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Hampton Roads, Virginia

I'd really like to see more (any!) posts from Hampton Roads chowhounds. There's some good food and drinks around here, some ethnic holes-in-the-wall, new restaurants, organic markets, ethnic markets, etc....
come on!
someone from this area tell us the best place where you've eaten recently.


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  1. It's not exactly a "hole-in-the-wall" but I can usually be found at Bobbywood or 219. Both have excellent food and decent prices. Both are downtown Norfolk and both are really accessible to downtown living. Other places I enjoy are La Galleria, Viola, and Omar's Carriage House. I am very interested in trying Velvet Lounge and Rama Thai. I read your review of Rama the other day and still haven't tried it yet, I'm getting there. Still trying to find a day off.

    1. Hi y'all! I'm in the process of relocating to Norfolk from Phoenix. I should be there by mid-March permanently, right now, I'm gong between the two. I've been disappointed by the posting on Hampton Roads. I'll do my best to continue with posting new places that I'm exploring.

      1. We are eagerly awaiting the reopening of Blue Talon here in Williamsburg. There is a W&M bball game tonight so you'll probably find us at Paul's. Has anyone tried Light in Newport News?

        5 Replies
        1. re: birdie

          I had lunch at Light last week. I had the cream of parsnip soup with black truffle and the pressed Smithfield ham sandwich. There was so much vinegar in the soup that delicate flavor of truffle was completely drowned out. The sandwich was pretty good. Toasted homemade bread with thin slices of ham and artisan cheese and served with an apricot dijon spread. Pretty good but not enough sandwich for the $12 price. Sides (e.g., onion rings, fried green tomatoes, etc.) would be an extra $5. It has a nice interior (I never went when it was Cowboy Sid's so I can't comment on if it's very different) and the service was OK if not a bit doting (only 4 tables were occupied the day I was there). The menu definitely is interesting and I'd be willing to give it another try despite the prices. http://lightrestaurant.com/

          On another note I also recently went to Thaijindesu on the other side of the square in Port Warwick. It's a Japanese-Thai restaurant although I went for the Thai. I had the Panang Curry with beef which was tasty but the beef was a bit tough. Perhaps chicken would have been a better choice. The fried spring rolls were pretty good. Service was good as were the prices. They were doing a brisk business during lunch on a Thursday.

          1. re: birdie

            I didn't know they closed. There's a great new place here in Norfolk called The Boot whose chef used to be sous chef at Blue Talon

            1. re: jjb75

              The Boot is good? I was unsure I had heard it was mostly about live music.

              1. re: wellfedred

                no, it's definately about food first and music a distant second. the menu is great - very creative. it is the same owners as Relative Theory Records so there is a bit of that influence. They will have bands on occassion. it's just a really hip place that combines food, music, movies, art and people. the concept is wonderful - they use as much local and regional and organic stuff as possible including the beef and they even get grains from a mill somewhere close. I have to admit, though, the concept is still better than the reality at this point but they're new and i'm confident they will work out the bugs.

            2. re: birdie

              The Blue Talon Bistro will be opening on March the 12th!

            3. Ok, so where is the boot located? thanks!

              1 Reply
              1. re: geg5150

                The Boot is located at the corner of 21st Street and Omahundro towards the Granby intersection. It's the former location of Cafe Rosso.

              2. I had a pretty bad experience at The Boot... I think they may have accidently dropped an entire bottle of salt into my pasta, my boyfriend got some sort of shellfish stew, I don't recall what it was called exactly, that came out with about 3 shrimp and 2 mussels in a clear broth. That's it. Not very stew-like and missing the rest of the ingredients listed on the menu. Their beer selection is great however. I might go back to drink but for dinner, I'll go somewhere else and pay less money for something good.

                1. i am really sorry to hear that. i don't think that dish is on the menu anymore and their new menu looks amazing.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jjb75

                    Crazy.. Their menu is entirely different than when we ate there. A good thing?

                    1. re: Faraway11

                      My husband and I had dinner there last night, and it was truly wonderful! Tender calamari in a perfectly crisp crust... fresh salad greens with local goat cheese.. handmade squid ink tagliatelle that was light and coated in a citrus-flecked sauce.. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there!

                  2. Has anyone here tried this place called Fire & Vine down in VB at the Hilltop area? Want to know what everyone thinks of the food there. heard its only been open for a month.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: cosmofoodie

                      Ive eaten there several times and have had nothing but great experiences each time. One thing is for sure, they pack em in on the weekends so make a reservation. They've won several awards already which is cool for a place so new. www.fireandvine.com should give you more information.

                      1. re: Heavyloungin

                        "We liked the ambiance, but the food was questionable. The appetizer was expencive and tasted just OK. Thier chef's table bar offerings($6p/p + to your bill) were absolutly tasteless and the waste of money. Our entrees were very good, but dessert was absolutly horrible. The service is so-so and tries to be professional, but you could see through it that it's not. I would not waste my time and money in this place again."

                      1. Thaijindesu = awesome sushi in Newport News
                        Food For Thought = unique concept in Williamsburg - quite good even though it's near many tourist traps
                        Pierce's = Best Pork BBQ
                        Sweet Madeleine's = cafe/catering from Gloucester recently opened Williamsburg location. Good soups, sandwiches, salads & GREAT desserts.

                        1. Was so happy to see a post about Hampton Roads, and then very sad to realize I was a year late...well, that's life. So I thought I'd try to reenergize the board...anyone have any italian restaurant recommendations, I'm in Chesapeake, work in Virginia Beach and am willing to travel (some).

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: BookLovinGirl

                            Hey BLG,

                            Some of my favorite Italian restaurants on the Southside:

                            -La Bella Italia, Birdneck & Laskin, VB (and a new location in Ghent)

                            -Paste e Pani, Hilltop, VB

                            -Aldos, Hilltop, VB

                            -Amalfi, Ghent

                            Hope this helps!

                            Patrick C=:-)

                            1. re: basicfoodgroupie

                              Thanks for the tips, I'll definatly have to check those out.

                              1. re: basicfoodgroupie

                                I can definitely vote for La Bella Italia and Paste e Pani.

                                Also, Reginella's on Virginia Beach Blvd. Not much for ambience, but it's run by an actual Italian guy and the mozzarella they use on their pizzas is the real thing. Creamy and absolutely delicious. Try the pizza Margherita.

                                Also Fellini's on Colley Ave. if you want to venture into Norfolk (think old-school Italian here) and La Galleria for more upscale stuff.

                              2. re: BookLovinGirl

                                Zio's on Colley, also in Ghent, is very good, and has better prices than Amalfi. I had dinner there during Restaurant Week a couple of weeks ago - delicious lobster ravioli in vodka sauce.

                                1. re: GotGarlic

                                  Avoid Amalfi at all costs!!

                                  Zia Marie's in Chix Beach is great! But loud...

                                2. re: BookLovinGirl

                                  Another vote for Fellini's. Great for a casual lunch or dinner.

                                  Franco's - In a strip mall on the corner of Norview and Military Hwy, by the airport. Kinda looks like a dive from the front, but great food. The largest meatballs I have ever eaten, but way tasty. Huge portions as well. Their small Stromboli's are enough to feed 4. Check out their daily specials.

                                  Went to Paste e Pani recently and was not impressed. Ambiance was nice, but thought dinner was over priced and just ok.

                                3. Last night, we had dinner at our long-time favorite restaurant: 99 Main in the Hilton Village section of Newport News. I'm amazed at how under-appreciated this place is. The food is swoonworthy, the room is charming, the service is perfect, and the prices are a bargain, considering. We have eaten there many times, and have never experienced an off night. My sister and I had lamb shanks, braised until the meat fell off the bone, coated in mustard-laced crumbs, with an intense stock reduction that I wanted to lick off the plate. The dish came with immaculate spinach and really good rice--all for under $25. My husband's salmon in a champagne sauce was equally fabulous. On our server's recommendation, we shared the pomegranate flan for dessert, which had us literally moaning. Our very nice wines were less than $7 a glass. Sure, it was a Tuesday night, but still: for the last hour, we were the only party in the room. It's a mystery to me why the Fat Canary is mobbed while I can waltz into 99 Main without a reservation.