The Shenandoah Valley is known as the breadbasket of Virginia with its consistent presence of fresh, local, farm-to-table cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a casual meal, fine dining, an eclectic coffee shop, or a charming historic setting, you’ll find it in the Valley. Here are a few of our favorite nearby restaurants:
The Palladio Restaurant in Barboursville is an offshoot of Barboursville Vineyard, where the most popular wines are the big, bold reds. Pairing these particular wines with food elicits their full potential, and that’s where the Palladio comes into play. Award-winning Chef Melissa Close Hart will treat your palate to bursts of perfectly paired flavors. For your appetizer, choose a mushroom and spinach salad, goat and garlic sausage, or a house-made charcuterie. For your first course, sink your teeth into bigoli pasta, fresh ricotta ravioli, or roasted fennel & potato gnocchi. For the second course, Palladio offers everything from vegetable filled pastry to braised and seared pork shoulder. And what dinner would be complete with dessert? How about a ladyfinger sponge cake dipped in espresso, an orange olive oil cake, or a chocolate and hazelnut tart? Break out your “business casual” attire, and prepare for indulgence at Palladio Restaurant.
The Green Leaf Grill is one of downtown Waynesboro’s treasures. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, the food is excellent, and the owner, Chris Hollinger, has a fascinating backstory that includes cooking for celebrities on luxury yachts as well as crafting cuisine at New Orleans’ renowned Commander’s Palace. Chris’ creations at Green Leaf retain a bit of his New Orleans flair, and if you’re a fan of red beans and rice, crab gumbo, smoked salmon, drunken shrimp or jambalaya, you should definitely give Green Leaf a try. But don’t worry; even if you don’t have a taste for seafood, their menu has plenty of other options for you to try, including vegan and vegetarian dishes.
The Shack is one of Staunton’s newest restaurants, and it’s already made a name for itself. The eatery is owned and run by Chef Ian Boden, a nominee of the James Beard Award, who was formerly renowned for his culinary creations at Staunton Grocery. While many are talking about The Shack’s grass-fed, local beef burgers, their menu also includes a wide array of other offerings as well—pulled lamb stew, Berkshire garlic sausage, braised beef brisket, and Sardinian gnocchi. Boden posts the daily menu on The Shack’s Facebook page, so be sure to give them a “like” for the latest updates. (Menu items change regularly, depending on what ingredients are available from local farmers.) It’s a true farm-to-table experience! Also, because of The Shack’s small size and increasing popularity, be prepared to wait, as they don’t currently offer reservations.
Burton’s Grill in Charlottesville is a Contemporary American restaurant with a low-lit, casual atmosphere and a delectable dining experience. Whether you’re in the mood for pasta, New England seafood, a burger, or salad, they can accommodate all of your needs, and that includes those with specific dietary restrictions. (Burton’s even offers a full, gluten-free menu and a vegetarian menu!) Choose a Vegetable Medley Risotto, gluten-free Blue and Bronzed Shrimp, or Spicy Calamari. Or take a bite of our particular favorites, the pan-seared scallops and the classic Burtons Burger. For dessert, have a slice of key lime pie, a chocolate torte, or a pecan tart. Depending on which day of the week you choose to visit Burton’s Grill, you may be able to take advantage of a special like $5 Martinis, $5 Pizzas, and $1 Oyster Mondays.
Greenwood Gourmet Grocery in Crozet is the ideal destination for those who are looking for a unique eatery with an eclectic array of food and drink. Owners David and Nina describe their establishment as “a spot of gourmet heaven in an otherwise rural and scantly served run of country.” With their full-service espresso bar, variety of meats, cheeses fish, poultry, and their assortment of sandwiches, you’re certain to find something to satisfy those hunger pangs. Greenwood’s sandwiches are probably its most celebrated offering, made fresh every day and utilizing ingredients from Polyface Farm, Thumann’s Deli, and Albemarle Baking Company. Furthermore, Greenwood offers a huge range (around 400 different brands) of beer and wine, including local libations, brews from the West Coast, and even a number of selections from overseas.
Zynodoa in Staunton is another fantastic option for quality, farm-to-table dining. With their fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farmers, produce and livestock from the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont, and seafood from the Chesapeake Bay, you’re in for a mouthwatering treat. Made at the hands of a chef who formerly worked at the five-star Inn at Little Washington, Zynodoa’s fare is “inspired Southern cuisine” that ranges from Pan Roasted Sea Scallops to Shrimp & Roasted Red Pepper Grits. Sink your teeth into Rappahannock River Fried Oysters, Polyface Chicken Liver Mousse, Buffalo Creek Steak Frites, and AM Fog Sauteed Mushrooms. It’s gourmet, it’s “haute-Southern,” it’s local, and it’s delicious!