A Chef’s Kitchen
Situated in the heart of Williamsburg, A Chef’s Kitchen is a culinary experience not to be missed. Opened by Chef John and Wanda Gonzales, this establishment offers guests an opportunity to watch, learn, and eat. The open kitchen is like a stage. From their tiered seating and tables, the diners watch the chef and his team prepare a multi-course meal. The culinary team creates new menus each month and might include delectable options such as their signature skillet baked cornbread. In the past there has also been Louisiana gulf shrimp with Creole sauté and cheesy grit cakes; and mocha pots de crème with cinnamon-cocoa meringue. The meals are paired with three wines and diners receive recipes so they can recreate their favorite dishes at home.
The Ashby Inn & Restaurant
Located in a tiny village in Northern Virginia called Paris, The Ashby Inn and Restaurant is a charming venue nestled inside an 1829 building originally built as a private home. Today, it is a lovely spot, surrounded by lush landscaped grounds, where guests can retreat and have exquisite farm-to-table cuisine created by executive chef Patrick Robinson. Sourcing ingredients from the inn’s garden and local farms and purveyors, the culinary team creates new menus each day in order to showcase the freshest in-season products. They also offer wine and cider tastings. This place is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through to Saturday plus Sunday brunch and reservations are strongly recommended.
The Ashby Inn & Restaurant, 692 Federal St., Paris, VA, USA, +1 540 592 3900
Byrd & Baldwin Bros.
Established in 2006, Byrd & Baldwin Bros. is a traditional steak and chophouse located in Norfolk. While the 1906 building in which it resides has been completely renovated, the beautiful Beaux Arts Italianate façade is original. It greets diners looking for a fine dining experience within a sophisticated space adorned with a rich color palette. The menu features All Natural Harris Ranch Beef, which is aged on-site for at least 21 days, ensuring a flavorful and tender product. Many side dishes to complement the steaks are available as well, including crabmeat mac and Brie cheese and creamed spinach. Not leaving anyone out, the restaurant also has some vegetarian options. An extensive wine list is available as well.
Byrd & Baldwin Bros., 116 Brooke Ave., Norfolk, VA, USA, +1 757 222 9191
The Inn at Little Washington
Located in the Virginia countryside in Washington, The Inn at Little Washington is a real culinary gem that should be on every foodie’s bucket list. Established in 1978 in a converted garage by the acclaimed Patrick O’Connell who is also the chef, the restaurant has garnered numerous awards and recognition over the years. Within luxurious, romantic interiors, discerning diners can savor a host of exquisite, refined American dishes made with local and artisan ingredients. The menus, which include a vegetarian menu, change often. They have included sweet New England bay scallops with candied yams and macadamia nuts and the cauliflower ‘steak’ with yellow Indian curry, green grapes and candied walnuts. An award-winning wine cellar with more than 2,400 selections from around the world is on-site as well.
Market Table Bistro
Found in Lovettsville in the heart of the Loudon County wine country, Market Table Bistro is a lovely farm-to-table venue located inside a converted home. Opened in 2010 by Chef Jason Lage and Rebecca Dudley, the restaurant creates delicious fare inspired by the regional bounty, which is procured from local purveyors. Within a warm, inviting interior with art-adorned walls, guests can visit for lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch. Enticing options diners may find on the menu — it changes often — includes crispy quail with fall greens, corn cakes, honey and hot sauce. There has also been vegetable pot pie filled with roasted winter vegetables and mushrooms accompanied by a salad of field greens tossed in an herb vinaigrette. Beer and wine, with an impressive selection of local varieties, are also available.
Market Table Bistro, 13 E. Broad Way, Lovettsville, VA, USA, +1 540 822 3008
Established in 2014 by Chef David Shannon, L’Opossum is an eclectic, award-winning restaurant located in Virginia’s capital, Richmond. A recipient of an Elby — a regional restaurant award — this Oregon Hill restaurant features French-inspired cuisine within a quirky environment. It is complete with subtle lighting provided by unusual fixtures and art-adorned walls. Serving dinner Tuesday through to Saturday, this place lets guests dine upon outstanding entrées. These include a whole fried baby chicken served on mashed potato waffles with pan gravy, kale, okra and fire ball butter and jumbo lump crab cakes accompanied by wilted spinach plus béarnaise tartar sauce. Luscious desserts and an assortment of drinks complete the offerings at L’Opossum.
L’Opossum, 626 China St., Richmond, VA, USA, +1 804 918 6028
Le Refuge is a charming, casual French bistro located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. Founded in 1983 by Jean-Francois Chaufour and his wife, Francoise, who are natives of France, the beloved, family-run spot attracts locals and tourists with its delicious French cuisine and warm environment. Within a cozy interior, diners can savor a host of French classics, including French onion soup topped with Swiss cheese. There is also beef Wellington, which is a filet mignon wrapped in pastry dough with duck liver mousse and mushrooms served with a Madeira sauce. Another good pick is frog legs with garlic butter and tomatoes. An extensive wine list is also available. Reservations are recommended.
Le Refuge, 127c N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA, USA, +1 703 548 4661
Tucked inside a historic 1779 tavern in historic Abingdon, The Tavern is a delightful restaurant serving upscale American and German cuisine. Over the years the building— the oldest historic building in the town — has been a bank, a bakery, and even a hospital during the Civil War. It became its current incarnation in 1994. Entrees sure to delight the tastebuds of diners include the filet mignon stuffed with shrimp, bacon, ricotta and herb cream cheese served with a Marsala reduction. There is also the wienerschnitzel, which are pan-fried, breaded veal cutlets accompanied by spaetzle, beef mushroom gravy plus red cabbage. To complement the meal, a selection of wine, including local varieties, is available.
The Tavern, 222 E. Main St., Abingdon, VA, USA, +1 276 628 1118
Established in 2006 by Brian Mullins and his wife, Teresa, Vintage Tavern features ‘seasonally southern’ cuisine, handcrafted cocktails and an extensive wine list in its restaurant. It has a charming, rustic interior, complete with exposed beams, fireplaces in the dining spaces, and game trophies embellishing the walls in the lounge. This awaits guests seeking to sample great cuisine made with local and regional ingredients within a relaxing atmosphere. Open for dinner Tuesday through to Sunday, the kitchen creates mouthwatering seasonal fare. Past highlights include grilled Black Angus beef tenderloin with corn pudding, spinach and ramp butter and house-smoked baby back ribs served with mac and cheese, molasses BBQ sauce and house-made pickles.
Vintage Tavern, 1900 Governor’s Pointe Dr., Suffolk, VA, +1 757 238 8808
Nestled inside a historic building in downtown Staunton, Zynodoa is a wonderful establishment specializing in ‘inspired southern cuisine.’ Striving to give diners a taste of the area, the crew at this restaurant works with independent farmers throughout the state to provide the freshest, seasonal ingredients available. They also have their own farm where they produce vegetables, fruit, herbs and eggs. Within a modern, sleek interior, guests can savor items such as house-made pickled vegetables. There is also Buffalo Creek Beef steak frites with oyster mushrooms, crispy potato battonets plus horseradish aioli. Desserts include Disaronno amaretto crème brûlée with crushed almond and sugar tuile. Pair the meal with a complementary wine for a full culinary experience.
Zynodoa, 115 E. Beverley St., Staunton, VA, USA, +1 540 885 7775