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“3.5 - Tasty, but overly expensive” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Palio of Leesburg

Palio of Leesburg
2 West Market Street, Leesburg, VA 20176
+1 703-779-0060
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Ranked #41 of 171 Restaurants in Leesburg
Price range: $20 - $45
Cuisines: Italian, International
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: The award winning Palio Ristorante Italiano is a combination of three of the premier historic buildings in downtown Leesburg, Virginia. Palio provides Leesburg's newest venue for dining, entertaining, and banquet facilities. Palio has designed and built an establishment like no other in the Washington area, utilizing unique combinations of cherry wood, onyx, and antique mirrors and chandeliers. The design has been meticulously configured into the existing space in these historic buildings. The theme of the Palio derives from the ancient horse race -beautiful and bold, risky and exciting, a feast for the eyes as well as the senses. Good music, a fine wine selection, house made pasta and bread prepared on site, and sourcing from local producers, can only be described as a beautiful experience- all presented in an historic setting that would be as comfortable in Italy as it is in Loudoun County.
Leesburg, Virginia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“3.5 - Tasty, but overly expensive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

Overall our meal was very good. We opted for the prix fixe menu which included a starter, a salad, an entrée, and a dessert. Far too much food for just one person. Maybe they could consider lowering the overall price and having folks split an app, or choose which three courses they might like. The apps were good, I had the salmon plate which I was surprised did not come with some kind of cracker, but they did refill the bread basket for me. Good overall there. My husband had the Stuffed Mushrooms which were very good. The salads we got had good ingredients, but were very overdressed and seemed like they may have been sitting dressed for a while. Our entrees were the courses that were the most disappointing, mostly starch, a little light on the proteins, his Frutti di Mari had little taste, just a lot of garlic and oil, no acid to brighten and bring out the flavors, and most of the mussels were bad. My risotto was still crunchy, which I do not like, and was doused with truffle oil which gave a metallic aftertaste to every bite. My scallops however were well cooked. We took our desserts home for later and they were both good, not great, the tiramisu was soggy, but flavorful and my mousse cake was light and spongy, but a bit more cake than mousse. Overall, a good experience, but for the price, I am not sure I would return often. Wines by the glass started at $10, a good $2-3 more than other local establishments and it seemed like all the menu prices kept in line with being just a few dollars more than I would typically expect to pay. Just a tad too pricey for me, although most of the food was very good. Our server was very personable and knew just the right times to check in on us. Our water glasses were never empty and our plates were always quickly cleared.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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92 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    38
    25
    16
    6
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Tough location, but doing a good job”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014 via mobile

This corner of historic downtown Leesburg has other high end restaurants,so Palio has its work cut out to compete. The food was prepared with care, but a little short of memorable. The upstairs dining room is a little hard to access if you are having a dinner for your older friends or relatives, but quiet for Sunday or weekday dinners.

Take care not to park in the lot next to the restaurant..This lot is reserved for Lightfoot diners and you will be towed. The city garage across the street is a safer place to park.

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern Virginia
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Better than in year's past”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

We have been coming to Palio's since it first opened. The food then was fine, but we noticed it starting to decline. Had our Christmas party here, would come for ladies lunches... We hadn't returned in several years as the food and service was not what it once was. When we heard that Chef Ian Dieter from Goodstone and L' Auberge was now the head chef, we thought we would give it a try. We were not disappointed. Many changes in the two years we were absent. They expanded the space taking over the next building and added live music (Saturday evening, at least). Prix fixe was the what we decided. We were able to have an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert all for prices ranging from $35-55. Dinner was very good and large portions. Had a hard time eating it all. Service was good, not overly attentive but always available. Jazz music was nice, but as we were on the main level and next to it, very loud. Dinner for four, all prix fixe (and satisfied) and two bottles of reasonably priced white wine came to $200 including tip each couple. ($400). Folks were dressed nicely in business casual.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Detroit, Michigan
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
244 helpful votes 244 helpful votes
“Excellent food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

Had a wonderful meal at Palio this weekend.

Prix fixe is a good way to go even if you take just 3 of the 4 courses unless you are having entree only. Generous portions with price to match. Extensive wine list. Knowledgeable waiter (Bill) with a sense of humor. The 4 people in our party had scallops/risotto, lamb chops, tagliatelle Bolognese and beef filet - none of us finished our plate (and two were hearty eaters). The complimenting vegetables were very nicely prepared. Beef carpaccio was excellent (also generous). Very good desserts.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Leesburg, Virginia
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Regrettably a fast decline”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

Il Palio Ristorante Italiano was a good restaurant for which I submitted favorable reviews in the past. Few months ago all has changed with the deparyure of Chef Antonio ..... Now it is no longer a "ristorante italiano" and frankly I find challenging to define what it has become Our last visit was disappointing and not on critical dishes but simply on how they prepared a simple dish of pasta. Overcooked, smashed together and lumpy. All what it should not be. The service also seems declining and regrettable is a restaurant I would place on the "go at risk." Expensive for not reason!

Visited May 2014
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