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Restaurants & Bars


Best Of Norfolk, Virginia


Restaurants & Bars 28

Best Of Norfolk, Virginia

Dennis | Jul 25, 2002 07:38 PM


About a year ago, there were several messages describing some of the readers' favorite restaurants in Norfolk, Virginia. Being that it has been over a year since I have seen any messages describing Norfolk restaurants, I thought I would try to resurrect this thread.

I live in the Ghent section of Norfolk. Following are my top three restaurants in Ghent:

1) No Frill Grill. I usually order the fresh fish chalkboard special, and it is usually delicious. The chalkboard menu changes every Friday.

2) Luna Maya. This place, in my opinion, has gotten even better during the past year. One reader complained about the watery salsa last year. Granted, I will agree that the salsa isn't that inspiring, and the chips taste like they were dumped from one of those bulk bags from Sam's Club. But everything else is wonderful. My favorite appetizer is the Tequila Salmon. My favorite entree is the Chicken Enchiladas.
This is one place that doesn't serve those yucky lumpy pinto beans with their plates. Instead, you get those wonderful creamy black beans. Also, they serve the best martinis I've ever had in my life, specifically The Margatini, rimmed with chipole chili salt.

3) Crackers. A tapas restaurant. In my opinion, Crackers is better than its sister restaurant, Empire, located in downtown Norfolk.

Some readers have given high accolades to The Wild Monkey. Sorry, but I just don't like this place. I've given it several tries. Just not my style, I guess. For example, a lot of their dishes come with a large side order of "Black Eyed Pea Hash", which just doesn't agree with me at all.

Ghent Restaurants To Avoid:

1) The New Belmont--Not too bad when it opened up a few months ago, but it has gone straight downhill. In fact, I ate there a few nights ago, and it was just plain Yuck! The catfish was greasy and overcooked, as well as the squash. Most of the entrees have a Southern touch and are too sweet for my tastes.

2) Szechuan In Ghent--Some of the sorriest Chinese food I have ever had anywhere. I am personally embarrased to have this place in Ghent. By the way, the best Chinese in Ghent is a carry out place called Kin's Wok.

3) The Max--People who eat here just don't know any better.

In downtown Norfolk, my favorite restaurants are as follows:

1) Todd Jurich's Bistro. Wonderful. But getting ready to move to a different downtown location. Maybe it's moved already.

2) The 219. I love the Potstickers for an appetizer and the Asian Tuna for an entree. This is probably my favorite appetizer-entree combo in all of Norfolk.

3) The Empire. A tapas restaurant affiliated with Crackers in Ghent. Personally, I like Crackers much better. But I'm a bit biased, as I live in Ghent and eat more often in Ghent.

Another place that is not bad is Havana. Great drinks and snack style foods. Sometimes, I will stop in here for a snack and a drink after eating at the 219.

Downtown Restaurants To Avoid:

1) Club Soda--A very pretentious and trendy bar type restaurant with ridiculous prices. Such as $15 for a bowl of pate de fois dumblings in lemongrass broth. A tiny little bowl about the size of the smallest bowl of wonton soup you have probably ever had. Three or four bits and it's all gone!

Okay, I'll stop.

I'll let somebody else take a turn at describing some of their favorite Norfolk restaurants. And feel free to disagree with anything I've said.


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