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May 28, 2010 08:10 AM

Where to dine- best of Staunton, Lexington or Roanoke?

Hubby and I are traveling by car from Baltimore to Asheville next month. We plan to stop over one night in Staunton, Lexington or Roanoke based on best accommodations and most interesting dining experiences we can find. Fellow chowers, please recommend the best restaurant in each of these towns, and if you also have knowledge to share, the best B&B or hotel within walking distance to that restaurant. Our tastes are wide- any ethnic or any level of gourmet is acceptable- we usual skew to mid-high end dining. We particularly enjoy Italian, French, Indian and new American cuisines (really anything) and we enjoy a good wine selection. We've never been to any of these towns, so any suggestions would be most helpful- even recs about what to stay away from!

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  1. I live in Richmond but spent one night in Stanton as it was between two colleges my daughter visited on the "college tour". We stayed at the Stonewall Jackson, which honestly is nothing more than a regular hotel. BUT, we had an absolutely incredible dinner at Staunton Grocery, We have been fortunate to experience a lot of great restaurants, and I put Staunton Grocery up in the top tier. Very unexpected. Also, next to the hotel is the Blackfriars Theatre, which is a re-creation of the original site of Shakespeare's plays. The hotel had a package to include room and theatre tix. I was dreading it, but would gladly make a return trip to Staunton for the meal and play. All within easy walking. Have fun!!

    The Staunton Grocery
    105 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA 24401

    1 Reply
    1. re: nyctripper

      Staunton Grocery and Blackfriar's Playhouse are indeed worth the visit. We live about an hour away and I'm planning another trip very soon.

      The Staunton Grocery
      105 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA 24401

    2. nyctripper makes me want to try the Staunton Grocery. I, too, live near Richmond, and had never spent enough time to find a good restaurant in town.
      I recommend either Staunton or Lexington, as nice towns for an overnight visit. Lexington has a compact downtown with several good restaurants within walking distance, and VMI and Washington and Lee (two colleges, one military and one liberal arts) also in the area for strolling. The Hampton Inn is in downtown, as are severel B&Bs. Sorry, we haven't stayed overnight there. Below is a description of a restaurant we enjoyed in Lexionton:

      The Southern Inn,
      37 S Main St
      Lexington, VA 24450

      The Southern Inn is in a period restaurant space in the middle of Lexionton's business district. Two sides, one dark booths with tile floor, one tablecloths. Moderately-priced entrees.

      Good wine list with lots of by-the-glass choices for about $5.50 to $9.00.

      My arugula 1/2-sized salad was delightful, with lots of citrus adding a nice contrast, and a dressing that paired well with the greens.
      My spouse enjoyed the house-made Bleu Cheese dressing on his house salad.

      Ample slices of batter breads made up the bread basket. One seemed like a cheese Sally Lund, the other had nuts and was mildly sweet.

      Apparently the menu changes with what is in season, as much as possible.
      The friendly server recommended the scallops with grits and spinach to me, as she said she had just served it to another customer and it looked great.

      I found the scallops and sauce too salty, but loved the sides. The scallops were tender.
      When she inquired about our meal, I did tell the server of the saltiness, and she really wanted to make it right. I did not wish to eat or waste another entree, however, as the sides satiated me.

      Next time we are back in Lexington, I am going to feel drawn back the the Southern Inn to order just the arugula salad and a heaping portion of the grits and sauteed spinach. It was that good!

      My spouse enjoyed his dense, pork and beef meatloaf (I think there was sage in the seasoning), and we traveled with the other half of his meal back home in hopes of a meatloaf sandwich with mashed potatoes tomorrow.

      Great atmosphere in a remade old town restaurant.
      Fine service.
      Good food, probably better with careful ordering.

      The Staunton Grocery
      105 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA 24401

      Southern Inn
      37 S Main St, Lexington, VA 24450

      1. Staunton Grocery is very good; however, I think 202 Market in Roanoke is better in a much more creative way. If you want simple, but good food made with local ingredients go to the Grocery. If you want more molecular gastronomy and interesting twists on things go to 202 Market. When I was down in Roanoke for the bar exam I was actually impressed with some of the restaurants in the downtown area- Metro nearby was also pretty good. The farmers market downtown was neat too. Also the Hyatt Place there is very clean and comfortable and nice and even has a clean little indoor pool (and I am very picky about hotels). But the DoubleTree is also very nice in Roanoke. I have never stayed in Staunton. I haven't been to Lexington since my brother went to VMI so I have no idea what is good there now.

        202 Market
        202 Market Sq SE, Roanoke, VA 24029

        The Staunton Grocery
        105 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA 24401