Even if you don’t like chocolate (like me) I have just one thing to tell you about this restaurant: Just go there, man, go. Chef Tiptur cooks with passion and a dash of mad genius, creating dishes that will make your eyes open in delight and wonder at each forkful.
Not every dish has chocolate in it, and the ones that do don’t necessarily register as a “chocolate” taste. I.e., for appetizers, husband had the short ribs which were braised to succulent perfection, with some kind of cocoa-infused sauce on a bed of garlic potato puree and goat cheese with crispy baby kale topping. Husband, a chocoholic, loved the chocolate notes in this dish, while I perceived more of a smoky richness, not chocolate. His mistake was letting me try one bite – I ended up eating half of it, despite not being a fan of kale, goat cheese or chocolate! I traded him some of my tater tots, which were light, crispy and perfectly seasoned on their own, but for a tasty twist on tots be adventurous and try them dipped in the side chocolate tamarind swoop or the mint lime yogurt. (TIP for all dishes: All those beautiful dots, drizzles, swirls and swoops on each plate are there for a flavor-enhancing reason, so dip, smoosh, scrape and scoop away!) The ahi tuna poke was fresh, light and flavorful. The scallops were sublime, with black bean puree, tempura brussel spouts, roasted grapes & pomegranate arils. Husband had the beef slider trio and Rosemary Parmesan fries, which he enjoyed thoroughly. Lastly, we shared the Guanaja dessert, which is a velvety rich and yet somehow light chocolate cake. Perfect ending to a fantastic meal.
The portions at The Conche are surprisingly generous and the pricing much more reasonable than what you would expect for a fine dining, even “Top Chef” restaurant experience. Service was welcoming and attentive without being intrusive. Vibe was intimate, hip & cool, but at the same time, laid back – you can dress up for this place or you can wear jeans. Overall, we can’t wait to go back again – and again – and again!
April 6, 2018
I have dined at this restaurant three times. I have enjoyed every visit! Our party of three enjoyed a girls night out celebrating my birthday.
The pastry chef/owner Santosh Tiptur uses hints of chocolate in all the dishes. The flavors are just delicious and perfect. If you appreciate good food you are going to love this place! The portions are not big. It is not about quantity but the quality .The plates are beautifully presented like works of art! The flavors are rich and balanced.
We ordered 2 orders of the seared scallops and the roasted pepper spiced cauliflower flatbread. The entrees were all well prepared and tasty!
Dessert is a must! We ordered the manjari and brownie popcorn sundae! The presentation is a feast for your eyes. You can actually view desserts being made by 3 pastry chefs as there is a glass wall you can look through.
The restaurant is small so I would encourage you to make a reservation. The service is good. Santosh Tiptur takes the time to come and introduce himself at your table. I highly recommend this “GEM” of a restaurant. It is so nice to have this type of restaurant in Northern Virginia! I would love to try the brunch!
PS: Did I mention the Santosh Tiptur has been on the FOOD NETWORK ! He has won the Halloween wars competitions.
April 6, 2018
Tasty and friendly. A* for loudoun! Entrees, drinks, and dessert have all been awesome. A total win for loudoun.
April 6, 2018
This place is awesome. We just had our valentine’s dinner here and each of the meal in our four-course dinner was amazing. And so was my wife’s. We tried different options in each course just to make sure we tried 8 dishes and boy were we impressed. Chef Santosh and staff nailed it.
April 6, 2018
This is the type of place where everyone is looking around at what everyone else is ordering and simultaneously nudging the people they’re with in awe, “do you see THAT?!?!” Everything I had was great (see photos) but what we will return for (without the littles) is the ball of chocolate (okay, cool), that was set on fire (holy bleep), which melts and reveals a ridiculous dessert (OMG). How it doesn’t burn down the restaurant is beyond me and what is left on the plate is something Willy Wonka would have simply retired after witnessing. I need to re-evaluate how I use the word “epic” because at this point it’s reserved for The Conche.
April 6, 2018
Their hot and frozen chocolate drinks were so good, I had to go back the next day just for that. A cozy restaurant with deceivingly large number of things happening inside (they have a dedicated room for making chocolates and desserts). They sell boxed fresh made chocolates and all their food have chocolate elements. The chef/owner used to work in a large DC restaurant before opening his own place. He is there most days overseeing operations – we met him during sinner.
I tried the fish and calamari, both were excellent. I would go there for the food as well as chocolates.
April 6, 2018
I don’t normally write reviews but our experience at The Conche last night was exceptional and I just had to share.
The food was simply delicious. I ordered the bacon Mac and cheese appetizer as my entree because I wanted to save room for dessert, which was a smart choice. The serving was small but respectable, and it was very flavorful, with 4 different types of cheeses and a garnish of chocolate covered bacon. Probably the best Mac and cheese I’ve had in a long while. I also had the Moussestache drink, which was delicious too. My boyfriend had the cocoa rubbed steak, which he really enjoyed. He’s not usually an adventurous eater and he describes his food at almost every restaurant we go to as “just ok”. But he said this steak was “pretty good”, so that’s high praise coming from him.
For dessert we went with the Orelys. Although we wanted to try the Entremet, we decided it was too much food and too expensive for just 2 people, so we went a step down with the Orelys. We were not disappointed. Similar to the Entremet, they bring the dessert to your table on a cart and finish preparing it at your table. In this case, since the dessert is inspired by spaghetti and meatballs, they use a special instrument to make the vanilla ice cream look like spaghetti. It was super fun to watch the waiter do this and the end result was delicious.
I also would like to mention that the service there was exceptional. Although they were sometimes slow to check on us throughout the meal, the wait staff was very knowledgeable about the all the food they serve there, which is no easy task. When they bring out your food, they take the time to explain what exactly is on your plate. This is helpful since almost everything on the menu is very unique and has unexpected ingredients you completely forget about in the time between when you order and when the food arrives.
I have to say that the chefs at The Conche really know how to combine flavors to make food that is interesting and delicious. It’s truly a treat in every sense of the word and I can’t wait to go back there and experience more of their wonderful food.
April 6, 2018
Came here on Mother’s Day. Been super busy, just got to write my review. Very impressed by the service, the quality and quantity of the food (was expecting everything to be uber tiny, like many upscale restaurants but this was not the case,) and the overall ambience.
Food portions are pretty large, as I wrote above–I was not expecting this. Thus, I actually barely had room for dessert and actually split with a family member. For some people, that is a plus–the large portions. The quality of the food–the taste, the preparation, the timeliness in the courses, all were done well. Speaking of done well, my steak–which I asked for med rare, was very *done*, as was my son’s (who also requested med rare.) After tasting our food, the steaks were excellent and the temperature was not important. I appreciated that a restaurant could make me like “done” steak, as I typically do not. Not one of our four dishes was bad or even average–all the food was well above-average.
Again, the service was excellent. Our waiter was knowledgeable and seemed acquainted with finer dining. The restaurant seemed to be very in-tune with the customer and responsive to timing (no waiter going missing when you want the check here!), and honestly appreciative of customers who have chosen to spend their time and money here.
The decor and overall ambience was a nice change from traditional Loudoun fare. Felt much more like–bear with me–South Beach than Leesburg (no shade to Leesburg, love ya, mean it!)
The bar and drinks menu was fresh and inviting. I tried the cocktail that involved tequila and jalapeno and it was not quite what I was expecting, having had similar drinks at other establishments, but had it’s own charm. My husband was intrigued particularly by the beer offerings. I imbibed in a few wine choices and the waiter even provided justification for ordering rosé with steak (thank you, sir!) My teens were pleased with menu choices and loved their food.
We will absolutely return… to try the many offerings on the menu. Glad to have this nice choice in Loudoun County!
April 6, 2018