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I wanted to report back on my meal at Virginia's, the new restaurant on Ave C and 11th run by two former alums of Charlie Trotter's. I was very surprised to find a restaurant of this caliber opening in this scrappier part of town, but I hope that the way east address doesn't deter people from trying out this place. The food here is very good. I would describe it as a seasonally driven new American small plates, you can expect things like roasted duck breast, hanger steak and gnocchi, along with interesting things like sweetbreads and romanesco.
The caramelized romanesco was one of the best vegetable dishes I've had in a long time--meaty, served in a sweet glaze, rounded out with some speck and cheddar cheese. The roasted duck was cooked to perfection, plump and juicy with the skin and fat perfectly intact, and the sea bass was excellent as well. The portions were a bit small and priced very high (the curse of the small plate!), but the flavors were so good that we didn't hold it against the restaurant.
The only downside is again the far east address (more relevant for those who live west of Broadway perhaps), and the music, which was a weird mix of loud EDM that didn't match the ambience or crowd at all. Also, the furnishings were a little classic and retro to my taste, but above all, the food was great.
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