Travel Ideas and Stories - Virginia's Travel Blog
ShareRSS  

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Eat Local! 16 Dishes with Fresh, Local Flavor

by Casey | Posted on April 18th, 2014

“Fresh, not frozen” is the mantra of many, but you’re invited to really taste the difference when you dine at some of Virginia’s farm-to-table restaurants. Of note are these 16 locally-sourced dishes that were nominated by locals as their favorite meal. Perhaps one sounds palate-pleasing for your next out-and-about Virginia excursion?

Braised Shenandoah Lamb Shoulder. BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier.

Braised Shenandoah Lamb Shoulder. BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier.

1. Traditions, inside the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, cooks up a Fennel Dusted Virginia Coast Shrimp and Scallop Dish that utilizes Dave and Dee’s Sedley, Virginia-grown oyster mushrooms, local farmers’ produce, and cured Virginia bourbon bacon.

2. BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier is located in beautiful Old Town Alexandria. Just as beautiful is their Braised Shenandoah Lamb Shoulder served with hand-rolled pappardelle, dill, pearl onions, glazed parsnip and a natural jus.

3. In Staunton, try Zynodoa’s locally-sourced Autumn Olive Farm pork entrée, which includes Meadow Creek Dairy’s Mountaineer cheese bruleed cornbread, and Harvest Thyme Herbs’ corn shoot salad.

4. Shrimp is served atop locally-sourced Andouille sausage and stone-ground grits at Wild Wolf Brewing Company in Nellysford. Pair this dish-with-a-kick with one of their homemade brews for a divine lunch on the patio.

Gunness Ayrshire Beef Stew. Hunter's Head Tavern.

Gunness Ayrshire Beef Stew. Hunter’s Head Tavern.

5. Upperville is home to the English pub,  Hunter’s Head Tavern, where Ayrshire Farm’s certified organic, humane, heritage-bred beef is the main ingredient in their Guinness Ayrshire Beef Stew. It’s slow-simmered with red wine, stock and Guinness stout, and finished with carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes.

6. New Leaf Pastry Kitchen in Harrisonburg offers a filling Bruschetta that’s perfect for a quick lunch. House-made rosemary focaccia is split and spread with herbed goat cheese before being filled with roasted Portobella mushrooms, onions, Polyface Farms’ sausage, and shredded smoked Gouda. It’s served hot with a Parmesan crisp and Dijon crème fraiche.

Crispy Skinned Chesapeake Bay Rockfish. Lemaire.

Crispy Skinned Chesapeake Bay Rockfish. Lemaire.

7. Inside the famed Jefferson Hotel in Richmond is Lemaire, where a Crispy Skinned Chesapeake Bay Rockfish is a popular local dish. The Rockfish is served with stewed white beans, semi-dried tomatoes, Manakintowne Specialty Growers’ field arugula, smoked Surry County sausage, and truffled mushroom broth.

8. A historical dessert in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the Jefferson Brandied Peaches & Vanilla Ice Cream dessert that you’ll find at the Old Mill Room at Boar’s Head in Charlottesville includes raspberry sauce, meringue, locally-grown peaches, and Jefferson vanilla ice cream. Dessert first? Yes, please!

9. More dessert? You betcha! The Heartwood Cobbler at Heartwood in Abingdon is simply sugar, self-rising flour, Duchess Dairy milk, butter and fresh fruit from the farmer’s market topped with Homestead Creamery vanilla ice cream. Which type of cobbler you find on the menu depends on which fruit is fresh and in season.

10. Created from all local ingredients, the Bratwurst Pizza with Apples and Onions from Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton includes Double H Farms’ bratwurst and local apples. The dough includes Ashland Farms’ whole wheat flour and is infused with herbs, olive oil and Hungry Hill Farm honey.

The Savory Grain, Richmond.

The Savory Grain, Richmond.

11. Roanoke’s Local Roots Restaurant serves a Hollow Hill Farm’s Bison Pastrami sandwich topped with cheddar cheese, house sauerkraut and house barbecue sauce. It’s served atop a Breadcraft Bakery sesame seed bun.

12. Timbercreek Organics’ beef is slow cooked with whole grain mustard spaetzle, roasted Sharondale Farms’ mushrooms, braised red cabbage, and bleu cheese. You can find this fine dish at Fossett’s at Keswick Hall in Keswick.

13. The Savory Grain in Richmond serves a Roasted Quail stuffed with a nine-grain cranberry pecan medley and finished with Bold Rock Cider roasted red pepper and ginger jus. Beautiful and delicious.

14. A perfect farm-fresh egg is served on garlic-rubbed ciabatta and served with mixed baby greens topped in balsamic vinaigrette, Virginia country ham and Parmesan cheese at Foti’s Restaurant in Culpeper.

15. Fresh catfish is served with creamed farro, Surry County sausage, butter beans, hominy, and mustard cream at The Roosevelt in Richmond.

16. Also in Richmond is Rappahannock, serving a beautiful dish of braised Border Springs Farm lamb with a crispy cake of Arborio rice, fregola sarda and lentils, fermented vegetables, pea tendrils, and a blood orange vinaigrette.

What’s your favorite locally-sourced dish? Tell all about it by leaving a comment!

Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a free Travel Guide.



Food, Locals | 0 Comments

Chocolate Lovers’ Delight

by Casey | Posted on February 6th, 2014

Chocolate is a tempter. Indulgent, smooth, delicious. Fulfill your sweet cocoa desires with a visit to a Virginia chocolatier or an upcoming event.

 

 Chocolate Artisans

The Ultimate Chocolate Experience by Chocolate Spike

The Ultimate Chocolate Experience by Chocolate Spike

Alexandria – Artfully Chocolate - Part art gallery, part chocolatier, part cocoa bar and completely fabulous!

Arlington – Artisan Confections - Specializing in high-quality, hand-made chocolates that are elegant in both design and flavor.

Blacksburg – Chocolate Spike – Artistic chocolate endeavors by by Genie Ranck, producer of exciting creations.

Charlottesville – Gearhart’s Fine Chocolates - An artisanal chocolate shop in Historic Downtown Charlottesville that specializes in handmade confections of uncompromising quality.

Dayton – Warfel’s Sweet Shoppe - Homemade in the heart of Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley: old fashioned creme fudge, chocolate creme truffles, and “sugar free” chocolates, just to name a few.

Glass House Winery

Glass House Winery

Free Union – Glass House Winery – You read right. A winery that not only excels at wine making, but also makes their own in-house chocolates. Win-win.

Harrisonburg – Chocolate Occasions – See for yourself how the goods are made, then take home a box or two!

Lexington – Cocoa Mill Chocolate Co. - Offering a wide assortment of chocolates in dark, bittersweet, milk and white. Also featuring turtles — hand poured caramel over fresh pecans topped with milk chocolate; butter cremes, hand rolled truffles … the list goes on!

Louisa – Cooper Vineyards – Drink your chocolate! Noche Chocolate is a Virginia Norton dessert wine infused with chocolate. It’s also an award-winning wine (2012 Silver Virginia Governor’s Cup and others).

Richmond – Chocolates by Kelly - See chocolatiers make world-class chocolates right before your eyes. Take a class, buy a gift, try something new and exciting, or taste a treat that’ll make you feel like a kid again!

Richmond – Gearhart’s Fine Chocolate - Voted one of Chocolatier Magazine’s “Top 20 Artisan Chocolatiers” in the U.S., Tim Gearhart combines Single-Bean Venezuelan Chocolates, fine local and exotic ingredients, and passionate craftsmanship to create chocolates of unparalleled depth and complexity.

Virginia Beach – The Royal Chocolate - Indulge from cases filled with store made chocolates using Belgian Chocolate – truffles, creams, caramels, chocolate and caramel coated pretzels, not to mention the famous chocolate covered apples!

Williamsburg – MAD About Chocolate - A chocolate cafe by Marcel Desaulniers, author of Death by Chocolate and nine other cookbooks.

 

Chocolate Events

February 7 – Winchester – Chocolate Escape – Thirteen participating downtown restaurants are offering a $2 chocolate sampling menu while and 16 retailers have chocolate themed deals and offers available.

February 8 – Warrenton – 4th Annual Chocolate Extravaganza – This is a chocolate tasting fundraiser in memory of a 22 year old who lost her life to Leukemia. Six samples for $10.

 

Chocolate and Wine

February 7-15 – Bridgewater – Wine & Chocolate Pairing in the Tasting Room at Bluestone Vineyard – Eight wines paired with eight Warfel’s Sweet Shoppe chocolates for $12.

February 8 – Oak Grove – A Taste of Wine & Chocolate at Ingleside Vineyards - Indulge in the finest Ingleside wines with an elegant chocolate experience. Reservations required.

February 11 – Norfolk – Chocolate Wine Pairing at Mermaid Winery – Four pairings for $20. Reservations required.

February 14 – Stanley – Valentine Chocolate and Wine at Wisteria Farm and Vineyard – Join in the chocolate fondue and wine! Get a plate of dipping goodies and a glass of wine for $15.

February 14-16 – Middleburg – Wine and Chocolate Weekend at Greenhill Winery and Vineyards – Handcrafted nut-free/gluten-free chocolates by locally owned Simply Nut Free will be paired with four Greenhill wines.

February 14-16 – Purcellville – Breaux Vineyards’ Chocolate & Cabernet Tasting – Hand-rolled truffles and imported chocolate are paired with Breaux cabernet. $30; reservations suggested.

February 15 – Floyd – Valentine’s Weekend Wine and Chocolate Pairing at Chateau Morrisette –  Chateau Morrisette’s wine-crafter, Rachel Lagergren and Wilbur’s Chocolates Master Chocolatier, Dona Peters will give an expert presentation of five wines paired with Wilbur Chocolates. $40 per person; reservations and pre-payment required.

 

Where do you find your favorite chocolate? Leave a comment to tell us!

Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a free Travel Guide.



Events, Food, Food and Wine | 1 Comment

5 Food and Drink Experiences for 2014

by Casey | Posted on January 29th, 2014

Whether your palate makes you a gourmand or not, there are fun food and drink experiences for everyone this year.

1. Slurp up the favorite delicacy of the Chesapeake Bay - Crassostrea virginica (eastern oyster) – during this, the 40th anniversary of its shell being named the official shell of Virginia. Seven oyster regions yield a variety of flavors, pushing Virginia to become the Oyster Capital of the East Coast.

- Virginia Oysters
Oyster Festivals

Texas Tavern

Texas Tavern in Roanoke, VA is famous for their hot dogs. Ask for a “hot, with.”

2. It’s been 20 years since Legend Brewing Co. in Richmond began handcrafting their legendary lagers and ales, making it Central Virginia’s oldest microbrewery. Their patio overlooking the James River boasts a great view of downtown Richmond and is an awesome place to be on a sunny day.

- Virginia Craft Beer

3. Eat cheap but really well when you take a tip from Southern Living. Their January 2014 issue includes “The South’s Best Cheap Eats Under $10″ and we weren’t surprised to find Pasture‘s Pimento Cheese (Richmond), Peter Chang China Cafe’s Dan Dan Noodles with Beef (Richmond), Sally Bell’s Kitchen‘s Boxed Lunch (Richmond) or Texas Tavern‘s “Hot, With” (Roanoke) among the recommendations.

- 10 Pies Worth the Drive
22 Places to Eat Like a Local
- 22 Great Breakfast Spots
- 17 Virginia BBQ Joints You’re Going to LOVE

Fresh vegetables create a beautiful primavera at Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, VA.

Fresh vegetables create a beautiful primavera at Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, VA.

4. If you’re a connoisseur of fine Virginia wines, you’ll be elated to learn that 2014 potentially ushers in EIGHT new wineries in locations such as Delaplane, North Garden, Orange, Amissville, Barhamsville, Berryville, Lovettsville, and Purcellville. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Wineville!

- Virginia Wine

5. Love the local flavors. From farmers’ markets to five-star restaurants, the taste of what’s real, authentic, and right out the back door simply can’t be beat.

- Farm to Table Dining
- Culinary Virginia

Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a free Travel Guide.



Beer, Food, Food and Wine, Travel Ideas | 1 Comment

Hot Dining in the City – Virginia Restaurant Weeks

by Casey | Posted on January 13th, 2014

January in Virginia has foodie appeal as six cities roll out their chef’s best dishes for restaurant weeks. Make these dining opportunities the center of your weekend getaway.

Bubba's Seafood Restaurant

Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant

The first to kick off the good eating is Virginia Beach Restaurant Week running January 12 through 19. More than 60 establishments are offering two- and three-course meals at special $10, $20 and $30 price points. Participants include local favorites like Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant, and award winners like Lynnhaven Fish House (“Best Seafood Restaurant” in Hampton Roads by Portfolio Magazine).
See the complete list of participating restaurants.

Alexandria Restaurant Week boasts a distinctive collection of 50 dining establishments offering exclusive menus at a $35 fixed price. Participate in the lunch and dinner festivities from January 17 through 26 at comfort food hot spots like King Street Blues in Old Town, or La Bergerie, an award winning French restaurant (Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, 2002-2012).
See the complete list of participating restaurants.

Nestled in the southern Shenandoah Valley against the Blue Ridge Mountains is Roanoke, a destination celebrating its annual Downtown Roanoke Restaurant Week January 17 through 26. Variety is the key to success for this culinary event. Expect to dine for $10, $20 or $30 at 14 or more establishments, including the casually elegant Blues & Jazz themed Blue 5, and Table 50, a fine dining experience in the middle of Historic Roanoke City Market.
See the complete list of participating restaurants.

Bodega on Granby

Bodega on Granby

Norfolk claims to have “the area’s most eclectic and delicious array of restaurants,” so why not try them out? Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Week begins January 19 and runs through January 26. Three-course dinners will be available from more than 15 establishments for $20, $30 or $40, with some also offering $10 lunches. Eat light Spanish and Mediterranean tapas at Bodega on Granby or soak in the historic surroundings as you enjoy a hearty steak or seafood dinner at Omar’s Carriage House.
See the complete list of participating restaurants.

The inaugural Newport News Restaurant Week is actually two weeks long and serves up prix fixe dinners and lunches from January 19 through February 2. Among the 17 participating establishments are Fin, a seafood restaurant utilizing fresh, local ingredients, and Harpoon Larry’s Oyster Bar & Fish House, a Newport News mainstay named “One of the Best 23 Seafood Dives in the U.S.A.” by Coastal Living Magazine.
See the complete list of participating restaurants.

Charlottesville invites you to please your palate without draining your wallet during the semi-annual Charlottesville Restaurant Week, January 27 through February 2. Thirty-three restaurants are offering menus that include either $16, $26 or $36 menus. Try a bite of Louisiana at Fig, offering New Orleans Jambalaya and other Cajun-spiced delights. Or maybe you’ll enjoy the French-Virginia infused flavors at L’etoile.
See the complete list of participating restaurants.

While this is the run-down for January, restaurant weeks are spaced out with other cities offering their finest wares at other times of the year. See the list.

Virginia is for Lovers.



Couples, Deals & Discounts, Food | Comments Off

7 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Feasts

by Casey | Posted on November 26th, 2013

Behind the eight ball with regard to Thanksgiving dinner? Never fear. Here are seven places serving hot, traditional Thanksgiving meals for you and your family to enjoy. Reservations may be required; call in advance of your trip.

Lansdowne Resort

Lansdowne Resort

Bedford – Peaks of Otter Thanksgiving Buffet - The Thanksgiving Day buffet will include fresh salad and homemade salads, turkey, honey glazed ham, hand-carved prime rib, seafood scampi medley, and herb roasted pork tenderloin. Traditional sides, desserts and bread included. $28.95/adult; $15.95 for children 12 and under. Menu

Glen Allen – Thanksgiving at Wyndham Virginia Crossings – Treat your family to a special Thanksgiving of pine nut crusted pork cutlets, turkey, seared salmon, pomegranate and brown sugar glazed ham, roasted acorn squash soup, surry sausage cornbread stuffing, steamed prawns, and the “Holiday Beverage Extravaganza.” $42/adult; $21 for children 6-12. Menu

Leesburg – Thanksgiving Lunch Buffet at Lansdowne Resort – This is a Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings! Herb-roasted turkey, rubbed prime rib, smoked fresh ham, duck breast, and many more favorites will be awaiting your arrival. Reserve Now

Peaks of Otter

Peaks of Otter

Luray – Thanksgiving Day Buffet in Shenandoah National Park – Celebrate with a bountiful buffet. More than 12 relishes, soups, salads, starters and sides are available for five entree selections and seven dessert selections, plus bread and beverages. $29.95/adult; $14 for children 6-12. Menu

Natural Bridge – Natural Bridge Thanksgiving Buffet – Give yourself a break this year. Make the afternoon with friends & family a relaxing, easy, memorable get together. Enjoy a scrumptious meal and live entertainment at the Natural Bridge Hotel. $25.95/adult; $12.98 for children 5-12

Newport News – Thanksgiving at the Boxwood Inn – This historic inn is the perfect place to gather and enjoy a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal. Come for the oven roasted turkey, beef tenderloin, sliced ham, traditional stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, and so much more! $28.95/adult; $14.95 for children under 10. Menu

Wintergreen – Thanksgiving on the Mountain at Wintergreen Resort – The holiday season of family traditions at Wintergreen Resort begins with Thanksgiving. Traditional feasts, the grand illumination of the courtyard, holiday workshops, and more.

>> Thanksgiving Weekend Events
>> Thanksgiving in the Mountains

From our family to yours, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Virginia is for Lovers



Family, Food, The Holidays | Comments Off