Last week, I headed to Olney, MD for a private tasting at Taste Gastropub organized by Bookalokal, Jessica from The Dining Traveler, and Carlis from SpicyCandy DC. Owned by a financial advisor turned restaurateur, Vic Seested, Taste sits in a little strip mall that could be anywhere, but has a nice pub atmosphere with dark bar lighting, making for a cozy ambiance once you are inside.
I know it’s hard to justify going out to Olney (thank you, Reston Limo for the ride!), but if you are ever in the area, Taste is a fabulous place to stop by for a drink and a bite to eat. Here are 4 reasons why:
1. The food. Chef and sommelier Danny Lledo, who was recently brought on as the chef is making some really great food there. His cuisine, influenced by his Italian heritage, French learning, and Mediterranean interest is creative.
We sampled a number of dishes – and some of my favorites were the garlic shrimp, the beet salad, and the lamb meatball. Oh, and the flourless chocolate cake- that was delicious!
2. The wine – The restaurant offers a great selection of wines, but they had incredible wine pairngs that went perfectly with the dishes we tried. If you enjoy a good wine pairing, make sure you ask the sommelier to make some suggestions, you can be sure they will be a hit. If you prefer beer, Taste, true to its name as a gastropub, also offers a good selection of craft beers.
3. Charity and community involvement! – When Vic Seested bought the place, he started off using for fundraising events through the year and making donations to local charities. They have made over 100k in donations, and even flew in Nelson Mandela’s grandson for Black History month. Consider a stop at Taste your good deed for the day.
4. Parking – Strip mall. Olney, MD.
It’s not very often that I venture out of DC, but this was a fun trip with great company, and it was a delicious experience, thanks to Chef Danny Lledo and owner Vic Seested.
If a trip out to MD is not in your future, you can always check out Chef Danny Lledo’s food (and a great wine selection) right here in DC at Slate Wine Bar.