A new mixed-use residential and commercial center in Sterling, Virginia, called Epicerie Plaza in Cascades Overlook has taken shape over the past year. Developed by Meladon Group and featuring condo living with the convenience of a variety of supportive local businesses, the treat is to discover the range of dining options available for us to enjoy. Clustered near an open air plaza complete with fire pits and casual seating, you can find everything from the fresh appeal of the new Cava Grill for a quick bite, to upscale restaurants Burtons Grill & Bar and Ocean Blue, a one-of-a-kind island-themed seafood delight.
Burtons Grill & Bar
Burtons originated in Massachusetts, but is gradually moving southward as they spread their philosophy of sourcing the best local ingredients, creating innovative dishes and exceptional cocktails to tempt the palettes of their guests, and delivering impeccable service for a complete dining experience. The ambiance is bold, inviting, and casual enough while still having distinctive character. With a range of dishes for paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, or allergen-specific diets, their menu changes frequently to include the seasonal selections ripe for exploration. Libations include specialties such as pomegranate martinis, their sour cherry manhattan, or singular mai tai made with Bacardi Black, amaretto, Gran Gala, fresh lime, pineapple juice, and a mango-pineapple ice sphere. Whether shaken, crushed, or stirred, these varying menus of crafted drinks are sure to impress! Beer lovers or those preferring nonalcoholic options will find plenty to appeal to them as well.
Appetizers, soups and salads highlight Burtons’ focus on healthy, tasty and fresh ingredients from farm to table. Full of flavor, try their superfood salad with quinoa, baby spinach, dried cranberries, feta, grape tomatoes, avocado, julienne vegetables, grilled lemon and lemon vinaigrette. You also can find comfort food like Buffalo chicken dip with grilled chicken, blue cheese, cheddar, and corn tortilla chips. Ordering one or more appetizers to share is a great way to start date night! Entrees include carefully selected hand-cut Angus beef steaks aged to perfection, market catch or seafood specialties, vegetarian risottos and Asian-inspired dishes with herbed jasmine rice, or sandwiches such as their scrumptious short rib grilled cheese or street tacos. Be sure to save room for dessert, as they offer a chef’s trio of miniature creamy delights in glass mason jars or a seasonally inspired featured dessert of the day. Family-friendly and perfect for special occasions as well, they open at 11am, and we’re betting that they’ll soon become a favorite. With outdoor seating and service during the warmer weather, you’ll want to “sip, eat, savor, repeat,” just like their corporate mission statement proclaims.
Next door also adjoining the plaza and with indoor/outdoor dining as weather allows is Ocean Blue. Opened by a local Loudoun entrepreneur who wants to share his love of Island cuisine and the best catches from around the world, Ocean Blue has a central aquarium filled with gorgeous fish, including a young striped bamboo shark awaiting naming by their customers. Surrounded by a flowing current filled with freshly prepared sushi selections, this main attraction sets the theme of the restaurant. With choices such as fresh marlin caught by their own captain and flown in from Hawaii and prepared within 36 hours of leaving the water, they care about the quality of their offerings. Maine lobster, Maryland crab, Norwegian salmon, Hawaiian poke rolls, and a fresh ramenbar with no less than 20 choice toppings await your discovery. South Pacific seared ahi with Asian influences is one of their specialties.
With so much to choose from, you’ll want to consider ordering as a group and sampling the various signature rolls and international tastes. For larger gatherings, there is a private room available by reservation. Not a seafood lover? They have just enough chicken dishes and a grilled Kobe burger to satisfy the landlubbers amongst us. Younger patrons are sure to appreciate the orange and mango smoothie or the appealing dessert selection, including a chocolate Nutella wrap with cinnamon syrup, toasted hazelnuts and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. With the advent of warm weather, their garage door windows open to create a festive biergarten atmosphere in which to enjoy your meal.
Colada is an all-day favorite featuring everything from specialty coffees to late-night cocktails to sip in their cozy shop or outside at seating in the plaza. Indulge in their delicious pastries, tortillas filled with ham and Swiss or potato and sofrito, house-made mango and coconut granola with yogurt, or their tostada, a traditional toasted Cuban bread with butter to start your day. Also featuring Cuban-style empanadas, croquetas, and sandwiches, or fresh snacks and greens on the go, another taste of the Islands can be found here. Their granitas, roasted coconut piña coladas and mojitos will sure to be a big hit this summer. With other savories and sweets on their menu, this might just become a frequent stop for a quick indulgence.
Choolaah Indian BBQ
Coming soon is the third Choolaah Indian BBQ restaurant. First opened in Cleveland in 2014, the only other restaurant in this chain is in Fairfax’s Mosaic District. Using custom-built tandoor clay ovens that cook food at 700 degrees, savory Indian spices infuse lamb, chicken, and salmon dishes with delightfully nuanced flavors sealed in by the high temperatures. On trend, Choolaah offers up a variety of gluten free and vegetarian options, including a cheesy paneer, tikka masala, black and yellow lentil daals, and tofu laden BBQ bowls. Beer, wine, Choolaah chai, and mango and salted lassis should be on tap, as at their Mosaic location. You’ll have to learn more for yourselves once their doors open!
Cava Grill, on the other hand, is off to a great start. With traditional Greek ingredients on hand, you can build your favorite salads, grains, pitas, and proteins into a quick feast. Their spicy lamb meatballs, chicken, falafel and roasted seasonal vegetables pack a tasty punch, with plenty of healthy greens, toppings, and dressings to compliment whatever combination you desire. The sriracha Greek yogurt and lemon herb tahini dressings are particularly nice.
Chuys Tex-Mex Restaurant and Zoup!
Not far from the plaza and part of Cascades Overlook are a Chuys Tex-Mex restaurant and Zoup!, offering up a selection of 12 fresh soups daily along with salads and sandwiches. And if all these options aren’t enough, there is a convenient Harris Teeter right there for whatever else you might be looking to eat!