Casual bistro serving traditional European comfort food combined with classic American favorites. 40 wines by the glass, a hand crafted zinc bar and a fantastic dessert selection add to the great options that Chef Everett creates for the menu.
Floor-to-ceiling windows flood La Parisienne Bistro with sunlight filtered through leafy trees, framing plates of smoked trout terrine or seared pork belly in a rustic, soothing glow. Chef Cedric Payne and owner Ali Benhamed worked to compose a menu teeming with the finest examples of French and Belgian cuisine: from seared duck breast with foie gras, to caramelized onion soup, to creamy risottos. Croque sandwiches and custom-made omelets ring in the morning with Old World elegance, while modern lounge music served with lobster in saffron veloute and felix escargots make for dinners that are both luxurious and laid back, like reclining on a beanbag throne.
Wall sconces cast warm light across the exposed brick walls at Monastery Restaurant, where guests dine on European cuisine at small, candle-lit tables. Owners Anna and Adolf Jerabek first opened a restaurant in New York City after leaving their native Czechoslovakia in 1967, and later journeyed to Virginia to open their Old World eatery at the current downtown Norfolk locale. There, they serve breaded port cutlet with Lyonnaise potatoes and steamed broccoli, and veal-stuffed cabbage with dumplings. A painting of a portly monk with a half-finished beer hangs behind the bar, where visitors can enjoy selections from the drink list?wine, beer, champagne, and cocktails?or jump up on the wall to act like the portly monk.
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When Charlie's American Cafe moved to its current location at 4024 Granby, it was the passing of a torch in many ways. For more than 60 years, that space had belonged to the family-run eatery Veneziano. Charlie's built off of Veneziano's status as a neighborhood staple with its own unique charm and loyal following, which had made the original Charlie's location on the corner of 18th and Granby a huge success for decades.
Since then, regulars, newcomers, and service personnel have all flowed through Charlie's doors to soak up the homey atmosphere and eat the American comfort food?especially the omelets packed with meats, mushrooms, and cheeses.
At dinner, carnivores can savor a turkey reuben on grilled rye topped with swiss, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing, and the Red, White, and Blue burger, which achieves its color scheme with tomato, onion, and blue cheese; diners are legally obligated to salute it before digging in. Meanwhile, those with seafaring appetites dig into the fried oyster po boy on a bed of lettuce and tomato hugged by a club roll and the honey-marinated grilled salmon with dill and cucumber.
Although Keith and Terry Wygant look to the Mediterranean for 905 Cafe & Grill’s culinary inspiration, they strive to use ingredients that are close to home. Locally sourced fish sizzles in the kitchen, homemade burger patties never see the inside of a freezer, and the house chili—which, the menu asserts, should have its own Facebook page—simmers under Keith's careful supervision. Blackboard specials such as popcorn-shrimp po’ boys, meanwhile, add unpredictability to the menu, shifting alongside the bar's catalog of seasonal beers and cocktails.
From breakfast hashbrowns to Cajun tartar sauce, many meal components are homemade, fueling the restaurant's neighborhood charm. This laid-back vibe becomes even more palpable on the outdoor patio, where music often accompanies bites, or on Sangria Saturdays, a popular alternative to other restaurants’ Tap-Water Tuesdays.
Neatly packaged in a converted Victorian house, Press626 offsets its shell of Dickensian charm with a cream filling of locally sourced noshables. A small yet diverse menu perks up even the most jaded palates with appetizers such as rosemary sun-dried tomato shrimp ($11.95) and baked chèvre goat cheese ($10.50) before insulating stomachs against stray cannonballs with duck confit in a tart-cherry-cabernet reduction ($19.95) or pumpkin risotto ($13.95 vegetarian, $17.95 shrimp). Those who prefer their meals bookended by bread will gravitate toward the monster steak sandwich, accented with caramelized onions, pepper-jack cheese, cilantro, and chipotle aioli on sourdough ($8.95). For dessert, relive childhood without the early bedtime and constant bogeyman ambushes when you order homemade jumbo cupcakes served with a glass of chilled milk ($5.99).