You could say my husband and I are foodies. We keep mental lists of our top five favorite culinary experiences and are extremely picky when praising any food establishment.
We read a few reviews about The Conche, a chocolate theme boutique restaurant that opened in Leesburg, Virginia a year ago today, and added it to our list of ‘must visits’. The restaurant is owned and operated by Celebrity Chef, Santosh Tiptur. Chef Tiptur is a world-renowned pastry chef known for his whimsical sweet and savory culinary creations from the award-winning DC-based restaurant and sweet shop Co Co. Sala. His work includes incredible sugar and chocolate sculptures, and numerous appearances on high-profile culinary competition programs on The Food Network.
The Conche brings the chocolate theme into its ambiance with an elegant black, tan and brown decor. A display case of beautiful chocolates greets you at the host station. Handmade truffles in an array of different flavors, colors and shapes take center stage.
Our amazing waiter, Shannon, started us off with two featured special appetizers. We had the Shishito Peppers (Blistered Shishito Peppers, Hot Garlic and Sherry Vinaigrette with Huancaina Cacao Sauce). The sweet peppers paired with the sour vinaigrette and spicy Huancaina Cacao Sauce proved a delectable treat. Sweetness, sourness, and spiciness all in one bite.
I am a huge fan of garlic so our second appetizer, the Asparagus (Pan Fried Asparagus, Sauce Gribiche, Cornichon, Tarragon, a 63-degree egg and Garlic Bearnaise), completely satisfied my garlic craving. The asparagus was super fresh and the addition of the perfectly runny yolk with the creamy bearnaise sauce was stellar.
For beverages, we ordered Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate, Chocolate Cookies And Cream Milk Chocolate and S’mores Dark Chocolate Frozen Cocoa. My children both adored their frozen cocoas with homemade marshmallows. My favorite of the two was definitely the Chocolate Cookies and Cream Milk Chocolate. The Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter hot chocolate was unbelievable, in fact, I ordered two cups. If I lived in Leesburg I would be a regular just for the Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. Rich, smooth, creamy and topped with a homemade marshmallow.
For the main course, our two children ordered the Four Cheese Flatbread (Flatbread, Four Cheese Fritters with Creamy Marinara Sauce). Our kids are incredibly picky and they LOVED it. We had to convince our son not to order a second so he would have room for dessert. The cheese fritters along the top are a brilliant idea making the flatbread unique and fun; a great solution for picky eaters.
My husband ordered the Seared Scallops for his main course (Cocoa Nib Crusted Diver Sea Scallops, Tempura Fried Brussel Sprouts, Charred Red Grapes, Cocoa Infused Black Bean Purée, Watermelon Radish, Pomegranate Reduction). After he had a few bites he turned to me and said, “this is my new favorite restaurant.” Everything on the plate complimented each other. The sweetness of the grapes, the softness of the scallops, the earthiness of the cocoa black bean puree, the crispiness of the Tempura fried Brussel sprouts…I could go on and on.
For my main course, I ordered the Beef Slider Trio (Ground Sirloin stuffed with Braised Short Ribs and Shallot Jam, Fried Cheese Fritter, Creamed Cheddar Spinach, Chocolate Barbecue Sauce). I also ordered a side of Fries (Aromatic Parmesan Fries, Zesty Tomato & Herbs Dip, Calabrian Chili & Chocolate Dip). The burgers were flavorful and had a so many different textures thanks to the many layers. I really enjoyed the braised short ribs throughout and the creamed cheddar spinach with the chocolate barbecue sauce was such a delicious combo. The crispy fries had the perfect amount of seasoning and were quickly devoured by our whole family. My favorite dipping sauce was the Zesty Tomato and Herb while my husband loved the spiciness of the Calabrian Chili and Chocolate. I really loved that each fry was coated with the delicious Parmesan mixture.
For dessert we all shared the Conche Entremet (Dark Chocolate Sphere layered with Rich Sour Cream Chocolate Cake, Guanaja Chocolate Cremeux, Whipped Orelys, Dulcey, and Jivara Ganache, Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream, Passion Fruit Caramel Sauce, Oreo Cookie Crumble, Chocolate Sauce, and Caramel Sauce). This dessert is breathtaking. The presentation, the taste, the experience is unbelievable. The different textures and tastes you get from all the layers are unlike anything I have experienced. You get richness from the chocolate, creaminess from the ice cream and whipped layers, crunchiness from the cookie crumbles and the tartness from the passionfruit caramel sauce.
My family and I are already planning our next visit to The Conche. It now stands firm as one of my husband and my favorite culinary experiences. The food is delicious and a treat for the palette, the service is wonderful and the experience as a whole is stellar.
If you are lucky enough to be in the Leesburg, Virginia area I can’t recommend The Conche enough. It is a unique and delicious culinary experience.
For more information about The Conche please visit their website by clicking here.
- 1605 Village Market Blvd SE, #J108 Leesburg, VA 20175