It all started with the wings. When Lendy's opened in 1987, it was the restaurant's fiery buffalo wings that gained it the most attention. Since then Lendy's has not only expanded its selection of sauces, but also become a place to sip a beer and watch the game between trips to the raw bar.
Awards Won at the 2013 War of the Wings
Lendy's signature line of sauces ranges from the habanero-spiced Below Hell to the mild barbecue glaze. In addition to appearing on other menu items, these sauces are available by the bottle, though plans for a 55-gallon barrel have been stymied by the national shortage of qualified coopers.
Whether you sit at one of the 16 chairs lining the bar or the 86 seats at the scattered tables, you're pretty much guaranteed an unobstructed view of a 42-inch HDTV: a dozen of the televisions hang from the walls, playing the biggest college and professional games all year long. If sports aren't your thing, pull on your singing sweater and volunteer for the Saturday night karaoke.
"Fisherman can place their orders, no matter what time during the morning. It's not abnormal for me to go up at 6 a.m. and deliver sandwiches," says Kathy Cunningham, general manager of Captain's Galley. With Kathy's own boat right there on the marina, it seems that she has never known anything different, crafting homemade mac, coleslaw, and potato salad only steps from Chesapeake Bay. But this routine started only a few years ago?Vinings Landing Marina caught wind of the popularity of Kathy's deli in town and decided to pay her a visit. "They had a space available and asked me if I'd set up shop," Kathy says. "And, well, I love boating."?
Her relocation dovetailed nicely with a full renovation that bestowed the place with new tile floors, new walls, and hardwood tables. But a big selling point for Kathy was the outdoor patio to the Marina. "Here people can pop in by car, by boat, or by foot. It's very accessible." During winter months, regular fisherman and new guests alike stop in for her lunch offerings of made-to-order deli and breakfast sandwiches; as the calendar turns to April, warmer weather welcomes acoustic Fridays and the return of the cool sun who wears sunglasses. "The menu becomes more expansive," she says. "Burgers for dinner?also tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad. I know the winter menu says just chips. But in summer, we'll roll out the fries.?
Michael Gomori has always been led by passion. As a young man and recent college graduate, he sidestepped a potential career in biology, a subject for which he'd lost his spark, and joined the Navy. He was eager to see the world, so he spent 27 years seeing, learning, and climbing the ranks.
When Michael reentered civilian life, he was determined to discover his next true passion—as it turned out, his passion was tucked under the crisp linens of fine dining. Joined by his wife, Diane, Michael developed a restaurant to embody his way of life, and the pair fittingly named it Passion the Restaurant.
Inside the romantic restaurant with white linens and crimson accents, couples and friends converse over new york strip steaks, Virginia crab cakes, and deboned chicken cooked under brick. Tapas dishes, such as duck sliders, spring rolls, and a cheese platter, play into the intimate environment under twinkling chandelier light.
Local artists’ works dapple the walls and are for sale, with a portion of proceeds donated to Our House Families, an organization that helps support families in need. Twice a month on the patio, patrons can partake in a cigar social, puffing away and reminiscing about the old days of candy cigarettes.
A 30-foot rock-climbing wall soars up through The Energy Fitness Club's two floors, towering over the 17,000 square feet of fitness facilities. Certified guides lead students up the custom-built routes during official climbing-certification classes. The presence of credentialed experts extends to private training studios, where nationally certified instructors lead a variety of innovative group fitness classes, along with boot camp, personal-training sessions, and nutrition consultations.
Below the climbing apparatus, rows of advanced cardio and strength-training equipment challenge guests. Once they retire from the club’s exercise arena, clients can revel in the elegant hardwood lockers that wrap the walls of the full-service changing rooms. Childcare facilities are also available. Throughout the month, the club hosts social events—from group hikes to happy hours with complimentary wine tastings—providing clients a chance to mingle and politely request permission to poke the bulging muscles of the buffest members.
In 2009, The New York Times named The Camel Richmond's "premier venue" for "up-and-coming Southern rock and bluegrass bands, acoustic singer-songwriters, and jazz and funk musicians." So far, nothing's changed: The Camel still hosts local and nationally touring acts such as Ben Kweller and James McCartney, who, unlike his father, has never toured with a band named after icky bugs. But even though it's lauded for providing live music seven nights a week, The Camel makes a space for all art, including occasional film screenings.
Like its entertainment lineup, The Camel's cuisine is an eclectic mix of American flavors. The culinary team, lead by executive chef Xavier Beverly, whips up gourmet vegan risottos, grills fresh seafood, and tops flatbreads with spinach, mushrooms, and hummus. But they also keep things casual with finger foods such as the popular sausage stars and housemade beef burgers crowned with horseradish mayo. Served until 2 a.m. nightly, each dish can be paired with local or craft beers, which fill the 28 taps lining The Camel's exposed brick wall.
The Camel is open for lunch Monday through Saturday, and brunch on Sunday.
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 saut?ed mussels that arrive to tables solo or in hefty combination platters.