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Archive for the ‘Food and Wine’ Category

Holiday Food Shopping Excursions

by Casey | Posted on December 6th, 2012

Sure, the grocery store might have what you need for the holiday dinner, but what fun is that? Get out of town or at least support the local shops for some great Virginia-made products.

Is ham on your list? There’s no place to go but Smithfield for the real deal. Right on Main Street you’ll find Taste of Smithfield, a restaurant and store. Sample the wares, enjoy a nice lunch and bring home the bacon. Yep, they have that, too.

Woodson's Mill

Woodson's Mill white cornmeal

Flours are a necessity for baking and you can purchase it freshly ground from local millers like Jim Young at Wade’s Mill in Raphine or Steve Roberts at Woodson’s Mill in Roseland. Gift sets are available from each mill as well.

Virginia peanuts are renowned and you can get them from a few places. They’re perfect for gift-giving and pre-dinner munching.

Virginia is experiencing an explosive re-birth of its oyster industry and has been dubbed the Oyster Capital of the East Coast thanks to being the largest farm-raised oyster producing state in the country. Lovers of the succulent delicacy can choose from seven salinity regions and get their take fresh from the water.

If you find yourself expanding the menu for more seafood than just oysters, let it be known that Wachapreague is the Flounder Capital of the World.

Foggy Ridge Cider apples

Foggy Ridge Cider apples

On to the beverages!

Apple cider is a favorite holiday treat and Virginia has a burgeoning cider industry – both hard and not.

In the Blue Ridge Highlands you can visit Foggy Ridge Cider, the 2012 Cooking Light Taste Test Award Winner. Growing American heirloom apples as well as French and English cider apples, the cidermaker, Diane Flynt, manipulates the harvest as little as possible to create three ciders and a cider + apple brandy blend.

Additional Cideries and Orchards:

Wine? Yes, Virginia has plenty of that. Take your pick of more than 200 wineries statewide. Beer? Oh yes, the craft beer industry is thriving in Virginia, too.

Enjoy the season of cooking and travel!

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.



Food and Wine, The Holidays | Comments Off

Thanksgiving Family Feasts

by Tom | Posted on October 22nd, 2012

Virginia has baskets of tradition for harvest season, but for those who crave amazing food experiences paired with a dose of history, the Thanksgiving season is an absolute bonanza.

Whether it’s an original feast at Berkeley Plantation, a meal fit for a king at the classic Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, or a lavish buffet to make Santa’s belly jiggle like mad at the Homestead Resort, turkey lovers and pumpkin pie fans won’t be disappointed.

Find your feast and bring the whole family along. Traditions have to start somewhere – make one today where you don’t have to do the cooking.

 

 

 



Family, Food and Wine, The Holidays, Uncategorized | Comments Off

All Mom, All Weekend

by Casey | Posted on May 7th, 2012

Has Mother’s Day crept up on you? If so, you’re in luck. We did the digging so you can be the hero!

What kind of Mom are you looking to honor this weekend?

The Outdoorsy Mom

In Roanoke, take her geocaching on Saturday. An event called Caching in on Scenery begins at the Green Ridge Recreation Center at 11 a.m. You can search for treasure on foot or in your vehicle using a GPS. Don’t have a handheld GPS? A limited number will be available, but a $150 refundable deposit is required to rent it for your hunt.

Thousands of shorebirds use the Eastern Shore to rest and feed midway through the spring migration. The International Migratory Bird Celebration will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Expect workshops, bird walks with experts, guided tours of Assateague Lighthouse, and activities for the kids.

Butterfly release at Flying Flowers.
Butterfly release at Flying Flowers.

The Traditional Mom

Moms who love flowers and gardening will enjoy the Garden Fair Saturday and Sunday at the State Arboretum of Virginia in Boyce. Let her pick out the plants that make her smile at this huge sale. Spend the day – there are special events, fun for the kids, and food will be available. $10 per car.

The whole family can sweep mom off her feet with a special carriage ride through the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Harrisonburg. Both Saturday and Sunday a pair of beautiful Belgiums will be leading the way. Saturday’s rides are from 6 until 9 p.m. for mom’s who love the cool evening sunsets. Sunday rides are from 1 until 4 p.m. $10 per adult; $7 per child; or secure a private carriage for $58. 540-568-3194

In Wytheville on Saturday, a butterfly release is planned at Flying Flowers. Flying Flowers at Beagle Ridge Herb Farm is Southwest Virginia’s only walk through butterfly house. Please register as soon as possible for this popular event. $10 for adults; $5 for children. Call 276-621-4511.

The Wine & Dine Mom

Quite a few Mother’s Day wine events are available across the Commonwealth – some are celebratory brunches and others are free tastings for mom.

Additionally, she may like to sit down to a very nice meal. Reserve your space at Cooper’s Landing Inn & Traveler’s Tavern in Clarksville for Sunday brunch.

The Art-Loving Mom

“Where for art thou, Romeo?” Oops! Wrong play, but if mom loves Shakespeare, you need to take her to Staunton on Sunday. The American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 2 p.m. Admission is $12 to $45.

The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra will be presenting their final performance of the season Saturday at 8 p.m. at George Mason Center for the Arts. Moms who appreciate classical music will love the FSO’s performance of The English, The French, and The Piano – a collection of Purcell, Debussy, Ravel and Elgar.

In Norfolk, the Attucks Jazz Series is underway. Enjoy a smooth evening with Denise Donatelli in this legendary venue. 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person.

See More Weekend Events

Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Request your free 2012 Virginia Travel Guide.



Arts, Events, Family, Food and Wine, Outdoors, Sweepstakes, Wine | Comments Off

We’re All Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

by Casey | Posted on March 14th, 2012

ShamROCK N' ROLL in Norfolk

ShamROCK N' ROLL in Norfolk

Even if your blood lacks an ounce of Irish descent, you must admit that it’s hard to fight the fun of St. Patrick’s Day!

For the Family

Roanoke’s Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration and McDonald’s St. Pat’s Parade is one giant festival the whole family will love. Enjoy pipe bands, the Bonniest Knees and Classiest Lass Contests, inflatables, face painting, the Wells Fargo “Buffalo Bill” Stagecoach, Celtic dancers, cloggers, and lots of great music.

For the Athletes

Abingdon plays host to the Shamrock 4-Miler - a brand new run with a great ending – a post-race party with BBQ from Bonefire Smokehouse and beer from Wolf Hills Brewery. Go ahead and dress in your favorite green garb … they’ll be judging.

Down on the Boardwalk of Virginia Beach this weekend’s highlight is the 40th running of the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon. Included is the marathon, half marathon, 8K, and running events for children, too. Post-race parties will include Murphy’s Irish stew and Yuengling, of course!

For the Partiers

Block Party? The merry ol’ section of Norfolk known as Ghent brings you Shamrockin’ in Ghent 2012! Party Friday evening with traditional Irish sounds by local bands, food by Belmont House of Smoke, and various beverages. Wear your green and get your party on.

In Richmond, Shamrock the Block in Shockoe Bottom is the place to be … with 20,000 of your closest friends! It’s a free event, so enjoy the live music, purchase lots o’ food, and choose from plenty o’ frosty beverages. Noon to 6 p.m.

In Norfolk, the AT&T ShamROCK N’ ROLL event includes bagpipers, Irish fair, and all things green. Held at TowneBank Fountain Park at the waterfront, this weekend looks to be perfect for it.

For the Tasters

Nellysford is celebrating at two wineries! Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery invites you for a wine and food pairing. Wear your green and you’ll take home a free logo glass with your purchase. At Wintergreen Winery, the party is on with Irish music, dancing, mayhap a leprechaun, and of course – wine.

A buffet of Irish-inspired delights will be available for your grazing pleasure at the Natural Bridge Hotel, as will Virginia micro-brews and Irish beers. Take a walk beneath the natural wonder of the Bridge itself before the festivities kick off at 3:30 p.m. Or, stay the night for $139/couple.

In Berryville, Veramar Vineyard is breaking out the mischief AND the Blarney Stone. It’s rumored that a leprechaun may be lurking in their parts, too. Expect music, fun, wine, and yummy potato soup.

Irish dancers kick their toes to traditional music while you sip the fine wines of Potomac Point Winery in Stafford. An Irish menu will be offered all weekend long.

A special Irish food and wine pairing awaits you at Fox Meadow Winery in Linden. It’s called Pot of Gold Tasting and includes an elite array of gold medal-winning wines.

 

Find more St. Patrick’s Day events and family fun on the Virginia.org Events Calendar.



Events, Food and Wine | Comments Off

March is for Food Lovers

by Casey | Posted on March 2nd, 2012

In addition to March being Virginia Wine & Dine Month, it is also loaded with restaurant weeks!

Clementine in HarrisonburgResidents and visitors to the Shenandoah Valley have two weeks with special dining deals appeal.

Beginning this Sunday, March 4 and running through Saturday, March 10, is Taste of Downtown in Harrisonburg. Make your way along “Restaurant Row” for special savings on coffee, ice cream, lunches, and dinners. Lunches range from $5.99 to $10 and dinners range from $10 to $39.
> Harrisonburg Accommodations
> Things to Do | Events

Later in the month, Staunton restaurants are rolling out their best dining deals for Staunton Restaurant Week. Make plans to dine around between March 19 and 25 to take advantage of three-course prix fixe menus priced from $26 to $31 per meal. Presently there are eight participating restaurants.
> Staunton Accommodations
> Things to Do | Events

Park Lane Tavern in HamptonIf you’re headed toward the coast, be sure to spend a little time in Hampton. March 4 through 10 is the Downtown Hampton and Coliseum Central Restaurant Week featuring two-course lunches for $10 and three-course dinners for either $20 or $30. Choose from 14 dining establishments.
> Hampton Accommodations
> Things to Do | Events

On the heels of great dining in Hampton, Suffolk Restaurant Week: A Culinary Showcase rolls out March 17 through 24. You’re invited to “Indulge Yourself” when you visit Suffolk. Three-course lunches are available for $10 or $15, while three-course dinners will run $20 or $30. You choose your meal and your price among 10 participating restaurants.
> Suffolk Accommodations
> Things to Do | Events

Enjoy a weekend away and save on great dining when you take advantage of one of these destinations and their special restaurant deals.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation (even the weekend getaway kind).



Couples, Family, Food and Wine | Comments Off