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dining in hampton roads


mighty quinn
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i've been living in downtown norfolk for about 6 months now and have made the rounds of the granby st/colley ave/21st st restaurants/pubs. would love to know if there are any active gulleteers with any suggestions for hip, new dining spots.

"Ham isn't heroin..." Morgan Spurlock from "Supersize Me"

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I'm over on the Peninsula, where there is an absolute dearth of any sort of dining, and very seldom make it across the waters, these days.

You've hit some of the best, in the areas you are talking about. Virginia Beach has One Fish Two Fish... it used to be pretty good, but with Chef Bobby Huber on board now, I'm certain it's much better. My next trip that way will definately include a pit stop for dinner.

Hope you like to cook. This isn't the best area to be in for dining. :rolleyes:

From whence have you come from?

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thanks-came from d.c area via tampa- i'm transient due to my job. frequent todd jurich's. it seems as though the quality of dining in norfolk drops off drastically after that. and you'd think that with the proximity to the water there would be a few good seafood places, but that's virtually non-existent. seems like there aren't many gulleteers in the area either!

"Ham isn't heroin..." Morgan Spurlock from "Supersize Me"

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You're right on target about the seafood thing. I am a recent transplant to this area as well, and was surprised to discover the apparent lack of fresh, local seafood.

There is a festival, tonight actually, called the Guinea Seafood Festival. It's across the water from you, in the backwoods portion of Gloucester known as Guinea. This festival is held twice a year, and the tickets sell out so quickly, you practically have to know someone to get into it.

The local watermen harvest their catch and spend a day serving the freshest and most succulent oysters, clams, scallops, fish, and the best clam chowder I have ever tasted. As much as you are able to eat of the aforementioned, as well as beer and mixed drinks, are included in the price of the ticket.

Luckily, my grandmother is from Guinea, and my husband and I get tickets at least once a year. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to attend. :cool:

If you are interested in going to the next festival (held the third week of May), you can call the Abingdon Ruritan Complex and ask to get put on their mailing list. The number is 804-642-9021. Tickets are $40, and go on sale sometime in January. Good luck. It's a bit of a hike for you, but definately worthwhile.

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...you'd think that with the proximity to the water there would be a few good seafood places, but that's virtually non-existent.

Quinn; this info may be waaay out of date (someone please correct me if it is), because it goes back to the 1970s when I was in Richmond, but there used to be a superb seafood place in Yorktown called Nick's Seafood Pavillion. Decor was upscale Greek bordello, but the food was out of this world. Whether that's still the case or not, I don't know, but might be worth asking around if you feel like driving the 35 miles up to Yorktown.

S'kat, if you're into seafood festivals, you might want to look into the Urbanna (VA) Oyster Festival in the Middle Peninsula the end of this month. More info here . Oysters fixed in every way imaginable plus maybe a few you've never even thought of. Lots of other seafood too, although oysters are the stars of the show. The best way to get there is to drive to Whitestone in the Northern Neck, on the north side of the Rappahannock River bridge, with your bikes on the car. Park the car in Whitestone and bike to Urbanna. A bit of a trip (~15 miles), but you'll sail past 1/2 mile or more of cars trying to get into Urbanna. If you're into oysters, the food is outstanding.

THW

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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hwilson41- When I first came here, I had previously heard good things about Nick's. Alas, after the owners died, the quality of the food went downhill. Waaaay downhill. It was one of the worst meals I'd had. The decor was interesting, and I'm sure at one time it was exquisitely beautiful, but had fallen into disrepair.

The owners had left the restaurant to York county, because it WAS such a beloved local landmark. But the county board, just last year, decided that they were going to raze the building and erect something new and modern in its place. As you can imagine, the issue became very heated.

The recent arrival of Isabel left its mark on the Yorktown shoreline. Nick's, and some of the other shoreline businesses were completely flooded and battered- a total loss. They are razing most of the structures that had been there.

I've wanted to go to the Urbanna Festival for a couple of years now. October is just too busy a month for me, especially as I am getting into the throes of the school semester. I'm hoping next year will be better.

I love oysters. Thanks for the tip about cycling in.

edited to add links

Edited by s'kat (log)
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hwilson41-  When I first came here, I had previously heard good things about Nick's.  Alas, after the owners died, the quality of the food went downhill.  Waaaay downhill.  It was one of the worst meals I'd had.  The decor was interesting, and I'm sure at one time it was exquisitely beautiful, but had fallen into disrepair.

The owners had left the restaurant to York county, because it WAS such a beloved local landmark.  But the county board, just last year, decided that they were going to raze the building and erect something new and modern in its place.  As you can imagine, the issue became very heated.

S'kat; I'm very sad to hear about the fate of Nick's. I should have guessed that the owners probably couldn't still be around, but didn't think of it. In its glory days, both the decor and the food were wonderful. Reminiscent in a way to Hausner's in Baltimore, also gone now, alas :sad:.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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went to nick's back in '96-yes, very campy greek restaurant. would also love to hit the urbanna fest- will there be local oysters?? i guess that the impact on the bay from the storm won't be known for a while. i've managed to find quite a few small seafood retailers- in norfolk, poquoson, buckroe beach and phoebus. you'd like to think that the shrimp was right from the bay but it seems that they get alot from south of here. most of the bivalves appear to be local, though. along the lines of the having run the gamut of the decent local restaurants, i've got folks coming to town this weekend and i figure that i'll just impress the hell out of them and take them to todd jurich's. it's a very hansome space and wine doesn't suck. vick

"Ham isn't heroin..." Morgan Spurlock from "Supersize Me"

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Take a day trip to Williamsburg, there are some excellent restaurants right in the historic area. If you are looking for something inexpensive, try the Green Leaf Cafe. The food is good quality and it is a dream for craft beer fans.

Head to Harpoon Larry's in Hampton(maybe Newport News), for excellent fresh fish. It is a little shack, but it is a fun cheap place for a fish sandwich caught fresh that day.

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