After over 20 years in downtown Leesburg, Chef Ingrid Gustavson is a local institution and a big reason for Lightfoot’s staying power. While Ingrid is constantly looking to innovate and bring fresh flavors and ideas into the dining room, there is a core selection of favorite dishes we try not to mess with. Here’s a list of Lightfoot’s most popular plates (according to our guests) along with suggested wine pairings.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Chef Ingrid’s take on this classic Southern dish has been garnering raves for more than a decade. The combination of tangy green tomatoes and a crispy exterior has created legions of devotees over the years. Chef Ingrid does like to shake things up a little and throw in a new twist from time to time. The current version of this popular dish includes jalapeño cheddar, sautéed shrimp and Szechuan chili cream. We recommend a sparkling wine or a rosé to bring out the best in this savory/spicy delight.
Marinated Flank Steak Salad
Our Marinated Flank Steak Salad is one of our most popular menu items of all time and one dish that usually doesn’t get a lot of tweaking (to avoid getting our regulars really mad!). We’ve been doing greens and protein in an amazing way—long before paleo was a thing. This favorite salad combines perfectly cooked flank steak and greens with a balsamic vinaigrette, caramelized onions, blue cheese, and more deliciousness. Absolutely perfect for lunch or as a “big salad” dinner. We like this with a lighter red like a Pinot noir.
There’s really nothing better for a special occasion or date night. We are filet mignon specialists thanks to Chef Ingrid’s classical training, years of experience and consistent drive to improve. We cook it just as you like it– with horseradish /chive butter and crispy onions. It’s hard to beat a more robust red like a Cabernet Sauvignon from Europe or California with a filet cooked to perfection.
Delicious Duck Dishes
Chef Ingrid knows that duck is a classic yet underrated protein here in the U.S. Our roasted duck breast features an orange reduction—French style. It’s the perfect dish for fall as we get ready for crisp air, family dinners, and more filling meals. And since we love duck so much, having it on the menu just once would be a shame. Our Peking Duck Breast Quesadilla appetizer is a culture clash in the best possible way, adding Asian flavor to a classic app. The quesadilla features water chestnuts and a spicy/smoky homemade Hoisin sauce. The sweetness and spice make this just perfect for a Riesling, the wine sommeliers love most with Asian cuisine.
Shrimp and Lobster Pasta
Our shrimp and lobster pasta is one of our very favorite and most loved casual entrees. Chef Ingrid’s twist on comfort food is just perfect for a weeknight family dinner. This dish includes lobster and shrimp in a rosemary cream sauce over angel hair pasta with fresh herbs. The seafood is succulent, and the cream sauce is dreamy. This rich yet surprisingly light dish is absolutely screaming for a toasty Chardonnay.
Zucchini is super hot these days, but we’ve been converting even the most die-hard meat eaters for years with our crispy zucchini fries. We’re serving these with a creamy feta dip as a side—and they’re also a big hit as a bar snack during our popular weekly happy hours. Try this crispy/creamy goodness with a tangy, refreshing sauvignon blanc.
Groovy Meatloaf Sandwich
Another comfort food classic! Chef Ingrid’s special recipe meatloaf is a time-tested favorite, and the red Thai curry mayo gives an Americana gem a little bit of international flair. Have a beer with this one. We have a great selection in bottles and on tap.
French Onion And Field Mushroom Soup
Our influences go way beyond French cuisine, but there’s always a little bit of the French bistro going on at Lightfoot. Our French onion soup has kept its freshness over the years with additions like field mushrooms. We’ve been serving this all summer, but we always crave this as the weather cools down. Another dish that goes well with a buttery chardonnay!
Blue Ridge Spinach Salad
Ham, blue cheese, dried cherries and spinach? Yes, please! This lunch favorite has inspired plenty of home cooks (and plenty of knock-offs) over the years. It’s been on the menu since the beginning, and we have no plans for messing with a good thing. We like it with a pinot noir or a refreshing iced tea!
Mocha Ya Ya
This classic bittersweet flourless chocolate torte with a touch of espresso is our all time guest faves in the sweets department. Even non-dessert people can’t say no. We have a great list of dessert wines on our menu and of course a good old fashioned after dinner espresso is always a winner.
The Lightfoot Top Ten: What Are Yours?
So, these are a few of our classics—and some of the dishes our regulars don’t ever want to be removed from the menu. Don’t see your favorite on here? We encourage you to share your own top ten (or even your top two) on Facebook. Yelp is another great place to share your recommendations. Bon appetit and see you soon!