There's very little country left around Seven Corners, but you can find a hint of what there once was on the grounds of the Country Squire Inn, at Leesburg Pike and Patrick Henry Drive. Built as an English style country farm house early in this century, the house, called Red Rooster Hill, was converted to a restaurant several years ago.
It makes a charming restaurant, with its old paneled walls, rough-hewn beams and fireplaces. Perhaps nicest of all, the view from the windows is all of woods. Thick rows of hemlock trees effectively shut out the Rte. 7 corridor hubbub.
We tried the Country Squire recently with our two sons and found the inn's informal atmosphere and quick attentive service perfect for family dining. The food is best described as home cooking, and, like most home cooking I'm familiar with, some dishes are better than others.
After we had sorted out who was and was not going to sit in a booster seat and which child was going to have Coke and who was going to have ginger ale, we ordered a shrimp cocktail, $2.95, and a cup of she-crab soup, $1. The shrimp (five big ones) lacked flavor, but the cocktail sauce mended that. The she-crab soup, an item seldom found on area menus, was very tasty and not cloyingly rich, as it sometimes can be.
The Country Squire also offers clam chowder as the first course, $1, and French onion soup, 75 cents, as well as crab meat cocktail at $2.95, and a platter of various appetizers for $3.75.
Most of the entrees at the Country Squire are in the $5 to $8 range, with the exception of the steaks and lobster, which run as high as a whopping $10.95. Children's portions of ham and roast beef are available for $4.95 and $6.95, $1 less than the regular charge. Our son ordered the ham, which came with a yummy raisin sauce but was much too generous a serving. We would have preferred a smaller portion for a lesser price.
I ordered the roast prime rib, for $7.75, which came rare, as I had ordered it, but seemed a little dry. My husband ordered the king crab meat in butter and wine with a crisp green salad and your better basic baked potato.
The menu also offered crab imperial, for $6.95; crab delmonico, $6.25; filet of Canadian sole, $5.95, and roast sirloin of beef, $6.95. Several vegetables like broccoli hollandaise, at $1.25; sauteed mushrooms, at $1.50, and a stuffed potato, $1.50, are available a la carte.
It's on the dessert course that the Country Squire really shines. The pecan pie, at $1.35, complete with homemade pastry crust and lots of nuts, is some of the best I've ever tasted. The German chocolate cake, $1.50, also was especially good, rich and moist. Our older son fell back on vanilla ice cream, $1.
Our bill, incuding coffee afterward, came to $31.10, excluding tip. The inn also serves lunch with essentially the same menu but somewhat lower prices.