PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVBT) - By PATRICK EVANS-HYLTON
Patrick is the Executive Editor of Virginia Wine Lover Magazine and Senior Editor, Food & Wine, of Hampton Roads Magazine.
VIRGINIA BEACH RESTAURANT WEEK
After the holidays comes a time to relax – perhaps through enjoying a nice dinner out by discovering a new favorite restaurant, or dining at a long-time favorite place.
Virginia Beach Restaurant week runs from Jan. 9 through 16 and gives diners plenty of places to explore with scores of restaurants across the city serving up some great meal deals.
Restaurant Week first started in New York and there are countless ones across the country, including others in adjacent Hampton Roads cities. This is the seventh year for Virginia Beach Restaurant Week, which is run by the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association.
And here is how it works: participating restaurants, in an effort to entice diners to come out during the winter doldrums, offers specially-priced menus. A variety of prix-fixe deals are available, including three-course lunches priced at $11.11 and three-course dinners priced at either $20.11 or $27.11.
According to Kristina Pitsilides Chastain, co-chair of Virginia Beach Restaurant Week and vice-president of Captain George's Seafood Restaurant, there are more than 55 participating restaurants.
One thing to keep in mind: not every restaurants offers both lunch and dinner; check with individual restaurants for meal availability. Also, some restaurants do accept reservations, and event organizers encourage reservations to be made as seats fill up quickly.
A full list of participating restaurants, along with their menus, are on the restaurant association's website.
And something we'll talk about on the next Tuesday Taste is the upcoming Norfolk Restaurant Week, as well as Restaurant Weeks in Williamburg, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Hampton.
For more information, visit www.vabeachrestaurants.net
Last month we told you about how to register to participate in the first-ever Million Dollar Rockfish Cook-Off at Marina Shores Marina in Virginia Beach. Well, scores did sign up – as fishing teams and as cooking teams, too.
Amateur chefs and professional chefs were part of the 22 cooking teams – competing for tens of thousands of dollars in prizes. I was fortunate enough to be one of the judges for the event.
Taking top honors in the professional category, and walking away with $4,000 cash, was Chef Mike Farrell and assistant Jason Winters of Still Worldly Eclectic Tapas in Portsmouth for their "Southern Rock" – a take on traditional fish and chips, but pairing the crispy fish with fried green tomatoes in place of fries, and drizzled in a spicy tartar sauce.
Second place and a purse of $3,000 went to Primo 116 of Suffolk for Chef Steve Gellas' lightly sautéed rockfish served over orzo in a saffron reduction and topped with a cashew relish.
In the amateur category, Team Burnt Toast won first place and $2,000 and $1,000 went to second place winner Team Shorty's.
Organizers say this will become an annual event.
For more information, visit www.marinashoresmarina.com
Eight years ago, I started the Platinum Plate Awards at Hampton Roads Magazine to recognize the best restaurants in our area; the results come out every January, and the 2010 list was just released with the latest issue of the magazine.
This is the only local restaurant recognition program, and is open to just about every restaurant in the region, from the Outer Banks and Williamsburg south to the Outer Banks. Myself and a panel of around a dozen culinary professionals spend all year evaluating restaurants based on such criteria as quality of food, food value, service and uniqueness of the restaurant and their offerings to the region.
The Number One restaurant in Hampton Roads is Vintage Tavern in Suffolk. Chef/owner Sam McGann and his team, including chef de cuisine Harper Bradshaw and general manager Gary Whittington, wow diners with their cuisine, which they call "seasonally Southern."
Here is a list of all of the Top 10 Platinum Plate Award winners; check out the current issue of Hampton Roads Magazine for a full list, which includes some 80 restaurants in total.
1 – Vintage Tavern, Suffolk
2 – Terrapin Restaurant, Virginia Beach
3 – Zoes, Virginia Beach
4 – Stove, Portsmouth
5 – Blue Talon Bistro, Williamsburg
6 – Fat Canary, Williamsburg
7 – Swan Terrace at Founders Inn, Virginia Beach
8 – River Stone Chophouse, Suffolk
9 – Todd Jurich's Bistro, Norfolk
10 – tie – Coastal Grill, Virginia Beach
10 – tie – Salacia, Virginia Beach
For more information, visit www.hamptonroadsmagazine.com
Rich Chinook has been named executive chef at Crackers Little Bar Bistro in Norfolk. Chinook, most recently chef at Williamsburg Winery, has been a part of the Hampton Roads cuisine scene for years. He returns to Norfolk at the end of January, taking over the reigns at the small-plate eatery in Riverview.
"I can't tell you how excited I am to go back to my roots
and start cooking it up again," he says.
For more information, visit www.littlebarbistro.com
Roger Brown's Restaurant & Sports Bar celebrated their 10th anniversary this week. The Old Town Portsmouth eatery features steaks and seafood, as well as a casual menu. The sports bar features multiple televisions for game watching and billiard tables as well as a 90-foot bar.
For more information, visit www.rogerbrowns.com
Also celebrating an anniversary is Gregory Peterman, who bought Yorgo's Bageldashery five years ago this week. Yorgo's, with locations in Ghent and downtown Norfolk, offers New York-style kosher water bagels and other offerings, including a large vegan selection of food.
For more information, visit www.yorgosbageldashery.com
Also, check out Chef Patrick's Facebook page at – www.facebook.com/patrickevanshylton
and blog – www.patrickevanshylton.com
Local survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor gathered at Little Creek for a ceremony on the 72nd anniversary.
Virginia Beach fire officials say a parade float burst into flames at the Oceanfront Saturday night.
Virginia State Police say a Chesapeake teenager died in a crash in Franklin County Saturday morning.
Norfolk Police are investigating the cause of death for male found unconscious on the beach.
The art of making jewelry is helping some Norfolk students learn independence and job skills.
The suicide of a 16-year-old Gloucester girl has led a community to speak up about bullying.
A Virginia Beach woman is behind bars accused of trying to poison her children and kill herself. Only 10 On Your Side talked to Lorita Aiken's mother about the charges against her.