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Apr 22, 2013 01:33 PM

ZYNODOA, Staunton, Va.

Just want to take a moment to remark on the outstanding, dinner we enjoyed at Zynodoa in Staunton last Saturday night.

We overnighted last December in Staunton en route from NYC to Florida, and a return to this restaurant and to Staunton (Stonewall Jackson Hotel excellent in all regards) were primary factors influencing our decision to take the "long route" via I-81, back to NYC.

Dinner this past Saturday (mid-April) was even better than our first foray.

Our waiter, Bill, was exceptional in every way, eager to share his enthusiasm for local Shenandoah Valley produce, methods of preparation, and food in general.

Happily, the chef here (ex-Little Washington) does not rely heavily on the now-overused sous vide techniques, preferring slow cooking of proteins.

Two of us began our dinner with a shared portion of excellent Potato and Bacon Bisque, embellished by cayenne and a dollop of whipped cream.

Twice Cooked Pork Belly with a fried egg, chef's take on bacon and eggs, incorporating Appalachian cheese and potato, followed. Wow!!

Highlight of the evening, and probably the highlight of our 4-month foray in the Southern states (destination: South Florida) were the Braised Short Ribs with barley risotto, served with grilled broccoli di rape and sublime sweet onions.

The broth alone (onions?? sherry??) might convince me to drive for several hours. Simply outstanding. Give me barley over rice any day!!

Almost as delicous: The medley of local AM Fog mushrooms, crisped on the edges, lush with garlic and parsley.

With an, Albermarle Baking company baguette (bread $3 extra charge) , and a glass of excellent Ox-Eye Riesling (touch of chardonnay grape) to begin the meal, dinner for two totalled $71 before tip.

Yes, Staunton is a long way from I-95 for those bound from the NE to Florida.

Will we take the detour again next year?

Emphatically, yes.

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  1. Thanks for the review, I will definitely have to check it out. Maybe in the summer when Staunton is generally a little cooler than the Piedmont and the Tidewater areas of our state .

    1. Yes, my thanks for the review too. We're heading that way over the summer for a preliminary round of college visits; I was already planning a stop in Staunton to visit the Frontier Culture Museum of VA and will add Zynodoa to the agenda.

      1. I had the opportunity to eat at Zynodoa this Sunday after dropping kids off at scout camp nearby.

        Wonderful meal - I had the Rappahannock Fried River Oyster starter, a good quantity of perfectly fried oysters atop delicately-flavored cabbage slaw. For a main, I opted for Pan Roasted Sea Scallops with potato tostones. The fried slices of potato were layered with carrot puree and drizzled with bright green scallion sauce. I was at that point forced to order the baguette to sop up the sauces as they were superb. I also got the AMFog mushroom side, delicious as described by the OP above.

        Dessert menu didn't really tempt me but I was full at that point and don't have much of a sweet tooth anyway.

        Well worth a stop if you're in the area. Sadly, kids are busing home so I have no excuse to revisit soon.