On an early spring day, the weather was great and the downtown was hopping, so we took a stroll around The Plaza. The Plaza at One Loudoun is at the center of the downtown area with spots to sit and enjoy the nice weather. It is also where the community holds many events like Acoustic Wednesdays, Downtown Fest, and Farmers Markets.
Each street in Downtown One Loudoun is lined with amazing dining options for any sort of palate. Naturally, it is difficult to choose somewhere to eat with all of the amazing options right in front of you. On this specific day, we chose to eat at Matchbox — a place we knew would not disappoint. The look and feel of Matchbox definitely mimics that of it’s name; warm, but boxy. The atmosphere creates a contemporary feel with warm woods, metal, and red accents.
As we walked up, the outdoor patio was crowded, but the hostess kindly showed us that the outside bar area was seat yourself, so we got a seat right away. When it’s nice outside, the inside bar opens up to the patio area for a refreshing indoor/outdoor feel. The server immediately came over, introduced himself, and asked if we had any questions, prompting us on what the restaurant is known for. He talked about the pizzas, which we had already heard great things about, and that they are known for their draft wine.
We started out with a few drinks, including a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA beer on tap, a jalapeño cucumber margarita on the rocks (highly recommended by our server, and for good reason), and the seasonal sangria. Although we did not get the draft wine that Matchbox is known for, guests can order it by the glass, half bottle, or full bottle.
For appetizers, we tried a few different options, including the spicy tuna tartare tacos, hot artichoke + smashed garlic dip, and the crab + avo. The spicy tuna tartare tacos were decidedly the group favorite, as the creamy goodness of the tuna and avocado, mixed with the crunch of the wonton shell was out of this world. The crab + avo(cado), was a refreshing twist on chips and guac as it is served with sea salt flatbread instead of chips. The hot artichoke + smashed garlic dip was a nice change from the other apps, with more hearty flavors such as roasted red peppers and mozzarella.
When it came time for our entrees, we tried our best to get different items, but for some reason, everyone wanted pizza! We met in the middle by getting a few different types of pizza, the crab cake sammich (yes that’s spelled right), and the steak + greens salad.
Baked in brick ovens, Matchbox has perfected the crispy, yet thin, deliciousness that is their classic and artisanal pizza selection. If you like spicy, we recommend the fire + smoke pizza, and if you’re more of a simpleton pizza lover, we suggest getting either the white pizza or the holy grail margherita (we did half and half as recommended by our server).
As for the other items we had ordered, the steak + greens salad was another recommendation from our server, who was right on the money. The pepper-crusted filet was outstanding, and one more thing: homemade tater tots. The crab cake sammich was a great choice, up there with some of the best crab cakes, as decided by our Annapolitan of the group. The pairing of the crab cake, avocado-chili aioli, and pancetta, was a great twist on a classic Maryland favorite.
Next time you’re deciding where to eat at One Loudoun, consider going to Matchbox for a bite, or slice, of absolute food heaven. For more info on the options at Matchbox One Loudoun, you can check out the menu here and be sure to follow along with our Facebook page for updates on other great restaurants coming soon to One Loudoun!