Beyond its unpretentious decor and unassuming exterior, Crab Creek Seafood serves up a slew of fresh seafood specialties that garnered a silver medal in The Burgs' 2013 Best of the New River Valley feature. Cooks toss Diablo shrimp in a vodka-tomato-cream sauce and mix Caribbean shrimp with andouille sausage, salsa, and spices. Diners can dig into housemade crab cakes or enjoy fresh catfish, tilapia, or salmon served pan-fried, broiled, blackened, or grilled. According to the Roanoke Times, a fireplace warms guests as the waitstaff bustles about, "brimming with friendly service."
Soro Chill and Grille's glass-lined door stands as a gateway to creative drinks, contemporary Southern cooking, and the sounds of local bands strumming familiar tunes. The menu unfolds to reveal appetizers brimming with seafood and creole sauces meant to be sopped up with crusty french bread or unusually absorbent mustaches. Entrees of pasta, steaks, and roast chicken follow the same Southern traditions by donning Cajun blackened spices or piquant barbecue sauce, inspiring diners to finger paint plates with love letters to the chef. Soro's commitment to supporting the community extends past menu ingredients to locally made furniture and live music performed by Roanoke artists. The welcoming stone fireplace warms guests, and a large communal table encourages mingling or 30-person games of patty-cake.
Energetic live music pulsates across the spacious quarters of Growler’s American Grill and Venue—once known as Awful Arthur’s Towers—as barkeeps fill mugs and growlers with local pale and brown ales, porters, and a slew of bottled favorites. Platefuls of hearty American and Southern favorites, from meatloaf sandwiches to fish 'n' chips, energize diners to take the stage for a round of karaoke, with the background music supplied by a DJ, live band, or brownnosing date.
The Carriage House Restaurant offers a page- and head-turning menu of hearty entrees. Lead with The Carriage House's signature relish tray ($2.99–$4.99), which is a smorgasbord of pepperoncini peppers, celery, black olives, pickles, and bread. For dinner, the flank-steak beef strips ($11.49–$12.99) come delectably marinated in a piquant blend of oils and spices, and the chopped sirloin steak ($9.99–$10.99) is freshly ground and served next to a sizable mountain of onion rings. Those yearning to remember their tenure as mascot for the Detroit Claw Hands can bite into the Maryland crab cake ($10.99), featuring tender snow crabmeat lightly coated in breadcrumbs and served with homemade cream sauce. Peruse Carriage House's wine and beer menu and flush down scraps with a glass of the light-bodied Bogle Sauvignon Blanc ($6) or the Asheville-brewed Highland St. Terese's Pale Ale ($3.50).
Ryan's intimate, upscale surf-and-turfery lures fine diners with its gourmet starters, hearty soups, succulent steaks, fresh seafood, and other carnivorous delights. Signature menu offerings include the bemonocled oysters Rockefeller ($11.95), grouper Key West (with roasted new potatoes and fresh asparagus, $28.75), and the steak au poivre, a pan-sautéed pedestal of bovine decadence with classic cognac cream sauce ($32.95). Meal toppers include a gooey, delectable slice of southern-style pecan pie ($6.25) and caffeinated pick-me-ups such as Ryan's cappuccino (with cocoa and cinnamon, $4.95) or the sprightlier Irish coffee (with Old Bushmill's Irish whiskey, $6.95).
Jimmy's Seafood & Oyster Bar offers a vast menu stacked with southern seafood favorites and traditional hearty dishes. Delight dulled tongue buds with the wild stylings of the Malibu coconut shrimp, six coconut-battered and butterflied shrimp fried to crispy resistance accompanied by an orange marmalade sidekick ($6.99). Or give gastric baskets a bit of loving with the onion blossom, a bouquet of deep-fried glory coupled with spicy horseradish sauce ($5.99). Entrees include a homemade crabmeat-stuffed flounder ($14.99), a full pound of snow crab legs ($16.59), and bowtie salmon pasta ($12.99), which has little in common with the time you used fish scales as buttons on formal wear. Sea discriminators will want to try the half-pound cheeseburger ($6.99), the teriyaki chicken ($10.99), or the southwest chicken pasta, where linguine, roasted corn, and blackened chicken collide within the velocity-resisting medium of creamy Cajun parmesan sauce ($12.29).