by the Washington Post and is considered one of the greats in Bluegrass music. Emerson’s band Sweet Dixie is a group of experienced Bluegrass musicians, covering mandolin, fiddle, bass, and guitar. There’s no better place to hear Bluegrass than Virginia and it’s a great show for adults and children alike.
Saturday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.
Weekend Bluegrass Concert Series presents Bill Emerson & Sweet Dixie
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
1090 Sterling Road, Herndon
By Janeé Williams
Ashley Wagner visits Arlington Science Focus Elementary School
Crowd protests Loudoun school cuts
Helen Hayes Awards celebrate local theater talent
19-year-old Annandale woman among four charged with armed robbery
By Shelby Robinson
Despite the recent popularity of rustic and shabby-chic weddings, glamorous, over-the-top weddings are coming back in style.
Simplicity is beautiful but diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Take some tips from the professionals then add vintage touches, unique decor or some Southern charm to complete the look.
Dora Dannsa, owner and lead planner of TinaRose Weddings and Events, and Senta Martz, owner of B.Mingled Weddings and Events, LLC, were kind enough to give us some of their expert advice to help you make your wedding the social event of the year.
“Glamorous weddings usually have a very chic feel from the moment you walk through the entrance,” said Martz. “Lighting is the first component. The correct use of up-lighting to accent walls, focal tables (such as the head table, cake table, dessert bar, etc.) and centerpieces are important.”
Dannsa, of TinaRose, adds, “While a grand ballroom is a classic option, you don’t have to be tied to a ballroom. Consider art museums, vineyards, historic mansions and country clubs as alternatives. There are so many venues in Northern Virginia that allow you to create an elegant wedding.”
Dannsa notes, “A few years ago most brides were not keen to the idea of gold plated flatware or gold accents on china. These days a touch of gold on the table adds a little more glam to any wedding. Think gold flatware, lots of lush white blooms and greenery, and lots of candle light. Use specialty linen in neutral of metallic hues. “
For attire, Dannsa recommends a fitted, lacy dress with a vintage flare. “A fit and flare lace gown with lace sleeves that extend to create an illusion neckline is the way to go. It is simply elegant, classy and flattering on most body types. Choose one with a chapel length train and add a finger-tip length veil to complete the look. For accessories the ‘Great Gatsby’ trend has taken over these days. And nothing screams 1920s glam more than beautifully embellished hairpiece and bold jewelry. Of course if you have heirloom pieces, there’s no perfect time than now to wear it.”
When deciding what kind of flowers will compliment your elegant wedding, stick to neutral colors and interesting textures. Martz recommends, “As far as floral design, the use of poppies, pansies, and garden roses are really trendy. These flowers are very full and create a soft look. A mix of pale pinks, whites, creams, and light greens make a pretty centerpiece and bouquet. Diamond accents and brooches are being added into the bride’s bouquet and/or mixed into centerpieces.”
Dannsa adds, “Remember that almost all the pictures of your dress will also feature your bouquet so you want it to compliment it well. Many brides these days are personalizing their bouquets and honoring loved ones at the same time. To create this you can tie your grandpa’s handkerchief, wrap your grandma’s scarf around it, or attach your mother’s brooch on it.”
To finish off your glamorous wedding, make sure that your send-off is as elegant and interesting as the rest of the wedding. A fun and fabulous send-off is a huge indication of a successful party.
Give your wedding the finale that you and your guests will remember forever. Dannsa’s recommendation is, “Get away in a memorable and stylish way. Send off in style with sparklers and a vintage getaway car or ditch the idea for something more unique.”
Most wedding planners agree that the most important part of your wedding is making it fun and memorable for you and your guests. Make sure that you plan a fun wedding that shows off your unique style and interests.
By Shelby Robinson
Easter eggs with racist notes upset Va. residents
Loudoun County Supervisors review four designs for Loudoun County Courthouse expansion
Virtual Offices become a reality in Fairfax
Two Loudoun County deputies were injured stopping an attempted robbery at a Sterling Costco
Sierra Hull to headline Loudoun Bluegrass Festival
Posted by Editorial / Friday, April 18th, 2014
By Janeé Williams
Spring is here, so race horse season is underway. The 94th Running of the Middleburg Spring Races is set for tomorrow at Glenwood Park. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race will begin at 1 p.m. There will be seven races running every half hour as well as food and retail vendors with an Easter egg hunt for kids beginning at noon.
The Middleburg Spring Races are more than just a race, it’s history. The races are held right outside the town of Middleburg and the course is the only course that holds land in that area. The races attract so many people from the surrounding areas, many of them new to horse racing.
“What makes this event unique is that many of the people attending have never been to a horse race before. They get to come here and experience it for the first time,” says Michelle Hobson of Middleburg Spring Races. These races are also prep for the The Gold Cup Race, one of the largest races in the area. The meet runs a variety of races including hurdle, timber and flat races. The race will also feature The Temple Gwathemy Stakes Race, a race inspired by James Temple Gwathemy, a New York resident who was a constant supporter and amateur rider of steeplechasing.
Some contenders of the race are Michel Smith’s Arrows Conquest; Ms. S.K. Johnston’s Polarity; Virginia Lazenby’s Pleasant Woodman; Magalen Bryant’s Lea Von; Beverly Steinman’s Master of Markets; Ann Pape’s Fog Island; and Magalen Bryant’s Dakota Slew.
Proceeds will go to benefit INOVA/Loudoun hospital, Glenwood Park Trust and local charities. / 94th Running of the Middleburg Spring Races; April 19th, Glenwood Park Racecourse in Middleburg; 1:00 p.m.
By Anjelica Michael
Wine, food, live music and relaxation. That’s what you can expect at the Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival on April 26-27. With hundreds of wines awaiting your sampling from 20 Virginia wineries, all you have to bring is a blanket to sit on the lawn to enjoy some tunes.
With the purchase of a tasting ticket, you can enjoy unlimited samples in a complimentary souvenir wine glass. Admission is free for those who just want to listen to the music and take a walk through the displays. With the backdrop of Reston Town Center, there is even more to experience with the shopping and dining venues close by.
A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to The Spirit of Hope Children’s Foundation for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. So come out to support a great cause, and enjoy a day of wine, gourmet eats and music entertainment including Sons of Pirates, Looking For Lester, and David Bach.
As a special treat Northern Virginia Magazine is giving away 4 VIP tickets to the event. VIP tickets entitle you to: a souvenir wine glass and t-shirt, express access to the Specialty Pavilions and unlimited wine samples. All you need to do to win is direct message us on Twitter at @NorthernVAMag with your favorite wine pairings. We’re looking for the most daring and delicious suggestions to win the 2-day tasting package.
Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival
April 26-27 From noon-6 p.m.
Reston Town Center
By Janeé Williams
Berlin Wall brought to the University of Virginia
Ex-Girlfriend says she purchased guns for suspect Charles Severance
Street closed due to Nauck Gas Leak
Fairfax School Board seeks county support for school renovations
Posted by Angela Bobo / Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
Old Town Alexandria businesses Zoe Boutique, Bishop Boutique, The Dog Park and Sugar House Day Spa and Salon have combined forces to launch a biannual lookbook series entitled Cobblestone Runway. Each lookbook will feature local bloggers and showcase the beauty of the Old Town neighborhood. The inaugural issue ‘A Weekend in Old Town’ showcases Wendy Santantonio of Old Town Home, Rachel Minarchik of My Fair Vanity, Tammy Preston of A Loyal Love and Bryarly Richards of Everything That Flickers engaging in a fun girl’s getaway enjoying the shops and scenes of the historic location. Check out the fun and fabulous lookbook and then head to Old Town to purchase your favorite pieces and discover the popular destination.