Restaurants & Bars

I hit Hampton Roads restaurant paydirt this weekend!

VAfoodie | Feb 7, 2010 09:41 AM

This never happens, but all three of the restaurants I went to this weekend were winners. Two were repeat visits, and the newbie will definitely be a repeater.

Razzo's in Ocean View--East Ocean View if you must. Everybody loved what he or she had: white lasagne made with chicken, mushrooms, and spinach, veal saltimboca, and penne with italian sausage and sage. A unique tiramasu that had a hint of citrus in the sauce. A nice bottle of chianti and one cup of soup came to around $90. Loved the atmosphere--festive and neighborhoody. Owned by owner of the venerable Zia Maries, and apparently a former member of the local band States. Yeah, I'm dating myself.


Why we needed breakfast the next morning, I don't know because we had leftover lasagne and penne, but off we went to a favorite spot for Williamsburgers, The Five Forks Cafe. This unassuming spot has an interesting pedigree. Owner- Wife was a pastry chef at The Blue Talon and hubby-owner worked at the dining room at Ford's Colony. My DH has the weekend specials emailed to him every Friday, so he can start whining to go early. DD and I split a special: two eggs, bacon and Bananas Foster French toast. The French Toast was a revelation--just perfect. DH had the famous gooey cinammon bun as an appetizer?? and bacon and eggs and hashbrowns.
While my daughter and I razzed him about driving to Williamsburg for a cinammon bun , we had to eat crow--or in this case cinammon--and agree that it was worth the trip. Hash browns are my kind too--stringy and crispy rather than cakey. This cafe is also open for lunch and dinner. On weekends the line is out the door, so be prepared to wait.


Finally, with spawn off at a birthday party, dh and I could go a little more upscale for an impromptu date night. He wanted to go here, I wanted to go there as usual when he said, "and we could go to Portsmouth." Immediately I thought of Stove. Then I thought, "Oops, no reservation or directions."
Reservations are a must on weekends for this small gem, and if you don't know PONO (is that a riot--Port Norfolk meets NYC), the restaurant is hard to find. Well as luck would have it, the address was saved from a previous visit in our GPS, so we headed that way. Despite the blizzard of 2010 being underway, there were no tables available, but I was happy to eat at the new "Cougar" bar (though I am far too young to be qualify as a cougar ;)
What I love about Stove is the availability of small plates for most of what is on the menu. I ordered the mushroom melange and Sidney's famous etoufee. Hands down the best etoufee I've had including manh spots in Louisiana. Those familiar with Sidney Meers' career know he specializes in using the freshest southern ingredients in his dishes. Right now he's on a pork belly kick.
This spot will definitely become part of the date night rotation (Create Bistro--soon to be Circa 1918, Fat Canary bar, and Blue Talon)


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