HOME > Chowhound > Mid-Atlantic >


Hampton Roads, VA: Where should we eat next?

I just moved here in October and need to try some new restaurants.
Some places we've been so far:

Cora: for brunch. Loved it. But, why don’t they serve booze anymore?
723 W 21st St, Norfolk

Aw Shucks: Thought it was pretty tasty, the 1/2 oyster poboy is a steal at $6.
Really enjoyed their York River oysters as well. 2200 Colonial Avenue, Norfolk

The Boot: Regretted it. I really wanted to like it, the room is great, the servers are nice, great beer selection... but the food left A LOT to be desired. Maybe we went too soon after they opened and they hadn’t worked out their recipes yet. I don’t know, it wasn’t good. My food was shockingly salty, the boyfriends food tasted good but came with half of the expected ingredients. Not a good experience. 123 W. 21st St Norfolk

Luna Maya: my food was FANTASTIC (tamales), boyfriend didn’t like his at all (enchiladas), chips and salsa were pretty bad, I think they buy their chips from the dollar store across the street or something. I thought it was a little pricey for what it is. Also, the room is terrible. 2000 Colonial Ave. Norfolk

Rajput: I like their buffet selection, lots of vegetarian stuff. I’m not a vegetarian but I prefer the meatless choices with Indian food. Excellent pudding with big chunks of mango in it. SO good. 742 W, 21st St, Norfolk

Cogans: pretty good, cheap booze. I like their plain old pizza better than the fancy ones they make. The breadsticks they serve are awesome. 1901 Colonial Ave, Norfolk

The Taphouse: Had an awesome portobella sandwich and some crazy eggrolls. Hillbilly Eggrolls? Redneck eggrolls? I don’t know what they were called, but they were good. I’d been there to drink before (great beer selection) but I had no idea their food was so tasty. 931 W. 21st Street Norfolk

Veneziano: Oh man, I really liked this place. It is a totally old school red sauce joint, cheap carafes of cheapo wine. I had cheese manicotti that was fantastic. My serving was enough for about 300 people but it tasted great reheated the next day. My boyfriend had veal marsala. He liked it alright, it was made differently than he expected so he was disappointed but it tasted great. Their soup was minestrone and I loved it. It’s not really a special occasion kind of place but it’s perfect for a great meal on the cheap.
4024 Granby Street, Norfolk

Philly Style Steaks & Subs: Just stopped in on Monday for lunch. Really tasty. Are they authentic cheesesteaks? I have no idea, I’ve never been to Philly. But, they taste great. 7456 Tidewater Drive in Norfolk

Havana: awesome, I had paella, boyfriend had a tuna steak, we had an appetizer but I don’t remember what it was. Everything was good however. Very tasty mojitos.
255 Granby St Norfolk

Pho 79: This place has become my fallback dinner joint. The atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired but the food is great. Love their spring rolls. I blame their Pho for curing me of a two week headcold that I couldn’t get rid of. Ate Pho, got better. Love it. Dirt Cheap.
4816 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach

Smokey Bones: I just shuddered as I typed the name. Bad, bad, bad. Big mistake. I should have known we were in trouble when we walked in and didn’t smell the “barbeque” cooking. I don’t usually bother with chains but every once in a while, they surprise you. Smokey Bones is not in that category. 4590 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach

Ensenada: Didn’t care for it. I’ve heard good things but my food didn’t really taste like anything at all, the service was sub par. Eh. 2824 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach

Kotobuki: in Ghent, the dressing on their house salad is awesome, the sushi is really fresh and the service is great. I read some online reviews saying it was overpriced but I thought that for what you get, it is pretty reasonable. 721 W 21st St, Norfolk

Domo: No good. Got carry-out for lunch last week, I thought it was kind ofoverpriced and all of my sushi tasted kind of watery. I'd rather Kotobuki anyday. 273 Granby St Norfolk

Speaking of lunch, Granby St Pizza is pretty good. Try the Italian Flag slice. The guy who works there (Owner? Boss?) at lunchtime is really nice as well. 235 Granby St., Norfolk

Minnie Lumpia: I really dug this place. We were the only customers, Minnie was ridiculously nice, the Lumpia were excellent. When we go back, I might get a different dish and a lumpia on the side. We both had a lumpia dinner and it was a little deep fried heavy for me. But, it tasted great. 4515 Colley Ave., Norfolk

We’ve been to a bunch more places but I can’t recall some names at the moment. We really like ethnic food of all kinds, I’ll try just about anything. We need some variety though. Cheap lunch? Fancy lunch? Lunch when mom comes to town? Good bar food? Fancy dinner? Weekday dinner? Where else can we go?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hey there...I've been bi-coastal between Phoenix and Norfolk for 6 months. I'm be in Noroflk permanently next month. You have a great list going, I'll be sure to try some. We live in downtown Norfolk, and we love Empire Little Bar and Bistro. It's on the corner of Tazewell & Granby. Empire is small plates, the menu changes quarterly or so and they have specials every night. We can usually get out of there for $60 or so for two of us with a drink each. It's a tiny place and it can get very busy. I think there are only 5 tables or so and then the bar. Interesting twists on classic things and lots of fun stuff. Pulled pork tostadas, tomato/mozz/basil stacked salad, fried rice, asparagus with sesame oil and seeds, garlic green beans, a 4 oz filet on the special every night with a different sauce and potato for $9!

    Cora is closed I just heard.

    I went to AW Shucks for the first time last month and really enjoyed it.

    I agree with your assessement of Cogans, I like the basic pie and cheap beer. Fun for a cheap date night.

    I'm disappoint about your Domo experience, I'd heard good things, so I was hoping for something pretty good.

    The Thai place on Colonial, I think it's Colonial is pretty good, but pricey for Thai food. I think it's called Siam 21 or something like that...I think it's in the same shopping center at Rajput.

    I like Top Ten in Ghent, next to the laudromat. Great for a quick lunch or carry out. Nice sandwhiches, veggie options. The service is a little quirky, but the food is tasty.

    We should continue to compare notes since we're both new to the area. Where did you move from?

    1 Reply
    1. re: geg5150

      Came out here from Chicago in October..
      I forgot about the Ten Top, they have great soup. We've been to Empire for drinks but no food yet. I heard that it was the sister restaurant to Crackers on 21st, right by where I live, also haven't eaten there yet.
      I can't believe Cora closed! It was the first place we went when we got here and their food was great. Then again, we took the boyfriends sister for brunch about 2 weeks ago and we were the only table for most of our meal. Too bad.
      We've got a whole slew of places we've been intending on going to. Parallel 36 on Granby, Bobbywood is supposed to be pretty rad, I read a good review in the Pilot about a place called Zinc that sounded good. There is an Indian place way out in the beach that we've tried to go to like, 3 times, and everytime it has been closed.. Argh
      I have been to the Thai place next to Rajput and I agree, expensive. I really like the new place downtown. Rama Thai? or Rama Garden? The name is escaping me. I went boring and got pad thai with chicken and loved it. Great prices, great menu, lots of crazy Thai stuff I haven't had before. Wasn't expecting much from Doumar's and was pleasantly surprised. I wandered over there while my car was getting worked on, went in and sat at the counter. Great experience. The food is pretty good, I think I could eat about 9 of their little sandwiches. The atmosphere is cool though. All these people who I'd imagine have been going there since they were kids. I liked it. It made me happy.

    2. I've lived here for a while now and eaten at a lot of restaurants so I hope I can help.

      Bardo is my favorite, I think. Really good, talented chef and amazing, relaxing atmosphere. it has an interesting, creative, Asian and Indian inspired small plates menu and a great bar menu. It is suitable for a special occasion or casual, lunch or dinner and doesn't have to be that pricey.

      Rom Thai in Ward's Corner and the new one downtown on Granby, Rama Gargen, are both great. "Everbody's" favorite Thai is Bangkok Garden but I think it is over rated compared to those two. I've never eaten at Siam 21 (on 21st St near Rajput).

      I was really dissapointed in Bodega - tapas downtown on Granby which alot of people like - but i heard they revamped so i want to try it again.

      There is usually something for everyone at Crackers and its sister restaurant Empire. You can tell i like the "small plate" places! oh, but go before 9 if you have an aversion to smoke!
      Taste Unlimited has some good sandwiches and Quenna's Cafe - on the second floor of the Health Food Center on Colley has great sandwiches, wraps and stuff.

      You MUST go to Charlie's if you haven't been there yet. it is the best divey diner ever! It's on Granby somewhere beteen 17th and 19th near Organic Food Depot. It's only opened from 7am-2pm or something and gets really busy on weekends. Their potatoes are the best!
      Yogo's as the best bagels on the planet! They also have a very thoughtful vegan friendly menu. Unfortunately their coffee kind of sucks though but Elliot's Fairgrounds is a wonderful coffehouse with a great funky atmosphere and, i believe, only organic, fairtrade coffee. it is appropiately right across the street from aweful starbucks.

      Granby North - at the Ocean View end of Granby St - has a grest weekend brunch. Try the jalepeno grit cakes!
      The Baker's Crust is okay. They do a breakfast/brunch thing on weekends and even have a crepe bar.

      Terrapin is great for very expensive special occassion.

      The Fat Canary in Williamsburg is a similar atmosphere to Terrapin with great food.

      The Bardo people recently opened Parrallel 36 on Granby in Riverview that I've been waning to try

      Speaking of Riverview - the coffee at the Riverview Coffee Parlour is horrible. 7-11 has better coffee.

      I haven't really found any good, authentic Mexican here except for a couple of greasy little Taquerias in and near Ocean View. I heard there is a great baja style taqueria out near Lynnhaven Mall.

      There is a seafood shop on Ocean View Ave that has good fish sanwiches, hushpuppies, fish tacos and she-crab soup.

      Azar's is good, I'm sure you've tried it already.

      There's a Turkish place in Chesapeake that is suppossed to be good.

      can't think of anything else too exciting right now.

      give the boot another shot and look out for the new Vietnamese place where Cora was.

      10 Replies
      1. re: jjb75

        The baja style taqueria place you are referring to is prob Baja Fresh. It is a chain out on the West Coast, but so far, it the only place that serves salsa verde and salsa roja. Heard good things about taqueria san jose, haven't tried it yet though.

        1. re: cosmofoodie

          no. the one to which i'm referring is NOT a chain. it's been down there a lot longer than the the "baja fresh" that you're talking about and i think it's much further down on lynhaven. i think it's Taqueria San Jose.

          1. re: jjb75

            A small taco place opened up on Independence in VB called Diego Taco Shop. If you like southern california style taco joints (24 hrs or taco trucks type of stuff), this place is as close as you are going to find. too bad its not open late like those on the west coast.

            1. re: cosmofoodie

              Sorry to say Diego's is gone. I really am pessimistic about the ability of decent Mexican food to make it here -- the places that just serve Taco Bell on a plate (Guadalajara, Plaza Azteca, etc.) do well. The places that serve something better (Diego's, Pancho Villa's, even Baja Fresh!) die. That said, if you want authentic Mexican, made with fresh ingredients, then try El Rey Taqueria -- Chesapeake Blvd at Bay View, in Ocean View.

              1. re: 23451bum

                I'm in agreement with you 23451 - Virginia Beach has an abundance of McMexicano Cuisine; however, for a really fresh taco, I like GRINGO's on Norfolk Avenue near the oceanfront.

                For tasteful Latin Cuisine, Vivian & Karla (sisters/owners) of LUNA MAYA offer a nice menu (in Ghent).

                My favorite create-your-own burrito bar - MACHISMO's with the freshest ingredients in downtown & it's walking distance to my new pad!

                1. re: JayVaBeach

                  well, #1 -- I am not paying $6 each for fish tacos, so Gringo's is out. Pelon's at the north end is a better choice. #2 -- as much as I have enjoyed Luna Maya, having been raised on weekly Mexican food, Luna Maya isn't a weekly place. Too upscale. El Rey is more like it -- it is all fresh, with heart and soul in every plate. I just have to go there when my wife is out of town. Too hole in the wall for her!

                  1. re: 23451bum

                    Typically the hole in the wall is the top shelf. As a child (we're talking 70s), my dentist was in the Pembroke One building & afterwards my Mother & I went to El Toro for lunch , which was in a strip center where the Schwinn Bike Shop was. It was my 1st experience of having "white sauce" (their salad dressing). I recall my grandparents thinking that my Mother was nuts wanting to "lunch" in a strip center for Mexican. It was really good cuisine. In any event, I'll exercise your recommendation & will try El Rey when I'm back in Norfolk. (I'm in FL on business for a few weeks) Thanks !

                2. re: 23451bum

                  Thanks for the tip 23451bum! El Rey Taqueria is great, just my type of hole in the wall place...fresh tacos made with great ingredients. I had the barbacoa, (Matt deems it one of the five things you must try before you die: http://mattbites.typepad.com/mattbite...) carnitas, and lengua. Can't wait to come back and try the rest!

                  1. re: blithe818

                    I finally tried Taqueria San Jose and El Rey Taqueria.

                    I especially liked El Rey, thanks for recommending I'm not sure I would even notice it without the rec., I can't believe we have real mexican/central american food in Hampton Roads! I saw someone get Gorditas after I ordered I have been waiting to go back to order those and I want to try their pupusas. There seemed to be several hole in the wall type mexican places in the area, has anyone tried the others there?

                    We went to the Taqueria San Jose in the strip mall and not the "restaurant" (San Jose's) as they called it, next store. They said they own both, is it the same food? I ordered two tacos and my server was like "is that all you want?!" I realized why she would ask that when they came out in four inch rounds and I was able to eat them in two bites. Tasty but surprisingly small. The sopapillas were more filling. What do you all like to order there?

          2. re: jjb75

            Thanks for the recommendation on Bardo. AWESOME!!! One of the best ever.

          3. Much Ethnic food here will disapoint, if you are used to authentic/really good quality.
            Some to try:
            Mabuhay -Philipino food go only on Saturday because it is the busiest day and everything is much more fresh. It is off of Holland Rd behind the Firestone. I was told to go there by someone Philipino but I have never had the food before living here. Some things to try that I have really enjoyed green curry chicken, shrimp cake looks like small an orange funnel cake, and for dessert crunchy sugar covered plantain. The other things their are hit or miss experimental since they are so different. Really good prices and Karoake all day.
            Jade Villa- Chinese, best I have found in the area, we usually go on Sat or Sun for their dim sum.
            Kyushu - Japanese fresh items, and have heard they have a Japanese menu as well as Americanized version.
            MP Island Cafe- Carribean and Soul Food- not everything is great great here but it is super cheap and a definite try. We usually order to go, they give a ton of food. There is a couple different locations for lunch it is very busy because you get a meat choice and two heaping sides plus plantains for 3.99 to go. I like the stew chicken (Jerk chicken is not what I am used to so I never order it).

            Lunch when mom comes to town? Take her to Phoebus in Hampton to The Grey Goose Tearoom (they are only open til 3pm), then stop by the Blue Skies Gallery afterwards and then Trader Joes. The Grey Goose has started to do a few dinner theatre nights I haven't been yet but would like to see what it is all about.

            For dessert I have recently tried Baker's Crust little chocolate bundt cake with a pool of chocolate sauce running out of it, I think it is new item and so so yummy.

            Gringos is a newish place at the beach off of Norfolk Ave. It is tiny and the sign is in neon it is mexican fusion and called gringos because the owner is not mexican. Tasty food.

            La Bella Italia- I really enjoy this place to get in you have to go through the store part where they sell cookies and italian imported items and then you are seated by the owner and then try to figure out what you want most from the pages and pages of choices. Everything I have had here is great.

            Pasta E Pani is an Italian take out place with some exellent choices, they make their own bread, pasta and some cheeses also to buy.

            Zinc Brasserie is a new French place and I enjoyed my experience there, they have specials on different nights of the week so check out their menu on their website if you want to save $. They also serve lunch on weekdays.

            I haven't tried Isla yet, but have wanted to when people say that it is wonderful, then I see the reviews on the Pilot and people seem to either love or hate it and the interesting thing is it has more reviews than I have ever seen, over 60. The bad reviews and high prices are the reason I haven't gone yet. Has anyone tried it many times and have a definitive answer?

            5 Replies
            1. re: VBeatso

              We finally went to Kyushu tonight and it was fantastic! A very belated thank you for the rec.
              I need to go back very soon and get the Shabu Shabu and try their Ramen... yeah!

              1. re: Faraway11

                When you say ramen, are you talking about the real japanese ramen? pork, miso or soy flavor?

                1. re: cosmofoodie

                  I didn't have it yet, just saw they listed on their daily specials board. Everything else they serve seems pretty authentic so I'd wager that they are serving the real deal over there.

                  1. re: Faraway11

                    Had the Ramen, Yum, it is pork flavor and the noodles are nice and chewy and the broth very flavorful.

              2. I've lived here on and off for the last 13 years and the dining here leaves something to be desired. Then again I've lived in NYC & LA so that might be the problem.

                I agree with VBeatso on Kyushu & Jade Villa. Not much on atmosphere but excellent authentic japanese food. Jade Villa is just ok, but the best you'll get without headed up to NoVA, DC area for dimsum.

                Bangkok Garden has pretty good Thai food and they have several locations around HR. We've only been to the two in VB. Vietnam Garden is a cute little Vietnamese restaurant with good food as well.

                I've been going to FiveO1 grill for over 10 years and it's been consistently good with the service and food. They change their menu seasonally. Other than that the "old standby's" are Beach Bully for BBQ, Pho 79, & if we're in the mood for some nontraditional creative sushi...Sushi & West.

                1. Haven't been there in years, but I think The Street Cook is still open in VB. I think it was in a shopping center on Lynnhaven Pkwy and Princess Anne Rd. Might be wrong about the Princess Anne Road part. Excellent Med food with some very imaginative specials. Servers have all been there forever and do a great job.

                  1. I would DEFINITELY recommend Bardo. I've been several times now, and the service and food are always excellent. It's fun sitting at the bar so you can watch the chefs prepare the food, too. For special occasions, the new Bobbywood on Monticello is wonderful. He's upped his prices considerably since his location on Granby at Ward's Corner, but overall it's worth it. Pho 79 is an awesome fallback dining spot, I couldn't agree more! The decor is non-existent, but the food is dependably good and cheap. If Mom comes to town, I'd take her to Rowena's Tea Shop or The Painted Lady - both are located in Ghent and serve a traditional tea with all the accompaniments. If you like ethnic food, I hope Pasha Ottoman Bakery & Cafe is still open. It's over in Chesapeake where Greenbrier intersects with Military Hwy, and it's terrific. We have a Turkish friend who's been many times, and he gave it a thumbs up. We love Kotobuki on 21st St. in Norfolk's Ghent, but Kyushu on Newtown Rd. has always been my favorite for sushi. They bring you a hot towel for your face when you first arrive and almost always offer a complimentary appetizer. For Mexican, I think the food at Luna Maya is very good, but I've ALWAYS had issues w/ the service. 219 on Granby in downtown Norfolk is another standby. They do a catfish entree with coconut rice and baby bok choy that's the epitome of YUM.

                    1. I'm so glad for this post on recs in the Hampton Roads area. I'll be moving to the Virginia Beach area from Baltimore County. I can't wait to try out some of these places.

                      1. Hi there,

                        A few of my favorite restaurants...or places to eat.

                        Taqueria San Jose- Been going here for a few years now, they have since relocated to a larger restaurant space but the food is still excellent. No prepackaged meals here. Try the Mexican tacos and the Carnitas. Churros and horchata are Delish! Lynnhaven Pkwy, north of Holland on the right hand side, just past Carspa.

                        Malbon Bros. for NC pulled pork BBQ to go. This is located at a Citgo gas station on General Booth Blvd, by Ocean Lakes.

                        Dim Sum at Jade Villa on the weekends is a pretty hot spot. I have had their beef chow fun (wide rice noodle) and spicy pork chops.

                        Call me crazy, I love love love the Asian Flatbread Salad at MacArthur Center's Cheesecake Factory Bakery Cafe. The Cheesecake Factory logo is apparently leased by Marriot? This is not something you will find here.

                        Like Filipino food? Mary's has a nice environment, plenty of seating and the food is pretty good. I have to say I am addicted to the garlic fried rice that they serve in the mornings only. I have initiated many a friend to this rice and it is addicting. Lynnhaven Pkwy and Princess Anne Road.

                        Into Greek food? There used to be a Greek restaurant called Elia's on S. Independence across from Mt. Trashmore. They have since moved but I have not been to the new location. They were pretty good. Athens Pizza is also a good place to eat. Remember though that the Greek Festival is coming up May 17-20 ... say it with me.... LOUKEMADES!!! Calamari, Gyro's, and the list goes on and on. This festival takes place in Norfolk. Do. Not. Miss. This. Festival.

                        BTW, if you are into cooking good food, namely steaks... be sure to check out the Aged Hereford Beef at The Fresh Market in Hilltop. They have a website with specials.

                        Hope this helps you get through the rough patches!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: coeurvide

                          Ditto on the Greek Festival - it's at the Greek Annunciation Church on Granby Street up towards Ward's Corner. It can be really crowded, so they've added a drive-through :-)

                          I just remembered, Enrico's (Greek and Italian) and Fellini's (Italian), both on Colley Ave., north of 21st St., are great for weeknight dinners. Very good food at good prices. About the only thing I don't like is the so-called Italian dressing at Fellini's - it has mustard in it.

                          1. re: GotGarlic

                            At Fellini's you have to get there Blue Cheese dressing..I'm not a huge blue cheese fan, but their homemade dressing is delicious!! Oh and there eggplant parm. is to die for.

                          2. re: coeurvide

                            Actually, for quality beef & super service, Village Butcher @ Hilltop! Just continue walking past Fresh Market to the next set of storefronts (in the actual "tower" on the grounds of Hilltop East/West shopping center) & you'll be much more satisfied. Fresh Market is lovely; however, it's not where I go for meat, seafood or deli provisions - I've had unfortunate experiences with all 3 items there, but you can't go wrong with their assortment of cheeses, snacks & Orchids!

                            If you're desiring Greek, hit Orapax in West Ghent - it's yumyum!


                          3. Wanted to make a couple more comments.

                            La Bella Italia, be sure to try their woodfired pizza and the smoked mozzarella. Their country bread is also not to be missed.

                            Pasta e Pani has a great little storefront, used to be a restaurant and then he retired and decided he didn't like retirement but liked having a life...ergo the storefront. This is located at Hilltop by North Carolina Furniture company. They have a good selection of entrees you can take and reheat. It has been the one place I can find my favorite cheese Peccorino Pepato, a sheeps milk based cheese, salty with black peppercorns. Move over Parmagiano Reggiano!

                            Also, my friend just extoled me about a place on Military highway by Poplar Hall Drive. I have not been there but she said it was a 'must try' and I am known for my 'trying' :o)

                            Promise me you'll try the Asian Flatbread Salad at MacArthur... perfect for a Mother's lunch with shopping to boot! :o)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: coeurvide

                              I promise, I'll try the flatbread salad. Conveniently, I work across the street from the MacArthur Center. I try to stay away from the mall ( the shopping frenzy makes me twitchy) but, I will make an exception for good food.

                            2. Is there any hawaiian plate meals here in this area? I've been craving for some good macaroni salad with some chicken cutlet and bbq short ribs.
                              Oh, for decent Korean, try Norfolk Garden off Military hwy around the military circle area. They actually have grills you can cook your own meat.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: cosmofoodie

                                Oh man, a Hawaiian plate lunch place would be heaven to my stomach! There was a place in Newport News on J. Clyde Morris Blvd. last year called Hawaii Luau or something like that. I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up when I saw that they had outfitted the roof with a faux grass-hut like substance. The menu was nothing like anything you get in Hawaii. I wouldn't even call it haole-ized Hawaiian because it wasn't even Hawaiian. It closed in less than 9 months.

                                Oh well, one can keep dreaming...

                                1. re: hopkid

                                  There is a new hawaiian place on Princess Anne Rd between North Hampton and Witchduck. Been there a few times. The chicken katsu is kinda thin, so not very juicy, the bbq chicken is marinated to Hawaiian teriyaki style. But the best thing is they have good macaroni salad, and that makes the whole meal. Other things on the menu include loco moco, kalbi, spam, and some other interesting stuff. Not too bad.
                                  At least something like that is in this area now.

                                  1. re: cosmofoodie

                                    Seriously?! What's the name of the place? Do they have Hawaiian Sun soft drinks?

                              2. I am originally from Los Angeles where great food is abundant, but there are great places here for those willing to look...

                                I love Tida Thai off Military Highway in Chesapeake. The green curries are delicious, and the deep fried, stuffed chicken wings are fantabulous. Always a great variety and the staff is very friendly.

                                There is a small Italian restaurant across the street from Mt Trashmore called La Casa Della Pasta that we stumbled into one day. Their daily whiteboard specials are really good. We had some very flavorful and tender Osso Bucco, and good homemade pasta. Warm bread is brought to the table as we sat down and the display case of desserts was tempting.

                                Daikichi Sushi Bistro off Battlefield Blvd has excellent lunch specials with huge portions for under 10 bucks. Dinner is equally good, with fresh sushi and kitchen entrees too. Very authentic.

                                Love crepes, can't make 'em, but can't find a place that does either... Anyone have any ideas?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: mle1111

                                  baker's crust on 21st st in norfolk has crepes

                                2. Hey there. Sorry you had a bad experience at Domo. I've eaten there many times and never had a problem.

                                  > We really like ethnic food of all kinds
                                  Try the Orapax Inn, at Redgate and Orapax. Very good Greek food. In Portsmouth, there's the Bier Garden for German food and a huge selection of beer.

                                  > Cheap lunch?
                                  Azar's, at the corner of 20th and Colley - great wraps.

                                  > Fancy lunch?
                                  Cuisine & Co. inside the Chrysler Museum, Wed-Fri.

                                  > Lunch when mom comes to town?
                                  My mom likes crab cakes, so we go to No Frill Bar & Grill or A.W. Shucks.

                                  > Good bar food?
                                  You've already discovered Cogan's, my favorite. No Frill is good for that, too.

                                  > Fancy dinner?
                                  Todd Jurich's Bistro on Boush St. downtown; Club Soda; Voila International on Brambleton.

                                  > Weekday dinner?
                                  San Antonio Sam's.

                                  > Where else can we go?
                                  Don't forget about Portsmouth. Roger Brown's Sports Bar has great food, including fish and chips, barbecued ribs, pizzas. Brutti's is excellent, as are Cafe Europa, Fusion 440 and The Deck, which has a great view of downtown Norfolk. We love the huge nachos at Paddy O'Brien's. Steer clear of Thumper's, unless you smoke - there's no escaping it.

                                  Check out http://www.hamptonroads.com/dining/ to find the addresses of these places. Make sure to call first, because some places that I know are closed are still listed there.

                                  Enjoy :-)

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: GotGarlic

                                    We happened into Paddy O'Briens a few weeks ago and had sandwiches served with fantastic red beans and rice. I don't have a clue as to what my sandwich actually was, but those red beans... they were good.

                                    1. re: Faraway11

                                      We moved to Virginia Beach last summer. I always look for good and different restaurants. I don't know why I haven't found this site before. Here are some of the memorable ones we tried;

                                      Pizza-- We like Sal's on S.Independence and Gino's on General Booth Blvd. I think they are related. Owned and run by an Italian family. Try the Sicilian crust.

                                      Neighbor's on Princess Anne (in Kempsville) is another good one.

                                      Fish-- I like Bubba's on Shore Dr. Nice view and good food. Try the rockfish and crabcakes. I want to find out more good fish restaurants.

                                      Mexican-- I liked Taqueria San Jose on Lynnhaven. Really good fajitas, even had mushrooms. I also liked Guadalajara. We tried the one on Laskin.

                                      Indian-- We tried most of them in the area. I like the one in Chesapeake. I used to go to Nawab on 1st Colonial when we first moved here. Dawat's near Militiary Highway was OK too. They all had lunch buffets. I forgot the name of the one on Virginia Beach Blvd where we went for dinner. They don't have lunch buffets. It was fine but not great service.

                                      I'll write more later. We need to pick a place to go now!

                                      1. re: revani

                                        Also, our Street Cook experience was horrible. Not only they messed up the check big time, but the food was really bad. I am from the Medittarenean and the sampler dish I had was barely edible; not tasty or fresh! And I don't even have high expectations from restaurants any more but this one was memorably bad. Oh I also remember the wait staff complaining to us about their boss! They sure weren't happy to work for her.

                                        If you want some Meditteranean taste, try Pasha in Chesapeake, or Mayflower Cafe on the Oceanfront. There's Azar both in Norfolk and VB. I can't say these are superb either but they are the only other examples I know in the area.

                                    2. re: GotGarlic

                                      Four of us (from the Washington, DC area) ate dinner at Cafe Europa in Portsmouth recently, and it was so good that we made a reservation for the next night right there on the spot. It's not very imposing from the outside, but inside it's a strictly first-class, white linen type of place, and larger than you might expect. Service was very friendly but leisurely in a European sort of way; good food takes time to prepare well. I noticed that many people dress up for this place, but they didn't seem to mind that were were dressed in jeans and polo shirts. I'll be back the next time I'm in Portsmouth.

                                      Cafe Europa
                                      319 High St, Portsmouth, VA 23704

                                    3. I live in Norfolk and love to try the restaurants. I would love to keep this board alive to share our experiences. My favorites are Luna Maya and AW Shucks at the moment. We also like Cogans for casual pizza and good beer selection. The Wine house is one of our favorites--as much for the atmosphere as the wine and food (although our favorite bartender recently left so we'll see how that goes). Have had mixed experiences at Green Onion but it's a cool place. Also really enjoy Bobbywood; most of the time we sit at the bar. Great scene and good food. We also like the Thai place at Ward's Corner and Azar's is wonderful. We just went to the new place called Tortilla West (owned by the AW Shucks people) and it was great.

                                      The Boot is awful; we've tried it a few times and we actually left after our "cheese plate" the last time. We think Bardo is Okay although many people love it.

                                      We also like Empire and Crackers, although the food is not wonderful, it's a cool scene and food is okay. We also like Ten Top for take out.

                                      We still want to try: Terrapin in VB, Zoes in VB, Vintage Kitchen, Vintage Tavern (Suffolk), and many of the places in Portsmouth (esp. Stove--anyone been there?). Supposedly, the Velvet 25 has reopened but haven't heard any reviews. We love Trilogy downtown as well (very expensive) but had a frustrating experience at Velvet last year (HORRIBLE service). All for now!

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: alsky

                                        I've been to Velvet Lounge for drinks only and it's okay. I don't mind spending $10 for a martini but other people do. I have heard that the food is good but haven't tried it.

                                        1. re: alsky

                                          Why do you think The Boot is awful???
                                          It's one of my favorite spots at the moment

                                          1. re: jjb75

                                            We gave The Boot a second chance for dinner recently and were underwhelmed, yet again, with the whole experience. The waitress came over and took our drink order. We both ordered some draft beer, I don't recall what. About 10 minutes later, she returned to inform us that what we had ordered was out. Did we want something else? We asked what else there was on tap, she told us and offered us a sample of one. We said OK, she brought the sample, we tried it and liked it and then both ordered this second beer. A couple more minutes go by and she returns empty handed. No, the beer she gave us the sample of is a no-go. Something wrong with the keg or the tapper, whatever. Alright, so we order regular drinks and our food (finally) after sitting there with an empty table for nearly half an hour. Our calamari arrives, no sauce or anything, just a bowl of fried squid with a slice of tomato beneath it. Hhmm. Doesn't taste like much, very dry, very heavy breading. Need a sauce, a lemon, anything. Food comes out, boyfriend had pasta, I had a piece of pork with a fancy name. I just looked at their website and I think there menu has changed since we were there, sorry I can't give you an exact order. Either way, the food was OK. Just ok. Not worth spending the 75ish dollars we spent. Not worth the 2+ hours we spent sitting in there waiting for our drinks, food, etc. I doubt we will be back there again, we've been to so many great places in the area that have been extremely satisfying. I really want to like The Boot, the room is cool, they serve local products, they have excellent music... I just can't continue to go to a restaurant that has proven to be nothing but a letdown.

                                            1. re: Faraway11

                                              The Sunday night of Labor Day weekend we hit The Boot. Suffice it to say that we sat at our table for 15 minutes before being acknowledged. Actually, we were never acknowledged, we left. It seems like a good idea, but that they're trying too hard.

                                              Last night we had sushi at Soya on the oceanfront in VB and it was pretty good. I'll definitely go back and the prices were very reasonable.

                                              I'm dying for a good, no, GREAT hamburger in downtown Norfolk or Ghent. Any suggestions?

                                              Ate at Tortilla West a week ago and while it's not particularly authentic, I really liked the pork taco. So much meat and very tasty for $3.

                                              Now that the weather is getting nice, any recommendation for any place with a great outside? A nice patio or a view? Something on the water is nice. Either for drinks and snacks or a meal is great.

                                              1. re: geg5150

                                                Kill 2 birds with one stone - O' Sullivans Wharf, 4300 Colley Avenue, 757-423-3746 has wonderful hamburgers & they have a peaceful deck setting on the river overlooking Colonial Place. I always order mine blackened & request crumbled blue cheese - it's yum!

                                                1. re: geg5150

                                                  I think the black and bleu burger at AW Shucks (with mac and cheese!) is an awesome burger in ghent/norfolk.

                                                2. re: Faraway11

                                                  I just recieved an invitation from a friend of mine to his wedding with the reception at the boot. Has anyone been there recently, I know there have been some not good reviews here but I have never been. Have they worked on anything, anything to stay away from, anything that is a must order? All this would be very helpful, if I should eat before the reception or not. Worse comes to worse there is a Wendy"s nearby!

                                                3. re: jjb75

                                                  The first time I went was when it first opened. My dinner was okay (had some kind of pasta--it's been a while) and we ordered both cheese plates--one was "american" cheeses and the other one was "italian" cheese. Both cheese plates were flavorless and uninteresting (I like cheese a lot!). My husband had a steak for dinner and it was a low quality cut. At our table of 8, we ordered most of the desserts on their menu and none were good (some were really bad). We ordered a bottle of wine that we had to send back b/c it was so bad that we thought something was wrong with it. Nonetheless (!), we had fun and liked the space.

                                                  Husband and I went back recently and sat outside. It was beautiful, great weather. I ordered a glass of wine, my husband ordered a beer, and another cheese plate (I think they only have one now). The cheese was practically inedible, they didn't have the beer that my husband ordered, and my wine was not good (wine not necessarily their fault). Service was slow and the waiter really turned us off. We don't usually leave restaurants but we discussed whether we should stay for a what we already knew would be a bad dinner and decided it wasn't worth it. So we politely asked for our check and went to AW Shucks. Like others, I really want to like the Boot. Though I haven't been to hear the music, I like the concept, as well as the fresh ingredients, etc. If I hear good things about it, perhaps I will give it another try...in a while.

                                                4. re: alsky

                                                  If you ever went to Cowboy Syd's, you can expect much the same at Stove, just in a funner, funkier atmosphere: scroll about halfway down this post to see some photos: http://weblogs.dailypress.com/enterta...

                                                  I'm sorry to hear of so many bad Boot experiences! I really enjoyed my one meal there.

                                                  1. re: alsky

                                                    Stove was yummy--restores Sidney to his former glory after he lost it at Cowboy Sid's.
                                                    Bobbywood on Monticello is gone.

                                                  2. I've lived in Virginia Beach for awhile now and have a couple favs.

                                                    For pizza and stromboli I love Sal's in Regency Shopping Center on Laskin.

                                                    For little more upscale Italian I go to Il Giardino's on 10th and Atlantic.

                                                    For a relaxed casual lunch I sit on the gliders at Rudees and have a beer with steamed old bay shrimp.

                                                    I just tried Fire and Vine at Hilltop West shopping center and really enjoyed it.

                                                    I love to eat at Zinc in Hilltop. Been there several times. Bit pricey, so I usually go for lunch. They have different quiche specials every day.

                                                    1. i've been reading this topic for quite some time now and i just finally decided to join in and add my two cents! i currently live in ghent but i also lived in va beach for quite some time before so i've had my fair share of food exploration there and i just wanted to share some of our "regular" spots that we've enjoyed throughout the years....

                                                      JADE VILLA - i think they have the best chinese food in the whole area. i know it's a pretty high accolade but trust me, this place is good. they have a separate (red) menu for more traditional chinese fare which includes ingredients that the regular american palate may be wary of such as octopus, frog, etc. the pan fried noodles with vegetables and gravy is exceptional! they also have a dim sum menu which includes fried taro, steamed pork buns, sesame balls, etc. which are all excellent. they're also open late (1-2am?) so it's great late night grub.

                                                      REGINELLA'S - great italian restaurant esp. for families. they have good pasta (i highly recommend the gnocchi and carbonara). they also have brick oven pizzas (good but see below for better!). they also serve carafes of wine which is great. i've only tried their gelato once and i wasn't impressed.

                                                      NAPOLI'S - i love their pizza. is it the cheese? the sauce? the atmosphere? we always order just plain cheese since we're purists like that (haha, jk!) the staff are great and very nice people. i just wish a place like pepe's in new haven, ct would open around here then i'll def be grateful...

                                                      i'd like to add a few more to this post but i'm at work procrastinating so hopefully i can add more soon!

                                                      1. Hi, all. Now through the end of August on Wednesday nights, you can get a three-course fixed-price meal for $18 at several restaurants in Ghent. Details here: http://www.destinationghent.com/taste...

                                                        A friend and I had dinner this past Wednesday at New Belmont near 21st and Colonial - it was excellent! She had Oysters Rockefella to start (that's how they spelled it) - I had a house salad with red-wine vinaigrette. Both were very good - fresh and yummy. Entree choices were a tempura-fried lobster tail with raspberry-horseradish sauce adn waffle chips or (I believe) a rib-eye steak with roasted potatoes. We both had the lobster tail. It was perfect - tender, with a light breading, and the sauce light on the horseradish, which is not one of my favorite flavors.

                                                        Then we both had chocolate mousse for dessert - don't remember the other choice for dessert. Once we saw the mousse, we stopped reading ;-)

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: GotGarlic

                                                          thanks for the heads up! i was about to make another reservation for downtown's restaurant week (i can't pass up bobbywood! i love it there) at vintage kitchen but for $18, we get to walk 5 minutes and eat good food!

                                                          1. re: blithe818

                                                            Spend the few extra dollars and go to Vintage Kitchen! Their food is thoughtful and wonderful. I was lucky enough to attend a 5 course dinner there recently and can't stop talking about it.

                                                        2. Just got home from what was perhaps the best meal I've had since moving here last October. Boyfriend and I happened to drive by Comfort (425 High St. in Portsmouth) and didn't remember seeing it before. They've only been open for a week or so. The food is absolutely fantastic. I had a grilled pork chop, I don't usually fall all over myself over pork but wow, this was amazingly good. It must have been 3 inches thick, with a nice crispy peppery crust and the juiciest meat of all time. It was accompanied by a great gravy with mushrooms and I think, ginger. It was the greatest thing ever. The boyfriend had an enormous portion of meatloaf, served with the same brown gravy. The meatloaf was also fantastic but we both agreed, the porkchop was the big shining star of the meal. The meals come with 2 sides, I had macaroni and cheese and sweet corn, both were excellent. The boy had creamed spinach and cheese grits. The grits were my favorite, nicely flavored and delicious. Their beer selection is pretty good, the Surry Sausage appetizer was awesome... The whole experience was made better by their extremely friendly staff. I may need to go back again, like, tomorrow.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Faraway11

                                                            Thanks for mentioning that - We may try it this weekend. I live in P'towne and hadn't heard about it.

                                                            1. re: Faraway11

                                                              Sounds like the Comfort here in Richmond has branched out. Good for you down on the Southside!

                                                            2. does anyone know what's up with Cora's old space? originally hears it was going to be Vietnamese but it doesn't look like anything is going on there at all.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: jjb75

                                                                I went strolling by today on one of my urban walk-a-bouts and discovered that it is going to be something "Inca." The actual title escapes me but they are currently in the construction of the place with the promise of ABC liscences on the door and no open date anywhere to be seen. I will try my best to pry some info out of the construction guys tomorrow on another "stroll."

                                                                1. re: chefsteveo

                                                                  if i remember correctly, i think it says Imperio Inca? not really sure but if it is, we've eaten at the same peruvian restaurant in va. beach on holland road. they have ceviche, a great avocado salad, and of course peruvian rotisserie chicken with fried yucca. good stuff. if it is what's opening there, i can't wait to give it another shot now that it's only a short walk away.


                                                                  1. re: blithe818

                                                                    It's El Imperio Inca. Very good restaurant with authentic ceviches.

                                                              2. Just giving a heads up about Crackers at 21st Street in Ghent. They've lost their lease and will be closing in that location on Spetember 15th.

                                                                They're relocating to Granby Street at the base of the bridge going north of dowtown on Granby..I'm not sure which bridge, but it's the old location of Parallel 36. The address is 4226 Granby. They'll be opening there on September 18th.

                                                                I like Crackers alot, but I'm sad that they'll be moving farther away.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: geg5150

                                                                  They are moving to Riverview over by Lafayette towers and Tabbs in that area of Granby. Thanks for the heads up I'll let my friends kow, they go there for fondue some days.

                                                                2. I need a recommendation. I am an amateur sushi eater (in Norfolk) and I want to take my mother out to introduce her to sushi. We'll probably just order a variety of rolls. I haven't found a sushi place that I love (I haven't tried many) but would like some rec's for fresh, good sushi close to home. Thanks much. If nothing in Norfolk, then Va beach?

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: alsky

                                                                      both Domo and Kotobuki are really good and they are in norfolk. Kotobuki is on 21st st across from GW Marketplace and is i bit divier (which i prefer) and has a real neighborhood feel to it - everyone is very nice and there is also a huge variety vegetable sushi rolls including a wonderful tempura sweet potato roll.
                                                                      Domo is downtown on granby and is good with a more upscale atmosphere and a little bit pricier.
                                                                      those are my only two norfolk sushi experiences. lots of good ones in va bch though, but it's always good to stay local.
                                                                      i definately recommend sitting at the bar, though, wherever you go! sometimes, if you're lucky the sushi chef will pass you freebies!

                                                                      1. re: jjb75

                                                                        Thanks. Is kotobuki across 21st from GW? I drive by there all the time, but I wasn't sure if it was actually IN the shopping center or not.

                                                                        1. re: alsky

                                                                          it's not in the same shopping center as GW. It's right across 21st St form GW.

                                                                    2. Hi y'all!

                                                                      What do you know about Terrapin Restaurant in VB? I've heard about it several times in the past couple of weeks.


                                                                      The menu looks lovely and the $28 three course prix fixe at the bar looks like a great deal.

                                                                      Any feedback?

                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                      1. re: geg5150

                                                                        I've heard great things about Terrapin but I haven't been there yet. That's probably b/c I live in Norfolk and I hate the drive after a few glasses of wine, and I am sure it is quite expensive. You should go there and let us know what you think! Currently I'm trying to find a place to go tomorrow night--I'm thinking Vintage Kitchen, as I haven't been there before. Any thoughts?

                                                                        1. re: alsky

                                                                          I haven't been to Vintage Kitchen. I think that I will add Terrapin to our list for a nice night out, although, I promised the BF that I'd take him to Ruth's Chris for our next "fancy" night out.

                                                                          I'd love your report on VK.

                                                                          I'm headed to NYC in the morning for 4 days, so I'm focused on restaurants THERE!

                                                                          1. re: geg5150

                                                                            You won't want to go anywhere here after being in NYC! I haven't been in a few years, but last time I had the best meal of my life at Daniel.

                                                                            Anyway, I wanted to say that my last experience at Ruth's Chris was not fabulous and my friend just reported a similar experience. FWIW. Have FUN in NYC!!

                                                                          1. re: VBeatso

                                                                            Yes? What do you speak of Terrapin??

                                                                            1. re: geg5150

                                                                              Oops it deleted what I wrote after I edited this line in. I was saying I went to Terrapin for Jan. VB Restaurant week and got the three course for $20 it was great. It is expensive so it was an amazing deal. It has been a while but I most remember the creme brulee dessert instead of the usual in a custard dish it was custard layered in between flaky crunchy sugar sheets, a nice take on an old fave. They use a lot of fresh local products so summer is a great time to go and try it!

                                                                          2. re: geg5150

                                                                            Terrapin is a great place. Never had a bad meal there -- had the bar menu Saturday night -- chilled ginger and corn soup (passed on the mac and cheese - not an August dish!) -- tenderloin -- apple tart (buttery!, but just the right sized with the vanilla ice cream on top) to die for. $28 + $4 quartinos of three different bottle wines.

                                                                            Chef owned -- open view kitchen -- new outdoor patio. I am incredibly picky, and you won't go wrong here.

                                                                            1. re: 23451bum

                                                                              Went to Terrapin this weekend for my Birthday. It was good, loved the atmosphere and had a great time. I had the mozzarella and tomato "salad" appetizer and it was okay (nothing out of the ordinary, but that is one of my favorite appetizers) and a seafood pasta. The pasta had lobster and scallops in a lobster cream sauce. It was okay, but not fabulous. The lobster didn't taste extremely fresh or flavorful. We skipped dessert, but I plan to go back and try again. My husband had the steak and said it was flavorful but not the best cut of meat ( a bit fatty) but he loved his salad (nuts and goat cheese I believe). I am an extremely picky eater and I do think this is a good restaurant, but I want to try it again. Next on my list for VB are Zoe's and Lucky Star--haven't been to either.

                                                                              Also, I have recently been to Vintage Kitchen. I enjoyed my experience. The chef was our waiter and discussed his training, etc. with us. He recommended a wonderful wine from the Central Coast. Mac and cheese and salads were awesome. I had veal (for the first time ever!) and it was okay (but then again, I was taking a risk). Kind of tasted like a pork chop--dryish and kind of bland. But I don't blame that on them. I kind of wondered why the chef was waiting on us and not cooking. They do "small plates" as well and would love to go back one night and try some of those. Anyone with similar experiences?

                                                                          3. PLACES TO TRY IN VIRGINIA BEACH:

                                                                            Here are your best bets for breakfast:

                                                                            Big Sam's Inlet Cafe & Raw Bar: Funky oceanfront marina bar that serves best pancakes and local made sausage in town as certifed by local paper. Total Chowhound spot.

                                                                            Belvedere: This tiny luncheonette is smack on the Ocean. Great spot. Good food. Expect to wait

                                                                            Doc Taylors: Excellent new Locals Favorite. Kitchen run by former Belvedere cook Ray Ray. Excellent, really. Bldg formerly housed the practice of a real Doctor Taylor.

                                                                            Citrus: New and away from the beach but maybe the best breakfast in town now

                                                                            Mary's: Old timey, "in the know" locals favorite. Great lunch too. Cheap

                                                                            For Lunch:

                                                                            58 Deli Diner: Some of the best deli anywhere can be found at the 58 Deli Diner on Virginia Beach Blvd. Meats and bread are imported from NYC. The sandwiches are nearly $10 and worth every penny

                                                                            Pelon's: Very hip California Surfer style mexican. Great!!

                                                                            For Dinner:

                                                                            Nicks: Famous"locals only" dive. Known for their fried seafood platter. Best fried flounder on planet. At the oceanfront on Laskin Rd.

                                                                            Surfrider: Great local chain seafood spot at the Oceanfront. Local favorite. Cheap. Kid Friendly.

                                                                            One Fish Two Fish: Very stylish place on the water that feels more like NYC than VBVA. Good seafood

                                                                            Catch 31: Very, Very Stylish bar and restaurant in the Hilton, Ranked 4th out of 50 best area restaurants by Hampton Roads magazine.

                                                                            Tautogs: Outstanding locals Favorite run by Bill Gambrell, owner of Doc Taylors. At the oceanfront

                                                                            La Marinalla: Outstanding Italian in a slick and comfortable setting. The owner Sal will probably visit your table.

                                                                            Steinhilber's Thalia Acres Inn: Amazing 60 year waterfront restaurnt. Famous for fried shrimp. Food is OK but Setting is spectacular. Taste of old Virginia Beach

                                                                            Chick Oyster Bar: Favorite Hangout for locals. On the water. Shore Drive

                                                                            Charlies: Dive Seafood spot. Very cool old timey spot. Shore Drive.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: chrismzarpas

                                                                              As much as I love Doc Taylor's, they are a victim of their own success. You can't get in the place for the summer crowds of vacationers. Much the same point about Catch 31 -- only runs longer than just the summer. If you have anything to do for the rest of the day, stay away from Doc's from June 1 until after Labor Day.

                                                                              1. re: 23451bum

                                                                                Any recommendations for restaurants out by Franklin? Am going to be there this coming weekend. The first time I visited (last summer) we really couldn't find any place where we wanted to eat.

                                                                                1. re: TriciaK

                                                                                  I'm a South Hampton Roads native - a "Northender" of Virginia Beach to be exact & I must admit, that our region has matured well with our local "cuisine scene" over the years. There are many old favorites that have come & gone, but some have endured & are still producing excellent fare many moons later...

                                                                                  As a child, our family celebrated special occassions @ a chosen few spots, one being "the club," Princess Anne Country Club & yes it's stuffy & clubish, but it does bring back fond memories. If it were winter time, it was Steinhilber's (years ago the older generation closed down for the summer, as they enjoyed "holiday" & didn't cater to the Princess Anne county's tourists of the beachfront). Steiny's is still open & if you decide to go, you must order their famous fried (yes - fried) Fantail Shrimp - we usually order the famous fried shrimp as an hors d'oeuvre. Another old favorite is Isle of Capri, which is now oceanfront in the Holiday Inn @ 39th & Atlantic - their table-side Caesar Salad is outstanding!

                                                                                  It's hard to list ALL of my local favorite menus, but the following is a short list of one fancy & one simple destination throughout Tidewater:

                                                                                  *** Virginia Beach:

                                                                                  THE LUCKY STAR (for fine dining) has the best signature dish, Bayou Banana Split & no, it's not a dessert, but rather, blackened tuna steak with saffron rice and sautéed bananas in a sweet rum raisin sauce - it's extraordinary!

                                                                                  TAUTOG'S (for simple fare) is beach casual & an old locals favorite with consistent savory meals & friendly warm staff all year round!

                                                                                  *** Norfolk:

                                                                                  VOILA! Cuisine International in Norfolk's downtown/freemason area is perfect for an intimate pre opera dinner OR an after symphony supper serving French food with a Moroccan flair - the wine selction is plentiful. Omar & his staff are wonderful & warm!

                                                                                  DOUMAR'S on Monticello is perfect for an awesome Barbecue, a limeaide & definitely a scoop of creamy icecream on their authentic home-made cones - they invented the sugar cone! The best part is that you don't have to leave your car if you choose their curb service.

                                                                                  *** Portsmouth:

                                                                                  FUSION 440 (fine fare) is in Portsmouth's Olde Towne section on Dinwiddie & is one of Todd Leutner's (chef owner) best creations. A must try is the biscotti-encrusted fried green tomatoes for an hors d'oeuvre. The menu is great & their tiny martini bar is fun too.

                                                                                  STOVE, THE RESTAURANT by the area's most famous chef, Sydney Meer's creator of The Dumbwaiter is simple, but Sydney - it's worth the drive, tunnel or ferry from the beach!

                                                                            2. Pasta E Pani is back to being a restaurant serving a sit down lunch and dinner, (even though there are only 12 tables) they still have the take out storefront with their fresh mozz. and pasta. I have yet to try it but knowing the quality of their takeout items this has to be a good thing. Let us know how it is was if you have been there. I saw on their website that they will also have cooking classes, no details yet though.

                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                              1. re: VBeatso

                                                                                Hopefully "what's-his-name" has humbled himself. He & that daughter of his lost so many patrons due to their ugliness (more ways than one) even before they bit off more than they could chew in that monstrosity of a location next door to the original spot. They certainly did no favors for themselves greeting at the front of the house. One good thing matured when they left the strip center & that was/is Ana & Bella Italia - the best fresh mozz of the beach!

                                                                                1. re: JayVaBeach

                                                                                  I've enjoyed this thread. I was stationed in Norfolk but it's been years and now my daughter is in the Army at Fort Eustis in Newport News. We're visiting her for Thanksgiving and will be going to the buffet at Kingsmill Resort for the "big meal," but thank you for great suggestions for the rest of our trip. Any advice for the Newport News/Hampton areas?

                                                                                  1. re: Podie1956

                                                                                    Create Bistro is in the Hilton area of NN. Fun, creative food in an EXTREMELY small setting. Reservations are a must- don't go if sitting right next to your neighbor is distracting.

                                                                                    Hayashi in City Center has pretty good sushi, while Thaijindesu in Port Warwick has killer Thai.

                                                                                    In Hampton, go to Six Little Bar Bistro in Phoebus for tapas in a hip atmosphere.

                                                                                    1. re: skat

                                                                                      Thanks to this thread, I have given my girlfriend a reason to eat locally in Newport News. We went to Thaijindesu last night and the best Thai food that either of us have had in years!! I had the Thaijin delight with pork and she had one of the duck dishes that I would butcher if I had to say or type. But we want to go to some other places like 99 Main and Create, what are some of the faves and must haves there? I am still trying to get her to move down here to the southside but good food is a nice little perk to the drive to see her. Thanks for the help.

                                                                                      1. re: chefsteveo

                                                                                        Take her to A Chef's Kitchen in Williamsburg. Go during the week when the same food is half the price as on the weekend.

                                                                                    2. re: Podie1956

                                                                                      Yes Podie -

                                                                                      Treat yourself for a short drive through the HRBT (the tunnel) & come into "Naufaulk" - if you've not been here in years, you'll be pleasantly surprised with Norfolk's overall urban maturity. If you're here on Sunday, you must have brunch at Omar's Carriage House in the downtown/freemason area. You'll love it ! We have a brand new urban market, The Market @ Harbor Heights as well - fun to walk through & it's adjacent to the MacArthur Center, the Wisconsin, Nauticus, etc. Have fun !

                                                                                      1. re: Podie1956

                                                                                        Podie--Create Bistro on Warwick Blvd. in Newport News. Reservations a must.

                                                                                      2. re: JayVaBeach

                                                                                        "What's his name" is....well....still the same.....I have friends who work there and come home with comedic stories....

                                                                                    3. Just wanted to report on a great Korean restuarant in Porstmouth (who would've guessed?). Yee Hwa is on Chowan Dr. off of Airline Hwy.
                                                                                      Great selection of very authentic (think fish head soup) dishes, and best of all, they have the grills on the table for your cooking pleasure!
                                                                                      We had the excellent Kalbi and Bulgogi, a peppery cod soup, and the Bibimbap, but we are going to be a little more adventurous next time. They also have regular tables for foods prepped in the kitchen, and a sushi bar as well.
                                                                                      Definately worth the drive from Va. Bch.

                                                                                      1. Does anyone know anything about Tilted Table? I was thinking about going there next week for restaurant week and can't find any reviews or any information on it.

                                                                                        1. What was in the hillbilly eggrolls you had at the Taphouse? We tried the Hampton location and they didn't have them on the menu, nor did they even know what they are. Please let me know...I'm a very curious hillbilly!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: cholliday

                                                                                            I believe Hillbilly Eggrolls have died a tragic death. They revamped their menu a few months back and they went flying off into the wind. Sad.

                                                                                          2. Has anyone tried Silver Palate off either Great Neck or First Colonial? I've heard pretty good things about it, but a bit hesitant to try it. Looking for some reviews before I go.

                                                                                            1. Hello All!

                                                                                              I'm ;ooking for a non-chain southern/home cooking style restaurant in Hampton or NN. My dad's birthday is tomorrow and we have opted to go ouot instead of cooking. Since Hampton is mostly chains his tastes run to Outback and Texas Roadhouse. If the menu features a good pork chop entree, that is a plus :-)

                                                                                              Sorry for the short notice. Thanks to all!

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                We wound up going to Pierce's Pit B arbecue in Lightfoot. The food was excellent :-)

                                                                                                1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                  Amethiste--Next time you are out that way, check out Five Forks Cafe on Rt. 5 in Williamsburg. Do a google search and check out their breakfast specials and dinner. Owners hail from Ford's Colony and The Blue Talon. Fantastic mix of down home and a tad trendy but always with down home prices.

                                                                                              2. New Great Authentic Italian: Il Colosseo on Granby (former Location of Blue Hippo). I wrote a long review elsewhere. Very impressed and think this is the new best italian around. They are new (and have a few growning pains) but this doesn't affect the chef who produced amazing, complex, and flavorful dishes. Try it!

                                                                                                1. Waited a month to try the new RiverStone Chop House in N. Suffolk, right off 264 and College Drive. Owned by Sam McGuinn of Vintage Tavern fame, it promised to be a western alternative to Bird & Baldwin downtown, and Zoe's at the beach. The decor is fantastic -- some of the same features of VT, outdoor benches, larger bar with food service, and a large room upstairs for special functions. Plenty of stained wood and stone. The food is also top notch. Like most steak houses, prime cuts of meat are paired with ala carte sides -- creamy mashed potatoes and garlicky sauteed spinach were our choices to pair with our delmonico and new york strip steaks. The steaks were expertly prepared, and while we chose to forego the selection of sauces, they were moistened to perfection with a thickened beef reduction -- almost a demi-glace. The wine list is equal to the best in the area. Wonderful selection of wines, from the reasonable, to the '94 Opus One at over $600! My issue is with the service -- it just doesn't match up to everything else, and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Our server was well intentioned, but woefully inexperienced. With that big a wine list, one would expect either the waitstaff is well educated, or there is a sommelier present to answer questions -- there was neither. This is a top end destination -- with prices higher than the comparables mentioned earlier. One shouldn't have to wait on the wine, because the expensive collection is locked up, and no one can find the key. Our steaks were warm, instead of piping hot. While I realize new restaurants take some time to "find their way" in the service area, I am not optomistic this will be the case here. There is a shortage of professional wait staff in this area, and River Stone is a bit off the beaten path. It is one thing for Ruth's Chris to steal the best (as they did when they opened) -- it is in VB Town Center, surrounded by law firms and bankers. A $1000/wk wait person can leave Todd's, secure that they will continue making that. I am just not sure they will have the same analysis about River Stone, and I don't see service improving, at least to the level matching the prices, until they think they can replace that income.

                                                                                                  1. Have you found a fantastic hibachi place yet?

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: dorydory

                                                                                                      WOW, I thought I knew the food around here--am psyched to hear about the Hawaiian place; I'd kill for a loco moco right now. Anyhoo, I grew up in Va. Bch, but live on the Peninsula now. For a fantastic occasion meal or some good bar fun, get to Create Bistro on Warwick Ave. Reservations a must. Very inventive, eclectic food. A Chef's Kitchen (check them out on the web) in Williamsburg does amazing food class/dinners. Go during the week and pay half what you do on the weekend, and buy your own bottle of wine.

                                                                                                    2. Now that we have found each other, perhaps we should consider getting a dining group together. Anyone? Anyone? I'll organize if anyone's interested. Email me at gritslad@hotmail.com

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: VAfoodie

                                                                                                        just saw this and would love to have a dining group, let me know if anyone responded or if you are still interested :-)

                                                                                                      2. The following is a list of my most missed restaurants from Hampton Roads:
                                                                                                        Pho '79
                                                                                                        Bangkok Garden, Virginia Beach locale
                                                                                                        Azar's (in Virginia Beach)
                                                                                                        Susan's Kitchenette, Filippino place in Virginia Beach
                                                                                                        Charlie's, up on Shore Drive
                                                                                                        Mary's, down at the beach

                                                                                                        The Jewish Mother, down at the beach.
                                                                                                        Harold's Family restaurant, by Barnes and Noble on Virginia Beach Blvd
                                                                                                        Surf Riders, Newtown Road locale
                                                                                                        Harpoon Larry's, Hampton
                                                                                                        the Korean place near the Air Force base
                                                                                                        the Little Creek diner
                                                                                                        Villiage Inn

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. Hey, what do you think of the idea of a local chowhound restaurant night once a month for the Hampton Roads area. We could all make recomendations, and vote on a time and place to show up, It would be a great way to eat and socialize! Just a thought.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: foodjack

                                                                                                            Foodjack, count me in. Should we gather emails as sometimes we don't check back here?

                                                                                                            Is it me, or does anyone else not like being considered "mid-atlantic"?

                                                                                                            1. re: VAfoodie

                                                                                                              ditto! and mine is bythebayov@gmail.com can't wait!