Virginia victuals

Includes: Vintage Tavern, Suffolk, VA; Gabriel Archer Tavern, Williamsburg, VA; and more   

Back to my normal food life. Which is always good, don’t get me wrong. But Austin was pretty stupendous. I hated to leave, for more than one reason.

There’s never a time, though, when I’m not eating something delicious. And last weekend found me noshing on Tidewater yumminess with my mom.

First up was a not-so-healthy-but-oh-so-good lunch at Norfolk’s annual Greek Festival.

Even though my town’s equivalent is larger and has a greater variety of goods and food for sale, Norfolk’s is more fun and festive feeling. Could it be that it’s outside under a gigantic tent instead of in a drab old state fairgrounds building?!

Freshly fried, crunchy calamari and fries sprinkled with oregano went down the gullet all too easily. Greek beer — though boring and nearly flavorless like old-school American brews — was a fine accompaniment.

Did I remember to take a picture of the hot loukoumades before we devoured them? Of course not. It didn’t even cross my mind, we were so busy scarfing them down on the drive back to Smithfield, our hands sticky from the honey even though we used the not-quite-adequate toothpicks to spear each orb. (If you’ve never had loukoumades, you’ve missed out. They’re like airy, fried donut balls drenched in honeyed syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon, and sometimes finely chopped nuts. The best way to eat them is fresh and hot out of the fryer.)

Dinner was another treat. The Vintage Tavern is a fine dining restaurant in the midst of a culinarily lacking stretch of highway. We like to eat in the bar, where the food is just as good but not quite as pricey (though still pretty darn expensive) as the main dining room. Mom takes exception to the taxidermy “trophies” scattered about. There’s even a seagull! Ugh.

Two stars in this meal. One was the Roasted Mushroom Soup. The photo doesn’t look all that appetizing, but the soup was silky and richly flavored. In addition to mushrooms and (I’m guessing) heavy cream, it also consisted of leeks, brandy and black truffle. Like I said, rich.

And then for dessert, a tiny shoo-fly pie in a flaky, flaky, delicious crust — topped with a fanned strawberry and unsweetened whip cream. Heaven!!

Sunday, not to be outdone by Saturday, featured a fantastic lunch al fresco at the Williamsburg Winery’s Gabriel Archer Tavern.

The patio was shaded by a vine-covered trellis and a few kitties were wandering around. The European-style lunch and wine could almost trick us into believing we were across the pond.

I had a lovely dry white wine — can’t remember which one. And we shared a Caesar salad and a French Country Platter. The platter featured a baguette, grapes, pears, a mellow blue cheese, brie, course-grain mustard, jam, some weird fishy cornichons (the only disappointment), some type of salami-like sliced savory saucisson and a velvety and delicious pate.

Heading back to Smithfield in the convertible — including a ferry ride — was a perfect ending to a weekend of great dining and companionship.

And purely for your viewing pleasure, I’ll throw in this bonus picture of colorful and delicious (some spicy, some sweet) radishes from New Grass Gardens that I munched on them while I was cooking dinner the other night. (No, that isn’t a tiny white egg — it’s a white radish. Cute, eh?)

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About atarheeltastes

I'm a passionate foodie who started this "temporary" blog during a gustatory tour of Tuscany. I decided to continue, since I love to dream about, plan for, prepare, eat and write about food!
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