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Blair House chef opens Strasburg restaurant

Kiesha Sellers, chef at her new restaurant At Home Bistro on East Queen Street in Strasburg and former chef for visiting dignitaries in D.C., holds a sampling of her mesculin salad, at left, with parmesan crisp, lemon vinegarette, cucumbers and tomatoes. At right is her house specialty -- dry brined pork chop with garlic potatoes and sauteed kale. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

One of Chef Sellers' desserts is a gourmet cheese and fruit plate. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

By Ryan Cornell

STRASBURG -- The list of mouths she's fed reads more like a roster of U.N. leaders: Ariel Sharon, Hamid Karzai, Benjamin Netanyahu, Angela Merkel.

As executive sous chef at the Blair House in Washington, D.C., Kiesha Sellers has served presidential guests across from the White House for five years as well as the past four inaugurations.

Last month, Sellers, 37, and fiance Jeremey Myers, 38, opened At Home Bistro in Strasburg.

One might think that with the resume Sellers has developed, the menu at her new restaurant would be equal in ritz and price, but she's quick to assure locals that this isn't the case. Rather, it's a place for people to feel comfortable and, like its name suggests, at home.

After moving to Strasburg in April to join Myers, the New England Culinary Institute graduate discovered that the area had limited dining options outside of chain restaurants and fast food eateries.

"[Myers] was like, 'Where are we going to eat?'" Sellers recalled. "And I was like, 'At home, because I cook better than all of those places combined.'"

The duo found the building on East Queen Street, previously housing the Strasburg Diner and Big & Lil D's, and purchased it in December. They opened their doors on Jan. 9.

"This just happened to be the perfect opportunity at the perfect time," Myers said.

Although its location has historically been less than kind to business, Sellers is optimistic about drawing customers.

"It's challenging because we're not downtown," she said. "However, it's one of those things where I would rather be in someplace where people need to find that place because the food is so good.

"I know I can make this work and I know it's going to take a little bit."

She described her menu as American Contemporary and German for dinner, with a classic breakfast.

"I want to be able to bring everybody in," she said. "Apparently sausage gravy, I learned, runs in the veins. I don't necessarily eat it, but I know that we have to have it."

Myers, who first met Sellers in Arlington two years ago, said her specialties include the Strasburger, a 6-ounce burger with Boursin cheese, caramelized red onions and spinach, and the Rost Bratel, a tortilla wrap with beer-marinated pork and cucumbers.

"That's why I fell in love with her, because of the pork chops," he joked.

Sellers said many of her food suppliers hail from nearby, including the Toms Brook-based Crabill's Meats, and everything on the menu is homemade.

She said she plans to update the menus with new choices each month and also offer delivery and to-go service.

"There's nothing like my food in this area," she said. "There's just not."

At Home Bistro plans to host a grand opening in March.

Where: 728 E. Queen St., Strasburg
When: 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Mon.-Sat.; 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun.; 5-9 p.m., Wed.-Sat.
Cost: $6-11 for breakfast, $7-9 for lunch, $13-17 for dinner
Call: 540-465-8858
Online: ahbistro.com; facebook.com/ahbistro

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

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