I've been writing for Leesburg Patch since its launch, and in that time several people have suggested that I write about Palio in downtown Leesburg. They raved about the food, but I couldn't bring myself to do it because honestly, I had a terrible experience there.
I went last summer for dinner, and after 45 minutes of sitting at our table without even a drink order being taken, I left. As a former waitress, that's not something I take lightly. I didn't want to write about Palio because I figured, if I didn't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all. Luckily, there was something that changed my mind and brought this soon-to-be glowing article into existence: Bottomless mimosas.
Ever since I heard that Palio not only served brunch but included bottomless mimosas, I knew I had to give them a second chance. After trying to coordinate for weeks, I finally ended up there with most of my family and a few friends (9 folks in all) on Easter Sunday.
We called ahead two different times just to make sure they were still doing the regular bottomless mimosa deal even though it was Easter. Both times we were assured that they were. However, when we got there, we were faced with a three-course Easter menu and no bottomless mimosas. The day was almost lost.
Luckily, our bartender Rob and Nino, one of the owners, took pity on us. Not only did they give us the bottomless mimosas, but they let us order off of the tapas menu, which worked out better with our Easter plans that included a cookout later that day.
Oftentimes when you get bottomless mimosas from a restaurant, it's a $4 bottle of Andre and some orange juice. At Palio, however, they started off with a tasty prosecco, although they changed to brut when they ran out. Both, however, were delicious.
The food, however, was the really pleasant surprise of the entire endeavor. We ordered several items off of the tapas menu, including a cheese plate that was not only delicious and reasonably priced (we chose four cheeses for $15 and that was plenty for 4 or 5 people), but included some local honey, complete with honeycomb, as an accompaniment.
We also ordered a bowl of warm olives, complete with roasted garlic cloves, the eggplant parmigiana and an order of mussels. Everything was absolutely delicious and easy to share, making it a great place to take a group of friends and family.
We also took a look at the regular brunch menu while we were there, and I can't wait to go back and try it. Eggs, wild mushroom ravioli, asparagus wrapped in speck, everything on the menu sounds delicious - and nothing is priced above $12.
Giving Palio a second chance was a great decision. Not only is it no longer a place I'm going to avoid, but it's now going to be my go-to brunch destination in Leesburg.