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Do folks eat really well in Richmond (VA)?

I'm wondering about where to go out for a super, casual dinner - not LOUD and noisy, but small, intimate and comfy. The fan or Carytown would be close by - anything new?

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  1. Since my post yesterday, I went to The Times Dispatch restaurant reviews and found their top 10 for 2006; tried Rowland last night and had a lovely dinner. Nice 35 to 40 something crowd, no smoking - a bit slow as they were short-staffed. Husband loved his lamb shank, and my Mahi was nicely done. Will go there again -

    1. I also recommend Rowland. Another good place is Six Burner. Their mac & cheese is to die for. We often get an extra order to take home and have later in the week. And Six Burner takes reservations, whereas Rowland only does for larger parties. Zeus Gallery Cafe on Belmont is intimate but casual and has IMO the best desserts in Richmond, hands down. One thing I definitely would do is stay FAR, FAR, away from Dogwood Grille.

      1. I DO like Zeus Gallery, albeit their exhaust system contributes to your reeking like a short order cook. Haven't tried their new expanded space, tho.Six Burner needs something besides Mac & Cheese to get me there - ?

        1 Reply
        1. re: pollychowing

          The menu leans heavily on the seafood side. I've had salmon and the fried oysters with cheese grits. Also they are good at letting you subdtitute sides, etc. My husband tends to get lamb/beef/pork and I don't remember what he's had specifically but he's been pleased with everything (and he's harder to please than I am). Another place to consider is Comfort on Broad Street, but it can be loud at times, especially in the front, if you are in one of the back booths, it's much quieter. Enoteco Sogno next door to Cabo's is sort of an Edo's Squid light and wasn't loud on the Saturday night we ate there with friends.

        2. Let's see:

          Zues Gallery Cafe - Menu changes daily, not too pricey. Great wine
          and beer list. The food is great! It's in the Museum District on
          Belmont Ave.

          Rowland - Not cheap by any means, but it won best new restaurant in
          Richmond for 2006. Great fresh seafood, very eclectic but incredible
          food. We've eaten there 4 times and they've been the 4 best meals
          I've had this in years. Corner of Shields and Main (We can see the
          door from our porch!

          The 4 Burner Cafe - Quiet, comfy. Older crowd most nights. Food is
          good, but not a meal you'll remember in the morning.

          Mom's Siam - Vietnamese and excellent! Quiet and comfy.

          Those would be my top four picks for quiet and great food. If they
          want more casual we end up at Kuba Kubas at least once a week.
          Incredible Cuban food, but it's not quiet - just comfy. Fan family
          regular hang-out.

          Hope that helps.

          1. You know, I have to honestly add that Rowland was not really comfortable seating - my husband sat in a woven, wobbly high back chair, and I sat on a hard, unpadded bench - was offered a fat pillow - too large to sit on, too fat to go behind my backsides. We were close to the next table - occupants were congenial, but they might not have been. Pricey to be understaffed and not really comfy - I guess the chef is definitely the raison d'etre!

            1. We haven't tried Rowland yet but plan to soon.Our favorites include Six Burner,Millie's,and Comfort.We also enjoy Bacchus on Main Street.We used to go to Zeus Gallery but since it has changed so much lately we probably won't go back anytime soon.The quality of the food has gone down as well as the service.I heard that it's because they lost most of their long time staff-including the chef...yikes!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: PomPom

                Yep...the chef left along with Jeanne and Laura, the two long term waitresses. They are opening a restaurants called Karsen's on Cary St. I believe it's scheduled to open this summer or fall.

                Zeus had gotten much better and we still go fairly regularly, but I think the expansion has been too much for the kitchen to keep up with.

              2. I am most excited to try Karsen's, and it's closeby. We had a nice dinner at Amici's last Monday sitting side by side across from Kate's bar - the ambience is European (let the hoi-poloi eat outside in the noxious fumes), and I enjoy the innerworkings occurring inside. We also savored a yummy 2002 Napa Cab. I'll call Karsen's tomorrow.

                1. We visited Karsens Monday and went upstairs where we ran into some gliches - our waitress was friendly but flighty and gave us no clue to the way the unusual menu is set up. (She said she was supposed to bartend, but they were short handed that night) We were left to order blindly; fortunately, my husband ordered the fritters for us which were a real treat. My husband wanted shrimp, but the tiny serving came as a surprise and was too small to stuff so the "stuffing" was on the side (it's called an "option" - now we know), and there are no sides except meal size salads. I enjoyed my veal medallion, but I expected more than the one large piece. The wine list is adequate and we easily found a selection.The owner came when she saw our confusion, and offered us a dessert on the house which we refused, but we did enjoy the tasty chocolate and cobbler choices. We'll go back, again because the basics are all there to give the neighborhood a real good choice.

                  1. I do hope karsens makes it - I can't imagine they would scrimp on their crabcakes - that is one item even the least sophisticated Richmonder can reognize as compromised. Went again tonight to The Old City Bar and had a lovely meal with such pleasant surroundings; it is easily reached from here too.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pollychowing

                      We like Old City Bar also and it's easy to walk over to Havana 59 for a mojito. We had a nice dinner at Millie's last night after a couple of glasses of wine from Sensi.

                    2. Enjoyed Rowland's when it was Stella's. Had the worst possible dining experience there about a year or so ago for our anniversary, however, when a waitress was openly hostile towards us for reasons that are still a mystery to us. The fact that the staff ignored us for nearly 15 minutes to boot did not help. My wife and I were speechless and we eventually stood up and walked out -- never being approached by anyone to inquire what was wrong. We will never return there and I sincerely hope that no one else was as unfortunate as we were.