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Leek American Bistro Opening Soon in Ballston

by Katie Pyzyk September 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm 7,236 54 Comments

Ballston is close to adding another new restaurant to the mix. Leek American Bistro (801 N. Quincy Street) expects to open its doors within the next two weeks.

Owner and chef Nathan Spitall had previously owned the BBQ Bandidos food truck. He has worked in restaurants in New York and locally, such as at the former Harry’s Tap Room in Clarendon, and wanted launch a brick and mortar establishment in Arlington.

“The food truck was great, but my home is in a restaurant,” Spitall said.

Spitall said the restaurant space has been renovated and restrooms have been added in the back. Previously, visitors to the old Thai Terrace had to leave the restaurant through a back exit and use restrooms shared with the other tenants in the building.

“Yes, we lost quite a bit of seating,” Spitall said. “But it’s worth it to have bathrooms.”

There’s a focus on using sustainable and locally sourced goods, from the reclaimed wood in the bar to the local beer selections.

“We’re not going to try to compete with Rustico or World of Beer, obviously, but we want to have a nice selection of some local breweries,” Spitall said.

A number of Virginia wines will also be featured on the drink list. Each food item on the menu will have a suggested wine and beer selection noted.

“We don’t want to classify ourselves as a wine bar, but we think our wine list is nice and affordable,” said Spittal.

The food is considered American because it’s a melting pot of different varieties. The menu will include items such as mussels, falafel crusted salmon, crab cake sandwiches, braised pork shank with white bean cassoulet and one of the popular holdovers from the BBQ Bandidos days — pulled pork and biscuits. Many gluten free and vegetarian options will be available.

“We want everyone to be able to chill out, relax, eat some good food, have some wine, have fun,” Spitall said.

Leek American Bistro is expected to open during the first couple of weeks of October.

  • BrianKal

    Menu looks promising and prices in line for the area — highly competitve area, good luck

  • ARLing

    Finally, not another chain or sports bar or burger joint or yogurt place

  • novasteve

    I would hate to be in the same room as Chipotle addict after he eats both chipotle and leeks.

    • Mary-Austin

      Seems you always feel the need to make a comment about Chipotle addict’s bodily functions…hmmm.

      • Newtdog73

        I think he just feels the needs to make comments in general.

  • Hurley

    Will they serve the panang curry the previous restaurant did? That dish was amazing and I have yet to find a replacement. That being said, this menu does sound pretty darn good.

    • Danielle

      Have you tried the Panang Curry at Bangkok Bistro in Ballston? It’s really good.

      • Hurley

        I have, that’s my current go-to but it still doesn’t hold a candle to Thai Terrace (or Terrace Thai, whatever that place was called). Though it is good and is a suitable substitute for now.

  • QP Doll

    Very excited for this new local venture down the street!

  • nom de guerre

    Interesting that patrons would have to leave the premises of the previous restaurant in order to take a “leek.”

    • Very Puny


    • Tabs

      Spring Onion would have been a better name, with Spring Chicken on the menu.

      • nom de guerre

        Do you mean poussin or coquelet on the menu?

        • Tabs


  • Ballstonian

    The menu actually looks really good. And i like that they serve Horton wines.

    • Clarendon

      The Horton Norton – a true local wine (grape cultivar and all)!

  • YTK

    Of COURSE you need bathrooms in a place called Leek.

  • JimPB

    Another individually created, owned and operated restaurant. Cheers and best wishes for success.

    • drax

      But not so much success that it opens a second one, because then it’s a…chain!!!!

    • OldYeller

      I second that! And I thank the owner for building his own private roads and sidewalks, for supplying his own power and telecommunications infrastructure, and for the patience and tenacity involved in raising and privately educating children from K thru 12 until they were old enough to staff his new restaurant. Kudos to the job creators!

    • Mike

      I believe JimPB’s point was that it is a unique place, rather than a chain restaurant. Chain restaurants can be good, but it is nice to see neighborhood places with individuality and character, rather than menus and designs dictated by a corporate heirarchy.
      Of course, both unique restaurants and chain restaurants are run by people who built something with their hard work, while also using infrastructure built by others, but I’m not sure why you want to inject that bit of politics into the discussion, unless perhaps you just haven’t had enough of the nonsensical mudslinging in the TV ads.

  • DarkHeart

    I would not have expected a restaurant by this name to serve fried chicken and waffles, as well as Hot Brown. Where else can you get a Hot Brown around here (and not, “equivalents” don’t count).

    • BrownClown

      I serve up a Hot Brown in my bathroom every morning around 7:30.

      • Vic


  • Lola

    The menu looks great and I’m excited to see a brunch menu since we have so few brunch options around here.

  • FrenchyB

    “…we want to have a nice selection of some local breweries.”

    But there’s only one regional brewery included on their list (Flying Dog).

    • dittmar

      the beer selection is pretty lame. it doesn’t have to be as large as rustico and wob, but why waste your taps on sam adams, pilsner urquell and miller lite? replace those with dog fish, port city and one of the new belgium specialties.

  • Faye Jissette

    I’m a little concerned that the location may be cursed. That said, I wish it the best of luck.

    • JamesE

      Might do better with the new buildings going up.

      • Bro

        Maybe all the bro’s from Gold’s Gym across the street will go thinking it’s a health food restaurant.

        Leek is sick bro, totally gluten free menu items bro.

        That being said, this place looks really good, looking forward to it!

        • JamesE

          Totally, brah.

    • DarkHeart

      Indian graveyard?

      • D’oh!

        Thai graveyard.

  • John Fontain

    Hope they are able to take advantage of the huge outdoor seating area during seasonable weather. If they can make use of a patio that huge, they should be a big success.

    • karzai

      My sentiments exactly. I never understood why Thai Terrace did not have outdoor tables. It’s perfect because the overhang offers great shade on hot sunny days. Even if they needed a permit, that would not have been prohibitively difficult for them to obtain

      • Pines of Italy

        You are so correct. Permits are incredibly easy to get here. Especially for live indoor entertainment.

        • CW

          All you have to do is ask the guys from Westover Beer Garden and American Flatbread; they’ll explain how to do it.

          • Victim

            Irony is the first casualty on the internet…….

  • Sir Mudgeon

    Hopefully, the 20-something, brown flip-flop crowd will stick to their various Ballston beer-swilling chains and leave this restaurant to the adults.

    • dittmar

      don’t you think the brown flip flop reference is a little worn out? and seriously, how does the 20 something crowd really bother you?

      • Sir Mudgeon

        They’re young and I’m not.

        • Old dude

          🙂 agree!

    • CW

      You’re also conflating “20-somethings” with “graduated 4 months ago from UVA/VT/JMU/WVU/PSU”, the latter being what actually predominates in Ballston.

  • Mick Way

    Best of luck but that beer list looks like one made by a restaurant consultant. This place ain’t going to be a beer-hound’s destination.

    • Homer

      Doesn’t need to be with Rustico just up the street.

  • TJLinBallston

    Let’s hear it for the Independent restaurants! They can define a neighborhood and I wish “Leek” well. Being its just around the corner, I will vote with my wallet.

  • RestaurantGuy

    Looks interesting and very excited for a new unique place to open in Ballston that is not a sports bar! Their craft beer for the most part seems priced appropriately, but $6 pricing for miller light draft and yuengling bottles is just crazy. I guess it’s an attempt to get people to stop ordering just the cheapest beer, but at the restaurant’s cost on those low-end beers, that markup just keeps growing and growing and instead of bringing in more profit to keep the doors open, it usually ends up driving people away because of perceived sticker shock.

  • CW

    A couple dozen comments on the beer and almost none about the food…for me the value add in a restaurant is what the chef does with his ingredients…why don’t you guys just stay home and drink on the couch?

    • James Woods High School

      Restaurants serve food?

    • Willard Romney

      Maybe because no one’s tasted the food yet, but they know what those beers are.

      • CW

        Right, no one has had the food yet, which is why i find it funny that they are writing it off due to to the beer list. Impressive beer lists arent exactly difficult to develop these days. Maybe the chef running the place has just decided to focus on the food…imagine that. I can name plenty of great restaurants with bad beer lists. They arent bars after all…

  • KW

    I cannot WAIT for this place! LAB, I’ll be there 🙂

  • bobbytiger

    Chef “Spitall”? Mmmmm……….. I’ll pass.

  • Id

    After drinking all day, there is nothing like a good Leek.


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