The chefs at The V Eatery & Brew House transform a bounty of ingredients sourced from Virginia’s rich soils and seas to a menu of fine eats paired with craft beers. They batter freshly-netted cod with Catoctin Kolsch beer and spice up risotto with diced butternut squash and parmesan cream. To pair with their flavorful dishes, they select an elite array of 14 craft beers, 6 of which are brewed in-house to flow from their taps. And to keep things fresh, they rotate these brews regularly, with headliners such as Fat Tire amber ale and Avery’s White Rascal.
To occupy diners’ eyes and ears while their tastebuds are enjoying the food, The V Eatery host live musical performers every Tuesday through Saturday. They also plan to round out their selection of meals by adding a Sunday brunch once they get their license from the National Brunch Association, otherwise known as the NBA.
Wielding ingredients culled from the fields, stockyards, and vineyards of local producers, chefs craft inventive dishes such as osso buco anointed with smoked-pork au jus and pan-roasted rockfish drifting in crawfish cream. The most recent addition to the Vintage team is brewmaster Kristi Griner, who channels her 24 years of experience to helm the efforts of Vintage 50's 10-barrel brew house. Additionally, Vintage 50's caterers conjure fare for weddings and the food-fight receptions that follow and whip up dishes for offsite corporate events and holiday parties.
Jerry Bailey began homebrewing with friends in 1989, hopeful that the craft would bring fulfillment that his 9-to-5 failed to provide. Fulfillment it brought, along with numerous batches of tasty brew. Bailey couldn’t keep his inventions to himself; he quickly decided to open his own brewhouse as well as distribute his goods to other local establishments.
Today, Bailey proudly stands at the helm of both Old Dominion Brewhouse and Old Dominion Brewing Company. In the pub, chefs add variety to liquid meals with food such as burgers, crab cakes, and thin-crust pizzas while 30 flat-screen televisions keep patrons entertained with sports. The chefs also exhibit flair for Asian cuisine, slicing and rolling sushi and offering create-your-own mongolian stir-fries. At the bar, eight handles remain perpetually reserved for Old Dominion's craft beers, such as the award-winning Baltic porter and the Oak Barrel stout, which is loaded with flavors of vanilla and the color brown.
Recently opened in 2009, the tasting and hospitality center at Sweely Estate Winery boasts scenic vineyard views from the attached open-air terrace. As guests take in the sights of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, Sweely’s winesperts pour a medley of fine French-style wines, including reds aged in French oak barrels and whites enhanced by premium grapes in gravity flow. Compare and contrast the fermented flavors with the accompanying cheeses, then apply the included $10 credit toward a bottle of memories such as the refreshing Sweely Estate pinot gris ($16), graced with palate-tickling notes of green apple and citrus, or the Sweely Estate merlot ($20.95), swirled with mixed berry and minty overtones.
DuCard Vineyard expertly converts its grapes into a delicious selection of wines, hosting regular tastings and tours in the shadows of the mountains of Shenandoah National Park. In the tasting room visitors can sample recent releases such as the Signature viognier 2010 and Gibson Hollow white 2010 while viewing the mountains through the window wall, then venture out onto the side patio to gawk at the vineyards and inhale the aged aroma of the C'est Trop 2008, a port-style red dessert wine crafted with norton grapes and fortified with brandy. The guided tour educates aspiring viticulturists about the complexities of cultivation and provides an opportunity to observe grapes frolicking in the fields and a cheese plate joins the sips of wine to bring balance to palates. Each guest also receives a souvenir wine glass to commemorate the trip and the $10 credit can be applied toward the purchase of a bottle of a favorite spirited sample, such as the Sweet Virginia vidal blanc 2008 ($18) or petit verdot 2009 ($30).
The vintners at Vint Hill Winery craft nuanced wines out of ripe fruit plucked from California, Washington, and Virginia. Tint your taste buds with two flights of wine per person while lounging on the balcony, which overlooks a barn that was used to intercept messages during WWII and shelter stray cats in 1991. Vint Hill sends sommeliers on their way with a bottle of french-oak barrel-fermented 2008 chardonnay and a 2008 merlot—an herbaceous red with harmonious notes of wild fruit, tobacco, and black pepper. Adopted quaffs may be sipped from the provided, decorative wine glasses or poured down the gullet of a timid schooner before its maiden voyage.