Authentic Southern Italian dishes join Italian-American comfort fare at this family-owned restaurant, serving Virginians since 1976. Co-owners Anthony and Patricia Giambanco, their sons, and possibly your sons prepare a menu of popular subs, pizzas ($10.95+ for a small, $12.95+ for a large) and other Italian-American staples such as the cheese-filled manicotti ($9.95) and comfy classic lasagna ($10.95), baked in-house. The Roma steak special sub ($8.75) piles chopped sirloin steak with a flavor-hat of green peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, onions, cheese, and sauce, all collected in a pair of bread pants. Roma’s specialty pizzas dress up the discs with options such as the Ricotta pizza ($13.50 small, $15.50 large). Traditional dishes from the Old World reach Virginia with the lightly breaded chicken parmigiana ($15.75), juicy 12-ounce Delmonico steak ($17.95), and the veal scallopini special ($19.50), bathing happily in red wine, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers.
Inside this elegant eatery, undulating mirror segments reflect glimpses of signature kebab and kahari plates precariously stacked along the waiter's arm. Below small ceiling lights arranged like a constellation, tables are festooned with traditional clay-oven tandoori and masala dishes—but this is a small part of Noorani's ample repertoire, which ranges from Indian and Pakistani fare to a completely separate menu of traditional Chinese dishes. The staff prepares fresh fish and chicken coated in zesty sichuan, ginger soy, and orange sauces over noodles or tender rice. Guests, meanwhile, can load plates with cuisine from the 15-item daily lunch buffet and question regulars about Noorani Kabab House's live entertainment. The merriment syllabus presents comedy nights, concerts, and some guy who used a single chopstick to eat a bowl of hot-and-sour soup.
At first glance, Keagan's Irish Pub and Finn McCool's don't seem so different. Both are thoroughly Irish establishments, serving traditional dishes of shepherd's pie, bangers 'n' mash, and fish ’n’ chips in dining rooms adorned with dark woods and stonework accents. Both also feature regular karaoke nights and live-music acts that regale patrons with songs so catchy they're under investigation by the CDC. But Finn McCool's stands out from its sister restaurant in one important aspect—its seafood bar, replete with broiled oysters and clams, steamed shrimp and snow crab, and sautéed mussels that arrive to tables solo or in hefty combination platters.
The culinary savants at Helen's Restaurant have been loading plates with international comfort fare since the restaurant first opened its doors in 1935. Today, much of the original décor has survived Earth's upgrade from black and white to technicolor, creating a retro ambiance in which waiters serve meals often made with organic and local ingredients. Chefs draw from a blend of American and European influences to craft the menu's seafood, pork, and steak items, which diners can nibble in vintage wood booths or at intimate tables beneath the soft glow of a neon sign. Throughout meals, bartenders top glasses with a rotating selection of potables.
Having honed her culinary skills for more than 26 years as a caterer in Jamaica, including a few years catering for high-profile Jamaicans, executive chef Jacqui Francis weaves fresh herbs, locally grown produce, quality meats, and Jamaican seasonings into tropical entrees and tapas dishes. Today, she oversees grills sizzling dishes such as sweet reggae chicken slathered in house barbecue sauce, or Red Stripe ribs that seal a juicy marinade of Jamaica's local brew. Reggae, soca, and traditional Caribbean melodies meld with her dishes' aromas as live performers unwind on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The Phoenician does not just transport eaters’ palates to Lebanon—it transports their whole minds, with a decorative aesthetic characterized by arched thresholds, vines, and elegant chandeliers. Its lunch and dinner menus teem with vegetable kebabs, meaty shawarmas, and spiced-onion flavors that have attracted praise from Richmond magazine, which named it a Best New Restaurant in 2009. The eatery welcomes diners with comfortable, cushioned seating, so they don’t become exhausted by trying to make a cushion out of sweetener packets.