Leek American Bistro opened about two weeks ago at 801 N. Quincy St. in Ballston. The casual, sit-down restaurant aimed to showcase regional American fare from chef Nathan Spittal, who worked at such restaurants as Caucus Room and the former Nathan's. What do Ballston diners, who mostly have seen chain restaurants arrive in their neighborhood, think of the new place? Here's the very early word from Yelp critics, blog commenters and beyond.
The Arlington-Centric News: Two commenters from hyper-local blog ARLNOW weighed in on the restaurant in its soft opening phase. BC likes the service, but not much else. "Decor is dull, silverware is about the same quality that you'd find at the dollar store. Entrees lacked technique and were rather bland. Service was good and friendly." Meanwhile, mksoon has the reverse experience, after getting mixed signals on whether children can wait at the bar for a table. "Overall, the food was not bad, but did not make up for the poor service. The portions were small. The room was very loud, drafty and dark. I could barely read the menu because it was so dark.". [ARLNOW]
The Generous Portions News: So far, Leek is earning 3.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp. Count critic Sarah J. among the fans. "Dinner was surprisingly delicious and pretty flawless for a soft opening week. We tried several of the appetizers and the portions were plentiful. Mussels brimming with garlic, tomatoes and herbs; tuna tartare with a seaweed salad; and the best dish-- a meaty, tender short rib with a side of Kim chee slaw." [Yelp]
The Spittal Knows Barbecue News: Nathan Spittal used to run the BBQ Banditos food truck, and he's still got it, according to Brendan Z. "Great place, pulled pork biscuits were the best I've ever had. Keep up the good work," he says. [Yelp]
The Not Worth The Money News: Reviewer Steve W. thought the food at Leek cost too much. "As for the food itself, it also didn't justify the price. Pork biscuit sliders were excellent but not enough food. Got the lobster roll and immediately regretted it. Girlfriend had the crabcake entree and later her stomach was unsettled. Not sure whether that was the food or drinks or neither." [Yelp]
The Facebook Fandom News: Two Leek visitors have given the restaurant a recommendation on Facebook. "Brunch was AMAZING! The restaurant is [gorgeous], and the service was super friendly. Can't wait to go back," says Natasha Dooley. "Wonderful Experience!!! From the food to the decor, this place has made it to the top of my list for DMV faves," says Eddie Henderson. [Facebook]