Town House Grill - Chilhowie, VA
I 81, exit 35. The owners renovated an old, downtown Main Street building. The result is a beautiful, small restaurant, with a menu to match the decor; a very pleasant surprise (you wouldn't expect to find this gem anywhere in southwest Virginia, let alone the small town of Chilhowie). I recently ate there with a friend, I had an excellent salad, he had the trout amandine. If you're traveling through the area, it's well worth stopping. Take exit 35, cross the rr tracks and turn right on Main Street.
It's changed a lot in five years. The restaurant now serves progressive cuisine and the kitchen is now commanded by a former sous chef at Alinea. The restaurant is utterly phenominal and I don't hesitate to say it's the best restaurant in Virginia. I live in D.C. and despite its plethora of restaurants, including world class ones like CityZen, Citronelle and Komi, I've made the 5 1/2 hour drive to the Town House three times in the last 5 months. It's that good.