Hotel restaurants generally get a bad rap, as many overnight guests opt for a nearby restaurant rather than dine in. We’re here to tell you that the restaurants listed below happen to be worthy of a visit whether you’re an overnight guest or not. Yes, they’re that good.
— HÄRTH | HILTON MCLEAN TYSONS CORNER | MCLEAN —
Executive Chef Luc Dendievel is true to the farm-to-table movement. On the roof of the Hilton, Chef keeps bees and a garden. His hive produces 200 pounds of honey annually, and the homegrown herbs, fruits and vegetables make their way into his menu. Meats are locally sourced, too.
The vibe at härth (yes, it’s actually lower case) is cozy, thanks to fireside dining on the patio and comfortable, casual seating. The menu includes comfort food, wood fired pizzas, seafood, soups and salads.
— LEMAIRE | THE JEFFERSON HOTEL | RICHMOND —
Lemaire serves a Virginia-inspired menu that brings the bounty of the coast alongside that of the valley, all tailored by Executive Chef Walter Bundy, a Richmond native. Chef’s experiences on both the Chesapeake Bay and a Virginia farm influence his efforts to bring local foods and flavors into the kitchen. He gives traditional Southern dishes a fresh twist your palate will undoubtedly enjoy.
Should you order oysters, you’ll be pleased to know that Lemaire is a supporter of the Oyster Shell Recycling Program, an initiative by Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Center to put oyster shells back into the Chesapeake Bay for wild oyster restoration.
— GRAZE ON MAIN | BOLLING WILSON HOTEL | WYTHEVILLE —
Graze on Main is fortunate to have homegrown talent in the likes of Chef Keith Hedrick. Chef’s menu is “new Southern,” as he puts his own spin on classics like fried oysters, shrimp and grits, and pork tenderloin (which is pretzel encrusted, by the way). Ingredients are chosen by hand and each dish is scratch-made.
Graze on Main has only been open a short while, yet is garnering attention (see the TripAdvisor reviews). Taste for yourself and give this new destination restaurant a boost!
— THE BLACK ROOSTER RESTAURANT | GENERAL FRANCIS MARION HOTEL | MARION —
The menu Executive Chef Josh Young maintains at The Black Rooster is diverse. Diners will be treated to house-made pasta, southern favorites like chicken and waffles, and even a bison burger, if they so choose. Don’t get too attached to the options, however, as Chef changes the menu daily based on available ingredients.
— SALACIA | HILTON VIRGINIA BEACH OCEANFRONT | VIRGINIA BEACH —
Virginia’s only AAA four-diamond steakhouse is known for hardwood-grilled steak, but you’ll also find local oysters (the famed Lynnhaven, for example), salads, a fresh catch of the day, and even pork and lamb on the menu. The atmosphere has been described as “sexy,” by our contributing culinary writer, Patrick Evans-Hylton, who wrote in Coastal Virginia Magazine, “Expansive views of the boardwalk and ocean add to the sexy, trendy dining room decked out in summer white and cobalt blue with dark wood accents.”
— THE INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON | WASHINGTON —
Led by Executive Chef Patrick O’Connell, The Inn at Little Washington (both the hotel and the restaurant) is a AAA Five Diamond and a Mobil Travel Guide Five Star Award winner – the first property to receive it for both dining and accommodation. In addition, The Inn was named Restaurant of the Year by the James Beard Foundation in 1993. Honestly, the accolades for both The Inn and O’Connell are far to numerous to list, but one in particular sticks out: “O’Connell was asked to cook for Queen Elizabeth at the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond on her recent visit to Virginia.” Her recent visit was for the Jamestown 2007 celebration.
— BRABO BY ROBERT WIEDMAIER | LORIEN HOTEL & SPA | ALEXANDRIA —
Seasonal cuisine with Belgian-American influence is the theme of BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier. In fact, BRABO is so named for the statue one can find in Chef’s father’s hometown of Antwerp, Belgium. The menu includes a nice mix of seafood, fowl, beef and greens, not to mention a wide range of libations with Catoctin Creek and Alexandria’s own Port City appearing on the beverage list. Perhaps the real treat at BRABO are the housemade doughnuts. Do inquire!
— HARRIMANS | SALAMANDER RESORT & SPA | MIDDLEBURG —
The menu at Harrimans is about staying true to the Virginia Piedmont. The expansive chef’s garden is where the culinary creations begin. Herbs, vegetables and fruits are harvested right on time for Chef de Cuisine Chris Edwards to craft the perfect soups, salads, entrees and desserts. Trust Chef and order the seasonal collection, a beautifully plated, spontaneously created dish that incorporates whatever is seasonally available. To finish it off, ask about Patsry Chef Jason Reaves’ housemade ice cream and sorbet.
— PINZIMINI | WESTIN ARLINGTON GATEWAY | ARLINGTON —
The menu at Pinzmini is Italian-inspired with Executive Chef Bo Palker at the helm. Fresh flavors get a dash of influence from various regions, thanks to Chef’s travels. He has crafted delights for the palates of Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and William J. Clinton.
— FOSSETT’S | KESWICK HALL | CHARLOTTESVILLE —
Fresh produce is key, and fortunately, it’s available right outside the back door in the chef’s garden. Add to that local ingredients like Monrovia Farm beef, Caramont Farm red row cheese, Byrd Mill grits and Rock Barn pork, and you have a very Virginia menu.
Fossett’s is a AAA Four Diamond Award winner and was featured on the 2011 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List as the #1 Hotel in North America for Food.
— ADDITIONAL RESTAURANTS TO CONSIDER —
- Shoemakers at Craddock Terry, Lynchburg
- HARVEST at Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke
- Old Mill Room at Boar’s Head, Charlottesville
- The Regency Room at Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke
- The Main Dining Room at The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs
- Cyprus Grille, Embassy Suites, Hampton
- George’s Food and Spirits, The George Washington Hotel, Winchester
Is there a hotel restaurant you just LOVE but don’t see on this list? Give Chef a shout-out! Leave a detailed comment to brag on your favorite dish.