RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia is for Lovers is about love - pure and simple. People who love great food with true local flavor are finding a lot to love about Richmond. The city, one of the oldest and most historic in America, is home to more than 900 restaurants, with innovative chefs who are putting Richmond on the map as one of the best food towns in the South. The city's distinctive neighborhoods, from Church Hill to Shockoe Bottom to the Fan and Carytown, give each restaurant a unique vibe that makes dining out in Richmond fun, historic and memorable.
Here are some of the highlights, with more to discover on www.Virginia.org.
Historic Happy Hour with Jefferson
The Jefferson Hotel in downtown Richmond is one of the grandest in the country. Named for Thomas Jefferson, it has hosted celebrities, presidents and royalty. Now it is hosting one of the hippest happy hours in Richmond at its AAA Five Diamond award-winning restaurant, LeMaire. The restaurant's bar has Virginia wine as the house wine and hosts happy hour even on Saturdays, with creative cocktails made with herbs from the chef's garden, free smoked Virginia peanuts and olives, and great deals on appetizers and small plates.
A Star is Born in Church Hill
Church Hill is one of Richmond's oldest neighborhoods and perhaps one of the coolest. Just blocks from where Patrick Henry proclaimed "Give me liberty or give me death", passionate foodies can find The Roosevelt, one of Richmond's newest and hottest restaurants. Known for a new twist on Southern cuisine, The Roosevelt is dedicated to using the freshest local ingredients. It's also one of the only restaurants to have a Virginia-only wine list. Dishes from pork belly to Virginia oysters to Hanover tomatoes and homemade desserts have won The Roosevelt numerous restaurant awards and devoted fans.
Celebrities and Steak in Shockoe Bottom
It's hard to decide what's a bigger draw at Arcadia in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom neighborhood. The Braveheart beef or eating at the same table where Daniel Day-Lewis ate. "DDL", the affectionate nickname Richmonders gave Mr. Lewis, was in town filming Steven Spielberg's movie Lincoln (opening November 2012). The star was famously photographed at Arcadia, Lincoln beard and all, having just finished a delicious steak, brussel sprouts and potato tartine. The photo ran in news outlets across the globe and instantly made Arcadia famous.
A Feast in the Fan
The Fan neighborhood is heaven for foodies. Places like Kuba Kuba, Edo's Squid, and Bacchus have been earning rave reviews for years. Somewhat new to the neighborhood is Balliceaux, a great mix of historic charm and modern chic with a chef doing excellent regional cuisine. Balliceaux capitalizes on Richmond's close proximity to great local food, from Virginia oysters and seafood to fresh produce from the Piedmont. On Sunday's the restaurant goes family style and offers up a feast for an ideal brunch or dinner to end the week.
Sweet Endings in Carytown
Known as Richmond's "Mile of Style", Carytown is also home to more than two dozen restaurants. One of the most recognizable is CanCan, a french-style brasserie which has this neighborhood buzzing daily with fresh-baked bread, an incomparable wine list, an amazing raw bar and decadent French desserts. Chocolate rules the roost, along with hand-made ice creams, tarts and of course good, strong espresso for the perfect end to a historic food crawl through Richmond.
Visit www.Virginia.org to learn more about culinary travel in Virginia or call 1-800-VISITVA to request a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide and start planning a trip to Virginia. Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.
# # #