Dinner at Element

206 S. Royal
Front Royal, VA 22630

American | $$


My wife and I joined a friend in Front Royal for a wonderful dinner at Element recently. We have eaten several times at Element’s sister restaurant Apartment 2g upstairs above Element. Chefs David and Stacy Gedney opened Apartment 2g in 2003 after meeting and working at the venerable Inn at Little Washington. Dining at Apartment 2g was always a treat. The food was great and the funky setting of a few small tables in each room of the apartment was unique and fun. The kitchen was down the hall and open if you wanted to wander in and see your food being prepared. Those not wanting to leave their seat were able to watch the kitchen through a closed circuit TV in each room. Today Apartment 2g is on a limited schedule with the focus on Element.

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We started with a delightful carrot ginger soup. The perfect consistency and great taste was not over powered by ginger.

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Our friend had the Pork Saltimbocca a Pork Loin stuffed with Sautéed Spinach, Provolone, Ham, & Parmesan with Roasted Potatoes and Sautéed Squash.

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My wife had the Mignonettes of Beef Au Poivre with Loaded Smashed Potatoes & Broccoli. The beef is a heavily peppered French dish with a strong but not overwhelming pepper crust. The waiter warned us she would need a fondness for pepper flavor to enjoy the dish. It was a tender choice cut with a fine peppery coating making each bite mouthwatering.

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For my dinner I ordered the Pan Seared Scallops over Egg Noodles with Roasted Fennel, Apples, and Butternut Squash with a Pumpkin Butter Cream Sauce. The scallops were cooked perfectly, not overdone or burnt. The Pumpkin Butter Cream Sauce was amazing. The aroma was heavenly. Its consistency was closer to butter than cream, yet it had a creamy smooth texture with incredible flavor. With only six scallops I would have finished within a minute had it not been for the noodles and apples. Often I see this dish with simple linguine, rice, or a green vegetable like asparagus. The wider egg noodles were a nice choice, giving the dish more body.

We ate early and watched the small restaurant fill quickly. Use of the patio is limited as we head into colder weather so I would strongly recommend reservations. Two guys took our order and brought the food. I hesitate to call them waiters only because they pulled duty as bartenders and Maître d. They knew the menu inside and out and were happy to answer all our questions. We don’t drink so I can’t speak to the quality of their wine selection only to say it looked large.

They offer several great looking sandwiches for lunch so I think our next trip to Element will be in the afternoon. If you are anywhere near Front Royal it is worth a call to see if they have room for you to enjoy dinner. You won’t be disappointed.

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