Travellers wanting to experience a booming and diverse home-grown culinary scene should visit Virginia in 2015.
Virginia is well-renowned for its award-winning, farm to table food; however, the culinary scene is only just beginning. Visit Virginia has a number of new restaurants for 2015 that cater for a variety of tastes. From delectable French cuisine to authentic Italian favourites, this foodie state is the place to dine this year.
Visitors should also plan their visit to coincide with one of the many popular restaurant weeks and culinary events that are held in Virginia throughout the year. Click here for a full list of events
Virginia’s 10 Top New Restaurants for 2015:
- GRAFFIATO| RICHMOND
Chef Mike Isabella’s second Graffiato restaurant offers seasonal small plates inspired by the fresh tastes of Mediterranean cuisine, and the homely style of his Italian-American grandmother’s cooking. Guests can try one of Grandmother Isabella’s best dishes – a carrot gemelli (spiral pasta) with lamb sugo, mint pesto and pecorino. Or they can go for something completely different and try the charred octopus with blackberry mostarda – a fruit and mustard based condiment.
- HOMEGROWN| PORTSMOUTH
HomeGrown is the epitome of local cuisine – typically using ingredients from a weekly farmers market to create a menu of fresh sandwiches, entrees and regional pizzas. The aptly named ‘HomeGrown’ is a sauté of local fresh vegetables that changes depending on the market. The Farmer pizza is a firm favourite too, with local bacon, spinach and caramelized onions.
- LAGER HEADS| VIRGINIA BEACH
Visitors of the state can relax just feet away from the Virginia Beach Oceanfront with a fresh, cold beer in their hand at the suitably named Lager Heads. This outdoor seated restaurant goes to town on the burger front, including the Cowboy Burger – a beef patty with cheddar cheese, tobacco onions, whisky laced barbecue sauce and sweet pickles on Texas toast.
- LEGRAND KITCHEN| NORFOLK
A tiny 16 seat restaurant based in Norfolk, LeGrand is said to be inspired by good food and rock ‘n’ roll, creating satisfying fresh dishes made with local, seasonal cuisine. The main dishes change with the seasons, but diners can eat their way through their seasonal salads in the sunshine, or try the Pimento Cheese smeared on toasted potato bread.
5. PASTUREQ | CHARLOTTESVILLE
If guests are looking for a night of delicious Southern style BBQ food whilst chilling out with friends, Pastureq is the place to go. Diners can snack on pimento cheese and devilled eggs whilst they chat way into the night, or eat their way through the Three Meat Platter – a plate full of delicious pulled pork, beef brisket and hot sausage link.
6. LUCY’S | RICHMOND
For something a little quieter and quaint, travellers should head to Lucy’s. A friendly, comforting restaurant featuring Monrovia Farm beef and other produce from the local farm, Lucy’s is an uncomplicated approach to good food. Lots of the dishes are centred on the delectable Monrovia beef, for instance the dry-aged beef of the day, as well as providing delicious veggie sides such as black eyed peas and stewed tomatoes.
7. OFF THE HOOK | CHESAPEAKE
Both a fresh seafood restaurant and a seafood market, Off The Hook has a relaxed vibe offering the best from the sea. The menu is created each day with what is seasonal and fresh from the market, but a keen favourite is the whole snapper – tender, flaky, moist, and deliciously fresh.
8. REPUBLIC KITCHEN AND BAR | ARLINGTON
For contemporary comfort food with a modern twist, guests can head over to Republic Kitchen and Bar. Offering bar favourites, including chicken and waffles served with maple-bourbon-bacon syrup, this chic restaurant is airy and inviting.
9. THE SHACK | STAUNTON
One for the serious foodies, The Shack offers an innovative menu of classic Virginian dishes. Guests can sit in the shack-like interior and feast on the Maple Quail – oyster-cornbread stuffing, pumpkin, Brussel sprouts, cranberries and chestnuts, and finish with the Sweet Potato Fry Pie with lemon curd and burnt marshmallow fluff. The Shack has also been named one of the South’s best new restaurants in 2014 by Southern Living Magazine.
10. LE YACA | WILLIAMSBURG
Having re-opened in a new location, Le Yaca is now offering a bigger menu filled with delicious French cuisine in a relaxed surrounding. Les Escargots are recommended for all the foodies – half-dozen plump snails presented in wells filled with rich, melted garlic and parsley butter, and a side of tomato concassee with bread ready for dipping.
To find out more about Virginia and the Capital Region USA, visit www.CapitalRegionUSA.co.uk