The growth of the wine industry in northern Virginia is having an interesting side-effect with the appearance of some very good and inexpensive new restaurants in rather unlikely locations. The Market Table Bistro is an example, located in Lovettsville Virginia (yes, I also had to look it up). There's a serious chef at work in this converted house (the roof was recently replaced after superstorm Sandy struck), and the servers couldn't have been friendlier. Butternut squash bisque was a great starter for a cold and damp day, followed by winter mushroom pasta with truffle aioli and arugula. Another terrific dish was the cassoulet, served piping hot in a cast-iron pot -- duck leg, pork sausage, white beans, perfectly spiced with a locally made lamb merguez (another surprise). There is a good selection of reasonably priced wines by the glass as well as bottles, and an eclectic assortment of craft beers.
The clientele appears to be a mix of local residents and DC's "foodies" trekking deep into northern Virginia to find out what's new in the rapidly developing wine country. A gentleman at the next table sent back to the kitchen what appeared to be a beautifully cooked steak because he could still see some red in the middle... oh well.... The server politely accommodated the request, but I may try the steak myself the next time.