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ThankYou, Virginia! “I already knew I had the best patients…it’s great to know they feel the same!” – Dr. Byron Poindexter

Thank you, Virginia for voting Dr. Byron Poindexter Best Cosmetic Surgeon. Dr. Byron Poindexter is a plastic surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery with over 15 years’ experience in cosmetic surgery. He has also been recognized in the Best Of list in Northern Virginia Magazine for plastic surgery since 2007. See full bio at To schedule a complimentary consultation about your cosmetic surgery concerns, please call (703) 893-6168

THE AUSTIN-WESTON CENTER FOR COSMETIC SURGERY 1825 Samuel Morse Drive • Reston, VA 20190 • 703-893-6168 •

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rtvenue on the

more than 300 juried artists, 5 lively stages & non-stop family fun with free activities such as pumpkin painting & scarecrow making

10am to 6pm October 5th, 2013

MT. VNoN E IN D r, Al D A, Va

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West End Antiques Mall Something for Every Taste.

With over 250 booths and 53,000 sq. feet, we offer our customers a variety of antiques and collectibles including: furniture, glassware, jewelry, fine art, mirrors, lighting, pottery, porcelain, silver, carpets, textiles and more. • Open Seven Days a Week • 53,000 Square Feet • Layaway Available • Delivery

Come join us for our Annual Spring Spectacular and Storewide Sale! Mother’s Day Weekend Saturday May 11th 10:00am - 6:00pm Sunday May 12th Noon - 6:00pm

2004 StApLES MiLL ROAD • RiChMOND, VA 23230 804.359.1600 • WWW.WEStENDANtiquEMALL.COM Untitled-1 1 5 BOV005.indd

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Your health comes first at the #1 Hospital in Virginia. It might be chest pains at 3 a.m. Or preparation for a bone marrow transplant. Maybe just a routine visit to your specialist. Hundreds of thousands of people have discovered just as many reasons why VCU Medical Center is the #1 hospital in Virginia. Those reasons include over 9,000 dedicated physicians, clinicians and support staff, as well as hundreds of tireless volunteers. To every one of us, the health and well-being of our patients remains our #1 concern, 24 hours a day.

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HOLLYWOOD CEMETERY LOTS, crypts, and CREMATION NICHES are also available in other areas of the cemetery.

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Thank You Virginia Living Readers!

Join us!


TUESDAYS AT 5:30 PM Come tour our 3,700 square foot Design Studio, meet the team, and learn about the building process. Space is limited. Please call a New Home Consultant from one of our communities to reserve your spot.

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For more about communities, floor plans & more, call 804.794.3138 or visit us online at * Based on Integra Residential Report - Top 10 Builders in Greater Richmond, ranked by number of new house closings in the twelve month period ending December 31, 2012. ** Model locations may change. Prices are subject to change.

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EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment EDITOR’S LETTER


elcome to Best of Virginia 2013! Before I fill you in on what is inside this special issue, let me first say, wow. More than 25,000 of you voted in our readers’ survey in January and answered our call to tell us your favorite restaurants, wineries, shops, places to play and more throughout Virginia. We were bowled over by the response (and glad so many braved the survey’s many, many questions). On behalf of all of us at Virginia Living, thank you for sharing your ‘bests’ with us! Some of the more than 1,200 winners in the issue are repeat winners from last year, and some are new to our list, but all are businesses you chose ... the ones you frequent and the ones you believe in. I know when I discover a new restaurant or a great shop, I want to spread the word. And that is what we set out to do with Best of Virginia—spread the word about your favorite places, from the best spots for a bit of breakfast and a really good cup of coffee, to your go-to shops for, well, everything. You name the category, and chances are we have a suggestion for you. There is a lot to digest, I know, which is why, as much as I would love for you to sit down and read this issue cover to cover (what editor doesn’t wish for just such rapt attention?), I hope Best of Virginia will be a resource you will keep and turn to all year. You know, like that friend who always knows just where to send you when you’re in a pinch and need a recommendation. We put a special emphasis on food this year. Alongside information about our winners in this issue are stories about chefs and restaurants, specialty food purveyors, farmers’ markets and growers. Folks who are doing great things in the world of food—

folks we think you would like to know about. We also called in a few favors and gathered recipes from some of the best chefs and restaurants around the state. The Virginia Diner in Wakefield gave us its amazing receipt for peanut pie, and Lucky restaurant in Roanoke shared its to-die-for buttermilk fried chicken. Ever wonder why the Lancaster Lemonade at the Tides Inn in Irvington packs such a punch? Check out the recipe. There are many more, including a not-to-miss bouillabaisse from L’Auberge Chez François in Great Falls and an inventive all-veg dish from the Clifton Inn in Charlottesville. We are grateful to our friends for contributing to the issue. We deliver this culinary tour of our state via a familiar tale. Recognize Alice of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland fame on our cover? Our amazing art director, Sonda Andersson Pappan, teamed up with talented photographer Cade Martin again this year and created a fantastical and fun visual journey that sees Alice discovering some of the edible resources that make Virginia so special. I think you will enjoy Alice’s turn at high tea with the Mad Hatter in the Central region and the hunt breakfast she shares with the Queen of Hearts in the Northern region, as well as all of the other very-Virginia tableaux the duo created. Finally, thank you to all the team here at Virginia Living for your hard work pulling this issue together. Cheers! Erin Parkhurst, Editor


• Front Royal



•Woodbridge Harrisonburg



Waynesboro •


•Buena Vista Tuckahoe



• Radford


Chester Petersburg


Newport News

Hampton Norfolk






Portsmouth Chesapeake




Virginia Beach

In identifying Virginia’s regions, we relied on the history, character and personality of each to determine our lines of demarcation. How do you think we did? Let us know with an email to or write us at Letters to the Editor, Cape Fear Publishing, 109 East Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia, 23219

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CONTENTS 14 central virginia

arts, culture & entertainment 16 living & recreation 21 food & drink 25 shopping & services 33

40 eastern virginia

arts, culture & entertainment 42 living & recreation 49 food & drink 53 shopping & services 59

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e & Entertainment

66 northern virginia

arts, culture & entertainment 68

Published by

Cape Fear Publishing Company 109 East Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219 Telephone (804) 343-7539, Facsimile (804) 649-0306

living & recreation 73 food & drink 77

Publisher John-Lawrence Smith EDITORIAL STAFF

shopping & services 85

editor Erin Parkhurst Art Director Sonda Andersson Pappan associate editor Daryl Grove assistant editor Lisa Antonelli Bacon assistant Art Director Brandon Peck assistant editor Lindsey Leake editorial assistant Glennis Lofland editorial assistant Sherese Jones

92 southwest virginia

CONTRIBUTING photographers

Cade Martin, Jay Paul CONTRIBUTING illustrator

Shane Rebenschied

arts, culture & entertainment 94

Editorial intern

Jennifer Johnson

living & recreation 97

art interns

Megan Mullsteff, Tyler Newbold

food & drink 99

Advertising executives central virginia sales MANAGER Torrey Munford (804) 343-0782,

shopping & services 103

Christiana Roberts

(804) 622-2602, eastern virginia

Thomas Durrer

(804) 622-2614,

Beverly Montsinger

(804) 622-2605,

108 shenandoah valley

Northern Virginia

Haley Bien

(804) 622-2603, western virginia

Heather McKinney

(804) 622-2611,

arts, culture & entertainment 110

OFFICE STAFF OFFICE MANAGER Maria Harwood chief financial officer Tom Kozusko Creative Services director Kenny Kane Creative Services assistant Joseph Wharton circulation manager Kim Benson Web editor Daryl Grove COrpORATE SPONSORSHIPS Torrey Munford Groundskeeper Melwood Whitlock Activities & Morale Director Cutty Assistant Activities & Morale Director Rex

living & recreation 113 food & drink 115 shopping & services 121

Mail to our Editor at the above address. POSTMASTER Send address changes to VIRGINIA LIVING 109 East Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219 cover: Marchesa beaded net gown from Roan, Richmond. opposite page: 1950s pouf skirt dress from Halcyon, Richmond. Victorian-style boots from Bygones, Richmond. Bamboo riding crop from Horse Country, Warrenton. page 14: Black tailcoat, embellished, silk bowtie, Mad Hatter grey top hat and vintage hat pins all from Bygones, Richmond; Ruffle-trimmed shirt, Gunne Sax by Jessica McClintock cotton dress, black daisy enamel earrings and bracelet all from Halcyon, Richmond; Crochet gloves from Bygones, Richmond; Pip studio teapot, creamer, sugar, teacups and saucer from A Southern Season (opening in Richmond Fall 2014). George Washington teapot, James Madison luncheon plate and Thomas Jefferson teacup and saucer all from the Presidential China collection at the Museum Shop at Virginia Historical Society. Enamelware candlesticks in parchment check by MacKenzie-Childs; dixie donuts, richmond; Jean Jacques Bakery, richmond. page 40: Embellished vest, suit of cards suspenders from Bygones, Richmond; Bold Ikat Print table runner from Williams-Sonoma, Richmond. page 66: Castle Hill scarlet shadbelly coat, canary vest, shirt, stock tie, Virginia wool breeches, Le Chameau rubber boots and beaver top hat all from Horse Country, Warrenton; Laced high boots from Bygones, Richmond. page 108: Chalk-stripe pants, navy and white oxfords from Bygones, Richmond. Ruffle-trimmed yellow shirt from Halcyon, Richmond.

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t h e ca s t photography: cade martin illustration: shane rebenschied styling: neely barnwell dykshorn hair & makeup: dean Krapf of Lluminaire Salon alice: clara buchanan, mad hatter: joseph ward, queen of hearts: jo hyman. all of cima talent management. the rabbit: frank

REPRINTS & REPRODUCTION PERMISSION Contact John-Lawrence Smith, Publisher, at (804) 343-7539 or LEGALISMS Virginia Living is a registered trademark of Cape Fear Publishing Company, Inc. Copyright 2008, all rights reserved. Reproduction without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. IDENTIFICATION STATEMENT VIRGINIA LIVING (USPS) ISSN 1534-9984 VirginiaLiving is published bimonthly by Cape Fear Publishing Company, 109 East Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219. Periodical postage permit 021-875 at Richmond, VA.

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cent ral Virgini a From their unique vantagepoint at the heart of the Commonwealth, Central Virginians are the beneficiaries of all the state’s edible assets as they course through the region—be they indigenous (like the delectable clams paired with piquant kimchee by Chef Lee Gregory at Richmond’s The Roosevelt), imported (like the black lime powder procured by Scott Cardwell of Lynchburg’s Bull Branch) or simply exquisite (like the artisan cheeses or cured meats at Feast! and the artful pastries produced by Jean-Jacques Bakery in Richmond). Perhaps best of all is the ease of acquisition of distinctly Virginia wines, like the inventive “3,” the product of three area wineries, or the Virginia Governor’s Cup-winning Octagon 2009 from Barboursville Vineyards. With an epicurian curiosity of historic proportion rooted in the Jeffersonian era, Central Virginians know how to leverage the advantages of being in the middle, and they celebrate them all.

Photography by Cade Martin ♠ Illustration by Shane Rebenscheid ♠ Styling by Neely Barnwell Dykshorn

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ARTS, CULTURE & Entertainment Best Art Event

First Fridays Art Walk Downtown Richmond, 804-304-1554 Richmond’s burgeoning arts and cultural district—on Broad Street between Belvidere and 9th streets—teems with people the first Friday of each month when over 40 venues, including art galleries, restaurants and shops, open their doors to an eclectic crowd of art aficionados and first time visitors alike. second place: Arts in the Park, Richmond, 804-353-8198 third place: Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 804-340-1400

Best Music Venue The National

708 E. Broad St., Richmond, 804-612-1900

Old South, Meet New South Honoring the past in the present.

Historically, Richmond has some “firsts” under its belt. It had the first legislature in the Western hemisphere and the first farmers’ market in Virginia (which is still in operation), and in June, Richmond will host the Southern Foodways Alliance’s first Summer Foodways Symposium. The University of Mississippi-based SFA has done symposia before; just not in summer. And it’s never done so much as a field trip to Richmond. So, of all the cities in the South, why Richmond? “This year, Southern Foodways Alliance is studying women and work for the year,” says Mary Beth Lasseter, associate director of the alliance, which is a part of the university’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture. “Richmond has a rich history of women in culinary fields, working outside the home in tearooms, that sort of thing.” Indeed, Richmond does seem suited to the “Women, Work and Food” theme. Highlights include oral histories from two lady oyster shuckers as well as from Richmond restaurant matriarch Stella Dikos, who spawned a generation of area restaurateurs and restaurants. There is also a film about the beloved Richmond institution, Sally Bell’s Kitchen, and lectures by authors of food-related books, like Psyche Williams-Forson’s Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food and Power. The warm-up to the three-day event, which begins June 20, is an artisan supper at Whiskey Jar in Charlottesville, featuring area cheese makers, cider makers and rabbit farmers, all women. The $375 price tag for the symposium includes meals and all events. Accommodations are up to attendees. (The Jefferson Hotel in downtown Richmond is offering a special rate.) But don’t delay. Tickets went on sale April 5 and, barely two weeks later, only five were left. Lasseter notes that the symposium isn’t the usual “see what Thomas Jefferson ate for breakfast” affair. While it does contain historical elements (what Virginia tour of any kind would sacrifice those?), it also focuses on the various international influences that are now part of the Southern culinary experience. Says Lasseter, “We honor the past while being cognizant of what’s going on in the present.”


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With an incredible sound system and great views of the stage from anywhere inside, this 1923 theater, revamped and reopened in 2008, looks as cool as it sounds. Seating is first come, first served, and shows are open to all ages. second place: Jefferson Theater, Charlottesville, 434-245-4980 third place: Brown’s Island, Richmond, 804-788-6466

Best Overall Museum

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond

VMFA.Museum, 804-340-1400 Thursday night jazz, scholarly lectures, worldclass exhibits ... There is always something happening at the VMFA. Since reopening in May 2010, the VMFA has brought in blockbuster traveling exhibitions featuring artists like Picasso and Chihuly, and expanded its own extensive collection of works. Fuel your artistic explorations with brunch, lunch and dinner at Best Cafe or the award-winning Amuse restaurant. second place: Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, 804-864-1400 third place: Children’s Museum of Richmond, Richmond, 804-474-7000

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EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment CENTRAL VIRGINIA • Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Best Food Festival

Richmond Greek Festival 30 Malvern Ave., Richmond, 804-358-5996 Now in its 38th year, the Richmond Greek Festival is a Richmond tradition, and not just because of the baklava. Enjoy its delicious array of food and drink, shopping and Hellenic dancing performances. Grab a culinary guide to what you’re eating (and how to pronounce it), so you can finally order that gyro the right way. second place: Broad Appétit, Richmond, 804-305-0601 third place: Lebanese Food Festival, Glen Allen, 804-346-1161

Best Mixologist

Mattias Hagglund, Heritage 1627 W. Main St., Richmond, 804-353-4060 “I like making fun drinks for fun people,” is what Richmond’s very own master mixologist Mattias Hagglund says about his tantalizing menu of colorful cocktails. His blend of modern mixology with classic technique has earned him notice in The New York Times, and his recipes have been featured in numerous publications. second place: Richard Ridge, Boylan Heights

Gourmet Burger Bar, Charlottesville, 434-984-5707 third place: Anne Craft, MOSAIC, Richmond, 804-288-7482

Best Historic Museum

Valentine Richmond History Center 1015 E. Clay St., Richmond, 804-649-0711 As the only museum in Richmond devoted solely to preserving and telling the story of the city’s 400year history, the Valentine Richmond History Center’s mission is not limited by museum walls (although its costume collection and exhibitions are certainly fabulous). Sign up for a walking or bus tour to get a full picture of Richmond’s extensive history. second place: Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, 804-358-4901 third place: Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, 855-649-1861

Best Performing Arts Company Richmond Ballet

407 E. Canal St., Richmond, 804-344-0906 During Stoner Winslett’s 33 years as artistic director, she has transformed Richmond Ballet into one of the most innovative companies of its size, performing a wide range of classical and contemporary ballets each year from “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker” to “Ershter Vals.” second place: Virginia Repertory Theatre, Richmond, 804-282-2620 third place: The Richmond Symphony, Richmond, 804-788-4717

photo by john Murden

Most Creative Charitable Event Richmond SPCA Fur Ball

2519 Hermitage Road, Richmond, 804-643-6785 Not your normal formal affair, pets are the highlight of the SPCA’s annual Fur Ball held each October. Benefiting the SPCA’s Cinderella Fund, which provides care for sick and injured homeless animals, festivities feature a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner and, of course, the magnificent pet presentation down the Grand Staircase of the Jefferson Hotel. second place: Ukrop’s Monument Avenue

10K Presented by MARTIN’S, Richmond, 804-285-9495 third place: Savor by Hospital Hospitality House, Richmond, 804-828-6901

Best Movie Theater The Byrd Theatre

2908 W. Cary St., Richmond, 804-358-3056 A relic of the grand movie palaces of the Roaring ’20s, you can now see second-run movies for $2 at this state and national historic landmark in much the same style as its opening in 1928. We highly recommend going on Saturday, when the Mighty Wurlizter organ plays before evening shows. second place: Movieland at Boulevard Square, Richmond, 804-354-6099 third place: CinéBistro at Stony Point Fashion Park, Richmond, 804-864-0460

The Roosevelt, Richmond Virginia Clams with Sausage and Kimchee 1 pound Virginia littleneck clams, rinsed and scrubbed 1 pound garlic sausage 4 ounces kimchee purée (hot or mild, your choice) 4 ounces roughly chopped kimchee 2 tablespoons butter 4 ounces white wine, chicken broth or water (your choice) toasted bread Heat a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter and sausage. Once the sausage is nearly cooked, add the clams. Stir to coat the clams in the rendered fat. Add the broth to deglaze the pan. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the kimchee purée and chopped kimchee. Cover, and let steam until the clams pop open, generally 3 to 4 more minutes. Serve in a bowl with the broth and toasted bread. Serves one as an entrée or two as an appetizer.

Best Special Event Venue

Craddock Terry Hotel and Event Center 1312 Commerce St., Lynchburg, 434-455-1500 Small, Southern and steeped in history, Lynchburg is in the midst of a grand revitalization of the downtown and RiverWalk, and the beautiful Craddock Terry Hotel is among the cornerstones. Look for the big red shoe perched on the side of this warehouse-turned-hotel, a tribute to the building’s past life as the Craddock-Terry Shoe Factory. second place: Brown’s Island, Richmond, 804-788-6466 third place: Chestnut Hill Bed & Breakfast, Orange, 540-661-0430

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Help us save the

Hoffbauer Murals Take a virtual tour of the Hoffbauer murals and see the conservation progress at

In 1913 French artist Charles Hoffbauer was commissioned to create a series of grand Civil War murals. A century has taken its toll. Flaking paint, dust, dirt, and grime cover the lessons of history found within these murals. Cleaning and conservation work has started, thanks to a Save America’s Treasures grant awarded by a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. The grant comes with a challenge to match it with your private support. Please rally around the VHS to preserve this national treasure.

• To make a donation, please visit hoffbauer or call 804-342-9681. 428 N. Boulevard Richmond, Virginia

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Redefine Refreshing


There’s never been a better time to dive into retirement living. For 27 years, our community has been

home to hundreds of wonderful seniors from all walks of life with one thing in common: the desire to enjoy their retirement on their own terms. And now, with our 2013 expansion just around the corner, our vision for an unparalleled retirement experience is becoming reality. An indoor swimming pool,

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Redef ine Retirement

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Chestnut Hill Bed & Breakfast 236 Caroline St., Orange, 540-661-0430 Built in 1860, Chestnut Hill has since been completely restored and updated with modern amenities. Each of the six guest rooms has its own private bathroom. Have breakfast in bed or in the formal dining room before touring the countryside, enjoy the evening wine and cheese before dinner, or escape with a book from the well-stocked library. second place: The Schooler House Bed & Breakfast, Fredericksburg, 540-374-5258 third place: Maury Place at Monument, Richmond, 804-353-2717

liv ing & recreation Best Resort for the Whole Family Wintergreen Resort Route 664, Wintergreen

Best Place to Dance Off the Hookah

140 Virginia St., Richmond, 804-225-1918 With something different on all three floors, it’s impossible not to have a good time here. Grab tapas on the patio or relax with a hookah, then hit the floor for the exciting nightly line-up of live entertainment in every corner. Dress to impress. second place: Phase 2 Dining & Entertainment, Lynchburg, 434-846-3206, 434-325-2200 Sprawled across 11,000 acres on the Blue Ridge Mountains’ eastern slopes, Wintergreen Resort is a mountain retreat for all four seasons. A bustling ski resort in the winter becomes miles of hiking trails and cascading streams in the warmer months. There are also two golf courses, extensive tennis facilities and a full-service spa. second place: The Boar’s Head, Charlottesville, 434-296-2181 third place: Keswick Hall, Keswick, 434-979-3440

third place: The Tobacco Company Restaurant &

Club, Richmond, 804-782-9555

Best Place to Fish Anglers Park

Best Tennis Club Pro

Drew Robinson, Boonsboro Country Club 1709 BCC Drive, Lynchburg, 434-384-3469 Internationally ranked tennis pro Drew Robinson knows a bit about competition: He played for the University of Richmond and has been named MidAtlantic Pro of the Year and Virginia Pro of the Year multiple times. As director of tennis at Boonsboro CC since 1985, he has coached thousands of Virginians.

350 Northside Drive, Danville, 434-799-5215 While anglers successfully catch bass, crappie, catfish and brim year round on the Dan River, Angler’s Park is renowned for the annual striped bass run between April and May. River access includes a boat ramp and bank fishing, as well as a 9-mile riverwalk for when the fish just aren’t biting. second place: Pony Pasture, James River Park, Richmond, 804-646-5733 third place: Briery Creek Lake, Briery Creek, 804-282-3829 third place: Cris Robinson, Willow Oaks Country Club, Richmond, 804-320-3244

Wildlife Management Area, Farmville, 804-367-1000 third place tie: Motts Run Reservoir Recreation Area, Fredericksburg, 540-786-8989

Most Luxurious Hotel

Best Retirement Community

101 W. Franklin St., Richmond

1600 Westbrook Ave., Richmond, 804-788-8000, 800-445-9904

Breathtaking architecture. Opulent guestrooms. Heated indoor pool and full-service spa. Not one, but two award-winning restaurants. Need we say more? Recognized as Richmond’s grandest hotel since 1895, the Jefferson is frequently selected for weddings and meetings. Even locals will check in when they feel the need for a luxurious retreat.

Life at Westminster Canterbury is more like an extended vacation. There are lectures, films and performances at the November Theater; printmaking, clay sculpting, painting and weaving at the art studio; exercise at the Aquatic and Fitness Center; and several different dining options. They even plan excursions. It’s enough to make nonretirees jealous.

second place: Miguel Castro, Westwood Club, Richmond

The Jefferson Hotel

second place: Craddock Terry Hotel and Event Center, Lynchburg, 434-455-1500

third place: The Inn at Willow Grove, Orange, 540-317-1206

Westminster Canterbury Richmond

Moveable Feast

Free Union Grass Farm keeps it fresh. “A lot of people have this candy-coated vision of what farming is,” says 27-year-old Erica Hellen, co-owner of the farm she and Joel Slezak, 28, started in 2010 on 13 acres of land belonging to Slezak’s mother and an additional 40 acres they lease from neighbors. “It’s tough sometimes,” confesses Hellen, on her way to pick up beef from one of the farm’s small herd of mostly British White cows that has just been processed. “The cows are playful, and we see them everyday, but meat production happens. We like to eat meat, so someone needs to raise it. We have to be OK with it.” Antibiotic and hormone free, the cows live outside on fresh grass and, like the thousands of chickens and ducks that Hellen and Slezak also raise, are moved constantly to new pasture via portable enclosures. The frequent moving means that the animals more evenly harvest the forage available in the pasture and do not deposit too much manure in one place. This roving brand of pasture farming maximizes the yield of the land and gives it a chance to regenerate—the idea that is at the heart of sustainable farming. “A lot of our neighbors ask us why we move the animals every day because it’s so much work,” laughs Hellen, “but that’s the point!” They sell their products from their own farm stand during the season, and at the Charlottesville City Market. Hellen and Slezak also supply top area restaurants, including Glass Haus Kitchen, whose chef, Ian Boden, recently tapped them to host a September 29 meeting of Outstanding in the Field—the “roving culinary adventure” whose trademark is a single line of long tables. The meal is supplied with meat and produce by the host farmer, but the food is the least of their worries. Says Hellen, “Our main stress is just finding 150 feet of flat space.”

CENTRAL VIRGINIA • Living & Recreation

Most Welcoming Bed and Breakfast

second place: Brandermill Woods, Midlothian, 804-744-1173 third place: The Hermitage at Cedarfield, Richmond, 804-474-8800

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Best Hunting Preserve

Most Fashionable Horse Show/Race

13030 Palmers Way, Glen Allen

3831 River Road West, Goochland

Garth Road, Charlottesville

The Federal Club’s unique course layout is designed to challenge the experienced clubswinger while helping the newcomer relax and learn. Managed for firmness and speed from the fairways to the approaches, the course is a par 72. The Federal Club also operates two private driving ranges to get in the swing before you play.

Open from September through April, Orapax Hunting Preserve is an upland hunting preserve specializing in birds. Offering field hunts for bobwhite quail, pheasants and chukar on its 700acre preserve, Orapax also hosts driven pheasant shoots. Bring your own retriever or borrow one of their faithful friends.

Bring something to sip to the springtime steeplechase, where seersucker and sundresses are de rigueur. A Charlottesville tradition since its first run in 1978, the spring races attract close to 25,000 people each year. The fall races are more family-friendly, but just as festive.

second place: The Country Club of Virginia, Richmond

second place: Amelia Wildlife Management, 804-288-2891 third place: Kinloch Golf Club, Manakin-Sabot, 804-784-8000

Area, Amelia County, 804-367-1000 third place: Keswick Hunt Club, Keswick, 434-296-9405 third place Tie: White Oak Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Pittsylvania County, 804-367-1000

The Federal Club, 804-798-4996

Best Hiking Trail

Buttermilk Trail, James River Park

Orapax Hunting Preserve, 804-556-2261

Richmond, 804-646-5733 From the Boulevard Bridge to 22nd Street along Riverside Drive, this tight trail just off the banks of the James River proves you don’t have to go far to escape the urban bustle of Richmond. A popular path for hikers, mountain bikers and outdoor lovers, this trail is a bit of nature right in the heart of downtown Richmond. second place: Blackwater Creek Bikeway, Lynchburg, 434-856-2489 third place: Belle Isle, James River Park, Richmond, 804-646-5733

Best Group Fitness

SEAL Team Physical Training, Inc.

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment CENTRAL VIRGINIA • Living & Recreation

Most Challenging Golf Course

The Foxfield Races, 434-293-9501

second place: Montpelier Hunt Races, Montpelier Station, 540-672-0027 third place: Deep Run Horse Show, Manakin-Sabot

Best Wine Trail

Monticello Wine Trail Greater Charlottesville Area

Best Outdoor Adventure

Belle Isle, James River Park Richmond, 804-646-5733 Rock climbing, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, hiking, the 54-acre island in the middle of the James River has everything you would expect from a mountain retreat, except that it’s in downtown Richmond. Belle Isle is also a popular place for lunch breaks or warm-weather lounging on the river rocks. second place: Maymont, Richmond, 804-358-7166 third place: Danville Zip Line and Low Ropes Challenge Course, Danville, 434-799-5215

Aptly named the “Birthplace of American Wine,” the Charlottesville area is where Thomas Jefferson planted some of America’s first vineyards over 200 years ago in the hopes that Virginia would produce wines comparable to Europe’s great vintages. The more than 25 wineries along this trail continue this tradition, creating wines that receive national and international acclaim. second place: Nelson 151, Albemarle and Nelson counties, 434-263-7015 third place: Heart of Virginia Wine Trail, Goochland, Henrico, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties, 804-550-7516

2111 Dabney Road, Richmond, 804-262-1894 Yelling doesn’t impress John McGuire, president of SEAL Team PT. Push-ups do. While his personalized group training fitness philosophy is a more positive approach than in-your-face boot camp, it is just as intense. Says McGuire: “You will be challenged, you will be sore, and you will feel better today than you did 10 years ago.” second place: Black Girls RUN!, Richmond third place: Next Level Fitness, LLC, Richmond, 804-909-5060

Best Historic Site

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello 931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, 434-984-9800

The only house in the U.S. to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thomas Jefferson’s architectural masterpiece on the 5,000-acre plantation that he called home has been open to the public for 90 years. Both home and gardens have been restored to their original appearance thanks to continuing research. second place: Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, 804-648-8501 third place: Virginia State Capitol, Richmond

Let’s Do Lunches!

Richmond bloggers review lunch every week. “Work can become a routine where you fall into the habit of going to the same places every day,” says Adam Tabib, 31. Then “suddenly 10 years have passed,” says his friend and colleague Ethan Johnson, 40. So in February 2010, the two Markel insurance business intelligence analysts decided to begin meeting for a weekly lunch. They took turns picking places and whoever “repeated” by naming a place he’d already been, would be declared the loser. “Ethan lost,” says Tabib with a grin. But from that defeat came the idea for, the popular blog (currently ranked second out of 58 Richmond food blogs by where Tabib and Johnson review their weekly lunch. “Not keeping a list is how I lost,” Johnson explains. “And my wife said ‘you should blog where you go and write reviews.’ I mentioned it to Adam, and 15 minutes later he had the domain name registered.” Since September 2010, the two have been reviewing a new restaurant (almost) every week, usually somewhere near where they work in Richmond’s West End. Whoever picks the destination pays—“motivation not to go somewhere too expensive,” explains Johnson—and the other writes the review. The blog features a refreshing lack of food snobbery—reviewing the food that people eat every afternoon, as opposed to upscale offerings. And with 113 Richmond-area restaurants already down, the pair is being careful not to end the game by “repeating” again. “It’s collaborative at this point,” says Tabib. “Neither of us wants the other to lose.”, 804-698-1788

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Had it with commercial? Tell us where to go! • Voted Best Air Charter Service in the Central Virginia region • We are in our 27th year • 14 handsome aircraft available for charter • Sterling safety record • ARG/US Platinum rated • Excellence in service and customer satisfaction • Available 24/7—Really! • No middleman, gimmicks or plastic card! Just great value and service direct. • Convenient East Coast locations —World Class Service

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5609 Patterson Ave., Suite D, Richmond, 804-525-2190

Using local ingredients in its regionally focused, seasonal cuisine, MOSAIC can tackle any catering project, from the box-lunch meeting to the full banquet. But MOSAIC doesn’t just do the food. It takes the stress out of event planning by partnering with clients every step of the way, from planning and coordinating the custom menu to flowers and even photography. second place: A Sharper Palate, Richmond, 804-553-0495 third place: Groovin’ Gourmets, Richmond, 804-868-8900

Best Dessert Menu

The Cheesecake Factory 11800 W. Broad St., Richmond, 804-364-4300 Rich Black-Out cake. Fresh strawberry shortcake. Warm apple crisp. Lemoncello cream torte. As if its already decadent dessert menu wasn’t enough, the Cheesecake Factory also offers a large selection of its namesake: cheesecake. Fifty different kinds, to be exact. Now, just how to decide what to order … second place: Shyndigz, Richmond, 804-938-3449 third place: The Desserterie, Midlothian, 804-639-9940

Best Burger Joint Burger Bach

10 S. Thompson St., Richmond, 804-359-1305 Pronounced like “batch” rather than the Baroque composer, this New Zealand-inspired gastro pub takes sustainability to a whole new level. Made from only “the best-tasting, most humanely-raised, grassfed Angus steer” from New Zealand, the burgers are out-of-this-world delicious and can be enjoyed completely guilt-free. second place: Carytown Burgers & Fries, Richmond, 804-358-5225 third place: Five Guys Burgers and Fries, multiple Richmond locations

Best Pizzeria

WaterStone Pizza 1309 Jefferson St., Lynchburg, 434-455-1515 A step above your average pizza joint. Each 10-inch WaterStone pizza is topped with housemade sauce, whole-milk mozzarella and fresh toppings before a whirl in the wood-burning oven. The result? Deliciously gooey cheese mingling with tangy tomato sauce and a crunchy crust you can only get from a fire-roasted pizza. second place: Bottoms Up Pizza, Richmond, 804-644-4400 third place: Mary Angela’s Pizzeria, Richmond

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment CENTRAL VIRGINIA • Food & Drink

Best Caterer

food & drink Best Bakery

Best Steakhouse

5728 Patterson Ave., Richmond

1312 Commerce St., Lynchburg

Westhampton Pastry Shop

Shoemakers American Grille

804-282-4413, 434-455-1510

A Richmond institution since 1952, this full-service, family-owned bakery is the place Richmonders go for everything from birthday cakes to everyday treats. Baking just about anything and everything—breads, rolls, pies, cakes, wedding cakes, éclairs, cookies— everyone has their favorites. But everyone in the West End knows its doughnuts really are the best.

There are things to expect from any great steakhouse: perfectly seared steaks, bold red wine, perhaps a seafood appetizer or wedge salad. Shoemakers serves up all of the classics in what was once the largest shoe factory in America (and also a tobacco warehouse). Exposed brick interior walls and beams only add to the ambiance.

second place: Jean-Jacques Bakery & Cafe, Richmond, 804-355-0666 third place: Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe, Richmond, 804-285-2253

second place: Buckhead’s Restaurant & Chop House, Richmond, 804-750-2000 third place: Morton’s The Steakhouse, Richmond, 804-648-1662

The Savory Smell of Success

A tasty slice of New Zealand can now be found in Richmond. Husband-and-wife team Neil Smith and Nikki Price only opened Proper Pie Co. in November 2012, but Richmonders have been lining up to get their fill of sweet and savory pies since day one. The savory pies, hot and handheld, are a particular draw, because they’re unlike anything else in town. Maybe even in the hemisphere. Smith grew up in Whangarei, New Zealand, where savory pies are plentiful. He spent 10 years touring the world catering for musicians—from David Bowie to Nine Inch Nails—but couldn’t find a “proper” pie anywhere. Now Richmonders can find them every day in Church Hill. So what goes into these “proper” pies? “A lot of time. A lot of love. A lot of butter,” says Smith, who begins baking at 5 a.m. every morning. “Very simple ingredients really, because the emphasis is on the pastry. The fillings are really just a foil for the pastry, so they’re never overpowering.” The Church Hill neighborhood shop is small, but Smith and Price have made that a virtue by placing the kitchen directly behind the counter, so customers can see today’s pastry being made fresh before their eyes. “One of the things Neil and I have always liked is to sit at the counter where you can watch people work,” says Price, “though we didn’t really think about how much flour was going to be everywhere!” For customers who brave the line and dodge the flour, the reward is a savory pie with fillings like chicken and kumara (the New Zealand term for sweet potato) or pork chili verde, or maybe a slice of something sweet like the ever-popular Banoffee pie—made from bananas, cream and toffee. “I always say we’re trying to marry the Southern hemisphere with a little bit of the American South,” says Price, who is originally from Yorktown and met Smith at a Nine Inch Nails show in Richmond. Long may their delicious union of flavors continue., 804-353-2333 p h oto b y K e n P e n n

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Sunday Champagne Brunch at The Jefferson Hotel 101 W. Franklin St., Richmond, 804-649-4677 A truly Richmond experience, Sunday Champagne Brunch at the Jefferson has wowed Richmonders and visitors since 1986. Each week, the chef prepares an extensive menu featuring Virginia’s best seasonal ingredients. Served in the spacious Rotunda lobby among stately marble columns with the fabled staircase as a backdrop, the atmosphere is as exquisite as the food. second place: Millie’s, Richmond, 804-643-5512 third place: Can Can Brasserie, Richmond, 804-358-7274

Best Overall Restaurant

Best Barbeque Restaurant

1312 Commerce St., Lynchburg

1119 N. Boulevard, Richmond

What used to be the nation’s largest shoe factory at the turn of the century now creates the elegant atmosphere of Shoemakers American Grille. Once an old tobacco warehouse, tucked away along the banks of the James River, Shoemakers’ history adds another layer of atmosphere to good service and good food ... an altogether well-rounded experience.

Self-proclaimed as “Richmond’s Only Real Barbeque,” Buz and Ned’s has been smoking, glazing, saucing and chopping barbeque for more than 20 years, earning nods from the likes of (and beating!) Bobby Flay. Grab a stack of napkins, and pull up a chair at either of the two Richmond locations.

Shoemakers American Grille, 434-455-1510

second place: Vintage Restaurant at the Inn at

Willow Grove, Orange, 540-317-1206 third place: Acacia mid-town, Richmond, 804-562-0138

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment CENTRAL VIRGINIA • Food & Drink

Best Sunday Brunch

Buz and Ned’s Real Barbeque, 804-355-6055

second place: Alamo BBQ, Richmond, 804-592-3138 third place: The Barbecue Exchange, Gordonsville, 540-832-0227 third place tie: Q Barbeque, Richmond, 804-897-9007

Best Place for a Sandwich Coppola’s Deli

2900 W. Cary St., Richmond, 804-359-6969 Specializing in loaded sub sandwiches, Coppola’s Deli has been serving up authentic delicatessen fare in Richmond’s Carytown district for over 30 years. Order one of the specialties (with fun names like the Industrial) from the chalkboard menu above the display case full of Italian salads, antipasti and assorted meats and cheeses. second place: Chiocca’s, Richmond, 804-355-3228 third place: Garnett’s Cafe, Richmond, 804-367-7909

Best Breakfast Restaurant Joe’s Inn

205 N. Shields Ave., Richmond, 804-355-2282 Forget the exotic (and often expensive) Sunday brunch, sometimes bacon and eggs is just what you need. Delivering consistency and comfort, Joe’s Inn in Richmond has been cooking up large portions of basic breakfasts for more than 60 years. And you can order it any time of day or night. second place: Millie’s, Richmond, 804-643-5512 third place: Market at Main, Lynchburg


Most Creative Chocolatier Gearharts Fine Chocolates 416 W. Main St., Charlottesville, 434-972-9100 CIA-trained chef Tim Gearhart is the mastermind behind the chocolates of Gearharts Fine Chocolates. He blends Venezuelan Criollo Cacao with local sweet cream and butter to create the chocolate, and finishes each truffle and dipped candied fruit by hand. Vanilla bean brulée, brown butter caramel, mint julep and tequila lime are just a few of his creations. second place: For the Love of Chocolate, Richmond, 804-359-5645 third place: Chocolates by Kelly, Richmond, 804-814-5496

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In Vino Veritas

Vintner triple threat creates one of a kind vintages. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that three is your lucky number. And let’s say you’re a winemaker who has two buddies who also are winemakers. And so you get this idea of mixing one of each of your wines with the others’, slapping a mutually acceptable label on it, and selling it for, say, $33.33. Would you then release it at 3:33 p.m. on March 3? Yes, you would. ‘3’ is a labor of love among three close friends who share an ardor for arbors (grape arbors, that is). When they met a dozen or so years ago, Emily Pelton (winemaker at Veritas Winery in Afton, pictured above, center), Jake Busching (of Grace Estate Winery in Crozet, above left) and Mattieu Finot (of King Family Vineyards, also in Crozet, above right) were all novices in the Virginia wine industry. “We are all of the same age,” says 37-year-old Pelton, “and we became fast friends.” Working just “spittin’ distance from each other,” as Pelton puts it, the three made a habit of getting together over beers at Brew Mountain Brewery during harvest. “One day, Matthieu said, ‘We should make a wine together,’” Pelton recalls. And they did, in 2009, 2010, 2012 and now a fourth vintage, 2013. (The trio took off 2011 while Busching moved from Pollak Vineyards in Greenwood to Grace Estate.) Each year, each vintner contributes one-third of the juice (which is determined year to year). In past years, the red blend has mixed merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc. This year’s creation is white, for which Pelton supplied two barrels of viognier; Finot, a barrel each of chardonnay and viognier; and Bushing, a barrel of chardonnay and one of petit manseng. But unlike the blend, the name never changes: It is always 3. The resulting wines are sold only at the wineries. The annual production run of 135 cases is divided evenly between the three, so it doesn’t matter what your lucky number is; if you wait too long to get yours, you’ll be out of luck.,,

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Seasonal Garden Vegetable Medley with Black Cocoa Crumb and Nasturtium Yogurt Nasturtium Yogurt 4 ¼ cups milk, whole 1/3 cup non-fat milk powder ½ cup plain yogurt 2 cups nasturtium stems and leaves In a large bowl, place nasturtium stems and large leaves in whole milk, and place in the refrigerator overnight. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Remove nasturtium milk from the refrigerator, strain, and add milk powder. Heat milk mixture to 180 degrees, remove from heat and let cool to 115 degrees. Mix in yogurt. Let the mixture sit in warm space (around 100 degrees) for 7-9 hours. The longer it sits, the thicker and tangier it will be.

Black Cocoa Crumb ¾ cup all-purpose flour ½ cup sugar 7 ½ tablespoons butter 2 ¾ ground chicory root 2 ¾ tablespoons black cocoa powder Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead until it becomes a crumbly dough. Spread the dough onto a sheet tray and bake in 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy.

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment CENTRAL VIRGINIA • Food & Drink

The Clifton Inn, Charlottesville

Break up the baked cookie and grind up in a food processor until crumbly and resembles soil.

Garden Medley 5 radishes 6 wild cherry tomatoes 3 small baby cucumbers 4 baby squash 6 nasturtium flowers and leaves 1 cup baby Swiss chard 1 cup baby kale

Herbs for garnish 1 bunch garlic chive flowers 6 basil flowers 12 borage flowers 12 cucumber flowers 18 wood sorrel Slice the radishes very thin (on a mandolin) into a container of ice water. Thinly slice squash. Leave cherry tomatoes and cucumbers whole. Gently rub fur off cucumbers. Spoon some of the nasturtium yogurt onto large plates. Top with some of the black cocoa crumb. Arrange the tomatoes and cucumbers around the crumb and then begin plating the rest of the vegetables. Continue adding the leaves and herbs to the plates, arranging them whimsically. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and coarse flake salt. Serves 6

Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop

Best Al Fresco Dining

Best Seafood Restaurant

116 S. Addison St., Richmond

1312 Commerce St., Lynchburg

1312 Commerce St., Lynchburg

Casual and quirky, Lamplighter is the quintessential neighborhood café. Enjoy your house-roasted coffee with a sandwich, salad or soup on the partially covered patio (which used to be an old gas station) or grab a bag of beans to brew at home. Better yet, have your order delivered by bicycle any day of the week.

The sleek, yet warm ambiance of the restructured tobacco warehouse-turned-shoe-factory extends onto the open-air courtyard, which is available for outdoor dining in the warmer months. Fine quality American fare, from seafood to steaks, becomes that much more enjoyable with a warm breeze off the James River.

Blackened grilled salmon, sesame seared ahi tuna, crab-stuffed trout. It’s okay, we’re drooling, too. The sophisticated Southern charm of Shoemakers American Grille in downtown Lynchburg sets the stage for some of the best seafood in Central Virginia.

second place: Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream,

second place: The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing,

Richmond, 804-231-2030 third place: Hyperion Espresso, Fredericksburg, 540-373-4882

Richmond, 804-622-2628 third place: Portico Restaurant & Bar, Richmond, 804-784-4800

Best Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant

Best Ice Creamery

917 W. Grace St., Richmond

2911 W. Cary St., Richmond

Lamplighter Roasting Company, 804-728-2292

Ipanema Cafe, 804-213-0190 With a fresh new look after renovations last year plus a brand new dinner menu, Ipanema Cafe continues to serve creative, colorful and completely vegetarian fare out of its quirky basement location on West Grace Street. Demanding carnivores will revel in the well-rounded selection of flavorful dishes. second place: Fresca on Addison, Richmond, 804-359-8638 third place: Sammy T’s, Fredericksburg, 540-371-2008

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Shoemakers American Grille, 434-455-1510

Bev’s Homemade Ice Cream, 804-204-2387

As the name says, all of the ice cream and desserts at Bev’s are homemade—and heavenly. With 13 regular flavors and a seductive assortment of daily selections and other seasonal specialties (Girl Scout cookie ice cream, anyone?), Bev’s has a flavor for any sweet tooth. second place: Gelati Celesti, Richmond, 804-346-0038 third place: Sweet Frog, Richmond, 804-213-3089

Shoemakers American Grille, 434-455-1510

second place: The Hard Shell at Bellgrade, Midlothian, 804-464-1476 third place: The Water Grill, Richmond, 804-353-3411

Best Farmers’ Market

South of the James Market New Kent Road and West 42nd Street, Richmond

Saturday mornings from May to December, Forest Hill Park is packed with farmers and artisans selling locally grown produce and handmade items in this European-style market. (Don’t miss the doughnutmaking Amish family.) Not sure how to serve all those vegetables? Check out the Fresh Foods/Fresh Chefs cooking series to watch (and taste!) how the chef prepares the day’s produce. second place: Charlottesville City Market, Charlottesville, 434-970-3371 third place: Lynchburg Community Market, Lynchburg, 434-455-4489

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Best Wine Shop

Best Sports Bar

5023 Huguenot Road, Richmond

4009 MacArthur Ave., Richmond

1630 W. Main St., Richmond

There is nothing fishy about Osaka Sushi & Steak. The impeccably cut and assembled sushi, sashimi and hand rolls are simply superb. Alongside the delectable selection of sushi and sake, Osaka also serves other entrées, from salmon and steak to bowls of steaming noodles, all with a pan-Asian flair.

Once Upon a Vine maintains an extensive selection of wines and beers from around the world, but it’s this shop’s community involvement that keeps customers loyal. From wine and beer tastings each Friday to summertime movie nights in the parking lot with neighboring merchants, there is always something going on.

Your average local watering hole seems trifling compared to the great food and fun atmosphere at Home Team Grill in the Fan. A great space becomes better in warm weather, when the entire front wall opens up onto the patio. Complete with ample TVs to catch every game, any and all fan groups are welcome.

second place: J. Emerson, Inc., Fine Wines & Cheeses, Richmond, 804-285-8011 third place: Total Wine & More, multiple Richmond locations

second place: Big Al’s Sports Bar & Grill, Richmond, 804-270-4454 third place: Champps Americana, Richmond, 804-323-6053

Osaka Sushi & Steak, 804-288-8801

second place: Sticky Rice, Richmond, 804-358-7870 third place: Akida Japanese Restaurant, Richmond


Best Overall Bar

Can Can Brasserie 3120 W. Cary St., Richmond, 804-358-7274 This Carytown hot spot morphs at night into a bar buzzing with the sophisticated energy reminiscent of a true Parisian eatery of late 19th-century France. In warm weather, grab a sidewalk table and dine like the boulevardiers. But the main action is at the elegant bar: Slurp oysters at one end, sip champagne and martinis at the other. second place: F.W. Sullivan’s, Richmond, 804-308-8576 third place: Boylan Heights Gourmet Burger Bar, Charlottesville, 434-984-5707

Most Creative Cocktail Menu

Once Upon a Vine, 804-726-9463

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment CENTRAL VIRGINIA • Food & Drink

Best Sushi Cuisine

Home Team Grill in the Fan, 804-254-7360

Best Local Microbrewery

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery 2408 Ownby Lane, Richmond, 804-420-2420 With a mission to deliver an ethereal experience with each one of their exceptionally crafted beers, lifelong friends Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh made a name for themselves when they opened Hardywood Park Craft Brewery just over a year ago. Try some of their brews at one of many Richmond bars, or stop by the brewery for tastings and tours. second place: Legend Brewing Co., Richmond, 804-232-8871 third place: Jefferson Street Brewery, Lynchburg

Balliceaux Restaurant

203 N. Lombardy St., Richmond, 804-355-3008 Using seasonal, local and sometimes unconventional ingredients, Balliceaux overlooks no detail on its colorful cocktail list. Many mixers are made in-house, from the ginger beer for the Dark & Stormy to the proprietary Orange Blossom grenadine, making things just that much more unique. It’s all in the details. second place: The Roosevelt, Richmond, 804-658-1935 third place: RA Bistro, Lynchburg, 434-845-1601

Best Winery

Barboursville Vineyards 17655 Winery Road, Barboursville, 540-832-3824 With a vision “to redeem the gift of a gracious, generous ground, with vintages of vivid beauty,” Barboursville Vineyards continually receives national and international acclaim for its exquisite wines. Set in what was once Governor James Barbour’s plantation estate, complete with a house designed by Thomas Jefferson, Barboursville Vineyards is as beautiful as its vintages. second place: Veritas Vineyard & Winery, Afton, 540-456-8000 third place: King Family Vineyards, Crozet, 434-823-7800

photo by Karissa Addington

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Eclectic Eatery

Lynchburg’s Bull Branch offers a world of flavor. It’s quirky. It’s funky. It’s even been described as weird, but beyond that it’s tough to pin down Bull Branch, a smallish restaurant and bar tucked on a side street in downtown Lynchburg. “It looks like the inside of my head and every apartment I’ve ever lived in,” says Scott Cardwell, 52-year-old owner and chef of the dimly lit tchotchke-crammed space. “I imagine it as a combination of all those influences.” Cardwell lived in Boston and Manhattan, and spent several years in the Netherlands, before moving home to her family’s 500-acre farm in Campbell County and later opening Bull Branch in 2001. Part of the fun of eating at Bull Branch is trying to decipher the salvo of far-flung references in the eatery’s décor. “It’s kind of like a Rorschach test,” says Cardwell. “Some people say it looks like Chicago or the East Village, or like some place in Spain.” But that’s OK with the unconventional Cardwell, a former English professor and freelance writer who has become known for delivering food equally exotic and inventive as the interior of her restaurant. “I like international spices,” says Cardwell, “not just fire, like using caraway in a different way.” She describes the smoke and tang of powdered Persian black lime she will use in a dish for an upcoming locavore feast, and the lemongrass she incorporated into the margaritas at a Thai immersion dinner she once hosted. “We do serious cocktails too,” says Cardwell. “We throw as much attention to that as we do the food.” The menu changes frequently at Bull Branch, reflecting Cardwell’s constant culinary curiosity and devotion to keeping things fresh. “It’s an incredible intellectual and aesthetic problem to solve,” she explains, to have a basket of beautiful produce to pull together into something new and delicious. “I mean, that’s exciting.” 434-847-8477

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Glow Med Spa Multiple Richmond locations, 804-262-0330 Its massage team is known by clients as the “Dream Team.” Offering basic and advanced treatments like microdermabrasion and laser hair removal, Glow Med Spa takes the mystery out of most procedures with a very informative website, so you know exactly what to expect out of that Brazilian wax. second place: Red Door Day Spa & Hair Salon, Richmond, 804-360-1239

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment CENTRAL VIRGINIA • Shopping & Services

Best Day Spa

shopping & se rv ices

third place: Scents of Serenity Organic Spa, Glen Allen, 804-227-4498

Best Hair Salon

Bombshell Brazilian Waxing & Skincare Studio 10 S. Crenshaw Ave., Richmond, 804-342-0051 Known for its, you guessed it, Brazilian waxing, Bombshell is a full-service salon with an extensive menu of waxing, hair care and nail treatments. From a simple blow-out at the “blow-out bar” to an exotic Moroccan oil mask conditioning treatment, its technicians are trained to cut all types of hair.

second place: Mango Salon, multiple Richmond locations, 804-285-2800 third place: Imago A Salon For Hair, Richmond, 804-355-1040

Best Men’s Haircut

Bombshell Brazilian Waxing & Skincare Studio 10 S. Crenshaw Ave., Richmond, 804-342-0051 Bombshell’s salon services are not limited to the female set: it has a full range of men’s services too. Men’s body waxing, nail care, and the four different levels of men’s haircut on offer mean guys can get a great cut at the right price. second place: Imago A Salon For Hair, Richmond, 804-355-1040 third place: Mango Salon, multiple Richmond locations, 804-285-2800

Best Florist Strange’s

12111 W. Broad St., Richmond, 804-360-2800 Blossoming well beyond the yard where Gideon A. Strange began selling his flowers in the early ’30s, Strange’s is now a gardener’s go-to with four facilities across Richmond. As one of the state’s largest greenhouse growers and one of the largest retail garden centers in the U.S., it carries anything that grows in the ground. second place: Coleman Brothers Flowers, Inc., Richmond, 804-262-8681 third place: Tom French Flowers, Richmond


photo courtesy of Feast!

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Kate Collier and Eric Gertner are the arbiters of excellence at Feast! Farm to table may be the foodie buzzword right now, but it only works if you know where to find the best farms. Enter Kate Collier and Eric Gertner, who recognize good food when they taste it. For the past 11 years, the husband-and-wife team has been carefully curating meats, cheeses and other gourmet products from near and far, then serving their finds to customers at their Charlottesville specialty food shop and café, Feast! “I went to UVA and knew that in Charlottesville there was an open niche for artisan cheese and perfectly sliced cured meat,” says Collier. And she was right, as the line of people looking to peruse Collier and Gertner’s selection of approximately 75 cheeses and 60 meats regularly wends its way out the door. Collier, Gertner and their full-time staff of 12 select the best Virginia products, like chicken from Polyface Farms, prosciutto from S. Wallace Edwards & Sons and goat cheese from Caromont Farm, and then either sell the products to customers in-store— off the shelf or in gift baskets like the Virginia Feast in a Box—or serve them up at the Feast! café via a menu of soups, salads and sandwiches created by Chef Megan Kiernan. They even have a Feast! label for food they buy in bulk and repackage. “Feast! brands are things we think are phenomenal,” says Collier. “We buy from great producers, so customers know if it has the Feast! brand ... it’s our signature of approval.” But Feast! goes beyond the borders of the Commonwealth. “We also have some great products not from here,” says Collier. Sacrilege, we say! But we give her a chance to explain: “For our olive oil, we have a connection to an olive grove in Italy. There’s no olive oil in Virginia, so we’ve gone and found things that are farm to table. Not only local, but the best the world has to offer.” It’s not farm to table, it’s farm to Feast! to table, and that’s how you know it’s good.

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Best Antiques

Best Sporting Goods Store

11800 W. Broad St., Richmond

2004 Staples Mill Road, Richmond

10150 Lakeridge Parkway, Ashland

What was once just the local well and watering hole en route between Richmond and Charlottesville has exploded into a fashion and dining destination. Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dick’s and Dillard’s are anchors, but there’s an abundance of stores and restaurants in this sprawling, open-air shopping mall that will keep you busy for hours.

Whether searching for that specific piece to complete a look or browsing collectables for whatever catches your eye, readers agree for the second year that West End Antique Mall has it all. The 53,000-square-foot space has over 250 booths featuring everything from carpets and cabinets to fine art and furniture.

second place: Stony Point Fashion Park, Richmond, 804-560-7467 third place: Carytown, Richmond

second place: Alexander’s Antiques and Auctions, Richmond, 804-674-4206 third place: Gates Antiques Ltd., Midlothian, 804-794-8472

Green Top has been specializing in Virginia’s great outdoors since 1947. Local fishermen, hunters and recreational shooters know the iconic greenroofed store is the place to go not just for gear, but for information about Virginia’s waters and forests provided by the avid outdoors-loving men and women Green Top employs. Their blog even features weekly fishing and hunting updates.

Short Pump Town Center, 804-360-1700

Best Air Charter Service

West End Antique Mall, 804-359-1600

Green Top Hunting & Fishing, 804-550-2188

second place: Dick’s Sporting Goods, multiple Richmond locations third place: Bass Pro Shops, Ashland, 804-496-4700

Martinair, Inc.

5733 Huntsman Road, Richmond, 804-777-7401 In the dehumanizing world of air travel today (body scan, anyone?), the perks of personalized air travel are awfully appealing. With Martinair, Inc., you can pick from a fleet that can fly you just about anywhere; a charter for four or more can even be comparable with commercial airline price-tags. And there’s no such thing as lost luggage.

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment CENTRAL VIRGINIA • Shopping & Services

Best Shopping Area/Mall

second place: Million Air, Richmond, 804-222-3700 third place: HeloAir, Inc., Richmond, 804-226-3400

Most On-Schedule Home Builder Bel Arbor Builders

9842 Lori Road, Suite 201, Chesterfield, 804-751-9050

Specializing in large, luxury homes, Bel Arbor Builders prides itself in the maintenance-free houses it builds. Its trio of developers consider themselves your own personal builders, and help you bring your vision to reality. If you are not looking for big digs, Bel Arbor recently added smaller, luxury villa homes to its portfolio. second place: Main Street Homes, Midlothian, 804-794-3138 third place: Smith & Robertson, Charlottesville, 434-971-7026

Best Pet Boarding

Holiday Barn Pet Resorts 3800 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, 804-672-7295

At Holiday Barn Pet Resorts, pets get to go on vacation too. Welcoming both dogs and cats, Holiday Barn has a variety of accommodation styles and play packages to choose from, even a daily swim in the pool (for dogs, of course). We just can’t guarantee Fido will want to come home. second place: DogServices, multiple Richmond locations third place: Petite Pet Inn & Spa, Richmond, 804-622-1556

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Girl with a Cleaver Earring

Tanya Cauthen’s Belmont Butchery is a foodie favorite in Richmond. Anyone who wears an earring in the shape of a meat cleaver and owns a butcher shop is not to be trifled with. Between shots on her iPhone of her husband, nieces and her late 17-year-old cat are images of a raw bone-in-steak, a whole pig’s head perched face forward on a cutting table, and the carcass—split in half lengthwise—of a massive Hungarian Mangalista lard hog (which she would later break down). “Do you see that?” she says excitedly, pointing at the 5-inch thick layer of fat encasing the corpulent pig. “It’s incredible!” It is this enthusiasm for good product that softens the copper-haired, take-no-guff Cauthen, a Swiss-trained chef with serious culinary chops (pun intended) who has been featured in Saveur and Bon Appétit magazines. The 43-year-old has opened and run some of Richmond’s top restaurants and co-owned a catering company in addition to running a cooking school and working as a freelance food and wine writer. Cauthen opened her shop in 2006, and today it remains the only independent butcher shop in Richmond. Though she is one of only four or five female butchers in the country, Cauthen’s is not a mission to break any glass ceiling; “My goal is just to feed people well,” she explains. Cauthen grew up with serious foodie parents. “I didn’t have peanut butter and jelly until I was in college,” she laughs. “I was more likely to have a lamb and watercress sandwich for lunch.” She says she and her sister would spend Saturdays with their father planning and cooking the evening meal from menus in Julia Child & Company. Says Cauthen, “We always did the menus exactly as they were written.” And Cauthen is still paying attention to that kind of detail. She sells cut-to-order meats and handcrafted sausages, pâtés and charcuterie, as well as cheese, wine, beer and other prepared foods. Despite her training, experience and the success of her shop, Cauthen won’t call herself a master butcher. “Because this is a craft, and an artisan craft, there are always new skills and techniques to learn. … I’ll never know everything.”

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Preparing the next generation of dynamic, creative thinkers from Kindergarten through 12th grade. To schedule a tour or receive more information, call 804.726.3300. 103 North Mooreland Road Richmond, VA 23229 Collegiate School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.

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Best Bridal Shop

7439 W. Broad St., Richmond

3979 Deep Rock Road, Richmond

Agee’s Bicycles definitely knows its clientele. It should, since it has been serving Richmond for over 100 years. Begun in 1910 by Louis Agee, the business is still family owned and operated by Louis’ grandsons, who continue to help cyclists of all experience levels, from training wheels to professionals, in three locations across Richmond.

There are many places to buy a wedding dress, but brides agree that exceptional service is what they truly hope for. Specializing in wedding gowns, tuxedos, and bridesmaid’s, mother’s and flower girl’s dresses, Bella Rosa can outfit the whole party, but it’s the uniquely romantic “Bella Rosa” experience that seems to stand out.

second place: Carytown Bicycle Co., Richmond, 804-440-2453 third place: 3Sports, Richmond, 804-288-4000

second place: David’s Bridal, Richmond, 804-747-9920 third place: Tiffanys Bridal, Richmond, 804-273-6303

Best Gift Shop

Best Children’s Clothing Store

Agee’s Bicycles

Best Interior Designer

Bella Rosa Bridal, 804-672-3441

Carol Pipes, A.S.I.D., Carol Pipes Interior Design, 804-855-1000

1517 N. Parham Road, Richmond

2924 W. Cary St., Richmond

Best Fine Jewelry Store, 804-342-1272, 804-285-0482

It’s eclectic, it’s quirky, it’s offbeat, but when a store’s slogan is “cool stuff for all breeds of humans,” you know not to be surprised to find Sailor & Siren salt and pepper shakers next to dog tarot cards. That’s why you shop here, right? This crazy Carytown shop has such a variety of cards, journals, housewares, and other odds and ends, you’re sure to leave with the kind of stuff that won’t get re-gifted.

Carrying classic, but updated, children’s clothing, shoes and toys, Buttons and Bows has been pleasing Richmond parents for 26 years. A local favorite for christening attire and gifts, and special occasion clothing from flower girls to Holy Communion, it also features a shoe department that knows how to properly fit children’s growing feet.

second place: Tweed, Richmond, 804-249-3900 third place: R.H. Ballard Art, Rug & Home, Washington, 540-675-1411

Best Women’s Clothing Store Pink

second place: Clover, Richmond, 804-355-3517 third place: Whimsies, Charlottesville, 434-977-8767, 804-358-0884 This hip store on a Carytown corner is a fashionista’s paradise. With the belief that everyone has their own personal style to express, Pink collects pieces from top designers every season, and sells clothing that mixes seamlessly from one year to the next.

Best Men’s Clothing Store Franco’s Fine Clothier

second place: Levys, Richmond, 804-673-0177 third place: Talbots, multiple Richmond locations, 804-967-0800 Schwarzschild Jewelers has carried fine jewelry and time pieces since 1897. Representing 32 of the world’s finest Swiss watch and designer jewelry brands, this family-run, independent jeweler also has watchmakers and goldsmiths on the premises for custom design and repair.

Saxon Shoes

“Fit is everything,” says Italian-born and -trained tailor Franco Ambrogi. From suits and sportswear, to formalwear and shoes, Franco’s lets you pick out the perfect garment and leave the details to the experts and the on-site alterations. And it’s been in business for 30 years, so clearly, Franco’s philosophy works.


Multiple Richmond locations

Best Shoe Store

5321 Lakeside Ave., Richmond

second place: Peter•Blair, Richmond, 804-288-8123 third place: R Coffee Ltd., Lynchburg

Schwarzschild Jewelers

second place: Adolf Jewelers, Richmond, 804-285-3671 third place: Bowen Jewelry Company, Lynchburg, 434-845-3495, 804-264-2994

3158 W. Cary St., Richmond

Three generations of her family work alongside Carol Pipes, who must be doing something right because she runs her interior design business solely by word of mouth. From high-end residential to service stations, boats to beginner homes, apartments to churches, she has worked on everything, even the Supreme Court of Virginia. second place: Kat Liebschwager, Kat Liebschwager Interiors, Richmond, 804-288-3350 third place: Ryland Woodard, Ryland Woodard Interior Design, Richmond, 804-288-7943

Buttons and Bows


12540 Patterson Ave., Richmond


EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment CENTRAL VIRGINIA • Shopping & Services

Best Cycle Shop

11800 W. Broad St., Suite 2750, Richmond, 804-285-3473

Family owned and operated since 1953, Saxon Shoes carries over 200 well-known brands for men, women and children, and the knowledgeable staff can show you exactly how to care for those Cole Haans. Experienced Shopper Tip: check out the backroom for seasonal steals. second place: DSW, Richmond, 804-290-4244 third place: The Shoe Box, Richmond



Best Independent Home Decor Store Ruth & Ollie

3108 W. Cary St., Richmond, 804-288-3360 After years spent moving around the country in corporate America, owners Mike and Kat Liebschwager decided to move to Richmond and create two homes; one to live in, and one from which to sell a carefully curated selection of home furnishings. The store is named after Mike and Kat’s grandmothers, Ruth and Ollie, and its vibe is distinctive. second place: Williams & Sherrill, Richmond, 804-320-1730 third place: Fraîche, Richmond, 804-282-4282 third place tie: LaDifference, Richmond, 804-648-6210

photo courtesy of Dinner at home

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Dinner at Home

Charlottesville chef delivers delicious to your door. If it’s Friday and you receive an email from Ashley East, your weekend just became that much easier. No need to draw up next week’s meal plan, East, 33, has you covered through her home catering business, Dinner At Home. Every Friday night East emails her customers with the dishes she will be cooking the next week (how does fish with tomato-basil sauce and linguine with olive oil and parsley sound?), and all they have to do is hit ‘Reply’ with the number of meals they’d like to order (up to four, ready for pickup on Monday or Tuesday). Yes, harried parents and professionals, East has answered your prayers for healthy meals at the ready—no cooking or eating out required. And there is no obligation to order every week, explains East, who started the business 10 years ago. “Once a week, once a month, once a year, we’re happy to help when it’s needed.” She even sells gift cards. A bonafide multi-tasker, East also does large-scale catering, and recently purchased Charlottesville Cupcakes. She has a lot on her plate, but she is happy where she is: “I belong in the kitchen.”

4/26/13 1:11 PM

we’ve always believed in

Putting our best foot forward. Thank you for making what was once a bustling shoe factory now Virginia Living’s and Central Virginia’s Best Luxury Hotel and Best Special Event Venue.

434.455.1500 I I On the James River, Downtown Lynchburg, VA

Featuring Shoemakers American Grille, Waterstone Pizza, and Jefferson Street Brewery.

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Best Orthodontist

Best Lawyer

5801 Bremo Road, Richmond

1206 Willow Lawn Drive, Richmond

3000 Idlewood Ave., Richmond

Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital, 804-281-8006

Graham Gardner, D.D.S., 804-282-0505

While the Bon Secours Catholic tradition may have started during the French Revolution, the care provided by Bon Secours today is certainly not old fashioned. With more than 1,000 physicians in its state-of-the-art St. Mary’s Hospital alone, Bon Secours continues the mission to provide compassionate healthcare to those in need. That is good help, indeed.

He did his 8th-grade science fair project on orthodontics. Need we say more? Helping people achieve beautiful smiles is what makes him tick, but there’s more to Dr. Gardner than just braces. An avid outdoor enthusiast, his fun-loving personality extends to his colorful practice. Be sure to ask about his juggling skills.

second place: VCU Medical Center, Richmond

second place: Dale C. Rogers, D.D.S., Midlothian, 804-828-9000, 804-289-4500, 804-739-6500 third place: Richard M. Marcus, D.D.S., M.S., Ashland, 804-550-3324

Most Beloved Pediatrician

Best Dentist

7000 Patterson Ave., Richmond

1612 Huguenot Road, Midlothian

Among the “Best Doctors in America,” this Richmond “Top Doc” certainly has the credentials to be among the best. But with a family of his own, he also knows firsthand what concerns parents (and children) when it comes to their pediatricians: dedication to their child’s health and lots of smiles.

Born in Petersburg, raised in Powhatan and Richmond and in practice for more than 40 years, Dr. Perkinson is certainly Richmond’s very own dentist. He earned his degree from VCU/MCV, and then went on to found Dr. Baxter Perkinson & Associates, which now has 10 practices across the Richmond area and more than 250 employees.

third place: Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, Richmond

Charles V. Terry, M.D., F.A.A.P., 804-282-9706

second place: J. Mark Shreve, M.D., Richmond, 804-282-4205 third place: G. Thomas Rowe, M.D., F.A.A.P., Richmond, 804-282-9706

Best Cosmetic Surgeon Joe Niamtu III, M.D.

11319 Polo Place, Midlothian, 804-934-3223 Dr. Niamtu is internationally recognized as one of the leaders in his field. Surgeon, teacher and author, he also volunteers his services to several charities, including Operation Smile. In the operating room, all he does are faces, so you can feel confident in his highly specialized hands. second place: Nadia P. Blanchet, M.D., Richmond, 804-320-8545 third place: Dr. Michael Godin, M.D., Richmond, 804-285-8578

Best Dermatologist

Georgia K. Seely, M.D. 5421 Patterson Ave., Richmond, 804-285-2006

With specialties in both dermatology and internal medicine, Dr. Seely gets what goes on both inside the body and on the skin’s surface. A practitioner at Dermatology Associates of Virginia, she is part of a team with one goal in mind: to provide compassionate, high quality dermatological care for skin diseases in patients of all ages. second place: Eileen C. Kitces, M.D., Richmond, 804-282-8510 third place: Jo Bohannon-Grant, M.D., Midlothian, 804-378-3048

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W. Baxter Perkinson Jr., D.D.S., 804-794-9789

second place: Karen S. McAndrew, D.M.D., M.S.,

Richmond, 804-741-8689 third place: Dennis C. Wong, D.D.S., Ashland, 804-739-6484

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment CENTRAL VIRGINIA • Shopping & Services

Best Hospital

Craig S. Cooley, Esquire 804-358-2328

Operating out of a small office in downtown Richmond, this defense attorney has worked some very high-profile cases, including the D.C.-area sniper trials. Prudent, gracious and highly respected by fellow attorneys and judges alike, Craig S. Cooley is definitely the guy you want on your side, no objections. second place: Cary B. Bowen, Richmond, 804-379-1900 third place: David Cox, Lynchburg, 434-845-2600

Best Outdoor Outfitter REI

2020 Old Brick Road, Glen Allen, 804-360-1381

Providing top-brand gear and clothing for outdoor enthusiasts, REI has everything for paddling the James to hiking the Appalachian Trail. But it doesn’t stop there— with its calendar full of classes and events, you can brush up on your outdoor skills before you hit the trail. second place: Bass Pro Shops, Ashland, 804-496-4700 third place: Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, multiple Richmond locations

Best Kitchen Designer

David Raber, Classic Kitchens of Virginia

Best Independent School Collegiate School

103 N. Mooreland Road, Richmond, 804-740-7077

This co-educational college preparatory school in Richmond is once again listed among the best in Virginia. Multi-million-dollar additions keep it up to date architecturally and technologically, but Collegiate’s strong sense of community and tradition make it stand out. second place: St. Catherine’s School, Richmond, 804-288-2804 third place: St. Christopher’s School, Richmond, 804-282-3185

12535 Patterson Ave., Richmond, 804-784-5075 Specializing in the design and implementation of unique kitchens, David Raber strives to integrate high-quality workmanship and state-of-theart products with aesthetic form and function. Translation: from the Sub-Zero fridge and Wolf range to the customized cabinets, your dinner guests will be drooling, and not just over the food. second place: Carol Pipes, A.S.I.D., Carol Pipes Interior Design, Richmond

804-784-8088 third place: Abigail F. Bishop, C.K.D., C.B.D., Katheryn Robertson, Ltd., Richmond, 804-353-6721

Sweet Treats, Sweet Spot

Classic candy store redux in Richmond. Walking into Richmond’s Sweet Spot is like walking into a creamsicle on a summer afternoon, with its bright orange walls and white shelves glittering with glass jars full of chocolate and candy. “It’s fun to watch first-timers come in. They just kind of stop in the front and look around,” says owner Chrissy Triano, 44, who, with her sister, Sarah Soloman, 36, opened the store in 2010. Tucked away from the hullabaloo of Short Pump in West Broad Village, Sweet Spot is the quintessential neighborhood candy store. It has become a hang-out for students who come after school for the board games (vintage Candyland among them), chocolate and candy, cane sugar sodas and Harry Potter Butterbeer. Sweet Spot is also involved in the community and hosts fundraisers, a children’s candy and book club, and candy bingo the first Friday of each month. They also cater weddings, graduations, proms, and even corporate events. From handmade chocolates to giant jawbreakers, they have just about any craving covered, but for Triano, the store is “all about the experience” and bringing people together. It seems it has succeeded at both. B e s t

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eastern VIRGINI A We’re mad for Eastern Virginia’s salt-sprayed bounty. Whether it’s the seven distinct oyster flavors of the Chesapeake Bay region, one of the pies made with freshly picked berries at Westmoreland Berry Farm, crab and shrimp soup served under the glow of the silver screen at the Commodore Theatre in Portsmouth or anything—and we mean anything—created by Chef Travis Brust, who is not only executive chef at the Williamsburg Inn but was also crowned World Chef Champion at the first World Food Championships in late 2012, we are ready to dive right in. For dessert, we know we can’t go wrong with—or more Eastern Virginia than—peanut pie from the Virginia Diner. And we’ll wash it down with something equally tasty, like Marsh Mud iced coffee from Eastern Shore Coastal Roasting Co. in Willis Wharf or a Lancaster Lemonade at The Tides Inn, thank you very much.

Photography by Cade Martin ♠ Illustration by Shane Rebenscheid ♠ Styling by Neely Barnwell Dykshorn

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ARTS, CULTURE & Entertainment Best Art Event

Virginia MOCA Boardwalk Art Show Oceanfront Boardwalk between 19th and 33rd streets, Virginia Beach, 757-425-0000 Produced by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, this four-day fine-art festival held each June traces its origins back to 1952. Today, more than 200,000 people attend, strolling along the boardwalk lined with the works of more than 1,000 established and emerging artists. second place: Stockley Gardens Arts Festival, Norfolk, 757-625-6161 third place: An Occasion for the Arts,


Best Overall Museum Dinner and a Movie

Portsmouth’s Commodore Theatre brings back the romance of the movies. “Movie theaters were at their biggest between 1945 and 1957,” says Norfolk native Fred Schoenfeld, 68, owner of the historic Commodore Theatre in downtown Portsmouth. Going to the movies was “an event,” he says. “It was the thing to do. You would get dressed up, grab your date and get out of the house to go to a movie.” If megamovie-plexes have taken a bit of the excitement out of seeing a movie, Schoenfeld is trying to bring that “movie-theater experience of old back into the 21st century” at the Commodore, the last of the original 11 theaters in Portsmouth. Schoenfeld bought the Commodore Theatre in 1987 and began an extensive renovation to update the then 42-year-old single-screen theater to accommodate a modern audience. Schoenfeld, who has worked in the technical side of the theater business since junior high, including a few years in AMC’s sound and technical departments after college, enlisted the help of George Lucas’ THX Group at Lucasfilm to design the sound and projection systems. But, “we needed a totally different concept to attract customers,” Schoenfeld says, “something to make the Commodore distinguishable.” So he stripped the first floor of the theater chairs, put in dining tables and turned an office into a kitchen equipped to serve dinner. Offering dinner and a movie has made the Commodore a destination. “We get people coming in from Charlottesville, from Virginia Beach, from Richmond, from D.C.,” says Schoenfeld. Guests are seated about an hour before the show to give time to place their orders, which is done via an on-table phone. The full dinner menu includes wine and beer and features items like crab and shrimp soup, fresh fish and chips, sandwiches on home-baked bread, and, of course, popcorn topped with real butter. Not hungry? There are 318 regular theater seats in the balcony. But Schoenfeld says it is the excitement of going out to a movie at the Commodore that makes the theater popular: “Some people don’t even care what is being shown on the screen: they just want to have the experience.”


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Chrysler Museum of Art 245 W. Olney Road, Norfolk, 757-664-6200 Closed in 2013 for a major expansion, the museum’s collection is on tour in the Chrysler Museum Roadshow. Displayed in various locations throughout Hampton Roads, including the museum’s two historic houses, you don’t have to worry about missing the art. The Glass Studio also remains open for demonstrations and classes. second place: Virginia Living Museum, Newport News, 757-595-1900 third place: The Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, 757-596-2222

Best Special Event Venue

CNU’s Ferguson Center for the Arts 1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News, 757-594-8752 Presenting concerts and performances by major artists and groups from Virginia and around the world, the Ferguson Center for the Arts is home to Christopher Newport University’s music, theater and dance departments and frequently hosts the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. The season runs from September to May. second place: Town Point Park, Norfolk, 757-441-2345 third place: Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach, 757-385-2555

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Most Creative Charitable Event

Best Movie Theater

45 Cross St., Urbanna

279 Main St., Mathews

1507 Colley Ave., Norfolk

Raw or roasted? Fried or steamed or stewed? Fixed however you fancy, the oyster is the main event at this Urbanna tradition from the food court to the oyster shucking contest. For those not big on the bivalve, there are many other culinary delights and activities to enjoy at this fun fall festival.

The Bay School keeps things fresh with a different theme each year for its largest fundraiser. Whether celebrating the “Roaring Twenties” or “Nature’s Art,” guests participate in both a silent auction featuring local artists and a live auction of everything from dining experiences to vacations.

Built in 1936 as a smaller alternative to the large movie palaces of downtown Norfolk, the Naro Theater has remained an independent theater despite changing hands in 1977. Showcasing foreign, art and independent films, the Naro also hosts a film forum for the discerning cinephile.

second place: Poquoson Seafood Festival, Poquoson, 757-868-3588 third place: AT&T Bayou Boogaloo & Cajun Festival, Norfolk, 757-441-2345

second place: March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, Chesapeake, 757-361-0000 third place: Polar Plunge Winter Festival, Virginia Beach, 804-346-5544

Best Music Venue

Best Mixologist

second place: CinéBistro at Peninsula Town Center, Hampton, 757-325-8896 third place: Movie Tavern, Williamsburg, 757-941-5362 third place tie: The Commodore Theatre, Portsmouth, 757-393-6962

317 Monticello Ave., Norfolk

10367 Warwick Blvd., Newport News

Boasting an impressive sound system in an intimate setting with only a main dance floor and a wrap-around balcony, it is no wonder both bands and fans regard the NorVa as one of the best venues in Virginia. General admission with limited seating, shows are open to all ages.

Kip Mullin can certainly mix your usual highball, but you might want to shake things up (literally) with one of the five signature cocktails he has created for Circa 1918. Keeping with the spirit of the restaurant, which likes to pay homage to history, each cocktail has a story Mullin will gladly share as you sip.

second place: CNU’s Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News, 757-594-8752 third place: Farm Bureau Live, Virginia Beach, 757-368-3000

second place: Erika Caylor, Terrapin Restaurant, Virginia Beach, 757-321-6688 third place: Ben Stone, Rockafeller’s Restaurant, Virginia Beach, 757-422-5654

Urbanna Oyster Festival, 804-758-0368

The NorVa, 757-627-4547

Bay School Fine Art Auction, 804-725-1278

EASTERN REGION Culture & Entertainment EASTERN VIRGINIA • Arts,• Arts Culture & Entertainment

Best Food Festival

Naro Expanded Cinema, 757-625-6276

Kip Mullin, Circa 1918 Kitchen + Bar, 757-599-1918

Best Performing Arts Company Virginia Opera

160 E. Virginia Beach Blvd., norfolk, 866-673-7282

Named “The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia” by the Virginia General Assembly in 1994, this 38-year-old Norfolk company takes pride in recognizing new talent. Performing five main-stage productions at venues across Virginia, their season runs from late September through May. second place: Virginia Stage Company, Norfolk, 757-627-1234 third place: Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Norfolk, 757-892-6366

The Tides Inn, Irvington Lancaster Lemonade

Best Historic Museum

1 part vodka 1 part Limoncello ½ fresh lemon, squeezed

100 Museum Drive, Newport News

Pour all ingredients into a tall glass over ice.

The Mariners’ Museum, 757-596-2222 Recently in the news for its conservation of the USS Monitor’s gun turret, the Mariners’ Museum is home to more than 32,000 maritime objects that tell the story of humankind’s relationship with the sea. Situated in an urban oasis surrounded by park land, it is one of the largest maritime museums in the world.

Top with ginger ale and add lemon wheels and fresh lemon balm for garnish. Serves 1

second place: Fort Monroe’s Casemate Museum, Hampton, 757-788-3391 third place: Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, 757-664-6200

O p p o s i t e pag e : p h oto co u r t e s y o f co m m o d o r e t h e at r e , t h i s pag e : p h oto s by m a r k at k i n s o n

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Play one of Virginia’s Best Courses

– Now Even Better

Golf Digest named it a Top 10 in Virginia. Virginia Living recognized it as one of the Most Challenging Courses. You’ll call it simply spectacular golf. And now it’s even better.

Follow the par 72 course to a picturesque finish of 1,000 yards of dramatic river frontage. Now enjoy consistent playability on new heat-tolerant 007 bentgrass greens and bunkers.

Perfectly designed by nature along the James and Chickahominy Rivers, the 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed championship course at Two Rivers Country Club in Williamsburg has just been perfectly renovated.

Beyond the course, our private country club offers activities and amenities for the entire family. Boaters find a safe haven in our private harbor. And couples begin their happily ever after with stunning waterfront weddings at sunset.

Special golf membership incentives Call for details

2013 Best of Virginia Winner For golf, marina or wedding inquiries contact Paula at (757) 258-4610 or

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Ready to declare real family time? Revolt against daily routine and find the fun at Kingsmill. Make your escape and demand—once and for all—“No vacation without relaxation.” Pursue your happiness! SUMMER SPLASH PACK AGE FROM $ 2 8 9/ROOM*

Dive into cool fun in our river, pools and pond

800.832.5665 • Includes lodging • 2 one-hour jet ski rentals UNLIMITED access to fishing, paddle boats, paddle boards, kayaks, jon boats Commemorative towels & more

*Valid 5/4–9/2/13. Visit website for details. ©2013 Xanterra Kingsmill, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Run Date: June 2013 Dana Communications 609.466.9187

4/23/13 3:41 9:11 PM AM

Lancaster County, V Congratulations to all the Lancaster County Businesses!

CARRIED AWAY CUISINE is a specialty foods retailer featuring hand made, natural prepared foods and baked goods. Their services include designer wedding cakes and catering.

CAR WASH CAFÉ It’s always yummy at the Car’s great! Best breakfast in town and for miles around. I dream of their delicious grits. Lunch is superb as well. Cute place, very clean, and super friendly service”

CHESAPEAKE ACADEMY, an independent day school for children age 3 through grade 8, offers a traditional, yet innovative curriculum, using Differentiated Instruction which is enhanced by technology. Differentiated Instruction helps students achieve maximum growth by offering creative and challenging learning experiences in a student-centered learning environment. Every student uses MAC computers. Spanish offered Pre K-8; Latin grade 6.

Stationery, Invitations, great cards, eclectic home accessories. Crane, William Arthur, Kate Spade, Vera Wang wedding invitations. PAPETERIE has 20 year’s experience with weddings ... and 20% off wedding invitations ... ALWAYS! or 804-435-1125.

First Saturday of every month from May to November you will find IRVINGTON FARMERS MARKET. 9am to 1pm — rain or shine. Old-fashioned open-air market featuring local produce, fruit, herbs, flowers, plants, meat, seafood, cheese, baked goods, art and handcrafted items, as well as live music and playground. Well behaved doggies are welcome.

WHITE STONE EVENT CENTER and “SEVEN” MARTINI BAR “This exquisite event space can host up to 125 guests. Also onsite is a fabulous martini bar and restaurant open Wednesday thru Saturday at 5pm.”

RAPPAHANNOCK WESTMINSTER-CANTERBURY is a church-related, continuing care retirement community committed to providing the highest quality living experience for senior adults.

THE WILD BUNCH “Flowers excite three of the five senses, sight, scent and touch; they are a living work of art. Weddings, fresh flowers, plants and botanical gifts. “

“I am fortunate to have represented wonderful people in a beautiful place for the last thirty-eight years. This honor is as appreciated as it is unexpected.” — Mat Terry

THE PEDESTAL provides interior design and custom decorating for residential and commercial clients. Product lines include furniture, flooring, wallpaper, window treatments, lamps, art and accessories.

It unfolds with every mile you put behind you. The air is clean. The traffic, gone. Your shoulders relax. Salty air drifts in from the Bay. You’re in the Northern Neck now – where the living is enhanced at every turn with views of Chesapeake Bay, its rivers and creeks. 300 miles of shoreline and scenic back roads. The vibrant towns of Irvington, Kilmarnock, Lively and White Stone are filled with quaint shops and restaurants that greet you with refined southern friendliness and charm.

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, Virginia

Virginia Living Readers know a good thing when they see it!

THE DANDELION YOUR “Clothing Counselors” in Irvington! 38 years strong-thanks to YOU!

Since its inception in 1981, Nancy Myers of INTERIOR INNOVATIONS, has served the Tidewater and Central Virginia and the Northern Neck. Her business has created thousands of Interior Design projects in all areas of residential and commercial design. “Thank you Northern Neck and Southern Virginia for your vote of confidence”.

KILMARNOCK ANTIQUE GALLERY “Antiques, Oyster Plates, Persian Rugs, Tall Case Clocks and other quality antiques & Collectables; 22,000 sq ft, a destination for those that love antiques and quality”

SPORTS CENTRE “Sports Centre offers the best in uniforms, trophies, athletic gear and equipment. Let us go to bat for you!”

SANDPIPER RESTAURANT Established in 1982, The Sandpiper specializes in Quality: Fresh Seafood, Hand Cut Meats, Fabulous Spirits, Dedicated Staff, all in a Casual atmosphere!

CONNEMARA CORPORATION has been in business building custom homes in the Northern Neck and surrounding areas for twenty years. We have always prided ourselves with being on time and budget.

LEE STEPHENS LAW, PLC “The only law firm in Virginia devoted to the practice of conservation easements. Lawyers statewide know when they have a tough donation case, they rely on us.”

NATE’S TRICK DOG CAFE is a wonderful little restaurant full of music and laughter and extraordinary food located in the quaint water town of Irvington, Virginia.

SARA BROWN SALON strives to provide every guest with an excellent experience from the moment they enter the door until they leave. Leave the stress of the outside world and relax choosing from a variety of services offered, hair, make-up, nails and massage today.

TIDES INN is a waterfront resort with golf, spa, sailing and river-to-fork cuisine highlighting Virginia’s bounty along the Chesapeake Bay and Wine Trail. 800-843-3746.

Just far enough away –an hour from Richmond, two hours from Washington or Hampton Roads – for you to experience the road less traveled. We have it all here in Lancaster County. Situated in the heart of the Northern Neck, with superb museums and galleries, venues for live entertainment, thrilling outdoor life, and award-winning amenities, Lancaster is the “Best of ” of all the Northern Neck offers.

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SATuRdAy & SundAy, MAy 18 & 19 presents

Works From More Than 150 Artists • Live Music Delicious Food • Fun Children’s Activities

For information, visit All proceeds benefit the Hope House Foundation.

698 Stockley Gardens, Norfolk, VA, 23507 in Historic Ghent

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The Inn at Tabbs Creek

384 Turpin Lane, Port Haywood, 804-725-5136 Owners Greg and Lori say their Inn at Tabbs Creek is “not your grandma’s B&B.” Eco-friendly and certified Virginia Green lodging, the inn is just down the road from the small town of Mathews. Wake up to organic coffee, kayak or paddleboard the Mathews River, enjoy oysters off the private dock, or simply relax on the porch. second place: The Inn at Warner Hall, Gloucester, 804-695-9565 third place: Bay Tree Manor Bed & Breakfast, Seaford, 757-897-6062

liv ing & re cre ation Best Tennis Club Pro

Best Retirement Community

1400 Two Rivers Road, Williamsburg

Williamsburg Inn, 757-258-4610

1200 Atlantic Shores Drive, Virginia Beach

136 E. Francis St., Williamsburg

As an active member of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association, with a P1-level certification and more than 25 years of experience as a teaching professional, Prokopik puts his passion into practice as tennis club pro at Two Rivers Country Club. Teaching players of all levels from lessons to clinics, he also organizes summer camps and tournaments.

Residents don’t just feel like part of the community, they are the community at Atlantic Shores, the only self-governed, equity-ownership retirement community in the state. Situated on 100 wooded acres just minutes from golf courses, museums and shops, Atlantic Shores is best known for its award-winning cuisine, service and health care.

second place: Hoy Correll, Williamsburg Inn Tennis Club, Williamsburg, 757-220-7794 third place: Brian Hogge, James River Country Club, Newport News, 757-595-9121

second place: Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach, 757-496-1100 third place: Rappahannock WestminsterCanterbury, Irvington, 804-438-4000

Best Resort for the Whole Family

Best Hiking Trail

549 E. Rochambeau Drive, Williamsburg

100 Museum Drive, Newport News

It’s 84 degrees all year round at the Great Wolf Lodge, perfect for playing in this 79,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, complete with steep slides for adventurous types and zero-depth entry areas for the little ones. Towel off for the many dry-land activities and for the nightly fireside story time in the Grand Lobby.

Within the 550-acre urban oasis of the Mariners’ Museum Park, you will find absolute peace along the Noland Trail. Following the banks of Lake Maury, this 5-mile trail features 14 bridges, beautiful views of the lake, picnic areas and plenty of benches to stop and sit a bit.

second place: The Tides Inn, Irvington, 804-438-5000 third place: Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, 757-253-1703 third place Tie: Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center, Virginia Beach, 757-481-9000

second place: First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach, 757-412-2300 third place: Newport News Park, Newport News

Most Luxurious Hotel, 757-220-7978 Designed to host heads of state in the comfort and style of a country estate, the 75-year-old Williamsburg Inn treats every guest like royalty. Enjoy high tea overlooking the gardens or dine in the Regency Room. With opulent bedrooms and a host of amenities, you’ll feel like a Rockefeller, if only for the weekend. second place: Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Virginia Beach, 757-213-3000 third place: The Tides Inn, Irvington, 804-438-5000

Most Challenging Golf Course Kingsmill Resort

1010 Kingsmill Road, Williamsburg, 757-253-1703

Three championship-caliber, 18-hole golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye, Curtis Strange and Tom Clark, are the focal point of Kingsmill Resort. The River, The Plantation, and The Woods courses were all designed to follow the contours of the land along the James River, among gently rolling hills, and within hardwood forests. second place: Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, Williamsburg, 757-220-7696 third place: Two Rivers Country Club, Williamsburg, 757-258-4610

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment EASTERN REGION VIRGINIA ••Living Living &&Recreation Recreation

Most Welcoming Bed and Breakfast

Mike Prokopik, Two Rivers Country Club

Great Wolf Lodge, 757-229-9700

Atlantic Shores Retirement Community, 757-716-2000

Noland Trail, Mariners’ Museum Park, 757-596-2222

Take Your Pick Westmoreland Berry Farm wants you to pick the fruits of their labor. When Captain John Smith sailed past what would eventually become Westmoreland Berry Farm in the Northern Neck in 1608, he was showered with arrows fired by the Rappahannock tribe. Today, the Voorhees family owns the land and welcomes families to visit the farm’s 20-acre “pick- your-own” fields and fill containers with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and more. “We enjoy seeing teenagers coming out, seeing that whole family atmosphere together,” says Kane Lloyd, farm manager since 2011. Not much of a picker? The farm’s Country Store offers ready-picked fruit as well as jams and preserves. Even better, the farm’s Eagle Cafe offers sundaes and pies, all made with berries fresh from the farm. And while the Rappahannock tribe were not keen to be discovered, Lloyd sees the farm as having the opposite problem. “We’re the best kept secret!” he says.

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Best Place to Fish

Best Hunting Preserve

Hampton Roads

425 Water St., Yorktown

Essex County

Created to combat the obesity epidemic among African-American women, Black Girls RUN! is on a nationwide mission to get girls running, and better health is not the only benefit. Its 1,085 members in the Hampton Roads chapter make for lots of running buddies, and with eight weekly group runs there’s no excuse to stay home.

If anyone knows the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, it’s Captain Alan Alexander. A native of the fishing community of Croaker, he returned from service in the U.S. Navy to found York River Charters in 2011. With this kind of expert insight on your small boat experience, you’re sure to go where the fish are biting.

Under the Wheat family’s stewardship since 1983, Blandfield Plantation has become a hunting destination with the restoration of the historical home, lands and habitats. Four-thousand acres of freshwater tidal marshes, farm fields and woodlands are home to various waterfowl species, quail and pheasant. Accommodations in the hunting lodge include a well-stocked bar and meals before a roaring fire.

Black Girls RUN! Hampton Roads

York River Charters, 757-645-8397, 804-832-0079 third place: Inlet Fitness, multiple Virginia Beach locations

second place: Lynnhaven Fishing Pier, Virginia Beach, 757-481-7071 third place: James River Bridge Fishing Pier, Newport News, 757-247-0364

Best Place to Dance

Best Wine Trail

401 N. Boundary St., Williamsburg

King George, Lancaster, New Kent, Northumberland,

second place: Olive for Yoga, Deltaville

Lindy Revival, 757-328-8884

This monthly dance in downtown Williamsburg brings back the swing-style of the 1940s Lindy Hop. Neither partner nor experience is required, but if you’re bashful about your two left feet, try their five-week beginner’s course (free lessons with perfect attendance!) to build your skills. second place: Peabody’s, Virginia Beach, 757-422-6212 third place: Granby Theater, Norfolk, 757-961-7208

Best Historic Site

Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail Richmond and Westmoreland counties

Twelve wineries scattered from New Kent to King George exude the hospitality and charm of the Chesapeake Bay, allowing you to savor the setting and unique flavors of the region. Connected by scenic byways along miles of shoreline, this trail combines fine wine with the culture and history of the Virginia coastline. second place: Colonial Virginia Wine Trail, Henrico, James City and New Kent counties, 757-229-0999, ext. 120 third place: Eastern Shore Wine Trail, Eastern Shore, 757-678-5588

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment EASTERN VIRGINIA • Living & Recreation

Best Group Fitness

Blandfield Plantation

second place: Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area, Charles City, 804-367-1000 third place: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia Beach, 757-301-7329

Most Fashionable Horse Show/Race Strawberry Hill Races New Kent A change of hands returns this historical horse race to the Richmond area after 12 years at Colonial Downs in New Kent. This year’s running will also be held in the fall, a nod to the race’s first run in November of 1895. Not to worry, Richmond’s “Rite of Spring” will return to its April date for 2014. second place: Virginia Derby, New Kent, 804-966-7223 third place: Chincoteague Pony Swim, Chincoteague, 757-336-2776

Colonial Williamsburg 101 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg, 757-220-7645 Perpetually pre-Revolution, Colonial Williamsburg lets visitors step back to the 18th century and be a part of history. With re-enactors whose personalities match their period attire, you can chat with the Marquis de Lafayette before touring the Governor’s Palace. Take a carriage ride, visit the sawmill, or sample some circa-1776 tastes at a tavern. second place: Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg, 757-253-4838 third place: Fort Monroe, Hampton, 757-637-7778

Best Outdoor Adventure Go Ape!

5537 Centerville Road, Williamsburg, 800-971-8271

Try to forget your fear of heights and channel your inner Tarzan at this unique adventure course: a series of zip lines, obstacles and rope swings set high in the trees. Encouraging everyone to live life adventurously, Go Ape! lets participants explore the great outdoors from a whole new vantage point: the trees. second place: Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, 800-343-7946 third place: Chanco on the James, Spring Grove, 757-294-3126

Heaven on the Half Shell

Savor the flavors of the seven oyster regions of the Chesapeake Bay. We love our trails in Virginia, be they hiking, historic or all about wine. But we’d like to propose a new one: the oyster-tasting trail. As any good ostreaphile will tell you, an oyster’s flavor comes from the body of water it was raised in, and the Chesapeake Bay region has seven distinct flavor regions. “An oyster is a filter feeder,” explains Mike Hutt, the 59-year-old executive director of the Virginia Marine Products Board. “So if it feeds in salty waters, it’s going to taste salty. If it goes upriver where there’s less salt, then you get an oyster with a completely different flavor.” Hutt was part of an eight-person panel that reached consensus on three flavor descriptors—saltiness, sweetness and buttery/creaminess—and defined the boundaries of the seven regions, now outlined in a brochure, “A Guide to the Flavors of Virginia Oysters.” Region #1 (Seaside) offers “initial bold saltiness,” #2 (Upper Bay Eastern Shore) balances “salt and sweet,” #3 (Lower Bay Eastern Shore) is both “salty and creamy,” #4 (Upper Bay Western Shore) offers “a light cream taste,” #5 (Middle Bay Western Shore) has an “easily distinguished cream,” #6 (Lower Bay Western Shore) leads to “a sweet finish” and #7 (Tidewater) is a “salty oyster with sweetness and a smooth finish.” Such diversity is only possible in the Chesapeake Bay. “We happen to be unique in that we have the bay, the rivers and the sea,” says Hutt. So grab a map, oyster lovers, and prepare to take a bite out of Virginia’s tastiest new trail.

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Pierce’s PITT Bar-B-Que

447 E. Rochambeau Drive, Williamsburg, 757-565-2955

Prepare to drool: juicy pulled pork drenched in “Doc” Pierce’s Original Bar-B-Que Sauce, a rack of slow-cooked, marinated ribs, crispy sweet potato sticks, homemade carrot cake. Need we continue? A favorite of Colin Farrell, Al Roker, Willard Scott, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, this Williamsburg joint has done barbecue right since 1971. second place: Smoke BBQ Restaurant & Bar, Newport News, 757-595-4320 third place: County Grill & Smokehouse, Yorktown, 757-591-0600

Best Dessert Menu

Circa 1918 Kitchen + Bar 10367 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, 757-599-1918

This restaurant’s menu is always eclectic and ever-changing, with inventive dessert specials like chocolate beignets with honey gelato. But Circa 1918’s legendary dark cocoa cake is a menu staple. With some hazelnut gelato and peanut butter “powder” (we think that’s the secret ingredient), Circa 1918’s is singularly delicious. second place: The Trellis Restaurant, Williamsburg, 757-229-8610 third place: MAD about Chocolate, Williamsburg, 757-645-2995

Best Steakhouse

Opus 9 Steakhouse 5143 Main St., Williamsburg, 757-645-4779 From the lime green, lounge-like main dining room to the refined charm of the Mozart Room, Opus 9 offers as many dining experiences as it does dining rooms. Beyond a wealth of juicy steaks— we recommend the Oscar 9—this Williamsburg chophouse’s other delicious entrées include Frenched Australian lamb chops and citrus-glazed Atlantic salmon. second place: Schlesinger’s at Port Warwick, Newport News, 757-599-4700 third place: Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Virginia Beach, 757-213-0747

Best Bakery

Sugar Plum Bakery 1353 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, 757-422-3913 Snow angel cake layered with white chocolate ganache, confetti twist donuts and spaghetti bread with sundried tomatoes, garlic, onion and basil are just a few of the unique cakes, sweets and breads Sugar Plum makes. But what makes this beach bakery truly special is its unwavering commitment to training and employing persons with disabilities. second place: Just Cupcakes, Virginia Beach, 757-425-1010 third place: The Cake Man, Mathews, 804-725-7407

photo courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg

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Best Barbecue Restaurant

food & drink Most Creative Cocktail Menu

Best Overall Restaurant

10367 Warwick Blvd., Newport News

10367 Warwick Blvd., Newport News

Envision Ava Gardner dressed up in red, carefully placed violet accents completing her brilliant look. Not the actress—we’re talking about Circa 1918’s Ava Gardner cocktail of Stoli vodka, berry compote, St. Germain liqueur and a hint of lime. The Don, the Rum Diaries and Lady Sings the Blues also come highly recommended.

Circa 1918 offers quite the contemporary American menu. Where else can you treat yourself to duck meatloaf, a grilled lamb burger topped with goat cheddar, mahi mahi wrapped in a banana leaf and flash-fried squid with a fennel, octopus and tomato salad? Don’t miss out on this coastal gem the next time you’re in town.

second place: Seven, White Stone, 804-435-2300 third place: Bardo Edibles + Elixirs, Norfolk, 757-622-7362

second place: Terrapin Restaurant, Virginia Beach, 757-321-6688 third place: Le Yaca French Restaurant, Williamsburg, 757-220-3616

Circa 1918 Kitchen + Bar, 757-599-1918

Circa 1918 Kitchen + Bar, 757-599-1918

Bringing Home the Gold

Chef Travis Brust of the Williamsburg Inn takes top honors at the World Food Championships. Fortunately, not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Last November, Travis Brust, executive chef of the Williamsburg Inn in Colonial Williamsburg since 2011, brought home the title of World Chef Champion from the first World Food Championships, held in the expansive parking lot of Bally’s Las Vegas. “It was pretty intense,” the 31-year-old Brust says of his three days of fierce food competition in the blazing sun and neon lights of Sin City’s fabled strip. “When we got there and found our tent, we saw chefs Ben Vaughn and Jeff Henderson from the Food Network. We thought they were judges at first, but then we found out they were competitors.” Brust, an award-winning American Culinary Federation chef and New York native, confesses he thought he’d be eliminated on the first day. But, “for lack of a better term,” he says, “I kicked everyone’s butt!” Brust made it through the first round—completed in a heart-racing 30 minutes—by making a seared salmon fillet with fennel and apple slaw, vodka raspberry reduction and corn and leeks. When the field of 14 was culled to eight, Brust prepared—again in just 30 minutes— braised duck on a fresh herb biscuit hors d’oeuvre and Virginia honey and peanut encrusted duck breast entrée. (How could any chef stand a chance against Virginia’s finest, we ask?) But it was a dish fit for a queen—literally—that won Brust the title in the final round. He prepared a version of the dish served to Queen Elizabeth when she visited Colonial Williamsburg in 2007: fennel pollen dusted rockfish served with sautéed bitter greens, fresh oyster and pearl potato stew finished with a ginger citrus beurre blanc, accented with carrot cardamom gel. (Brust was a sous chef at the Inn at that time. “I wasn’t quite high enough on the food chain” to meet the queen in person, he says.) Brust says the VIP events and red carpet moments in Vegas following the win made him feel like a celebrity. What was the reaction he got when he returned home to Williamsburg? That, he says, was like “hitting a home run out of left field.” B e s t

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Best Place for a Sandwich

Best Farmers’ Market

2800 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach

410 w. Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg

402 W. Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg

Leave the cereal and frozen breakfast sandwiches at home. Indulge in the TradeWinds’ raw bar, doughnut machine, chocolate fountain, and omelet, waffle, sushi and carving stations. If you plan to experience the bayside restaurant’s acclaimed Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Thanksgiving Day brunches, book your reservation now.

Sure, The Cheese Shop is known for the grand selection of fine cheeses it has carried since 1971, but its made-to-order sandwiches rank right up there. The next time you’re in Williamsburg, drop by for hot smoked salmon on focaccia, chicken salad with applewood-smoked bacon or—you guessed it—the best grilled cheese you’ll ever eat.

It is the goal of many farmers’ markets to both encourage healthy eating and support local producers. But the Williamsburg Farmers’ Market takes its mission one step further by aiming to revive “the historic role of the Williamsburg town center as a place for markets.” The seasonal affair has been an integral part of the community since 2002.

second place: The Chamberlin, Hampton, 757-637-7200 third place: Opus 9 Steakhouse, Williamsburg, 757-645-4779

second place: TASTE, Virginia Beach, 757-422-3399 third place: Leaping Lizard Cafe, Virginia Beach

second place: Virginia Beach Farmers Market, Virginia Beach, 757-385-4388 third place: Irvington Farmers Market, Irvington, 804-480-0697

TradeWinds, 757-481-9000

Best Pizzeria

The Cheese Shop: Merchants Square, 757-220-0298


Williamsburg Farmers’ Market, 757-259-3768

Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop

Best Ice Creamery

431 Prince George St., Williamsburg

6721 George Washington Memorial Highway,

Twenty years ago, the DiSilvestro family opened their first location in Hampton Roads with the goal of providing authentic Italian fare in a familyfriendly atmosphere. Now with multiple locations throughout the area, they’ve achieved that vision five times over. Best of all, it’s a pizzeria with a conscience, creating tantalizing gluten-free and non-dairy pies in addition to the traditional., 757-221-6676


This inviting brick-front shop is dedicated to providing “warmth beyond the cup” for all of its customers, and it does so in a cozy, casual atmosphere. In addition to offering an impressive array of fine coffees and teas, Aromas also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as assorted sweets and baked goods.

At Short Lane, what’s old is new again. The oldfashioned ice cream parlor, which opened in 2004, occupies what was once a country store and post office, built back in 1936. Whether you order a banana boat sundae or a soda float, Short Lane’s handmade ice cream adds another dimension to the expected.

YNot Pizza

Multiple Virginia Beach locations

second place: Southwind Pizza, Mathews, 804-725-2766 third place: Cogan’s Pizza, Norfolk, 757-627-6428

Best Burger Joint

Five Guys Burgers and Fries 1430 High St., Williamsburg, 757-229-1213 Much of Five Guys’ appeal lies in its simplicity. There are peanut shells on the floor and nothing but burgers and dogs on the menu. It’s hard to top the fresh-cut fries cooked in peanut oil, though. No wonder the Virginia joint, founded in Arlington in 1986, is now a hit nationwide. second place: 80/20 Burger Bar, Norfolk, 757-233-7900 third place: Dog-N-Burger Grille, Norfolk


Best Breakfast Restaurant Citrus

2265 W. Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach, 757-227-3333

It’s all about breakfast at Citrus, where everything—from the pancake batter to the hollandaise sauce to the sweet potato biscuits—is made from scratch using local ingredients. This beachtown retreat serves all kinds of palate pleasers that make getting out of bed worth the effort. Jumbo lump crab omelets, pumpkin pancakes and country chicken Benedict are but a few. second place: Doc Taylor’s, Virginia Beach, 757-425-1960 third place: Car Wash Cafe and Catering, Kilmarnock


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second place: The Local, Irvington, 804-438-9356 third place: Cafe Stella, Norfolk


EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment EASTERN VIRGINIA • Food & Drink

Best Sunday Brunch

Short Lane Ice Cream, 804-695-2999

second place: Brown Dog Ice Cream, Cape Charles

757-695-3868 third place: Island Creamery, Chincoteague, 757-336-6236

Best in Show

Marsh Mud cold-brewed coffee is Virginia’s best new product. “I’m rarely speechless,” confesses Kristin Willis, co-owner with her husband Jamie of the Eastern Shore Coastal Roasting Company in Willis Wharf. But when their Marsh Mud cold-brewed coffee won Best New Product overall at the Virginia Food and Beverage Expo last year, Willis says she was shocked: “I was like, what? Best overall?” Marsh Mud bested food and beverage entries from more than 50 other contestants. The Willises came up with the idea for Marsh Mud after their customers kept asking them how to make the cold-brewed coffee they served at their booth when they traveled to food shows and markets. Kristin says the couple, who started their wholesale coffee roasting business in 2006, asked themselves how they could package the coarsely ground coffee blend to make it “Eastern Shore easy.” That’s when they thought of measuring the roasted coffee into a 100 percent cotton muslin bag that could then be thrown into a pitcher of cool water and left to steep for about 12 hours. The result is a brew that is less acidic than heat-brewed coffee, and more concentrated too—watch out for the caffeine kick, it’s swift. Marsh Mud can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. The win led the micro-roaster to being picked up by the recently opened Glen’s Garden Market on S Street in D.C. as one of only four coffee roasters in the state whose blends will be carried in the store, which sells products exclusively from the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The roaster’s many blends, including Fog Cutter, Hog Island Surprise and Chincoteague Sunset are sold at dozens of bed and breakfast inns, boutiques, drugstores and even a meat market on the Eastern Shore. Though their company is definitely growing, “We’re not out to conquer the world,” explains 40-year-old Kristin, a former marine biologist. “After all this, the coffee has become the vessel for our message, which is small businesses staying local. “It’s a really tight community here. I credit the Shore for our success,” says Kristin. “We’ve had longevity because local customers and businesses have sustained us.” The Willises roast about 15,000 pounds of coffee a year and have a patent pending for Marsh Mud. This means, laughs the go-local Kristin (with more than a hint of schadenfreude), “If Starbuck’s wanted to grind coffee and put it in a bag for iced coffee, they couldn’t.”

4/26/13 9:23 AM

All Photography: Jim Goodrich - JPG Photo Events

Stephen and Kevin Whitt would like to thank all our customers and the readers of Virginia Living Magazine who honored us with this “BEST OF VIRGINIA 2013” award. We would also like to express our gratitude to past and present employees, subcontractors and suppliers whose efforts made it possible. Our mission is to design and deliver the finest quality custom cabinet products in the market and make each client’s experience delightful and memorable.

Whitt Corporation is owned and operated by Stephen and Kevin Whitt and specializes in the design, fabrication and installation of custom kitchens, baths, entertainment centers, offices, libraries, etc. Our clients come to us from both the new construction and remodeling markets. Since 1984, Whitt Corporation has offered comprehensive services beginning with the design concept, photo-realistic CAD drawings and assistance with selections, style, colors and other decorating needs. Our clients consistently tell us that they select us because of our: • Ability to integrate the style of the cabinetry with the rest of the house. • Ability to fuse art with function. • Responsiveness. • Ability to coordinate the project with other contractors and subcontractors. All products are constructed using select materials. Custom offerings include an unlimited array of door styles, wood species and finishes. Our extremely creative design and technical staffs are experienced in working with every major style, period, architectural element and material from contemporary to traditional. Please contact us if you have a project with which we can help.

Whitt Corporation 4854-11 Longhill Rd (in the Olde Towne Square Shopping Center) Williamsburg, VA 23188

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Best Wine Shop

204 Armistead Ave., Williamsburg

115 W. Washington St., Suffolk

MAD about Chocolate, 757-645-2995 Chocoholics, hear this: When Marcel Desaulniers sold the Trellis Restaurant a few years back, it seemed his days in the food service industry were over. But last year, Desaulniers came out of semiretirement to open up a decidedly unique eatery— a chocolate cafe. Visit MAD about Chocolate for cake and a salad or beer and bread pudding, all done with a chocoholic’s tastes in mind. second place: The Royal Chocolate, Virginia Beach, 757-557-6925 third place: Schakolad Chocolate Factory, Virginia Beach, 757-486-3740

Best Al Fresco Dining Merroir

784 Locklies Creek Road, Topping, 804-758-2871 Quaint riverfront homes, an assortment of neatly docked boats sloshing in the breeze, the placid Rappahannock stretching as far as the eye can see. When the mealtime view is this captivating, it might just distract you from your roasted oysters, filet of rockfish or Barcat oyster chowder. Let go, and get lost in your surroundings. second place: 757 CrAvE at Marina Shores,

Virginia Beach, 757-376-4361 third place: Al Fresco, Newport News, 757-873-0644

Best Winery

The Williamsburg Winery 5800 Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg, 757-229-0999 Records claim John Johnson was the first to plant grapevines on the site of the future Williamsburg Winery property, under the Twelfth Acte of 1619. Though the land has changed hands many times since the 17th century, it still produces some of the finest wine around. Try the Jamestown Cellars Settlers’ spiced wine for a taste of early America. second place: Mermaid Winery, Norfolk, 757-233-4155 third place: New Kent Winery, New Kent, 804-932-8240

Best Seafood Restaurant Merroir

C3 Vino


C3—think corks, cheese and charcuterie—may have only opened in August 2012, but its selection of wines from around the globe has already made it a success. There’s also a substantial collection of Virginia wines available. Fortified Friday night wine tastings contribute to the shop’s reputation as a foodie destination in downtown Suffolk. second place: Total Wine & More, Newport News, 757-249-2261 third place: Specials Wine Seller, Kilmarnock, 804-436-9463

Best Local Microbrewery

O’Connor Brewing Company 521 W. 25th St., Norfolk, 757-623-2337 Beer is no stranger to a college campus, but few students actually brew their own ale. Norfolk native Kevin O’Connor is among these rare birds. After years of home brewing, he channeled his collegiate pastime to create O’Connor Brewing Company, now home to local favorites like Norfolk Canyon Pale Ale and Great Dismal Black IPA. second place: Smartmouth Brewing Co., Norfolk, 757-624-3939 third place: The St. George Brewing Company, Hampton, 757-865-2337

Best Sports Bar

Shorebreak Pizza & Taphouse 2941 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, 757-481-9393 Good times await at Shorebreak, where patrons are urged to eat, drink, watch and play. Catch the game with the guys, spend happy hour with the girls or treat the whole family to dinner. The restaurant is smoke-free, and there’s a game room for the kids. Game on! second place: Roger Brown’s Restaurant & Sports Bar, Portsmouth, 757-399-5377 third place: The Zone, Rock and Sports Bar, Virginia Beach, 757-467-2329

Best Overall Bar

Pasha Mezze

350 W. 22nd St., Norfolk, 757-627-1318 When Pasha Mezze opened its doors 10 years ago, it sold Turkish home décor items and groceries, with few dine-in options available. The store’s emphasis on hospitality and healthy entrées was such a hit with locals that the multigenerational, familyowned business is now a thriving restaurant focused on Mediterranean and Anatolian cuisine. second place: Circa 1918 Kitchen + Bar,

Newport News, 757-599-1918 third place: Food for Thought Restaurant, Williamsburg, 757-645-4665

Best Caterer

Carried Away Cuisine 10 N. Main St., Kilmarnock, 804-435-9191 Who knew? What began as Pennsylvania Amish country’s first gourmet food stand became a leading caterer in the Northern Neck? After Carried Away’s Jackie Brown earned a reputation as “the cookie lady” in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the ’80s, she expanded into a full-service catering business and brought it to Kilmarnock in 2002. The rest, as they say, is history. second place: Sweetwater Cuisine, Virginia Beach, 757-403-7073 third place: Chef by Design Catering Company, Virginia Beach, 757-496-3900 third place tie: The Catering Company, Williamsburg, 757-220-8011

Best Sushi Cuisine

Sakura Japanese Restaurant 2029 Lynnhaven Parkway, Virginia Beach

1231 W. Olney Road, Norfolk

757-416-3551, 757-962-5400

The secret is out. Merroir, Rappahannock Oyster Co.’s casual riverfront tasting room, just might be home to the best oysters you’ll ever eat. Whether you order Olde Salts, Rappahannocks or Stingrays, which are briny, sweet and mild, respectively, you’ll start to be able to tell the difference after swallowing a few.

No bland brews here; this quirky bar specializes in “craft, artisanal, European, crazy, hard-topronounce beer and cheese.” Whether you swing by the family-run establishment for Beer Education Wednesdays, Cheesemonger Thursdays or Pairing Menu Fridays, owners Ben Bublick and Malia Paasch will show you a great time.

second place: Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill, Williamsburg, 757-253-1847 third place: Sandpiper Restaurant, White Stone, 804-435-6176

Best Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant

The Birch

784 Locklies Creek Road, Topping, 804-758-2871

second place: Lynnhaven Pub, Virginia Beach

757-481-9720 third place: Nate’s Trick Dog Cafe, Irvington, 804-438-6363, All-you-can-eat sushi? Sakura invites guests to literally fill up on its fresh, artfully presented classic and specialty rolls. And don’t let the restaurant’s strip mall location fool you. Bamboo, stone walls, dim lighting and a glowing fountain inside definitely add a sleek, exotic vibe. second place: Mizuno Japanese Restaurant, Virginia Beach, 757-422-1200 third place: Bangkok Noi Thai Cuisine, Gloucester, 804-695-1177 B e s t

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4/26/13 9:24 AM

The Height of Luxury: the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront


Come see for yourself why the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront was voted the “Most Luxurious Hotel” and “Virginia’s Top Wedding Vendor” for 2013, as well as “Best Hotel in Virginia” and “Best Beach Hotel” in 2012.

3001 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 | | 757-213-3000

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Maya Couture Bridal Salon 12 Best Square, Norfolk, 757-461-1690 When she says she learned from the best, owner Maya Warburton is not being bashful. Beginning her fashion career in the NYC flagship bridal house for Vera Wang, she relocated to Virginia Beach to be her own boss. Carrying over 400 dresses on site, Maya can also create custom gowns. second place: All the Rage, Virginia Beach, 757-491-1418 third place: Pure English Couture Bridal, Virginia Beach, 757-631-9810

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment EASTERN VIRGINIA • Shopping & Services

Best Bridal Shop

shopping & se rv ices

Best Women’s Clothing Store The Dandelion

4372 Irvington Road, Irvington, 804-438-5194 Housed in a parsonage built during the steamboat era, this 38-year-old boutique has become a go-to for summer Saturday morning shopping on the Northern Neck. Vineyard Vines, Marimekko and Eileen Fisher are just a few names on the long list of designers and brands the shopping set will find inside. second place: Binns, Williamsburg, 757-229-3391 third place: Nordstrom, Norfolk, 757-314-1111

Best Hair Salon

Changes Hairstyling and City Spa 22 & 710 W. 21st St., Norfolk, 757-625-5300 It started as a children’s hair salon in 1983, but living up to its name, Changes has grown into a fullfledged salon and day spa. Cutting, styling, coloring, even hair restoration—Changes does just about everything, and they do it for the whole family. second place: Sara Brown Salon, Kilmarnock, 804-435-0373 third place: Blow A Salon, Virginia Beach, 757-652-3120 third place tie: Gary Allen Hair and Skin Care Centre, Virginia Beach, 757-425-1641

Best Men’s Haircut

Jake’s Place Barbering, Lounge, and Spa 222 W. 21st St., Norfolk, 757-627-5253 Jake’s Place is the man’s answer to the salon and day spa. A division of Changes City Spa, it has locker rooms, a steam room, private grooming booths and, of course, a 42-inch plasma TV (set to ESPN). But it’s not all about sports. Jake’s Place provides complete men’s services including barbering, grooming, hand and foot detailing, massages and skin treatments. second place: Sport Clips, Williamsburg-New Town, Williamsburg, 757-253-2547 third place: Duke’s Barbershop, Williamsburg, 757-565-3853

p h o t o c o u r t e s y o f B l u e C r a b B ay C o .

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Bloody Good

The mixer that saved a company. In 1993, the economy was in the tank. Frilly businesses and purveyors of nonessentials were floundering and, despite nearly 10 years in the business of peddling pricey comestibles, Blue Crab Bay Co. was on the verge of collapse. “We didn’t know if we were going to keep going or not,” says founder Pamela Barefoot. So Barefoot went for broke. “I thought, ‘What would my dream product be?’” she says from her Melfa office on the Eastern Shore. The answer came surprisingly easy: a special, proprietary Bloody Mary mix. But what would distinguish hers from the shelves and shelves of other Bloody Mary mixers? She looked no farther than her own stockroom for the answer. Many companies have their own version of Chesapeake Bay seasoning (Old Bay being one of the best known), and Blue Crab Bay is no exception. Blue Crab Bay’s Chesapeake Bay seasoning, which is used in many of the company’s products, has a not-so-secret ingredient that adds what Barefoot describes as “the subtle taste of celery.” (“We have to list all the ingredients on the label,” Barefoot adds.) And what marries nicely with Bloody Marys? Why, celery, of course. Then, to give it the flavor of the salt air one would expect from a bayside company, she added clam juice. The blending of the two flavors would give it Blue Crab Bay’s distinctive imprimatur. After mixing, boiling, tasting and repeating the process numerous times in her kitchen, Barefoot corked three different versions, grabbed some vodka and headed off to work to let the staff choose one. (Did we mention that Blue Crab Bay is a fun place to work?) After the voting was done, Barefoot gave it a name—Stingray Bloody Mary Mix— slapped labels on some bottles and got them in front of customers. The response was quick and warm. “Sales started climbing fast after that,” she says. Further fueling Stingray’s acceptance was the gold trophy it won for Outstanding Beverage at the 1994 International Fancy Food Show. Stingray “really put us on the map,” says Barefoot. Toasting Stingray’s upcoming 20th birthday, Blue Crab Bay has added another potential award winner to its shelves: Jalapeno-infused Margarita Mixer. This time, there’s no pressure to save the company. Just sit back, and watch sales climb.

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BEST COSMETIC DENTIST 2013 Virginia Living



...for writing an honest-to-goodness love note to your sweetheart ...for leaving the dishes in the sink so you could ride your bike before sunset ...for surprising your favorite bus driver with a box of cupcakes ...for giving the people around you 100 more reasons to smile, every day

... and yes, for voting Norge Dental 2013 Best Cosmetic Dentist

READY TO GET THE SMILE OF YOUR DREAMS? Request your free smile analysis from Norge Dental Center today. Call 757-941-5279, or visit “Over the years, the bonding on my teeth had cracked and yellowed. I knew it was time to get the work redone. Everything Dr. Johnston told me up-front is exactly what happened. I’d do it all over again. Sometimes people say, ‘You look different, but I can’t put my finger on it.’ I don’t think my smile can get any better.” —VIRGINIA DECAMP


Download your free Time Machine at — Official Cosmetic Dentist for the Miss Virginia and Mrs Virginia Pageant —

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Best Shopping Area/Mall

Best Pet Boarding

300 Ed Wright Lane, Suite F, Newport News

300 Monticello Ave., Norfolk

1924 Diamond Springs Road, Virginia Beach

This Hampton Roads florist doesn’t limit its services to the area, delivering arrangements to countries all across the globe. It does custom orders too, but no worries if you don’t know what you want—Jeff's has designs already in mind. And the website can tell you the meaning behind those flowers; did you know that sunflowers symbolize loyalty and constancy, and that snapdragons protect their beholders from curses? Neither did we.

MacArthur Center’s one million square feet of retail space means business. They have more than 140 stores, including 40 that are unique to the area like Nordstrom and Apple. Then grab a bite at any of its restaurants from fast food to fine dining. You’ll need the sustenance to get you through this much shopping.

As “Camp Counselors,” the fully-trained, animaladoring staff at Care-A-Lot are in charge of making sure Fido has fun during his stay. All overnight animals are enrolled in doggie daycare, so they get plenty of exercise, and you can even upgrade with special packages like doggie manner sessions, extra treats or a going-home bubble bath.

Jeff’s Flowers of Course, Inc., 757-827-5333

second place: The Wild Bunch, Kilmarnock, 804-435-1044 third place: Flowers From the Heart, Mathews, 804-725-3020

Best Interior Designer

Carol Ritz, Tidewater Interiors 13320 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, 757-872-8666 One of four designers with the small, familyowned design firm, Tidewater Interiors, Carol Ritz has worked projects as small as a single window to a 15,000-square-foot home, contemporary to traditional. Through Tidewater Interiors, whose in-house workroom is unique to the area, she works directly with the seamstresses on custom window treatments and pillows. second place: Nancy Myers, Interior Innovations,

White Stone, 804-435-1257 third place: Pam Deihl, The Pedestal, Kilmarnock, 804-435-1783

MacArthur Center

Care-A-Lot Pet Supply, 757-627-6000

second place: Williamsburg Premium Outlets, Williamsburg, 757-565-0702 third place: Peninsula Town Center, Hampton, 757-838-1505


Best Independent Home Decor Store A. Dodson’s

2948 Bridge Road, Suffolk, 757-483-1344 This colorful country cottage is chock full of quirky odds and ends. Owner Allison Dodson Anderson offers an eclectic array of furniture, apparel, antiques, housewares and other gifts. It even features a housewares collection called “The South.” Now your coasters, dish towels, glasses and mugs can say “y’all” too. second place: The Pedestal, Kilmarnock, 804-435-1783 third place: Tidewater Interiors, Newport News, 757-872-8666

Dick’s Sporting Goods

701 Lynnhaven Parkway, Virginia Beach, 757-463-4379 Spurned by a former employer who didn’t like his suggestions for expanding the bait-and-tackle store, 18-yearold Dick Stack decided he could do better. With $300 from his grandmother, he opened his own bait-and-tackle store in Binghampton, New York, in 1948, which exploded into the national sporting goods store it is today. second place: Bass Pro Shops, Hampton, 757-262-5200 third place: Sports Centre Ltd., Kilmarnock, 804-435-1302 Second-generation and family run, Burkes Fine Jewelers carries its own copyrighted designs. Five collections—the Rivah Collection, Lady of the Bay, River Rocks, Bay Bangles and Northern Neck Knots— are a shout-out to the charm of the Northern Neck, and include sterling scallop-shell pendants and engagement rings fashioned with a fisherman’s knot.

Pete Decker practices in all federal and state courts in the Hampton Roads area, but it is his commitment to the community that makes him stand out. An active philanthropist, when it comes to being a lawyer, “being able to help people in the community, that’s the greatest part of my job,” he says.

second place: The Precious Gem, Williamsburg, 757-220-1115 third place: Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, 757-498-1186

second place: Matson C. Terry II, Irvington, 804-438-5522 third place: Robert Lee Stephens Jr., Irvington, 804-480-4090

It began in 1995, when Arne Breland moved his family from Brooklyn, New York, to 7-mile-long Chincoteague Island. If the Eastern Shore is small, “Chincoteague is smaller,” he says, and as the new guy in town, he faced competition. “You can’t trust many to renovate or rebuild your home,” but he started with small jobs and built from there.

Best Sporting Goods Store

86 S. Main St., Kilmarnock, 757-622-3317, 757-336-6915


Burkes Fine Jewelers

109 E. Main St., Suite 200, Norfolk

3530 Main St., Chincoteague

second place: Sandy Creek Pet Resort, North, 804-693-2311 third place: St. Francis Pet Resort & Rehabilitation Center, Williamsburg,

Best Fine Jewelry Store

Peter G. Decker III

Breland & Sons, 757-457-9483


Best Lawyer

Most On-Schedule Home Builder

Virginia Diner, Wakefield Virginia Diner Peanut Pie ½ pound crushed salted peanuts 1 cup sugar 3 whole eggs ½ cup flour 1½ cups Karo light corn syrup 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 1 unbaked pie shell

Most Beloved Pediatrician Joseph A. Baust Jr., M.D.

895 Middle Ground Blvd., Suite 200, Newport News, 757-599-4090 Dr. Baust’s Pediatrics at Oyster Point practice gets Mom-points for its separate sick waiting room. A dedicated well waiting room means you and your little one don’t have to mingle with too many germs if you’re there just for a checkup (unless baby wants to press her nose against the glass fish tank). Their up-to-the-minute Facebook page lets parents know which bugs are going around.

second place: Connemara Corporation, White Stone

Mix eggs, flour and sugar. Then add syrup and peanuts. Add melted butter last. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 ½ hours, or until center is firm.


Serves 6 to 8, 757-599-4090

third place: Bertrand Ross, M.D., Norfolk

third place: Sasser Construction, Portsmouth, 757-484–6075 photo courtesy of Virginia Diner

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EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment EASTERN VIRGINIA • Shopping & Services

Best Florist

second place: Brian K. Butcher, M.D., Newport News, 757-668-7213 B e s t

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4/26/13 9:26 AM

Thank you, Virginia. (We love you, too.) From everyone here at The Tides, we once again would like to thank our guests and Virginia Living readers for voting us a “Best of Virginia� resort in the Eastern region. We are proud to continue our tradition of being recognized in a variety of categories, including: Best Resort for Families and Most Luxurious Hotel. In honor of these awards, we invite you to join us for championship golf, marine-inspired spa treatments, expert sailing lessons, relaxing tours of the Wine Trail, and lots of fun exploration for kids with our Crab Net Kids program. To reserve a special Virginia Value for your Chesapeake Bay getaway at The Tides, call or visit our website today.

480 King Carter Drive | Irvington, VA 22480 | 800.843.3746 | 804.438.5000 |

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Best Children’s Clothing Store

22 & 710 W. 21st St., Norfolk

420 Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg

Changes City Spa enhances its menu with a few seasonal specialties designed to target those specific seasonal skin problems, like Spring’s Flower Facial to give winter skin a boost. Facials, waxing, massages, manicures, pedicures, even a body treatment so extensive it’s named The Body Odyssey. In a hurry? Try an express facial or pedicure refresher.

Just over the cobblestone streets of Colonial Williamsburg lies the Carousel Children’s Boutique, where Marty Wilson and her mother Margaret offer traditional children’s clothing—baptism and Holy Communion dresses, ties and sailor suits, smocked dresses and Mary Janes—alongside playwear and casual clothes for infants, boys, girls and tweens up to size 16.

second place: The Spa at Kingsmill, Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, 757-253-8230 third place: The Spa at Tides Inn, Irvington, 804-438-5000

second place: Sprout Children’s Boutique & Consignment, Virginia Beach, 757-422-0644 third place: Connie’s Kids, Chesapeake, 757-547-5437

Best Air Charter Service

Best Men’s Clothing Store

2649 Greys Point Road, Topping

429 Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg

Changes Hairstyling and City Spa, 757-625-5300

Bay Aviation, 804-758-9500 The Northern Neck makes for a beautiful scenic drive, but consider what it looks like from the sky. Aside from flight lessons, Bay Aviation can give visitors a bird’s-eye view of the river and bay. Be sure to bring your history buff for a ride in their recently restored Fairchild PT-19, World War II’s primary trainer. second place: Tempus Jets, Newport News, 757-875-7779 third place: Jet Air Charter, Virginia Beach, 757-858-1500 third place tie: Landmark Aviation, Norfolk, 757-857-3463

Best Cycle Shop

Conte’s Bike & Fitness in Virginia Beach 1805 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, 757-491-1900

When Charles R. Conte Sr. opened the first Conte’s bicycle store in Newport News in 1957, his vision was simple: To provide a neighborhood store for bike service and repair. He made such a success of it that there are now four stores throughout Virginia, and the business is still family-owned. Though it has grown, this shop still doesn’t feel like a chain. second place: East Coast Bicycles, Norfolk, 757-622-0446 third place: BikeBeat, Williamsburg, 757-229-0096

Best Gift Shop

The Carousel Children’s Boutique, 757-229-1710

R Bryant Ltd. 757-253-0055

There is just something about the Southern gentleman. Tailored, yet relaxed, he is not afraid to show some color, or wear a white three-piece suit. R Bryant Ltd. and its in-house tailor have served the Southern gentleman for 31 years, carrying traditional apparel from casual to formal, all with that dueSouth flair for color, seersucker and sweet tea style. second place: Dan Ryan’s for Men, Virginia Beach, 757-425-0660 third place: Jos. A. Bank, Newport News, 757-596-0969

Best Shoe Store Walk This Way

2120 William Styron Square South, Newport News, 757-599-9255

Forget the big box shoe stores and their impersonal service. Walk This Way Shoes carries shoes you won’t find in run-of-the-mall stores. Hosting events throughout the year, including the “Shoetini” event every fall, this upscale ladies shoe boutique carries designers like Stuart Weitzman, Kate Spade, Corso Como and Jack Rogers. second place: Nordstrom, Norfolk, 757-314-1111 third place: The Shoe Attic, Williamsburg, 757-220-0757

Best Hospital

Riverside Regional Medical Center 500 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News

Quirks of Art, 757-594-2000

1430 High St., Suite 709, Williamsburg

Riverside Regional Medical Center operates on the cutting edge of medical research and technology with the late January opening of their brand new surgical pavilion, a $107 million, 250,000-square-foot expansion. A regional leader in emergency care, the Emergency Department and Trauma Center responds to a whopping 57,000 emergencies annually., 757-645-4366

With a little bit of whimsy, Quirks of Art has kept Williamsburg awake since opening in 1997. A gallery for handcrafted art, much of which is one-of-a-kind, Quirks of Art represents the work of over 400 artisans from the U.S. and Canada in various mediums including glass, pottery, fibers, metal works, jewelry, wood and ceramics. second place: Papeterie, Kilmarnock, 804-435-1125 third place: Simply Selma’s, Virginia Beach, 757-428-2885

second place: Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, Williamsburg, 757-984-6000 third place: Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Norfolk, 757-388-3000

A Colorful Compendium Blending the best of Virginia.

It was inevitable that noted Virginia chef and food writer Patrick Evans-Hylton would author another book. (He has penned six, including two food history books and a cookbook.) And it was inevitable that Massachusetts-based Storey Publishing’s popular state-by-state Dishing Up cookbook series, would get around to featuring Virginia. So it was just a matter of time before the two collided to create Dishing Up Virginia, 288 fullcolor pages of 145 Virginia-sourced recipes. The result is a colorful compendium of the best ways to put the Commonwealth’s indigenous bounty to use. Evans-Hylton went region by region, plumbing history, consulting other writers and asking friends (regionally speaking, the best in the business) for recipes. Williamsburg Inn Executive Chef Travis Brust turned in the recipe for the Inn’s signature sweet potato pancakes with Blanton’s single barrel bourbon-pecan butter. From Bill Justus, executive chef at The Boar’s Head in Charlottesville, comes a recipe for roasted rack of lamb with rosemary potato terrine and mint gremolata. And somehow Evans-Hylton wrangled the recipe for Miller & Rhoads’ Missouri Club sandwich, once a hit at that Richmond department store’s tearoom. Evans-Hylton doesn’t hamstring us with a timeline that begins with pot likker and rabbit stew in Jamestown and ends somewhere in the ’50s with icebox cake. While colonial tastes are well represented, most recipes are modern and global. “Virginia is the birthplace of American cuisine,” says Evans-Hylton, “and through my book I am hoping folks can see—and appreciate—not only the wonderful history of food and foodways, but their relevance today, and how they keep expanding.”

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Best Orthodontist

5589 Greenwich Road, Suite 100, Virginia Beach

4097A Ironbound Road, Williamsburg

Nose jobs, implants, facelifts—all standards in the cosmetic surgery game. Dr. Carraway can do all of them as a physician professor in the EVMS Plastic Surgery Department, but he also specializes in reconstructive surgery, from children born with defects like cleft lip or webbed fingers to adults and children injured in accidents.

In 29 years of practice, Dr. Wendell’s expertise has not gone unnoticed. A past president of the Tidewater Orthodontic Society and member of the National Dental Honorary Society, his work as associate clinical professor of orthodontics at MCV School of Dentistry earned him the honor of orthodontic faculty member of the year in 2007.

James H. Carraway, M.D., F.A.C.S., 757-557-0300

second place: Michael F. Zwicklbauer, M.D.,

F.A.C.S, Newport News, 757-873-3500 third place: Peter Vonu, M.D., F.A.C.S., Newport News, 757-873-3500

Best Independent School

Hampton Roads Academy 739 Academy Lane, Newport News, 757-884-9100

Hampton Roads Academy has the traditional expectations of a college preparatory school—100 percent college acceptance, small student-teacher ratio, lots of AP courses, sports teams and student-led organizations, and a curriculum that utilizes technology without leaving the arts behind. Upper School students also get to take finance courses, and kindergartners get lessons in technology. second place: Norfolk Academy, Norfolk, 757-461-6236 third place: Chesapeake Academy, Irvington, 804-438-5575

Best Kitchen Designer

Stephen Whitt, Whitt Corporation 4854-11 Longhill Road, Williamsburg, 757-564-0231 Specializing in custom and semi-custom cabinetry and featuring manufacturers like Elmwood Kitchens and Kitchen Craft Cabinetry, the father-son team of Stephen and Kevin Whitt has been building beautiful kitchens in the Williamsburg area since 1984. They can tackle custom projects from bathrooms to home offices too. second place: Jon Derrick, Cape Henry Builders,

Virginia Beach 757-422-8613 third place: Stacey Briguera, Stacey Briguera Interior Design, Virginia Beach, 757-491-3488

Best Antiques

Kilmarnock Antique Gallery 144 School St., Kilmarnock, 800-497-0083 Among the culinary delights from the Chesapeake Bay, the oyster reigns supreme. So it’s no surprise that Kilmarnock Antique Gallery on the Northern Neck is known for its antique collections of that special plate used to serve the bivalve. “Home of the Oyster Plate Lady,” the gallery’s owners Steve and Lynn Bonner have collected these dishes for decades. second place: Williamsburg Antique Mall, Williamsburg, 757-565-3422 third place: Barrett Street Auction Center & Antique Mall, Virginia Beach, 757-463-8600

photo courtesy of Mad About Chocolate

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Peter D. Wendell, D.D.S., 757-253-1200

second place: Beth L. Faber, D.D.S., M.S., P.C., Tappahannock, 804-445-2045 third place: Vicki Ross, D.M.D., Newport News, 757-249-4203

Best Dentist

Brian P. Midgette, D.D.S., P.C. 3326 Taylor Road, Chesapeake, 757-483-4700 Early acceptance into MCV School of Dentistry began Dr. Midgette’s dental education, but earning his D.D.S. and founding his own practice did not quench his desire to learn. Seeking hours of continuing education to further his knowledge, Dr. Midgette participates in several local dental study clubs and is a member of two national dental organizations. second place: Timothy K. Johnston, D.D.S., Williamsburg, 757-564-0804 third place: David Konikoff, D.D.S., Virginia Beach, 800-764-5399

Best Outdoor Outfitter Bass Pro Shops

1972 Power Plant Parkway, Hampton, 757-262-5200

Bass Pro Shops carries just about everything you’d want for fishing, hunting, camping, boating, outdoor cooking and more. The enormous store—105,000 square feet—features a 19,000-gallon aquarium, cascading waterfall and hundreds of wildlife mounts, not to mention a full archery range and rock climbing wall. But be careful; you could get lost in this place— not that you’d mind. second place: Wild River Outfitters, Virginia Beach, 757-431-8566 third place: Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Virginia Beach, 757-422-2201

Best Dermatologist George Harr, M.D.

1200 First Colonial Road, Suite 200, Virginia Beach, 757-481-4422

Dr. Harr joined Virginia Beach’s first dermatology practice, Dermatology Inc. of Virginia Beach, in 1985. A past president of the Tidewater Dermatology Society, Dr. Harr now has more than 27 years of experience in general medical and cosmetic dermatology, with a special interest in dermatologic manifestations of systemic disease. second place: Donna M. Corvette, M.D., Williamsburg, 757-645-3787 third place: Susan E. Mackel, M.D., Newport News, 757-873-0161

Mad About Chocolate, Williamsburg

Dark Chocolate Truffle Heart For the Ganache: 8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped ¾ cup heavy whipping cream Place 8 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate in a small bowl. Bring ¾ cup heavy cream in a small saucepan to a boil over medium heat. Pour over chocolate. Set aside for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture (called ganache) onto a nonstick baking sheet and use a rubber spatula to spread the ganache in a smooth, even layer to within about an inch of the inside edges of the pan. Place the ganache in the freezer for 15 minutes, or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, until firm to the touch. Line a 10- to 12-inch dinner plate with parchment paper or waxed paper. Portion 12 heaping tablespoons of ganache onto the paper. Roll each portion of ganache into a ball. Return each to the paper-lined plate, and place in the freezer while preparing the cake batter.

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment EASTERN VIRGINIA • Shopping & Services

Best Cosmetic Surgeon

For the Chocolate Cocoa Cakes: 5 ounces unsalted butter cut into ½-ounce pieces 2 teaspoons butter, melted 2/3 cup all-purpose flour ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped 3 large eggs 2 large egg yolks ½ cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat the inside of each individual nonstick muffin cup with 2 teaspoons melted butter. Set aside. Sift together 2/3 cup allpurpose flour and ½ cup cocoa powder. Set aside. Melt semisweet chocolate and 5 ounces butter in the top half of a double boiler over medium-low heat. Use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate and butter until completely melted and smooth, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Place eggs, egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat on a medium-high speed for 2 minutes until slightly frothy. Add the melted chocolate and butter and mix on low to combine, about 15 seconds. Continue mixing on low while gradually adding the sifted dry ingredients. Once all the dry ingredients have been added, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix on medium to combine, about 15 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter until thoroughly combined. Portion 3 heaping tablespoons (about 2 ½ ounces) of the cake batter into each individual muffin cup. Place the muffin tin on the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove the truffles from the freezer. Remove the muffin tin from the oven. Moving quickly, place a single frozen truffle in the center of each small cake, pressing each truffle about halfway down into the cakes. Immediately return the muffin tin to the center rack of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake (not the truffle) comes out clean, about 17 to 18 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from muffin cups. Serve immediately while still warm. Serves 12

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Nort hern virgini a hunt country, with its green plains and rolling hills, has a romance all its own. Huntsmen still ride with toe-warming flasks sauced by nearby distilleries, and the lavish hunt breakfast, served afield on linen or from the tailgate of a mud-splattered truck, is still a much-enjoyed tradition. But today, the polyglot of influences that pour into NoVa’s big, bubbling melting pot mean that here, more than anywhere else in the state, you can find a flavor for every taste, an ethnicity for every interest. From the musings of Restaurant Eve’s Irish chef Cathal Armstrong and the European kitchen tools sold at La Cuisine in Alexandria to the classic French cooking at L’Auberge Chez François in Great Falls, one can travel the world from the dining tables of NoVa’s vast and varied restaurant offerings. Here, you can find authentic, native cuisines from any spot on the globe, all in one place. Northern Virginia ... a food lover’s wonderland.

Photography byby Cade Cade Martin Martin ♠♠ Illustration Illustration byby Shane Shane Rebenscheid Rebenscheid ♠♠ Styling Styling byby Neely Neely Barnwell Barnwell Dykshorn Dykshorn Photography

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ARTS, CULTURE & Entertainment Best Art Event

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival 12001 Market St., Reston, 703-501-6289 The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, the region’s largest and longest-running event of its kind, celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year. The Greater Reston Arts Center produces the three-day affair, which draws a crowd of over 50,000 to enjoy artisan works in 16 different categories—from ceramics and 3D mixed media to photography and furniture. second place: Art on the Avenue, Alexandria third place: MPAartfest presented by McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, 703-790-1953

Best Overall Museum

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly

cheers!, 703-572-4118

Centreville celebrates Virginia’s flourishing wine industry. The Vintage Virginia Wine Festival, held annually at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, celebrates its 32nd anniversary this year, and on June 1 and 2, wine lovers will gather to taste more than 350 different Old Dominion vintages. “It started very small,” says Dave Saunders, chief idea officer for Richmond-based marketing agency Madison+Main, the event’s promoters. The first festival featured just a handful of wineries, “kind of an afterthought,” says Saunders. But as the state’s wine industry prospered, so did the festival. (With hundreds of wineries and approximately 3,000 acres of vineyards, the Commonwealth is now the fifth largest wine producing state in the country.) The Fairfax County event will feature around 40 wineries this year, including Lazy Days and Horton. Patrons can mingle with winemakers, attend seminars on food and wine pairings, and attend cooking demonstrations by five-star chefs who will prepare multicourse meals over the three days of the event. And the 2013 festival introduces something new: food trucks. About 15 of these roving restaurants, including favorites Capital Chicken and Waffles, Curbside Cupcakes, and Simplicity, will serve up everything from barbecue to seafood to Vietnamese cuisine. Saunders calls the family-friendly festival “Virginia’s official picnic.” Activities for kids, teens and even designated drivers—who receive discounted admission and free soda—include moon bounces and live bands. “One thing I love is the diversity of the attendees,” Saunders says. “You have 21-year-olds trying wine for the first time, 30-somethings with kids in strollers, 40-somethings watching chef demonstrations and people in their 60s who’ve never been to the festival before. “If you leave hungry or without trying wine, that’s your fault,” laughs Saunders. In his eyes, there’s just no excuse not to have a great time. Says Saunders, “It’s Vintage Virginia … it just doesn’t get any better.”


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Home to thousands of aviation and space artifacts, the 10-year-old Udvar-Hazy Center is the sister facility of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The 760,000-square-foot annex proudly displays storied aircraft, including Discovery, the space shuttle fleet’s longest-serving orbiter, and the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest jet in the world. second place: Manassas Museum System, Manassas, 703-368-1873 third place: National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, 877-635-1775

Best Special Event Venue

The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, 703-255-1900 The Filene Center may be best known for its concerts, but the colossal amphitheater annually hosts close to 100 performances in just about every genre imaginable. This year’s lineup includes Golden Dragon Acrobats from China, “Rock of Ages” the musical and the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. second place: Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, 703-584-2900 third place: Hylton Performing Arts Center, Manassas, 703-993-7550

p h o t o b y r o g e r g u p t a , o p p o s i t e p a g e p h o t o c o u r t e s y o f L’a u b e r g e C h e z F r a n Ç o i s

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George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria, 703-780-2000

Having welcomed more than 80 million visitors since it opened to the public in 1860, Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in the nation. George Washington’s haunt hosts riveting tours each year, including the famed National Treasure Tour, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at where “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” was filmed. second place: Manassas Museum System, Manassas

Best Movie Theater

Most Creative Charitable Event

1600 Village Market Blvd. SE, Leesburg

9601 Ox Road, Lorton

When’s the last time you enjoyed a martini at the movies? At Cobb, you can order anything from a Buffalo chicken sandwich to a Budweiser and enjoy it inside the theater, which offers D-BOX seats that move in sync with the action onscreen. Remember to hold that martini tight during the car chase scene.

The annual Collectors Showcase at the penitentiary-turned-creative-haven Workhouse Arts Center is an event that artists and community members look forward to all year long. At the completion of the juried exhibit, in which the “Best in Show” winner is awarded a solo gallery exhibition, patrons enter a lottery to take home their favorite pieces.

Cobb Village 12 Cinemas, 571-291-9462

second place: Rave Fairfax Corner 14 + Xtreme, Fairfax, 703-378-6550 third place: Angelika Film Center & Café at, 703-368-1873 third place: Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, 703-550-9220

Mosaic, Fairfax, 571-512-3301

third place tie: Workhouse Prison Museum at Lorton, Lorton, 703-495-0001

Best Mixologist

NORTHERN VIRGINIA • Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Best Historic Museum

Collectors Showcase, 703-584-2900

second place: McLean Project for the Arts Spring Benefit, McLean, 703-790-1953 third place: The Campagna Center’s Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend & Parade, Alexandria, 703-549-0111

Todd Thrasher, PX 728 King St., Alexandria

Best Food Festival Taste of Reston

11900 Market St., Reston, 703-707-9045 Don’t let the carnival rides, live entertainment and Family Fun Zone! distract you from the abundance of food and drink at Taste of Reston, the region’s largest outdoor food festival. Restaurants and vendors will be offering plenty to sample, while chef demonstrations in the Wine ‘n Dine area are always crowd pleasers. second place: Chocolate Lovers Festival, Fairfax, 703-385-1661 third place: Taste of Arlington, Arlington, 703-664-1194

Best Music Venue

If you live in the D.C. area and enjoy cocktails, you’ve probably heard of Todd Thrasher, a local legend when it comes to mixing drinks. He’s known for swiftly fusing flavorful, if outlandish, ingredients together to create enticing and memorable elixirs. Many of his aptly named original creations come with a backstory. second place: Stefan Trummer, Trummer’s on Main, Clifton, 703-266-1623 third place: Barry McMahon, McMahon’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, Warrenton, 540-347-7200 third place tie: Dan Root, The Ice House Cafe, Herndon, 703-437-4500

The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

L’Auberge Chez FranÇois

1551 Trap Road, Vienna

Bouillabaisse, 703-255-1900 There’s just something about listening to live music in the warm summer air that calms the soul, so it’s no surprise this sprawling outdoor concert hall is such a big hit. With a 2013 schedule that includes the Temptations, the Four Tops, Josh Groban and—drumroll—Carly Rae Jepsen, the Filene Center’s calling, “maybe.” second place: The Birchmere, Alexandria, 703-549-7500 third place: Jammin Java Music Club and Cafe, Vienna, 703-255-1566

Best Performing Arts Company Better Said Than Done, 571-334-8652 Remember story time? Your favorite part of the school day (behind recess) when you’d listen intently as your teacher read aloud? Better Said Than Done knows that story time isn’t just for kids, so the troupe of professional storytellers performs captivating tales for live audiences across the region. second place: Manassas Ballet Theatre, Manassas, 703-257-1811 third place: Signature Theatre, Arlington, 571-527-1860

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Great Falls

Broth: ½ cup olive oil ½ cup each finely chopped onion, carrots, and leeks �/8 cup finely julienned celery 2 teaspoons minced shallots ½ cup chopped fresh tomatoes 2 tablespoons tomato paste ½ cup dry white wine 1 ½ cups fish stock 1 tablespoon sea salt (approximately) 1 bouquet garni consisting of ½ teaspoon fennel seed, ½ teaspoon anise seed, ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, 1 bay leaf, 1 clove, pinch of thyme and 2 cloves garlic crushed, wrapped in a cheesecloth ½ teaspoon saffron Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onions, leeks, celery and carrots and cook covered until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring often. Add the shallots, tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine, fish stock, salt and bouquet garni. Boil for approximately 25 minutes. Add the saffron and simmer 5 more minutes. Seafood: 6 mussels 4 little neck clams ¼ pound sea scallops single 1-pound Maine lobster ¼ pound raw shrimp (20-24 count) 4 ounces fish fillets (red snapper, sea bass, grouper) 4 oysters (optional)

2 teaspoons Pernod 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh fennel ½ teaspoon chopped garlic While the broth is cooking, prepare the seafood. Clean the mussels individually in cold water, scraping off any clinging barnacles or “beards.” Discard any half-open shells or any unusually heavy ones, which indicate internal grit. Rinse the clams, oysters and scallops in cold water. Using a sharp heavy knife, force the point of the blade through the top of the lobster head between the eyes. Then cut down through the center of the head and tail, splitting the lobster in half. Remove and discard the lobster head and the intestinal vein running down the center of the tail. Remove the claws and crack them with the blunt edge of the blade. Peel and devein the shrimp. Cut the fish fillets into 2- to 3-inch diagonal slices. Add the mussels and clams to the boiling broth and simmer 5 minutes. Then add the lobster, shrimp, scallops and fish. Continue boiling until all the shellfish are open, approximately 5-8 more minutes. Do not overcook. Remove from heat, adjust seasoning (more garlic or saffron according to taste), add Pernod and chopped fennel, and serve immediately in large warm soup platters. Garnish with garlic toasts.

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BEST MOVIE THEATRE – NORTHERN VIRGINIA COBB VILLAGE 12 CINEMAS – 1600 Village Market Blvd., SE, Leesburg, VA 20175 Family friendly entertainment for all ages.

BEST MOVIE THEATRE – CENTRAL VIRGINIA CINÉBISTRO AT STONY POINT FASHION PARK – 9200 Stony Point Parkway, Richmond, VA 23235 At this location no one under 21 will be admitted. Proper ID Required.

BEST MOVIE THEATRE – HAMPTON ROADS CINÉBISTRO AND THE LANES AT PENINSULA TOWN CENTER – 4401 West Claiborne Sq., Hampton, VA 23666 Family friendly until 8PM (including movies beginning at 8pm and earlier). After 8PM, 21 and over. Proper ID Required. Children younger than 6 are not permitted in PG-13 and R rated movies starting at 6pm and later.

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Walker Jones, PC

Walker Jones, PC, congratulates Jonathan P. Lienhard on his selection as one of the Top Three Lawyers for the Northern region in Virginia Living’s Best of Virginia. A member of the firm’s litigation team, Jonathan is dedicated to providing clients with sound judgment and strong advocacy. His wide ranging experiences as a commercial litigator, criminal defense lawyer, and in-house counsel provide him with a unique perspective in addressing each client’s legal issues and concerns.

For over 35 years, Walker Jones, PC, has provided skilled and resourceful legal services in Fauquier County, Northern Virginia, and the Virginia Piedmont. Walker Jones, PC, practice areas also include: domestic relations, personal injury, wills, trusts and estates, business law, and real estate.

For more information please go to or call us at (540) 347-9223.

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Clarendon Ballroom

3185 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, 703-469-2244 From its rooftop pavilion and bottom-floor lounge to its 80-foot-long bar and cavernous, pressed-tin ceiling, the Clarendon Ballroom is the historic Woolworth Building reborn. The nightclub and special event venue’s restored art deco grandeur brings a taste of Gatsby, not to mention jammin’ disc jockeys, to the neighborhood. second place: Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, 703-584-2900 third place: Clarendon Grill, Arlington, 703-524-7455

liv ing & recreation Best Retirement Community

Best Wine Trail

6921 Netherstone Court, Gainesville

Loudoun County

Heritage Hunt was named Best Active Adult Community in the Country by the National Council on Senior Housing in 2001. The clubhouses, sweeping golf course, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, stone wall waterfall, grand ballroom and bustling social calendar make retirement seem like one long, glorious day at the country club.

It’s official: Loudoun has more wineries and tasting rooms than any other county in the Commonwealth. Once collectively known as the Loudoun Wine Trail, the county’s more than two-dozen wineries now form DC’s Wine Country. Sample popular Loudoun varieties like Chardonnay and Norton, as you travel through the region’s five distinct winery clusters.

Heritage Hunt

Best Hiking Trail 9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, 703-285-2965

There’s hardly a shortage of hiking opportunities at Great Falls; the expansive park has 15 miles of exciting packed-dirt and gravel trails, five of which are also open to cyclists and horseback riders. From the elementary Mine Run Trail to the “treacherous” River Trail, all of the park’s paths offer scenic views. second place: W&OD Trail, Arlington to Purcellville, 703-729-0596 third place: Burke Lake Park, Fairfax Station, 703-323-6600

Most Welcoming Bed and Breakfast Goodstone Inn & Restaurant 36205 Snake Hill Road, Middleburg, 540-687-3333

Goodstone Inn offers a dash of English and French country charm in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The Middleburg retreat invites guests to personalize their stay by reserving one of 18 specially decorated rooms in six distinct residences, including the rugged Bull Barn, bucolic Dutch Cottage and stately Manor House. second place: Ashby Inn & Restaurant, Paris, 540-592-3900 third place: Middleburg Country Inn, Middleburg, 800-262-6082

Most Fashionable Horse Show/Race Virginia Gold Cup Races

Most Luxurious Hotel 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, 540-347-2612 At this annual springtime event, presented by the Virginia Gold Cup Association, tailgating is as storied a tradition as the steeplechase itself. Drawing upwards of 50,000 spectators each year, the Cup encourages fans to participate in the Tailgate Contest, in which they dress up, decorate and mix drinks according to a chosen theme. second place: Upperville Colt & Horse Show, Upperville, 540-687-5740 third place: Middleburg Spring Races, Middleburg, 540-687-6545

All his life, Ben Rasmussen detested dark chocolate— until 2009, that is. But when he finally braved a nibble, he discovered it is “very much like wine grapes, different cacao from different origins have wildly different flavors, and it was fascinating to taste these differences.” Having officially converted to “the dark side,” the 37-yearold says a friend suggested they take a stab at making their own chocolate. “I thought it was an absurd idea,” the Woodbridge native admits. Many kitchen experiments later, Rasmussen launched Potomac Chocolate in July 2010 and became the D.C. area’s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker. His inaugural bar, the Upala 70%, which is infused with earthy cacao from Upala, Costa Rica, and contains notes of raspberry and caramel, was both a finalist in the nationwide Good Food Awards and a Silver award recipient from

second place: Fauquier Wine Trail, Fauquier County, 540-422-8270 third place: Tuskie’s Wine Trail, Leesburg, 703-771-9300

The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner

90 Main St., Warrenton

Woodbridge chocolatier’s dark delicacy.

photo courtesy of potomac chocolate, 703-771-2170

second place: Greenspring, Springfield, 703-913-1200 third place: Leisureworld of Virginia, Lansdowne, 703-723-1501

Pure Chocolate

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DC’s Wine Country, 703-743-4000

Great Falls Park

EASTERN REGION • Arts &Culture & Entertainment NORTHERN VIRGINIA • Living Recreation

Best Place to Dance, 703-506-4300 The name Ritz-Carlton has long been associated with luxury, but now, through Ritz-Carlton Environmental Action Conservation Teams (REACT), it’s also linked to green business practices. The brand’s hip Tysons Corner location pampers you and protects the earth by using a chlorine-free Saline Comfort Pool System and offering organic, local and all-natural foods. second place: Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, 703-729-8400 third place: Hotel Monaco Alexandria – A Kimpton Hotel, Alexandria, 703-549-6080

the London-based Academy of Chocolate in 2011. The variety of dark chocolate Rasmussen makes has since expanded, but the size of the company has not. Potomac Chocolate remains a one-man operation run out of the workshop in Rasmussen’s Woodbridge home. Still, the awards keep coming. This year, his sea salt-encrusted Upala 70% Nib and Salt bar took home a Good Food Award, while his fruity San Martín 70% bar, flavored by cacao from San Martín, Peru, won him another Silver from the Academy of Chocolate. When it comes to making chocolate, Rasmussen keeps it simple. “In order to highlight the naturally-occurring flavors of the cacao, all of my chocolate is made using only cacao and sugar with no added flavors.” Of the chocolate uninitiated Rasmussen says, “I hope that they’ll have that same experience that I had when I first tried it—the ‘Wow, I had no idea that chocolate could be like this’ experience.”

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Most Challenging Golf Course

44050 Woodridge Parkway, Leesburg

1 Turtle Point Drive, Gainesville

Home to 296 guest rooms, a 12,000-square-foot spa, 50,000 square feet of meeting space, five restaurants, a five-pool aquatic complex, three tennis courts and 45 holes of golf, what’s not to love about a secluded resort that’s received the AAA Four-Diamond Award every year since it opened in 1991?

Avid golfers know the name Robert Trent Jones Sr. well; the distinguished architect designed hundreds of golf courses worldwide during his lifetime. Yet there is only one course, anchored by Lake Manassas, that Jones declared his “masterpiece.” His legendary namesake club in Gainesville has hosted four Presidents Cups since its establishment in 1991.

Lansdowne Resort, 703-729-8400

Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, 703-754-4050

second place: Hotel Monaco Alexandria – A Kimpton Hotel, Alexandria, 703-549-6080 third place: Marriott Ranch, Hume, 540-364-2627 third place tie: Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles, Chantilly, 703-818-0300, 703-779-2555 third place: General’s Ridge Golf Course, Manassas Park, 703-335-0777

Best Hunting Preserve

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens

G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area Fauquier County, 804-367-1000 An amalgam of steep inclines, hardwood forest and major streams in northwestern Fauquier County, G. Richard Thompson is among the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ most popular wildlife management areas. Whether you prefer to hunt bears in November or trap coyotes in February, you’ll want to take advantage of the facility’s nearly 4,000 acres. second place: C.F. Phelps Wildlife Management Area, Fauquier County, 804-367-1000 third place: Shady Grove Kennel, Hunting Preserve and Sporting Clays, Remington, 540-439-2683

Best Place to Fish Burke Lake Park

7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, 703-323-6600 Experienced anglers and amateur fishermen will find refuge at Burke Lake Park, where a glassy 218acre lake—stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, muskie, walleye, black crappie, catfish, and yellow and white perch—awaits. Four fishing bulkheads, a fishing pier and 5.25 miles of shoreline make for a great day on the water. second place: Leesylvania State Park, Woodbridge, 703-730-8205 third place: Lake Brittle, Fauquier County, 804-367-1000

Red Truck Bakery, Warrenton Cranberry Orange Nut Bread 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup sugar 1 ½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 stick (½ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest ¾ cup fresh orange juice 1 large egg 1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

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second place: Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesburg

Best Historic Site

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria, 703-780-2000

George Washington died at Mount Vernon on Dec. 14, 1799. But the Alexandria estate, where nearly 500 of the property’s original 8,000 acres have been preserved, is also where our first president’s legacy lives on. Visitors can attend seasonal wreath-laying ceremonies at his tomb or explore the wonders of his mansion 365 days a year. second place: Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas, 703-361-1339 third place: Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, 703-550-9220

Best Group Fitness

Black Girls RUN! DC Northern Virginia

Best Tennis Club Pro

Griff Lamkin, McLean Racquet & Health Club 1472 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, 703-356-3300 Griff Lamkin, who reigned as a top-ranked midAtlantic doubles player in 1971, has been a fixture of McLean Racquet & Health for 36 years. Since leaving his mark on the University of South Florida tennis team, the pro and club tennis director has spent most of his adult life coaching students ranging in age from five to 90. second place: Steve Gallagher, The Country Club of Fairfax, Fairfax, 703-273-3100 third place: John Dokken, Chestnut Forks Tennis & Fitness Club, Warrenton, 540-347-0823

Best Outdoor Adventure Great Falls Park

9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, 703-285-2965

You might say Great Falls Park is an 800acre playground fit for a diverse group of outdoor enthusiasts, from thrill-seeking rock climbers and whitewater boaters to relaxing picnickers and fishermen. Home to the gushing Potomac, over 150 species of birds, miles of trails and impressive views, the McLean nature reserve attracts nearly 500,000 visitors annually.

EASTERN REGION • Arts &Culture & Entertainment NORTHERN VIRGINIA • Living Recreation

Best Resort for the Whole Family

second place: Harpers Ferry Adventure Center, Purcellville, 540-668-9007 third place: Adventure Links at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, Clifton, 800-877-0954 third place tie: Mount Vernon Trail, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Alexandria to Washington, D.C., 703-289-2500

In an effort to fight obesity, Black Girls RUN! encourages African-American women to put away the junk food and hit the pavement in its approximately 70 running groups across the country—the D.C. chapter is among the largest in the nation. Grab your sneakers; the group leads 24 runs per week. second place: CycleLuv Indoor Cycling Studio, Leesburg, 703-431-0347 third place: Lifetime Fitness, Centreville, 703-266-6200 third place tie: Old Town Athletic Club, Warrenton, 540-349-2791

In a food processor or in a bowl with a pastry blender, blend together the flour, the sugar, the baking powder, the salt, the baking soda and the butter until the mixture resembles meal, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the zest, the juice and the egg, add the mixture to the flour mixture and stir the batter until it is just combined. Stir in the cranberries and the walnuts and transfer the batter to a well-buttered 9- by 5-inch loaf pan. Bake the bread in the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 ¼ hours, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes then turn it out onto a rack. Serves 6

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Dixie Bones BBQ

13440 Occoquan Road, Woodbridge, 703-492-2205

Dixie Bones founder Nelson Head is a Southerner through and through. Take one bite of his downhome cookin’, and you’ll taste a family tradition that goes back generations. A Woodbridge fixture for nearly 20 years, the pit barbecue restaurant also caters from Baltimore to Richmond for parties of up to 5,000. second place: Willard’s BBQ, Chantilly, 703-488-9970 third place: The Q Company, Leesburg, 703-777-8767

EASTERN REGION • Arts&Culture NORTHERN VIRGINIA • Food Drink & Entertainment

Best Barbecue Restaurant

food & drink

Best Caterer

Claire’s at the Depot 65 S. 3rd St., Warrenton, 540-351-1616 Name an occasion, and chances are Claire’s has an elaborate, corresponding bill of fare. (They even have special menus available for tailgate, Halloween and cocktail parties.) If they don’t have the menu you’re looking for, they’re happy to customize one that fits your unique needs. Claire’s also goes the extra mile by booking rentals, entertainment and other things on your to-do list for your event. second place: Celebrations Catering, Sterling, 703-450-6666 third place: Windows Catering Company, Alexandria, 703-519-3500

Best Dessert Menu

The Cheesecake Factory 11778 Fair Oaks, Fairfax, 703-273-6600 The Cheesecake Factory may be known as a culinary conglomerate—the chain has 160-plus locations nationwide—but it had humble beginnings in Detroit. It was there, in the 1940s, that Evelyn Overton opened up a small shop starring her original cheesecake recipe. That and 49 other cheesecake flavors now make up a winning dessert menu. second place: Red Truck Bakery & Market, Warrenton, 540-347-2224 third place: Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm, Ashburn, 571-209-1200

Best Steakhouse Ray’s the Steaks

2300 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, 703-841-7297 With an endless array of dry-aged-, butcher- and classic-cut steaks available in-house, Ray’s knows steak. Forget filet mignon, strip and porterhouse; at this meat-and-potatoes paradise, we recommend ordering the Blue Devil, hanger au poivre, Black and Blue New Yorker, Cajun rib-eye or the Cowboy. second place: Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Fairfax, 703-266-1004 third place: Morton’s The Steakhouse, Reston, 703-796-0128 photo courtesy of eat g ood food group

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Chef’s Choice

Dinner is always a surprise at Restaurant Eve. Chef Cathal Armstrong left Dublin, Ireland, in 1990 to get out of the food business. Twenty-three years later, the 42-year-old Armstrong presides over a Northern Virginia food empire comprising six restaurants in Alexandria—Restaurant Eve, Eamonn’s: A Dublin Chipper, PX, The Majestic Café, Virtue Feed & Grain and Society Fair—and a second Eamonn’s in Arlington. The flagship establishment is Restaurant Eve, which Armstrong and wife Meshelle opened in 2004 and named after their now-14-year-old daughter. The most popular option at Restaurant Eve is the Chef’s Tasting Room, where Armstrong shows off his skills through prix fixe five-, seven- and nine-course tasting menus, ranging from charcuterie to shellfish to Randall Lineback ribeye steak with broccolini. The courses change daily, so diners often don’t know what’s coming until it arrives in front of them. “There are all these things and all these choices and it’s already Friday night and you don’t want to think about it,” is how Armstrong explains the popularity of the surprise menu. “We take the work part away from the guests. You close the book and leave it in our hands.” (Dietary requirements are taken into account, of course.) Armstrong has also embraced a healthier lifestyle, motivated by his involvement in the Chefs Move to School program in 2010. “Here I am sitting on the lawn of the White House, shaking hands with the first lady, and I felt like a hypocrite because I was preaching about healthy school lunches and here I was overweight!” Armstrong took up taekwondo, enlisting Master Jason Yoo of Yoo’s Authentic Martial Arts in Alexandria as his trainer. Training six days a week, the chef dropped nearly 40 pounds and in July 2012 was victorious in his age and weight class at the USA Taekwondo National Championships. The return to fitness has given Armstrong “a focus and a level of calmness and concentration that comes with being physically fit,” as well as “that physical stamina and ability to carry on cooking.” That’s bad news for Armstrong’s future taekwondo opponents, but good news for hungry Virginians.

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EASTERN REGION • Arts&Culture NORTHERN VIRGINIA • Food Drink & Entertainment

Best Overall Restaurant Claire’s at the Depot 65 S. 3rd St., Warrenton, 540-351-1616 It takes character, charm, superb service and a well-rounded menu to secure the title of Best Overall Restaurant, and Claire’s has got it all. Located in the renovated 19th-century Warrenton Depot train station, Claire Lamborne’s brainchild serves up a winning blend of Southwestern, Mediterranean, Southern Caribbean and contemporary American cuisine. second place: L’Auberge Chez François, Great Falls, 703-759-3800 third place: Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro, Reston, 703-234-3550

Best Pizzeria

Dressed Up Dogs

Fire Works Pizza

Haute Dogs and Fries blends farm to table with fast food.

201 Harrison St. SE, Leesburg

Lionel Holmes and Pamela Swanson knew they wanted to open a restaurant in 2010, they just didn’t know what kind. The two then-Morton’s The Steakhouse employees “both love fine dining,” says Holmes, but knew the 2010 economy was “sensitive.” At the other end of the spectrum, they weren’t keen on a fast food franchise, “with food sitting under a heat lamp,” either. So, Holmes says, they decided, “let’s not buy a manual, let’s start a concept from scratch.” The result was Haute Dogs and Fries in Purcellville, with a second location opening in Alexandria in 2012. These are no stadium or 7-Eleven dogs. Holmes and Swanson get their meat from Fields of Athenry farm in Purcellville—where Holmes says owner Elain Boland’s “philosophy and integrity are beyond reproach, and she produces incredible ground beef and lamb sausage”—and Lothar’s Gourmet Sausage in Hamilton, owned by Lothar Erbe, an artisan master butcher from Bavaria. The “haute” idea is all about the toppings. “It’s like haute couture,” explains Holmes. “We’re going to dress it up and accessorize the hot dogs,” with toppings like pineapple relish, banana peppers and bleu cheese. Neat idea, but the key is in the execution, and Holmes and Swanson have it down to a science. Everything is cooked fresh and fast in about three minutes, just long enough for customers to take in the bright red walls featuring photos of regular customers’ canine companions, or maybe watch a little ESPN or CNN on two strategically placed TVs. “Then, when your order’s ready, we shout your name,” says Holmes. The second location in Alexandria, essentially a replica of the Purcellville location, has been a big success, so Holmes and Swanson are already considering the next move. “We are eager to start scouring the market,” says Holmes. “We would be ecstatic to get into the city [D.C.] somewhere.” At which point, they may have to consider printing a manual of their own.

Fire Works not only prepares its pizza pies in a 700-degree, wood-fired oven, as its name suggests, it’s also devoted to supporting local farmers and brewers. So when you’re chowing down on a Virginia Luau, Sopranos or Black Sheep pizza, you can feel good knowing the meat and veggies on top are from nearby producers.

Best Bakery

Best Sunday Brunch

22 Waterloo St., Warrenton

65 S. 3rd St., Warrenton

Red Truck Bakery—named for the 1954 Ford farm truck that owner Brian Noyes purchased from Tommy Hilfiger himself—takes the cake in Northern Virginia, winning first place in more categories than any other business. Speaking of cake, the bakery’s bourbon, Shenandoah apple, double-chocolate moonshine, rum and Meyer lemon cakes are good examples of this bakery’s inventive approach to baked goods.

When brunch begins with a basket of complimentary cranberry-orange scones, you know you’re in for a memorable meal. With noteworthy menu items like rainbow trout and gouda grits, cornmeal crusted Chesapeake oysters, yellowfin tuna wontons and blueberry cornmeal pancakes, Claire’s Sunday brunch stands alone.

Red Truck Bakery & Market, 540-347-2224

second place: Simply Cakes by Alison LLC, Leesburg, 703-405-3388 third place: Mom’s Apple Pie, Leesburg, 703-771-8590

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Claire’s at the Depot, 540-351-1616

second place: Hunter’s Head Tavern, Upperville, 540-592-9020 third place: Artie’s, Fairfax, 703-273-7600 third place tie: Tuscarora Mill, Leesburg, 703-771-9300, 703-779-8400

second place: Tony’s N.Y. Pizza, Manassas, 703-330-8909 third place: Tony’s NY Pizza, Fairfax, 703-502-0808

Most Creative Chocolatier MC2 Confections Leesburg, 571-246-6350 A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and former Surface Warfare Officer, MC2 owner Merideth Cohrs made a major career change in 2010 and is now a self-taught expert in crafting artisan chocolates. All of MC2’s confections—from strawberry sea salt bars to chai spice macadamia quinoa puffs— are made lovingly by hand daily. second place: Artisan Confections, Arlington, 703-524-0007 third place: Artfully Chocolate, Alexandria, 703-635-7917

Best Place for a Sandwich

Red Truck Bakery & Market 22 Waterloo St., Warrenton, 540-347-2224 Since Red Truck uses fresh local meat and produce, and also makes its own bread, sweet pickles and relish, you can bet that all of the Warrenton shop’s sandwich combos are singularly spectacular. Specialty and seasonal sandwiches—like pastrami and apricot mustard on a pretzel roll and homemade meatloaf on focaccia—keep the menu interesting. second place: South Street Under, Leesburg, 703-771-9610 third place: The Italian Store, Arlington, 703-528-6266

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Voted Best In Virginia for Home Décor 2012 & 2013. Thanks, Virginia !

Celebrating our 17th year as Northern Virginia’s most unique home furnishings showroom. From framed art, bronze sculpture, lamps & light fixtures, furniture, door & cabinet hardware, bath accesories, mirrors, floor coverings, silk florals, water features, & a distinctive array of gift & decorative accesories for the’s a showroom that’s like no other! 206 East Market Street Leesburg, VA 20176 Open Tuesday - Saturday 10 to 6 (Closed Sundays & Mondays) Ample free parking on site 571-258-0880 | |

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Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop

Best Ice Creamery

22 Waterloo St., Warrenton

22 Waterloo St., Warrenton

346 Waterloo St., Warrenton

Bacon and eggs seem blah when stacked up against Red Truck’s tomato and olive croissants, pecanencrusted sticky buns, country ham scones and cranberry-orange-walnut muffins. Now that the Fauquier County favorite ships nationwide and is set to open a second location in The Plains, there’s no excuse for anyone to miss out on the early-morning goodness.

Red Truck Bakery, located in a renovated 1921 Esso gas station, claims it’s got the best hot coffee on the East Coast, and it seems our readers agree. The only thing better than the coffee is enjoying it alongside any of the shop’s myriad pies, tarts and cookies.

It’s always summer at Carousel, where a line of eager customers is known to snake around the building on the hottest of days. Though the Warrenton shop has become famous for its softserve ice cream, thick shakes and fizzy floats since it opened in 1999, it has also garnered attention for its boardwalk fries and New York-style hot dogs.

Red Truck Bakery & Market, 540-347-2224

second place: First Watch, Fairfax, 703-978-3421 third place: Virginia Kitchen, Herndon, 703-471-0808

Red Truck Bakery & Market, 540-347-2224

second place: Grounds Central Station, Manassas, 571-379-7285 third place: Caffè Amouri, Vienna, 703-938-1623 third place tie: St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub, Alexandria, 703-739-9268

Carousel Frozen Treats, 540-351-0004

second place: The Dairy Godmother, Alexandria, 703-683-7767 third place: Moo Thru, Remington, 540-439-6455

Best Burger Joint

Best Al Fresco Dining

525 E. Market St., Suite J, Leesburg

9048 John S. Mosby Highway, Upperville

Plenty of restaurants claim to have the best burgers in town, but Melt owners Steve and Debbie Hancotte have diversified well beyond beef, pounding patties made from lamb, crab, shrimp and tuna. Pair a create-your-own cheeseburger with Melt’s stout beer milkshake for the ultimate Melt-down.

This pastoral English pub (they’ve even got an authentic British red telephone booth out front) offers five different dining rooms, but why eat indoors when you can dine on the tavern’s sprawling patio? Outdoor patrons are greeted with a sign that reads “Good Food Served Here.” We promise it’s true.

Melt Gourmet Cheeseburgers, 703-443-2105

second place: Five Guys Burgers and Fries, multiple Fairfax locations third place: The Counter, Reston, 703-796-1008

Philip Carter Winery: Colonial Cultivar Reviving a legacy.

Two-hundred-fifty years ago, thenVirginia Lieutenant Governor Francis Fauquier made an official declaration: Charles Carter was “successfully cultivating a vineyard of European grapes both white and red.” For his trouble—and for cementing Virginia’s rightful place as the birthplace of the American wine industry—Carter received grant money from the Virginia legislature and a gold medal from a royal society in London applauding his innovation. Fast-forward to Memorial Day 2008: Philip Carter Strother slaps the first Philip Carter Winery labels on ready-for-sale bottles of wine. Five months earlier, Strother had bought the vineyard with the centuries-long provenance that, one way or another, had ties to his family for most of its existence. “It’s been in the family, tracing back to the founding of Virginia,” says Strother, a 43-year-old Richmond lawyer. After that, in a nutshell, “it went out of the family and came back into the family through the Strothers in 1929.” But back to history. By 1762, Carter had become quite the vintner, with thousands of vines between Fauquier County and the Eastern Shore. One day, in a heady moment, he packed off a dozen bottles of his wines to London’s Society of Encouragement of the Arts, Manufacture and Commerce (now the Royal Society of the Arts) for critique. Its response was to award him its gold medal. With just 16 acres under vine in Hume, Strother is more the gentleman farmer than his entrepreneurial ancestor. “It’s fair to say I’ve done every position,” he says from his Franklin Street law office in Richmond. “The vast majority is running the operation.” And while Carter must have turned quite a dime on his Virginia vines, Philip Carter Winery’s distribution is fairly limited, retailing primarily from the winery. But this is Virginia, after all, so, to Strother, it’s as much about history as anything else. In 2009, he sent two cases of his wines to the RSA in London for—in a repeat of history—evaluation. Alas, there is no gold medal. But last year, the RSA responded with a distinction that even gold can’t buy: It made Strother a fellow of the RSA. And once again, history had come full circle.

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EASTERN REGION • Arts&Culture NORTHERN VIRGINIA • Food Drink & Entertainment

Best Breakfast Restaurant

Hunter’s Head Tavern, 540-592-9020

second place: Clyde’s of Reston, Reston, 703-787-6601 third place: L’Auberge Chez François, Great Falls, 703-759-3800

Best Seafood Restaurant Ford’s Fish Shack

44260 Ice Rink Plaza, Suite 101, Ashburn, 571-918-4092

Serving “fresh-off-the-hook” seafood, Ford’s Fish Shack is a slice of coastal Maine in eastern Loudoun County—literally, from its Lobstah Cobb salad to its New England clam Chowdah. Choose from the shack’s enticing liquid desserts menu to finish off your meal with a Boston crème pie, strawberry shortcake or Tres Leches café martini. second place: Blue Ridge Seafood, Gainesville, 703-754-9852 third place: PassionFish, Reston, 703-230-3474

Best Sushi Cuisine

Ariake Japanese Restaurant 12184 Glade Drive, Reston, 703-391-9006 An exotic escape from Reston’s daily rush, Ariake offers a delightful miscellany of noodles, hot and cold appetizers, grilled meats and soups. Oh, and a remarkable sushi list. Forget the customary California roll; we recommend Ariake’s Super Dynamite roll with barbecued eel, avocado, crab and cream cheese. second place: Yama Japanese Restaurant, Vienna, 703-242-7703 third place: Hooked Seafood & Sushi, Sterling, 703-421-0404

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Best Winery

2531 Chain Bridge Road, Vienna

3623 Grove Lane, Delaplane

Sunflower lives by the motto, “It’s Good to be Vegetarian,” and their enticing menu is convincing. The restaurant’s focus on healthy eating as the gateway to harmony has converted countless carnivores. When you’ve got lily flower soup, Hawaiian-style rice, colorful vegetable lo mein, eggplant medley and avocado and lemon pie, who needs meat?

Barrel Oak Winery isn’t focused on wine. Run by husband and wife Brian and Sharon Roeder, the fiveyear-old business is primarily interested in fostering a sense of community among its patrons. Sure, they’ve got heaps of their internationally renowned wine on hand, but it’s Barrel Oak’s overflowing events calendar that makes this place mighty.

second place: Lotus Vegetarian, Chantilly, 703-378-6888 third place: Loving Hut, Falls Church, 703-942-5622

second place: Breaux Vineyards, Purcellville, 540-668-6299 third place: Paradise Springs Winery, Clifton, 703-830-9463 third place tie: The Winery at La Grange, Haymarket, 703-753-9360

Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant, 703-319-3888

Best Farmers’ Market

Barrel Oak Winery, 540-364-6402

Reston Farmers Market

1609 Washington Plaza North, Reston, 703-318-9628 On Saturdays, May through November, Lake Anne Plaza becomes a bustle of people, produce and bluegrass music at the Reston Farmers Market. Market Masters John and Fran Lovaas work tirelessly each season to present a vast variety of vendors for the community to enjoy as they stroll through the market. From gourmet lamb chop purveyors to master gardeners, there’s something for everyone. second place: City of Falls Church Farmers Market, Falls Church, 703-248-5077 third place: Leesburg Farmers Market, Leesburg


Best Wine Shop

Leesburg Vintner 29 S. King St., Leesburg, 703-777-3322 A downtown treasure since 1988 and winner of the 1997 Virginia Wine Retailer of the Year award, the Leesburg Vintner is committed to providing Northern Virginians with a top-rack selection of international and domestic wines, no matter the budget. The shop also doubles as a wine bar, with complimentary tastings on Saturday afternoons.

EASTERN REGION • Arts&Culture NORTHERN VIRGINIA • Food Drink & Entertainment

Best Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant

Let the Good Times Roll … at Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge in Reston.

Jackson’s is a pretty happy place. As the patio bar erupts into a spontaneous singing of “Happy Birthday” on a warm spring night, the vibe is very “Cheers” circa 1984 meets Reston 2013. Shannon Farr, managing partner of the restaurant and bar, says she wants every guest to feel “like they came to someone’s home and had a great time.” And while Jackson’s slow-roasted French dip sandwich and lemon marshmallow meringue pie, or the lemon drop martini and pomegranate margarita served at the Lucky Lounge certainly make for a gastronomic good time, the restaurant’s atomic era ambiance is what kicks up the energy in this Reston Town Center hotspot. A vintage library card catalog has been transformed into a hostess stand and brightly colored mismatched retro light fixtures dangle from the ceiling. A maze of dark, polished wood booths dominates the floor, while chrome barstools look like they may have come from an old-school soda fountain.

second place: Oakton Wine Shop, Oakton, 703-255-5425 third place: The Opera House Gourmet, Manassas, 703-330-9636

Best Overall Bar

Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro 11750 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, 703-234-3550 Elaborate menu, elegant ambience and complimentary valet parking aside, Vinifera’s wine list is enough to impress. With more than 300 international and domestic wines spread out over dozens of wine menus, a constant influx of rare, exotic selections and an expert sommelier on staff, this bar fully indulges in the vino experience. second place: Molly’s Irish Pub, Warrenton, 540-349-5300 third place: Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge, Reston, 703-437-0800

Most Creative Cocktail Menu PX

728 King St., Alexandria

This Roaring ’20s-esque, self-proclaimed speakeasy isn’t just one of the greatest cocktail lounges in the Commonwealth; according to GQ magazine, it’s also the eighth best in America. PX invites you to rebel with class through its multitude of cocktails, like Cold Buttered Rum, Black Currant Fizz, Pear of Desire and Smoker’s Delight. second place: Trummer’s on Main, Clifton, 703-266-1623 third place: Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, 703-706-0450 photo courtesy of Great American Restaurants

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Best Local Microbrewery

Lost Rhino Brewing Company 21730 Red Rum Drive, Suite 142, Ashburn, 571-291-2083

The range of Lost Rhino’s brews—which includes Ashburner Dunkel Lager, New River Pale Ale, My Imaginary Girlfriend, Face Plant IPA and Rye Wit, to name a few—is designed to mirror the distinct personalities of the five species of rhino. That also means there’s an original brew for everyone—even root beer for the non-drinkers among you. second place: Port City Brewing Company, Alexandria, 703-797-2739 third place: Corcoran Brewing Company, Waterford, 540-882-9073

Best Sports Bar

Crystal City Sports Pub 529 23rd St. South, Arlington, 703-521-8215 Imagine a multilevel sports bar that’s open 365 days a year with a 10-foot and two eight-foot projection screens, more than two dozen 42-inch HDTVs, six 37-inch HDTVs and a cutting-edge sound booth. All that and a killer menu make Crystal City Sports Pub a sports fan’s paradise. second place: Glory Days Grill, Burke, 703-866-1911 third place: The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille, Fairfax, 703-934-5550

This mix of mid-century furnishings is a tribute to the late Bill Jackson, the inspiration behind the restaurant, a member of the Great American Restaurants group, which opened in 2008. Voted 1995 Chef of the Year by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Jackson was a GAR corporate executive chef whose original recipes, like a warm flourless chocolate waffle, became sensations at all of the brand’s Northern Virginia restaurants. After Jackson passed away in early 2008, the GAR team opened the restaurant to honor his 20 years of service. (He was a hockey fan, so the inverted chandeliers resemble the Stanley Cup.) A mural depicting Jackson in his chef’s coat along with members of his own family in a scene from the “The Little Rascals,” one of his favorites, hangs adjacent to the open kitchen. We bet Jackson would be proud. Jacksons

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Thank You!

as one of the TOP OrThODOnTisTs in Northern Virginia!

Thank you for voting Dr. Kevin McGrath

Here at Oakton Family Orthodontics, for the past thirty years we have dedicated ourselves to earn the reputation as one of Virginia’s leading orthodontic practices based on the exceptional quality of our results, innovative orthodontic care, and outstanding customer service. Experience matters! Based on the successful completion of over 15,000 orthodontic patients, Dr. McGrath knows what a significant difference in health and self-esteem a beautiful smile can make, which is why we strive to give each of our patients the beautiful, straight smile they deserve! Congratulations to Dr. McGrath having been chosen many times as one of the “Top Orthodontists” by his peers and patients by Washingtonian, Northern Virginia, Virginia Living, Washington Family, and Health and Beauty magazines.

Oakton Family Orthodontics, P.C. • 2968-B Chain Bridge Rd., Oakton, VA 22124 • • 703.938.1900

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Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa 4210 Fairfax Corner West Ave., Fairfax, 703-968-2922

In business since 1910, Elizabeth Arden spas know a thing or two about pampering. Walk through the iconic red door and try a contouring marine cellulite treatment, ceramide anti-aging facial or milk and honey manicure, and relax knowing 103 years of experience are behind you. second place: Poplar Springs Inn Spa, Casanova, 540-788-4600 third place: Sugar House Day Spa & Salon, Alexandria, 703-549-9940

shopping & se rv ices Best Interior Designer

Best Lawyer

806 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria

31 Winchester St., Warrenton

51 E. Lee St., Warrenton, 703-688-3111

Salon Emage has been a full-service day spa for nearly a decade, but it originally opened as a hair salon in 2000. Offering a deep conditioning hair masque and Nioxin scalp therapy treatment, Emage knows how to tame your tresses. Best of all, customers can earn $20 gift certificates through the Style Rewards program.

Owner and principal designer of Gracious Living by Design, Anna Kucera, holds a master of fine arts in interior design from George Washington University and has years of experience working in the luxury hotel industry. A turn through her Pinterest page reveals a custom-made canopy in a master bedroom so well-appointed you would never want to get out of bed, and a pair of Asian-inspired canvas panels painted for her customer by a local artist.

Whether you’re in desperate need of a criminal lawyer or are simply looking into drafting a will, Jonathan Lienhard is your guy. The Notre Dame graduate and associate at Walker Jones, PC, the largest and one of the oldest law firms in Fauquier County, practices general and commercial litigation, wills, and business and criminal law.

Best Hair Salon

Salon Emage Day Spa, 540-341-4052

second place: The Secret Garden Salon, Warrenton, 540-347-6618 third place: Bellini Salon Spa Medical Esthetics &

Boutique, Vienna, 703-255-2555

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment NORTHERN VIRGINIA • Shopping & Services

Best Day Spa

Anna Kucera, Gracious Living by Design

second place: Natascha Folens, NF Interiors, Great Falls, 703-444-6642 third place: Barry Dixon, Barry Dixon Inc., Warrenton, 540-341-8501

Jonathan P. Lienhard, 540-347-9223

second place: Marie Washington, Warrenton, 540-347-4172 third place: Cheryl K. Graham, Leesburg, 703-443-9360 third place Tie: Scott W. Taylor, Vienna, 703-790-1900

Best Men’s Haircut

Bellini Salon Spa Medical Esthetics & Boutique 112 Pleasant St. SW, Vienna, 703-255-2555 Hair appointments and spa days aren’t just for the ladies. At Bellini, men can get a haircut and stick around for the royal treatment via the Men’s Executive Retreat. The nearly four-hour experience includes a spa facial, deep tissue massage and the manliest of manicures and pedicures. second place: Grooming Lounge, McLean, 703-288-0355 third place: Reflections of You, multiple Fairfax locations third place Tie: Siggi’s Sports Barber Shop, Warrenton


Best Florist

Flower Gallery of Manassas 8351 Sudley Road, Manassas, 703-361-5186 Can’t decide on the perfect bouquet? Not to worry; with the Flower Gallery of Manassas’ Deal of the Day option, you name the occasion and seasoned florists will whip up a custom arrangement at a special price. Their bargains helped earn the 37-year-old company a nod as one of the Teleflora President’s Club’s “Top 50” florists in 2010. second place: Karin’s Florist, Vienna, 703-281-4141 third place: Mayflowers at Reston Town Center, Reston, 703-709-1200 p h o t o c o u r t es y o f L a C u i s i n e

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How to Succeed in Business

For more than 40 years cooks have counted on La Cuisine in Old Town Alexandria. If there is a secret to success in the competitive world of retail then Nancy Purves Pollard, owner of Alexandria’s La Cuisine, must have discovered it long ago. She opened her specialty kitchen store in 1970 and today, her brightlypainted storefront on Cameron Street, in the historic district of this boutique-crazy city, is still the area’s go-to shop for both amateur and professional cooks. “We moved into Old Town when it wasn’t pricey or chic. It made experimenting in retail more affordable than it is now,” says the 67-year-old. She attributes at least part of her success to owning the circa 1810 brick Georgian she and her husband, Robert—an attorney turned contractor—bought in 1970 and renovated. When you walk into her shop you are greeted with gleaming rows of Mauviel copper cookware and Sabatier knives—what Pollard describes as the “classic chef’s knife.” A marble mortar and pestle from Carrara, Italy, shares shelf space with Hammersong tin cookie cutters and specialty food items like orange flower essence from France and olive oil imported from Lucca in Tuscany. Pollard also carries hard-to-find items like quinine powder—a must for the home mixologist who wants to make his own tonic water. And it’s not just about the accoutrements at La Cuisine. Pollard and her staff, a tight-knit group who call themselves the Cuisinettes, demonstrate how to use the tools they sell. They teach classes on knife skills and cake decorating, and maintain a blog and website with information on topics like the care and feeding of tajines and the success and care of Hammersong cutters. (A particularly helpful set of tips is titled, “Dull Knives are a No No.”) How did Pollard and her staff come up with their playful moniker? “We always have dinners together,” explains Pollard. “We do tastings and we experiment. One night, I said, ‘You know, we really are a bunch of Cuisinettes,’ and the name just stuck.” B e s t

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ManaSSaS national Battlefield Park W here S outhern V ictorieS t eSted n orthern r eSolVe


n July 21, 1861, two armies clashed for the first time on the fields overlooking Bull Run. In August 1862, Union and Confederate armies converged for a second time on the plains of Manassas.


oin us on these historic grounds and remember the people and events that helped shape our nation’s history. Hike the historic landscape on your own or accompany one of our knowledgeable staff for a ranger led program. There’s always something to do at Manassas National Battlefield Park! 703-361-1339

This ad graciously paid for by Eastern National, a proud partner of Manassas National Battlefield Park.

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Most On-Schedule Home Builder

Best Shopping Area/Mall

10661 Frank Marshall Lane, Manassas

11700 Plaza America Drive, Reston

1961 Chain Bridge Road, McLean

They say getting there is half the fun. At Metropolitan Aviation, the other half lies in choosing your own flying machine from the company’s 11-jet fleet. Select from the heavy, 15-passenger Falcon 900, the twin turbo prop, five-passenger Cheyenne II or the mid jet, nine-passenger Hawker 800A, and you’ll jet set in luxury and comfort.

NVR, Inc., the parent company of popular builders Ryan Homes, NVHomes, Fox Ridge Homes and Heartland Homes, has constructed more than 365,000 homes in 15 states. It gets a gold star for trying to minimize environmental impact and waste; NVR is the recipient of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award.

Where can you visit the first Apple retail store in the world, the first Nordstrom store on the East Coast, the first L.L.Bean store outside of Maine and the flagship Spanx store? The answer: Tysons Corner Center, whose 300-plus shops and restaurants make it the sixth largest shopping center in America.

second place: Chantilly Air, Manassas

second place: Golden Rule Builders, Inc., Catlett, 800-720-5387 third place: ProJet Aviation, Leesburg, 703-889-8558, 540-788-3539 third place: B & L Builders, Inc., Warrenton, 540-428-7062

Metropolitan Aviation, 855-463-8538

NVR, Inc., 703-956-4000

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment NORTHERN VIRGINIA • Shopping & Services

Best Air Charter Service

Tysons Corner Center, 703-893-9400

second place: Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, 703-359-8300 third place: Tysons Galleria, McLean, 703-827-7730

Best Pet Boarding

Paws Awhile Pet Motel 7353 Woodlawn Lane, Warrenton, 540-347-4855 Next time you book yourself a hotel room, make a reservation for your dog or cat, too; while you’re on vacation, your pet can holiday on Paws Awhile’s 24 acres. The 48-year-old motel, run by Orthodox Christian nuns Mother Eirene and Sister Elizabeth, has grooming and training options available in addition to pick-up and drop-off services. second place: Old Towne Pet Resort, Springfield, 703-455-9000 third place: Affectionate Pet Care, Fairfax, 703-250-5233 third place Tie: Old Mill Boarding Kennel, Leesburg, 703-777-4183

Best Antiques

Baileywyck Shoppes of Middleburg 21197 Saint Louis Road, Middleburg, 908-313-4441

Pride of Place

Wildflour Caterers in Chantilly is about great food and great opportunities. “But I don’t want to talk about me,” protests Alberto Sangiorgio, general manager and executive chef of Chantilly’s Wildflour Catering when asked about his background in the restaurant and catering industry. “I want to talk about them!” Sangiorgio, 64, is eager to talk about his 51-member staff, 33 of whom are adults with intellectual challenges. Wildflour has employed adults with developmental disabilities since it was established in Fairfax in 1994 by Jim Rogan, founder of Lorton electronics company E-Tron Systems Inc., which also employs disabled workers, and Jean Wood, a special education teacher at Fairfax High School. Sangiorgio joined the not-for-profit company in 1998. “I started part-time,” says the European-trained chef in a heavy Northern Italian accent despite his more than 20 years in the U.S. “Then I fell in love with these kids.” Sangiorgio and his staff spend up to six months training each employee to do things like slice garlic or cut celery. “I don’t want speed,” he says. “I want them to be perfect. Speed comes after that.” Employees in the program also assist with deliveries and learn to perform other kitchen tasks. “Even some of their parents don’t think they can do as much as they can do,” says Sangiorgio. Once, he says, he overheard a young employee in the kitchen telling his visiting mother that he had to cut the potatoes in exactly the same size or they wouldn’t cook properly. Sangiorgio says the mother was surprised by her son’s knowledge. “You know how much this builds self-esteem?” asks Sangiorgio. “It’s tremendous.” Ranging in age from 20 to 60, Wildflour’s employees earn $7.25 per hour, receive paid sick leave and vacation and also have profit sharing opportunities. Several disabled employees have been with Wildflour for as many as 15 years. But for all this, “We don’t promote the disabilities, we promote the business,” says Sangiorgio. “If I approach you, I will approach you with the great food that we have.”

photo Courtesy of Wildflour Caterers

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If you’ve ever been antiquing, you know it’s a treasure hunt of sorts, an exhilarating search for vintage furniture, art, jewelry or nothing in particular. Baileywyck owners Lisa and Jim Vella have made that thrill their livelihood. Since 2006, the brother-sister duo has traveled near and far, scouring for the collectibles that stock their 4,000-square-foot showroom. second place: Old Lucketts Store, Leesburg, 703-779-0268 third place: Iron Horse Antiques, Manassas, 703-335-6676

Best Sporting Goods Store Dick’s Sporting Goods

12501 Fair Lakes Circle, Fairfax, 703-803-0300 The Fairfax branch of this national store has so much sporting gear that it needs two floors to contain it all. With items for nearly every sport from rock climbing to shooting, you’ll be glad for the pair of escalators that carry you to the second floor. second place: REI, Fairfax, 571-522-6568 third place: Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Warrenton, 540-428-3136 third place Tie: Sports Authority, Vienna, 703-827-2206 B e s t

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Catch the Wave to a Great Smile! William Crutchfield, D.D.S. Diplomate, American Board of Orthodontists

14012-E Sullyfield Circle. Chantilly,Virginia 20151. 703.263.0575

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EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment NORTHERN VIRGINIA • Shopping & Services

Hail to the Chef

Mike Stevenson keeps the Washington Redskins happy and healthy. The Washington Redskins are always looking for fresh talent, whether on the field or in the kitchen. In 2009, the team picked up 42-year-old Fredericksburg-based Chef Mike Stevenson after he wowed them in a tryout. “I was just called in to do a tasting for Redskins owner Daniel Snyder at a preseason game against the Patriots,” says the man they call Chef Mike, who was working at D.C.’s Capital Grille steakhouse at the time. Stevenson was hired after his chicken gumbo and spicy bison bean-less chili impressed, and he’s been the stadium chef ever since, serving up dishes like Kobe sirloin and, for midday games, creole-style brunches for Snyder and guests in the owner’s personal suite at FedExField. Stevenson’s influence can also be seen on the field—he is personal chef to four Redskins players: Trent Williams, Santana Moss, Fred Davis and DeAngelo Hall. “I try to use a regimen of lean proteins and vegetables,” says Stevenson, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1989 to 1993, and says cooking something nutritious and tasty for professional athletes requires imagination and innovation. “Ground bison instead of beef or steak, dry rubs, pan-seared, no gravies, and all the sauces are made from stock that I make myself ... I have to make it tasty, because otherwise these guys are going to be tempted to cheat at a fast food store!” Not that cooking for celebrities is anything new to Stevenson, who has created dishes for luminaries from Ludacris to Hillary Clinton. And there is still plenty left on this gastronomical go-getter’s to-do list. In February he published a cookbook, A Way to a Woman’s Heart, which is “designed to bring men and women to the table together,” and is currently “looking at quaint areas between Fredericksburg and Ashburn” to open a restaurant serving “farm to table food, home-cooked from scratch.” Now that’s what we call a spread offense.

Best Outdoor Outfitter

Best Cosmetic Surgeon

Best Dermatologist

11950 Grand Commons Ave., Fairfax

45155 Research Place, Suite 125, Ashburn, 703-726-1175

8650 Sudley Road, Suite 310, Manassas, 571-522-6568

In July of 1938, a group of 23 mountain climbing friends founded REI, now the largest consumer cooperative in the country. For the past 75 years, the company has not only outfitted adventure seekers but also prioritized community involvement. Last year alone, REI awarded $3.9 million in grants to more than 260 nonprofit organizations nationwide.

Michael J. Brown is the surgeon to see if your recent tummy tuck—or anything else cosmetic surgeryrelated—went awry. Practiced in revisionary surgery, which is a reconstructive specialty focused on correcting prior surgeries, Dr. Brown will put things in order. He also performs other aesthetic cosmetic procedures, from liposuction to rhinoplasty to brow lifts.

Whether you’re a teen with severe acne or an adult with skin lesions, Dr. Brady will see you now. A former U.S. Navy general medical officer and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, he has spent the last 36 years practicing general medical and surgical dermatology for patients of all ages at his Manassas office.

second place: Blue Ridge Mountain Sports,

second place: James H. French Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S.,


Michael J. Brown, M.D., P.L.L.C.

Warrenton, 540-428-3136 third place: Hudson Trail Outfitters, Fairfax, 703-591-2950 third place Tie: L.L.Bean, McLean, 888-552-9876

Annandale, 703-560-2850 third place: Phillip J. Chang, M.D., Leesburg, 703-729-5553 third place Tie: Byron D. Poindexter, M.D., Reston, 703-893-6168

Best Children’s Clothing Store

Best Independent School

Dharma & Leopold’s Children’s Chic Boutique 7945 Stonewall Shops Square, Gainesville, 571-222-7817

Dharma & Leopold’s, a family-owned business named for mother Brenda’s chocolate lab and daughter Roxanne’s Bengal cat, has a whimsical selection of children’s clothing and accessories, including Holy Communion dresses and chic diaper bags. They also carry girls’ jewelry, toys and shoes. But check back often, because this Gainesville shop has new merchandise rolling in all the time. second place: The Tabby Cat, Oakton, 703-255-0812 third place: Pink & Brown, Alexandria, 703-684-1050

photo by DuHon Photography

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Highland School

597 Broadview Ave., Warrenton, 540-878-2700 Highland School urges its students to get creative. The school’s 183,300-square-foot Center for the Arts houses a 355-seat theater, 2-D and 3-D art rooms, photography and digital filmmaking labs, music rooms and more. From theater technology to ceramics to 3-D animation, these facilities certainly get good use. second place: Flint Hill School, Oakton, 703-584-2300 third place: The Nysmith School for the Gifted, Herndon, 703-713-3332 third place Tie : Wakefield School, The Plains, 540-253-7600

John W. Brady Jr., M.D., 703-369-3376

second place: Joanne Simpson, M.D., Alexandria, 703-212-7546 third place: Cuong (Chris) Ha, M.D., Gainesville, 571-261-1234 third place Tie: Van T. Ha, M.D., Leesburg, 703-723-7171

Most Beloved Pediatrician

Joshua A. Jakum, M.D., F.A.A.P. 20 Rock Pointe Lane, Warrenton, 540-347-9900 Dr. Jakum, who completed his internship and pediatric residency at the Brown University School of Medicine, is more than just a regionally acclaimed pediatrician. He maintains special interests in international adoption and breastfeeding support, and his enthusiasm for medical ethics helped him acquire his current position as chair of the Fauquier Hospital Bioethics Committee. second place: John D. Farrell Jr., M.D., F.A.A.P., South Riding, 703-327-0075 third place: James R. Baugh, M.D., Fairfax, 703-573-2432 third place Tie: Frank J. Giancola, M.D., F.A.A.P., Manassas, 703-330-3939

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Best Fine Jewelry Store

Best Hospital

201 N. 23rd St., Purcellville

199 Union St., Occoquan

3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church

Trail’s End Cycling Co, whose name comes from the store’s opportune location at the western end of the W&OD Trail, knows nothing ruins a ride more than an improperly fitted bike. Ergo, the shop has its own fit studio and offers pro fitting sessions by its expert staff to make sure your bike fits like a glove.

This neighborhood jeweler is also a traditional goldsmith that will make just about any piece of custom jewelry you can dream up. The shop’s four goldsmiths have more than 100 years of experience combined, so your design concept comes to life at the hands of true experts. How’s that for oneof-a-kind jewelry?

U.S. News & World Report not only recently named Inova Fairfax Hospital as the best hospital in the Washington, D.C., area, but also ranked its gynecology and cardiology and heart surgery specialties among the top 50 in the nation. The 833-bed teaching facility is also home to Inova Children’s Hospital and Inova Heart and Vascular Institute.

second place: Maya Caroleena Jewelers, Ashburn, 703-723-9070 third place: Ketterman’s Jewelers, Leesburg, 703-777-0033

second place: Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, Fairfax, 855-634-6682 third place: Reston Hospital Center, Reston, 703-689-9000

Best Women’s Clothing Store

Best Orthodontist

47 S. Third St., Warrenton

14012 Sullyfield Circle, Suite E, Chantilly

A former buyer for Neiman Marcus, Lord and Taylor, Gucci and Saks Fifth Avenue, Christine Fox knows fashion. In the early ’90s, the handbag savant was eager to introduce historic Old Town Warrenton to the world of high fashion and did so by opening her eponymous store, which carries exclusive fashions by “Project Runway” season one star Wendy Pepper.

A Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Crutchfield has spent 25 years perfecting smiles for children, teens and adults. In addition to utilizing advanced tools and technology, Dr. Crutchfield’s practice, Orthodontics by Crutchfield, is decorated in a fun, beachy theme that puts patients at ease.

second place: Nordstrom, McLean, 703-761-1121 third place: Judy Ryan of Fairfax, Fairfax, 703-425-1855

second place: Kevin McGrath, D.D.S., Oakton, 703-938-1900 third place: Emike U. Aliu, D.D.S., Vienna, 703-625-6229

Trail’s End Cycling Co, 540-338-2773

second place: Spokes Etc., Vienna, 703-281-2004 third place: Bicycle Outfitters, Leesburg, 703-777-6126

Best Bridal Shop

Fabulous Frocks of Alexandria 1901B Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, 703-683-2306 If you’ve ever watched TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress,” you know the toughest part about finding the wedding dress of your dreams can be tracking down one that fits your budget. With all of its gowns at 20-70 percent off the original retail price, Fabulous Frocks takes that problem out of the equation. second place: Blush Bridal Boutique, Gainesville, 703-753-8303 third place: Jeanette’s Bride ‘N Boutique, Manassas, 703-369-1998

Best Gift Shop

Baileywyck Shoppes of Middleburg

Quinn’s Goldsmith Inc.

Inova Fairfax Hospital, 703-494-1662

Christine Fox, 540-347-3868, 855-634-6682

William E. Crutchfield II, D.D.S., 703-263-0575


Best Independent Home Decor Store The Home Specialty Store

Best Dentist, 908-313-4441 Baileywyck is situated in the heart of Old Dominion horse country, so it’s only fitting that a portion of the store’s sales directly supports Golden Dreams Therapeutic Riding Center, a public charity serving children and adults with cognitive, physical and emotional disabilities. This makes for a shopping experience you can really feel good about.

206 E. Market St., Leesburg

8150 Leesburg Pike, Suite 920, Vienna

What do a pineapple trivet, fleur de lis bookends and a Harrison Gray wall clock have in common? They’re all among the bestselling items on The Home Specialty Store’s 8,900-square-foot showroom. Owners Wayne and Lynn Baker will help you navigate their collection of eclectic, yet refined collection of furnishings.

Dr. Farhoumand isn’t just a dentist of many talents; he’s one of many tongues. The Iran native attended Italian and American schools while growing up in Ethiopia and is fluent in Farsi, Italian, French and Spanish. A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Dentistry, Farhoumand can talk to anyone.

second place: The Things I Love, Manassas, 703-335-7711 third place: decorium, Alexandria, 703-739-4662

second place: Quyen Dang, D.D.S., Fairfax, 703-226-2222 third place: D. Gordon Rye, D.D.S., Fairfax, 703-352-2010

Best Men’s Clothing Store

P.O. Box 128, Orlean

Highcliffe Clothiers

Best Shoe Store


16 S. Madison St., Middleburg

Multiple Fairfax locations

You don’t have to worry about the middleman at this Middleburg custom clothing shop; at Highcliffe, customers always interact directly with proprietor Mark Metzger. The past president and current vice president of the Custom Tailors and Designers Association, he brings 30 years of expertise in fitting and designing custom clothing to your shopping experience.

Shoe addicts, beware! A trip to Designer Shoe Warehouse will only feed your dependency. Whether you need Nike sneaks for the gym, Marc by Marc Jacobs pumps for a night on the town or Gucci flip-flops for the boardwalk, you can surely find it among DSW’s wall-towall selection. Prepare to be there a while.

21197 Saint Louis Road, Middleburg

second place: The Things I Love, Manassas, 703-335-7711 third place: Zazu, Ashburn, 703-858-9298

Best Kitchen Designer

Debbie Burke, B and B Design/Build Though she does everything from fashioning cozy family rooms to helping you get the most out of your mudroom, Debbie Burke has specialized in kitchens— and baths—for the past 20 years. She’s not just an expert at remodeling existing kitchens; Burke also designs custom kitchens from scratch in new home construction. second place: April Case Underwood, Case Design/Remodeling, Inc., Falls Church, 703-241-2980 third place: Evelyn Nicely, Nicely Done Kitchens, Springfield, 703-764-3748, 571-258-0880, 540-687-5633

second place: Nordstrom, McLean, 703-761-1121 third place: Jos. A. Bank, multiple Fairfax locations

Farshad Farhoumand, D.D.S., 703-625-6229


second place: Nordstrom, McLean, 703-761-1121 third place: The Shoe Hive, Alexandria, 703-548-7105

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Sout hwest Virgini a In Southwest Virginia, farm to table has been a way of life since long before the phrase became the rallying cry for healthy eating and supporting local agriculture. The Martinsville Uptown Farmers’ Market has been in business so long that its founding date has passed out of local memory (it was 1979), and the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It makes sense that the region’s agricultural abundance feeds food-forward thinking like that of Chef Jeff Farmer of Lucky in Roanoke, who sources product locally for his buttermilk fried chicken and braised kale, and Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider whose Dugspur orchards yield juice for her artisanal craft cider. Protecting this heritage are people like Tim Hensley of Urban Homestead in Bristol whose heirloom apple trees supply home orchardists dedicated to preserving varieties like Virginia Beauty, which are in danger of being lost to the tide of mass-market apple production. Fresh, local, bountiful. It all comes naturally in Southwest Virginia.

Photography byby Cade Cade Martin Martin ♠♠ Illustration Illustration byby Shane Shane Rebenscheid Rebenscheid ♠♠ Styling Styling byby Neely Neely Barnwell Barnwell Dykshorn Dykshorn Photography

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ARTS, CULTURE & Entertainment Best Art Event

Best Special Event Venue

Best Performing Arts Company

Downtown Abingdon

710 Williamson Road, Roanoke

127 W. Main St., Abingdon

Started in 1948 by Barter Theatre founder Robert Porterfield, the Virginia Highlands Festival will celebrate 65 years in August. The annual gathering brings Virginians of all ages and walks of life together in historic Abingdon for a week jam-packed with cultural events, from a classic film festival and antique market to kitchen tours and concerts.

With a 2,151-seat performing arts theater, 10,500-seat coliseum, 14,000-square-foot exhibit hall and 46,000-square-foot special events center, it’s no surprise that this Roanoke fixture is a repeat Best of Virginia winner. The Avett Brothers, Bill Cosby and WWE Raw will perform there this year.

second place: Steppin’ Out, Blacksburg, 540-951-0454 third place: Art on the Lawn, Pearisburg

second place: Rives Theatre, Martinsville

What do Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Frances Fisher, Kevin Spacey and Wayne Knight have in common? They got their start at Barter, the 80-year-old State Theatre of Virginia. During the Depression, patrons would barter produce to gain admission to the theater, hence its name. Tennessee Williams is among the playwrights who accepted ham in lieu of royalties.

Best Music Venue

Best Food Festival

22 Kirk Ave. SW, Roanoke

First & Main shopping district, Blacksburg

Virginia Highlands Festival

Roanoke Civic Center, 276-623-5266

second place: Rives Theatre, Martinsville, 276-403-0872 third place: Jefferson Center, Roanoke, 866-345-2550

second place: Roanoke Greek Festival, Roanoke, 540-362-3601 third place: Community School’s Strawberry Festival, Roanoke, 540-563-5036

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces 4 tablespoons herbes de Provence 4 tablespoons smoked paprika a couple dashes of Tabasco 4 cups all purpose flour 4 cups buttermilk coarse black pepper kosher salt Make a brine of ¾ cups kosher salt and 1 gallon of water. Place chicken in the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours. In a mixing bowl, add 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence, 2

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135 College Ave., Blacksburg

Blacksburg Fork and Cork is, as its name suggests, largely a food and wine festival, overflowing with Virginia wines and cuisine from local restaurants. All the same, art and entertainment are also integral components of the annual event. Live performances, arts and crafts vendors, and a canned goods sculpture contest spice up the occasion.

Lucky Fried Chicken

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Lyric Theatre, 540-443-2008

Lucky, Roanoke

V i r g i n i a

Best Movie Theater

Blacksburg Fork and Cork

Kirk Avenue is about music and music alone. Its cozy, casual, “no frills” setting—intended to make you feel like you’re sitting in the artist’s living room— lets you get lost in every performance. Whether you’re into blues or rock ‘n’ roll, enjoy seeing wellknown musicians or discovering new bands, you’ll dig this music hall.

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second place: TheatreWorks Community Players, Martinsville, 276-632-2800 third place: Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Roanoke, 540-343-9127, 276-403-0872 third place: Jefferson Center, Roanoke, 866-345-2550, 540-339-8647

B e s t, 276-628-3991, 540-853-5483

Kirk Avenue Music Hall


Barter Theatre, 540-951-4771

Setting foot in the Lyric Theatre is like being transported to another era. Once inside the theater, constructed in 1929 in a fantastic ArtDeco-meets-Spanish-Colonial-Revival style, you’ll wonder why you ever opted for the cookie-cutter multiplex experience. The Lyric is full of character, and perhaps too much so—some say the Blacksburg landmark is haunted. second place: The Grandin Theatre, Roanoke, 540-345-6177 third place: Abingdon Cinemall, Abingdon, 276-623-2121

tablespoons smoked paprika, a couple dashes of Tabasco, 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper and a pinch of salt. Mix in the buttermilk, and cover chicken with mixture. Let set for at least 24 hours. Preheat fryer or cast iron skillet to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, add 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence, 2 tablespoons smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix herbs and spices together with the flour. Remove chicken from buttermilk, and toss in the flour mix, making sure to cover each piece with flour. Place in hot oil. Fry for about 10 minutes. When the chicken’s temperature is 170 degrees or above, it is done. Remove from fryer and drain. Serves 4

photo courtesy of lucky

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Best Historic Museum

Most Creative Charitable Event

110 Salem Ave. SE, Roanoke

303 Norfolk Ave. SW, Roanoke

1920 Coopers Mountain Road, Martinsville

With its swooping architecture, the Taubman Museum of Art looks like it landed in downtown Roanoke from the distant future. Home to 2,050 pieces, ranging from 3,500-year-old Egyptian Ushabiti ceramic figures to contemporary Roanoke artists as well as works by Thomas Cowperthwaite Eakins and James Harold Jennings, the museum also hosts many traveling exhibitions every year.

Where can you find the largest collection of diesel locomotives in the South? Why, the Virginia Museum of Transportation, of course! Though the 45,000-square-foot facility—which displays about 2,500 items—was originally dubbed the Roanoke Transportation Museum and focused on local rail heritage, its current collection now also includes automotive, transit and aviation artifacts.

Martinsville High School grads Walker Shank and Edwin “the Rooster” Penn passed away in their 20s. Instead of mourning their deaths, their childhood friends founded Rooster Walk, held annually on Memorial Day weekend, to celebrate their lives. In four years, the event has raised $20,000 for the young men’s namesake scholarship fund at Martinsville High.

second place: Virginia Museum of Natural History, Martinsville, 276-634-4141 third place: William King Museum, Abingdon, 276-628-5005

second place: Virginia Museum of Natural History, Martinsville, 276-634-4141 third place: Martinsville-Henry County Heritage Center & Museum, Martinsville, 276-403-5361

second place: Dancing for the Arts, Martinsville, 276-632-3221 third place: A Tisket, A Tasket, A Literary Basket, Abingdon, 276-676-6383 third place tie: Bargain Fair, Martinsville, 276-732-9325

Taubman Museum of Art, 540-342-5760

Best Mixologist

Virginia Museum of Transportation, 540-342-5670

EASTERNVIRGINIA REGION Arts Culture Entertainment SOUTHWEST SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA • •Arts, • Arts Culture Culture &&Entertainment & Entertainment

Best Overall Museum

Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival

Rusty Spence, Chatmoss Country Club 550 Mount Olivet Road, Martinsville, 276-638-2484

Veteran mixologist Rusty Spence can whip you up a Rusty Nail—or any other drink you desire—in no time. The admittedly easygoing gent has been at Chatmoss Country Club for 14 years and has been bartending on and off for 17. Spence recommends the Cosmopolitan and Uptown Margarita at the club’s Elmwood Bar. second place: Rachel Isley, The Bank Food and Drink, Pearisburg, 540-921-2981 third place: Melanie Holmes, The Tavern Restaurant, Abingdon, 276-628-1118

Back to Basics

Martinsville’s no-frills farmers’ market keeps the focus on food. These days, farmers’ markets have become so trendy that practically every community has its own. In most of the state’s larger cities, if you shot a cannon through the city you’d hit at least four. Then there are the surrounding counties. As Dean Cline puts it, “Farmers’ markets are growing like crazy.” Cline, 77, market manager for the Martinsville Uptown Farmers’ Market, couldn’t be more right. Fed by the growth of the farmto-table trend, farmers’ markets dot city squares and rural street corners around the state, many of carnival-esque proportions and atmosphere. Artisans and face-painters mix with heirloom tomato growers and goat cheese producers. Shoppers ponder packages of tofu ice cream or pour over racks of hammered-wire candlesticks. Whatever happened to the real, authentic farmers’ markets? Where your granddaddy passed time chatting up the truck farmer while your grandma picked over his tomatoes or sniffed the cantaloupes to choose just the right ones? While the Martinsville Uptown Farmers’ Market might not be the over-the-top affair that today’s open air markets have become, it just might be the closest thing to the original variety farmers’ market that you can find these days. With only 16 vendor booths, it’s “a friendly, nostalgic environment that transports you back to a simpler time,” says Laura Bowles, executive director of the Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association. And it’s more relaxed than busier farmers’ markets, where queues curl and shoppers reach over and squeeze past each other to get the plum pickings. Even hours are relaxed. Vendors who purchase booths for each Wednesday and Saturday from May through October “can come when they want,” says Cline. They can even sell on non-market days and offseason. “There’s a loyal customer base ... and they know when [vendors] will be there.” Last year’s big news was the installation of ceiling fans in the West Main Street facility. The market moved there about 10 years ago—after nearly a quarter century in its original home under a metal overhang at the town’s school bus parking lot. Time doesn’t move too quickly at the Martinsville Uptown market. But that’s the nice thing about it.

p h oto co u r t e s y o f m a r t i n s v i l l e u p tow n fa r m e r s ’ m a r k e t

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Inn at Riverbend

125 River Ridge Drive, Pearisburg, 540-921-5211 Seeking a bit of rustic seclusion? The Inn at Riverbend’s seven named bedrooms—from the Palisades, Riverbend’s most-requested room with purple walls and a commanding four-poster bed, to the sunny, simple comfort of Angels Rest and the calming French blue decor of Cascade Falls—come with New River Valley views at no extra charge. second place: Nesselrod Bed & Breakfast, Radford, 540-731-4970 third place: The Virginia Home Inn, Fieldale, 276-673-7717

Best Resort for the Whole Family Mountain Lake Lodge 115 Hotel Circle, Pembroke, 540-626-7121 The newly renovated Mountain Lake Lodge is a 2,600-acre conservancy, home to 20-plus miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, “Dirty Dancing”themed weekends, the Aerial Adventure Course and Kids KAMP for the youngest guests. But despite multiple possibilities for outdoor adventure, the rooms are so cozy you might be tempted to stay inside. second place: Primland, Meadows of Dan, 276-222-3800 third place: The Martha Washington Hotel & Spa, Abingdon, 276-628-3161

liv ing & re cre ation Best Retirement Community

Most Challenging Golf Course

350 King’s Way Road, Martinsville

550 Mount Olivet Road, Martinsville

Imagine eating a delicious meal in the Trellis Room, taking a cooking class, canoeing on the Smith River and then playing a round of water volleyball. No, this isn’t a vacation, it’s a slice of life at King’s Grant, a bustling Christian community that aims to make your golden years engaging.

Celebrated designer Ellis Maples is the mastermind behind Chatmoss Country Club’s expansive and difficult golf course. Home to the Chatmoss Invitational Tournament, a pro shop, a practice putting green and range, Ladies’ Day (Thursdays) and a Junior Golf program, this Martinsville club has something for everyone to take a swing at.

King’s Grant, 276-634-1000

second place: Warm Hearth Village, Blacksburg, 540-552-9176 third place: Brandon Oaks, Roanoke, 540-776-2600

Best Tennis Club Pro

Mike Weidl, Chatmoss Country Club 550 Mount Olivet Road, Martinsville

Most Luxurious Hotel

Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center 110 Shenandoah Ave., Roanoke, 540-985-5900 The Tudor-style Hotel Roanoke stands tall, reminiscent of a gingerbread palace from a childhood dream come to life. The restored 19th-century structure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is as grand as can be, from the Regency Room and 63,000-square-foot Conference Center to the Palm Court and ballrooms. second place: The Martha Washington Hotel & Spa, Abingdon, 276-628-3161 third place: Primland, Meadows of Dan, 276-222-3800, 276-632-1857

Mike Weidl is a master of the court. He played for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and won the USTA Men’s National Amateur Indoor Championship in singles and doubles in 1993. The decorated athlete, a former #1-ranked 25-and-over player in North Carolina, has been a USPTA certified P1 professional since 1996. second place: Bill Woods, Blacksburg Country Club, Blacksburg, 540-951-1601 third place: Bob Helton, The Virginian Golf Club, Bristol, 276-645-7900 third place tie: David Poole, Glenrochie Country Club, Abingdon, 276-628-3059

Apple Whisperer

Urban Homestead stumps for heirloom apples and home orcharding. “Around the early 1900s, apple varieties and home orcharding went into decline with the introduction of supermarkets,” explains Tim Hensley. Prior to that, “Folks would dry their apples, make apple pies, make cider, and each apple variety had a specific purpose.” At his Urban Homestead orchardry, Hensley is bringing back the craft of growing apples like Duchess of Oldenburg, Albemarle Pippin, Summer Rambo and more. The mission is to “propagate heirloom apple trees for the home orchardist,” says Hensley, 51, who operates the nursery on the two acres surrounding his home in the heart of Bristol. He maintains more than 100 varieties of heirloom apple trees, including Virginia Beauty and June Apple, and he ships trees to home

photo courtesy of Urban Homestead

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EASTERNVIRGINIA REGION• •Living Arts Culture & Entertainment SOUTHWEST & Recreation

Most Welcoming Bed and Breakfast

Chatmoss Country Club, 276-638-2484

second place: Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech, Radford, 540-633-6732 third place: The Virginian Golf Club, Bristol, 276-645-6950

Best Hiking Trail

Virginia Creeper Trail Abingdon to Whitetop

Rushing rapids, graceful waterfalls, enticing thickets, rustic bridges, towering flora and stellar mountaintop views. These are just a handful of scenes, all of which are so beautiful it’s “creepy.” Maintained by the City of Abingdon and Town of Damascus, the trail attracts nature enthusiasts from around the world. second place: Cascade Trail, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Pembroke, 540-265-5100 third place: Appalachian Trail, Southwest Virginia, 304-535-6278

orchardists all over the East Coast. Hensley has access to many hard-to-find trees (average supermarkets only carry about 15 types of apples). But cultivating apple trees and preserving heirloom varieties is not as simple as planting a seed: “You can’t take seeds and line them in a row and get the exact same tree ... you have to graft,” he explains, which means cutting a stem from a tree of the desired variety and physically joining it with a separate apple root system. The ends will then callous over and grow into a single tree. Not surprisingly, Hensley has become an apple expert. Ask him about any kind of heirloom apple and he can tell you its history. Just don’t ask about that supermarket staple called Red Delicious.

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Living & Recreation • SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA

Best Group Fitness

Best Place to Fish

Best Hunting Preserve

4508 Starkey Road, Roanoke

6620 Ben H. Bolen Drive, Dublin

2000 Busted Rock Road, Meadows of Dan, 540-643-2500, 276-222-3800

Aquacise, Zumba and yoga, oh my! From Kempo Karate, BodyFLOW and X-treme Punch to Twinges in the Hinges, BodyATTACK and Golden Sculpt, if you can dream it, Roanoke Athletic Club’s got it on its group fitness calendar. The 79,000-square foot facility offers more than 125 group classes per week.

Catfish, striped bass, walleye and muskie are among the sport fish you’ll find at this 472-acre state park, which stretches along three miles of picturesque Claytor Lake. Fish from the shore or rent a kayak, canoe, boat or jet ski to heighten the angling experience.

Never mind that Esquire named Primland’s sporting clays facility among the top 25 in the nation, this luxury resort provides a whopping 12,000 acres of hunting grounds teeming with managed wildlife. From semi-guided fair chase whitetail deer hunting during the winter months to wild turkey hunting in the spring, Primland is a year-round destination.

Roanoke Athletic Club

Claytor Lake State Park, 540-989-5758

second place: Blacksburg Health and Fitness at the

Weight Club, Blacksburg, 540-951-2949 third place: Martinsville-Henry County Family YMCA, Martinsville, 276-632-6427

Most Fashionable Horse Show/Race Roanoke Valley Horse Show

Best Historic Site

1001 Roanoke Blvd., Salem, 540-389-7847

Roanoke Star

2000 J.B. Fishburn Parkway, Roanoke, 540-853-2871

This Mill Mountain landmark is the star of the Roanoke skyline in more ways than one. First lit in 1949, the star has quietly watched over residents of the Roanoke Valley and attracted faraway tourists with its brilliant glow. Visitors can catch stellar views of the “Star City of the South” from the adjacent overlook. second place: Historic Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg, 540-231-3947 third place: Abingdon Muster Grounds, Abingdon, 276-525-1050

Best Outdoor Adventure Virginia Creeper Trail

A local tradition since 1972, not to mention the longest-running professional sporting event in the region, the Roanoke Valley Horse Show enjoys a Heritage Competition designation, the United States Equestrian Federation’s highest honor. The show hosts Jack Russell terrier races and a $50,000 Grand Prix in addition to roadster, hunter, saddlebred, racking, jumper and Western divisions. second place: Wise County Classic Horse Show, Wise, 276-328-3297 third place: Russell County Fair & Horse Show, Castlewood, 276-762-2261

second place: George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Roanoke, 540-265-5100 third place: Turkeycock Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Martinsville, 804-367-1000

Best Wine Trail

Mountain Road Wine Experience Carroll, Floyd, Patrick, Montgomery and Roanoke counties, 540-745-2220 There’s a reason Mountain Road refers to itself as a “wine experience” rather than your average wine trail, and we have a feeling it’s got something to do with the Southwest’s crisp mountain air. The septet, consisting of five wineries, a cidery and a meadery, claims its tasting rooms are “infinitely cooler than the lowlands.”

long live the queen

Abingdon to Whitetop

Hunter Apiaries breeds superbees.

If you love the outdoors, you’ll appreciate all this 34-mile-long hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trail has to offer. A former rail bed, the Virginia Creeper Trail—named for both the native plant that grows along the path and the steam engine that used to scale the Iron Mountains—climbs to breathtaking heights.

“The honeybee pollinates a third of our food supply,” says Karl Hunter, so beekeeping is essential to U.S. agriculture. Which is why Hunter and his wife, Beth, both in their 50s, run an eponymous apiary in Pulaski, supplying miteresistant, cold-tolerant queens to East Coast beekeepers. “In 1986, the Varroa mite was introduced in the U.S.” from unknown sources, says Hunter. The parasitic mite began attacking beehives and wiping out colonies, wreaking havoc on bees who had no defense against this new threat. “Bees want to do only two things,” explains Hunter, “swarm in the spring and survive the winter.” Getting through the winter is a struggle under normal circumstances, but if the Varroa mite attacks a colony, the bees have little chance for survival. “Before 1986, it was natural to lose roughly 10 percent of your hives each winter,” explains Hunter. After the mites arrived, that number jumped to 40 percent. Luckily, Hunter had a solution: breed mite-resistant, cold-tolerant bees. “Bees are interesting in that all their behavior is genetic,” explains Hunter. “They’re like little bio machines that respond to their programing.” A hive’s genetics run through the queen, so by carefully breeding them, beekeepers like Hunter are able to control the hives’ characteristics. By crossing a cold-tolerant breed of bee with a mite-resistant Italian breed of bee, Hunter creates queens that can resist these two threats. Hunter Apiaries sells their super queens to beekeepers up and down the East Coast, in particular to those in the Northeast who are looking for cold-tolerant queens. As a testament to their success, Hunter says that they lost just one hive this winter, which represents only 3 percent of their operation. “Beekeepers are the unsung heroes of agriculture,” says Hunter, but Hunter Apiaries just might be the unsung hero of the honeybee.

second place: Cascade Trail, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Pembroke, 540-265-5100 third place: New River Junction, Blacksburg, 540-639-6633

Best Place to Dance

The Floyd Country Store 206 S. Locust St., Floyd, 540-745-4563 Eclectic, down-home country store by day and foot-stompin’ dancing stage by night, the “home of the Friday Night Jamboree” is a fixture along Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. On weekends year round, locals relish the infectious spirit of live, old-timey music and home-cooked fixin’s among family and friends. second place: Carter Family Fold, Hiltons, 276-386-6054 third place: Corned Beef & Co., Roanoke, 540-342-3354


second place: Hungry Mother State Park, Marion, 276-781-7400 third place: New River Junction, Blacksburg, 540-639-6633


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Checkered Pig

1014 Liberty St., Martinsville, 276-632-1161 In the spring of ‘97, Tommy Houston took a leap of faith in turning his thriving catering business into a barbecue restaurant. He needn’t have worried. Sixteen years later, Houston’s Checkered Pig— formerly Pigs R Us—is not only a local favorite; it’s become a national treasure following several appearances on the Food Network. second place: Due South BBQ, Christiansburg, 540-381-2922 third place: Old Virginia Smokehouse, Pembroke, 540-626-7788

food & drink

Best Dessert Menu Anthony’s Desserts

284 W. Main St., Abingdon, 276-623-1500 When a restaurant includes the word “dessert” in its title, you know it takes that course seriously. Offering a tantalizing menu sprinkled with dishes like Toll House pie, chocolate mocha truffles, milk chocolate strawberry tarts, graham cake and “Magic Bars,” owner and pastry chef Anthony Perkins never disappoints.

EASTERNVIRGINIA REGION• •Food Arts Culture SOUTHWEST & Drink & Entertainment

Best Barbecue Restaurant

second place: The Palisades Restaurant, Eggleston, 540-626-2828 third place: The Bank Food and Drink, Pearisburg, 540-921-2981

Best Steakhouse

Frankie Rowland’s Steakhouse 104 S. Jefferson St., Roanoke, 540-527-2333 One glance at Frankie Rowland’s menu—showcasing a 20-oz. Kansas City strip steak, live-baked Maine lobster, fried buttermilk-battered onions and molten chocolate cake—is enough to make your mouth water. Once you’ve decided what to eat, relax into the rich mahogany-and-leather décor and sample Frankie’s signature pineapple martini. second place: The Bank Food and Drink, Pearisburg, 540-921-2981 third place: Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill, Blacksburg, 540-953-2855

Best Bakery

Our Daily Bread Bakery & Café 1329 S. Main St., Blacksburg, 540-953-2815 Honey whole wheat, potato sourdough, olive rosemary, lemon poppy seed and raisin, challah, focaccia—name your favorite bread, and chances are Our Daily Bread’s got a freshly-baked loaf of it on hand. In addition to its hearty selection of breads, the café serves up breakfast, lunch, dinner, cakes, pastries and live jazz brunch on Saturdays. second place: Blackbird Bakery, Bristol, 276-645-5754 third place: Rising Sun Breads, Martinsville, 276-632-2292

p h o t o co u r t e s y of F o g g y R i d g e C i d e r

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Fermenter’s Fraternity

Artisanal hard cider industry has its roots in Dugspur. Virginia’s artisanal hard cider industry is booming, with eight cideries in operation and an annual statewide cider week inaugurated in 2012. The seeds were quite literally planted in the tiny town of Dugspur in 1997, when Diane Flynt set up the orchard for Foggy Ridge Cider. By 2005, Flynt’s apples had been grown, selected and fermented, and she was ready to begin selling to the public. “We made 550 cases our first year and I wasn’t sure we could sell it all,” says Flynt. “But that first weekend we sold 50 or 60 cases and I immediately wished we’d made more.” Flynt attributes the growth of artisanal hard cider to “people getting more sophisticated about the difference between a mass market product and an artisanal product.” She recalls a customer and cider enthusiast she met at a tasting in Asheville, North Carolina, who had stopped drinking Angry Orchard hard cider, made by The Boston Beer Company, because he discovered it contained high fructose corn syrup. “People are just more aware [now] of what’s in the beverages they drink,” says Flynt. The roots of Flynt’s hard cider revolution have spread throughout the state, and she has worked closely with those that followed her path, like Albemarle Ciderworks of North Garden, which opened in 2009, and Castle Hill Cider, which opened in 2011. “We are a very close community,” Flynt says of Virginia’s artisanal apple fermenters, who share the mission of raising public awareness of their product. “We all collaborate as business people and I hope it stays that way. There is still plenty of room in the market for cider makers. We [Foggy Ridge] sell out of what we make every year.” In 2013, the eight cideries will collaborate for the second annual Virginia Cider Week, which takes place statewide from November 15 through 23 and will feature activities like cider tastings and workshops. The mission is clear: “We’re just getting cider in the mouths of more people,” says Flynt. For a list of cideries in Virginia, visit

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Best Place for a Sandwich

Best Ice Creamery

168 Village St., Eggleston

922 University City Blvd., Blacksburg

7254 Booker T. Washington Highway, Wirtz

The Palisades Restaurant, 540-626-2828 It takes more than fine food to earn the title of Best Overall Restaurant, and the Palisades has got it. Aside from featuring live music and special events like the annual Celebrity Chef Tour, the restaurant occupies the old Pyne’s General Store building, creating an ambiance committed to keeping the region’s history alive. second place: The Bank Food and Drink, Pearisburg, 540-921-2981 third place: The Tavern Restaurant, Abingdon, 276-628-1118

Macado’s, 540-953-2700

Overflowing with playful, nostalgic décor—a giant King Kong replica, neon lights, a blushing Marilyn Monroe mannequin and an explosion of Virginia Tech sports memorabilia—Macado’s is your favorite neighborhood deli gone wild. With sandwiches named Annie Oakley, The Lone Ranger, Carpetbagger and Tippecanoe, you’ll have as much fun perusing the menu as you will eating.

Homestead Creamery 540-721-2045

Though Homestead Creamery is prized for its milk—think chocolate, orange cream and strawberry flavored—and butter, it’s famous for its ice cream. The locally owned dairy processing plant, which opened its doors in 2001, crafts your favorite summer treat they say, “The Way Ice Cream Should Taste.” second place: Ice Cream Stop, Abingdon

second place: Third Bay Cafe, Martinsville



third place: Cold Stone Creamery, Christiansburg, 540-381-3232

third place: Binding Time Cafe, Martinsville


Best Overall Restaurant, 276-656-3800

Best Sunday Brunch

The Palisades Restaurant 168 Village St., Eggleston, 540-626-2828 What better way to start your Sunday than with the Palisades’ honey-glazed ham, three-grain pancakes, veggie frittata, cinnamon rolls and scalloped pineapple? Keeping in line with its Southern roots, the Giles County gem also serves grits of the day. Did we mention there's also a dessert bar and mimosas galore? second place: Gillie’s, Blacksburg, 540-961-2703 third place: The River and Rail Restaurant, Roanoke, 540-400-6830

Best Caterer

Best Local Microbrewery Wolf Hills Brewing Co. 350 Park St., Abingdon

Dedicated to keeping the history and culture of southwestern Virginia alive, Wolf Hills’ name hails from a legend that pioneer Daniel Boone once spent the night near a wolf den in the backcountry that became Abingdon. Wolf Den Double IPA and Creeper Trail Amber Ale are two of many brews that salute the region’s past. second place: Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill, Blacksburg, 540-953-2855 third place: The River Company Restaurant & Brewery, Inc., Fairlawn, 540-633-3940

Ratatouille Catering 730 E. Church St., Martinsville, 276-632-0327 Whether it’s preparing an elaborate rehearsal dinner for 100 or just a few weeknight meals for the family, Ratatouille Catering plans meals faster and better than you’ll ever have time to do. With an extensive menu of made-from-scratch dishes, the ladies at Ratatouille deliver healthy, homecooked meals freeing you from the hassle of planning, shopping and creating. second place: Blue Ridge Catering, Roanoke, 540-982-7700 third place: Professional Catering Inc., Blacksburg, 540-961-9800 third place tie: Two Trees Catering, Meadows of Dan, 540-558-9500

Most Creative Chocolatier The Chocolate Spike

1560 S. Main St., Suite 118, Blacksburg, 540-552-4646 The Chocolate Spike—named for a quirky metal sculpture on owner Genie Ranck’s front steps— celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. But with unique delights like pomegranate-infused white chocolate, peanut butter caramel fudge and dark chocolate fudge with St. Maeve’s Stout, there’s always a reason to celebrate. second place: chocolatepaper, Roanoke, 540-342-6061 third place: Baylee’s Best Chocolates, Roanoke, 540-776-0032

Best Breakfast Restaurant

Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea 117 Campbell Ave. SE, Roanoke, 540-342-9404 With the Mill Mountain star in its logo and several locations throughout the area, Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea is quintessentially Roanoke. Driven by the shop’s own mandate to “be the best,” the local chain serves up coffee that’s artfully roasted every day by trained “Roast Masters” dedicated to creating the perfect drink. second place: Binding Time Cafe, Martinsville, 276-656-3800 third place: Zazzy’z Coffee House, Abingdon, 276-698-3333

Best Al Fresco Dining Fork in the Alley

2123 Crystal Spring Ave. SW, Roanoke

Gillie’s, 540-982-3675

153 College Ave., Blacksburg

Living up to its motto of being “Hard to Find [and] Impossible to Leave,” Fork in the Alley is a fun-loving pub located in an actual south Roanoke alley. The restaurant’s lone dessert offering—legendary brick oven s’mores—is reason enough to stick around., 540-961-2703 Didn’t think a vegetarian restaurant could offer an out-of-this-world breakfast menu? When you start your day with Gillie’s favorites like spicy molletes, banana walnut French toast, tofu scramble, poached egg Florentine or broiled grapefruit— complete with glazed brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon—bacon becomes a distant memory. second place: The Roanoker Restaurant, Roanoke, 540-344-7746 third place: River City Grill, Radford, 540-629-2130

Best Burger Joint Mike’s Grill

418 N. Main St., Blacksburg, 540-951-7391 Burger joints and pizza parlors are a dime a dozen, but a shop that specializes in both patties and pies is something special. From 100 percent chuck that’s ground daily on-site to hand-tossed dough, this Blacksburg eatery knows fresh when it comes to burgers and pizza. Barbecue sandwiches, calzones, toasted subs and salads top off the menu. second place: Burger Bar, Bristol, 276-466-6200 third place: Fenderz Drive-In, Collinsville

second place: Cabo Fish Taco, Blacksburg, 540-552-0950 third place: Harvest Table Restaurant, Meadowview, 276-944-5142 third place tie: The Quarter, Roanoke, 540-342-2990

Best Seafood Restaurant Poor Billy’s

201 N. Main St., Blacksburg, 540-951-2200 With a moniker that belies its rich selection of first-class seafood, Poor Billy’s is a downtown Blacksburg favorite among Hokies and locals. Dishes like lobster leek risotto cakes, beer-battered shrimp, Rusty Nail salmon, Mandarin blue marlin and artichoke and smoked gouda crab dip redefine the seafood experience. second place: The Bank Food and Drink, Pearisburg, 540-921-2981 third place: Captain Tom’s Seafood, Martinsville


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Best Farmers’ Market

Best Wine Shop

Best Winery

100 Draper Road SW, Blacksburg

1338 S. Main St., Blacksburg, 540-953-2675

287 Winery Road SW, Floyd, 540-239-8290 If you’re ever in Blacksburg on a Saturday, make it a point to stop by the Blacksburg Farmers' Market, a year-round staple since the mid-1980s. Now held in Market Square Park, the affair brings the community together for locally grown produce, live music and annual tasting events.

Need help picking out the perfect wine to go with that fancy dinner you’re preparing for the in-laws? Keith Roberts, proprietor of Vintage Cellar for 20 years, will help you look like a pro. He and his wine-savvy staff are dedicated to matching the beverage to the occasion. Shop for wine by grape or by region on Vintage Cellar’s website.

second place: Abingdon Farmers Market, Abingdon, 276-698-1434 third place: Historic Roanoke City Market, Roanoke, 540-342-2028, ext. 15

second place: Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar, Roanoke, 540-400-7771 third place: Katbird’s Wine & Gourmet, Abingdon, 276-623-0001

Though Château Morrissette offers specialty wines like Sweet Mountain Laurel, Angel Chardonnay and Hokie Bird Red, it’s much more than a winery. With its breathtaking mountain views, Old World restaurant, gift shop and themed events (think Murder Mystery Theater and Mountain Adventure Weekend), the Floyd vineyard offers a unique rural escape.

Best Overall Bar

Best Sushi Cuisine

730 E. Church St., Suite 7A, Martinsville

1560 S. Main St., Suite 116, Blacksburg, 276-666-6666, 540-951-0068

Mag’s, as the locals call it, has a hefty menu featuring “eclectic Southern cuisine,” but the restaurant’s nightlife and drink specials are what earn it the title of Best Overall Bar. From Two Dollar Tini Tuesdays and Wednesday night karaoke to weekend DJs and Sunday Night Live, it’s always a party at Wild Magnolia.

In addition to offering patrons an exhaustive list of sushi rolls (Virginia Tech fans are sure to appreciate the famed Hokie Roll), Sake House keeps an exotic selection of—surprise!—sake. Specialty combinations, like a melon sake-tini with Midori melon liqueur, sake and a hint of soda, make traditional hot sake seem drab.

second place: Chatmoss Country Club, Martinsville, 276-638-2484 third place: The Bank Food and Drink, Pearisburg, 540-921-2981

second place: Osaka Japanese Steakhouse, Bristol

Best Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant

Best Pizzeria

153 College Ave., Blacksburg

872 E. Main St., Abingdon

Blacksburg Farmers’ Market

Vintage Cellar

Château Morrisette

Gillie’s, 540-961-2703 What started out as a small-town ice cream shop in 1974 is now Blacksburg’s top spot for vegetarian and seafood cuisine, not to mention for local art and late-night music. Featuring flavorful entrées like the Sonoma veggie melt, tofu Reuben, seitan mushroom burger, Basin Street Alfredo and BBQ shrimp pizza, Gillie’s is a vegetarian’s paradise. second place: Local Roots – A Farm To Table Restaurant, Roanoke, 540-206-2610 third place: Harvest Table Restaurant, Meadowview, 276-944-5142 third place TIE: The Palisades Restaurant, Eggleston, 540-626-2828

276-669-8788 third place : Wasabi’s, Roanoke, 540-904-6254

Bella’s Pizza and Subs 276-628-8101

Bella’s was founded with the aim of creating the world’s best pizza and subs using original, western New York recipes. We’re not sure how Bella’s fares on a global scale, but with its endless combinations of pizza toppings, salads and specialty subs, it’s definitely among the best pizzerias in the Commonwealth. second place: Sal’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, Blacksburg, 540-953-4040 third place: Elizabeth’s Pizza, Martinsville


Most Creative Cocktail Menu The Bank Food and Drink 101 N. Main St., Pearisburg

Best Sports Bar, 540-921-2981

Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill 1470 S. Main St., Suite 120, Blacksburg, 540-953-2855

This Blacksburg hot spot stars two atmospheres in one; there’s a casual dining room on one side and a bustling sports bar—complete with seven Diamond pool tables and masses of HDTVs—on the other. A polished, 10-barrel brewery separates the two. Did we mention you can also catch the game on the patio? second place: Big Al’s Grille & Sports Bar, Blacksburg, 540-951-3300 third place: Buffalo Wild Wings, multiple Roanoke locations third place tie: Sharkey’s Wing & Rib Joint, Radford, 540-267-3434 B e s t

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second place: Abingdon Vineyard & Winery, Abingdon, 276-623-1255 third place: Attimo Winery, Christiansburg, 540-382-7619

Sake House

Wild Magnolia

102, 540-593-2865

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The only thing more intriguing than the Bank Food and Drink’s cocktail menu, sporting funky drink names like Jailbreak, Tipsy Side of Zen, “Hello, Goodbye” and Easy Ryeder 2.0, is the building’s history. The Romanesque structure was once a private residence in the mid-1800s and went on to change hands among the Bank of Giles and the First National Banks of Pearisburg and Christiansburg, hence its name. second place: Lucky Restaurant, Roanoke, 540-982-1249 third place: Local Roots – A Farm To Table Restaurant, Roanoke, 540-206-2610 third place tie: Wild Magnolia, Martinsville, 276-666-6666

photo by Maria Levitov

Culinary Collaboration A chef-and-architect duo create a classic French brasserie in Salem.

Bricks and mortar meet mortar and pestle in husband-and-wife team Scott Switzer, 40, and Ashley Tayloe-Switzer, 38. He’s a chef and she’s an architect, and the product of their union is the Blue Apron Restaurant and Red Rooster Bar in Salem, where both the menu and the design conjure leisurely dinners in quaint spots overlooking the Seine. Scott, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America and spent five years cooking at Roanoke’s Metro!, and Ashley, a graduate of Virginia Tech, opened the restaurant and bar in 2010. “We wanted it to feel like it’s been there forever, like a perfect broken-in baseball cap,” explains Scott. During the renovation of their 130-yearold building on East Main Street, the couple retained the original wobbly floorboards, stained with years of use, and added a large crystal chandelier that hangs from the tall, coffered ceiling. The lines are clean, the bricks are bare, and the feel is intimate and timeless. Scott says the source of the design for the upscale yet relaxed restaurant was the menu. Seasonally inspired, it changes every six to eight weeks. It can include crisp duck confit with an apple-port reduction, or a spinach and radicchio salad with grapefruit vinaigrette. The couple eats a late dinner in their restaurant at least once a month just to get a feel for the experience, from the lighting and music to the sound of the people and quality of the food. “It’s really intimate,” says Scott, “You look out the door and you could be anywhere.”

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The Martha Washington Hotel & Spa 150 W. Main St., Abingdon, 276-628-3161 The Martha Washington may be housed in a historic home circa 1837, but the spa and amenities are all modern. A full menu of treatments includes eight kinds of massages and facials, aromatherapy and body treatments. The spa also has an indoor pool and outdoor whirlpools, complete with waterfalls to coax the kinks from those shoulders. second place: Reflections Day Spa, Martinsville, 276-632-2222 third place: polished by claire v., Blacksburg and Roanoke locations

EASTERNVIRGINIA REGION Arts Culture & SOUTHWEST SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA • •Shopping • Shopping & Services & Entertainment Services

Best Day Spa

shopping & se rv ices

Best Lawyer

James A. Hartley 503 Mountain Lake Ave., P.O. Box 511, Pearisburg


Part of the two-man firm Hartley & Chidester, P.C., James A. Hartley has been representing clients in Pearisburg since 1993. Specializing in commercial and family law, criminal, personal injury, real estate, workers compensation and estate administration, Hartley has your legal needs covered. second place: Philip G. Gardner, Martinsville, 276-638-2455 third place: Charles M. Aaron, Martinsville


Best Hair Salon

Reflections Day Spa 730 E. Church St., Martinsville, 276-632-2222 Offering keratin treatments, Morroccan oil, and natural and eco-friendly products like Neuma Beauty, the stylists at Reflections can certainly cut, style and color. Stylists are also trained in the INOA treatment from L’Oreal, an odorless permanent color that contains no ammonia and leaves hair smooth and velvety. second place: Tivon Salon and Spa, Blacksburg, 540-953-5000 third place: Meredith’s Salon, Christiansburg, 540-381-3050

Best Men’s Haircut Jacks

412 S. Jefferson St., Roanoke, 540-344-5225 Bringing back the traditional barbershop experience, Jacks is the well-groomed man’s paradise. Its classic cuts include a scalp and neck massage plus a hot towel and neck shave. Jacks means business with its manicure and pedicure, as well as its classic shave, facials and massages. There are no frou-frou treatments here, and Jacks also hosts private parties for groomsmen or birthdays. second place: Salon on the Square, Glade Spring

276-429-2111 third place: Sport Clips, Blacksburg, 540-552-4897

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Blacksburg cooking school can help you conquer culinary fear. Are you afraid of the kitchen? Roya Gharavi, owner and president of the Gourmet Pantry & Cooking School in Blacksburg can help you banish your fear. “We want to convey that cooking isn’t meant to be a chore, but should be fun and enjoyable,” the Iran native says. Gharavi, 50, has worked in the food industry for more than three decades, opening her first restaurant in Virginia Beach when she was just 21. She has also owned a number of Blacksburg restaurants, including downtown favorite Champs Sportsbar & Cafe. Looking for a change of pace and a place to sell upscale cookware and gourmet food products, Gharavi sold Champs and opened the Gourmet Pantry in 2000. The shop quickly outgrew its space, and when Gharavi relocated down the street in 2006, she added the cooking school. Gourmet Pantry’s kitchen, gleaming with Viking appliances and a massive granite island, takes center stage in the middle of the store. Gharavi teaches most of the classes, which cover just about every topic from knife skills and Cuban cuisine to cooking for one and making rubs and marinades. Classes are kept small—with no more than 14 students who range in age from 11 to 70-plus. The cost for classes is anywhere from $35 to $55. Gharavi hopes her students come away feeling empowered, and laughs as she notes that her students aren’t the only ones who benefit from her instruction. “It’s funny, I have lots of husbands thanking me for making their wives such good cooks.” Gharavi has created a seasonal series called Taste of Virginia, where she invites some of her Virginia vendors to hold demonstrations, tastings and talks at the store. The shop also offers complimentary wine and cheese tastings on Saturday afternoons and participates in community events, like the annual Blacksburg Fork and Cork food, wine and art festival. “We are proud to have established such a firm place in the community,” says Gharavi. “After being in business for over 12 years and [coming] through some very tough economic times, we are honored that many of our customers tell us that they can’t imagine Blacksburg without Gourmet Pantry.”

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Best Pet Boarding

Best Shopping Area/Mall

105 Broad St., Martinsville

Doe Creek Farm Road, Pembroke

4802 Valley View Blvd. NW, Roanoke

Combined, the Davis family has been in the flower business for 150 years. They deliver to Martinsville and the surrounding area, and offer online ordering. Under the website’s Flowers link, you’ll find a handy About Flowers page with answers to care questions like how often to water (not as much as you think). Stop by the shop for more custom designs.

At Doe Creek Kennels, large, private rooms have twin beds, pillows and fleece bedding, and a view of the 400-acre farm. Grooming and daycare are available for daytime pet guests who also get plenty of exercise, and overnight guests get an extra romp in the evenings before bed.

Anchored by Sears, Macy’s, Belk and JCPenny, Valley View Mall features two levels of stores and restaurants, including Yankee Candle and Bare Minerals. Catch a movie at Regal Cinemas after a long day of shopping, or check out “The District,” an open-air shopping area just off of the mall building, for more dining, boutiques and Plow & Hearth.

Simply the Best, Flowers & Gifts, 276-666-2378

second place: Best Wishes Flowers & Gifts,

Blacksburg, 540-953-2715 third place: The Jade Tree, Abingdon

Doe Creek Kennels

Valley View Mall, 540-293-4521

second place: VCA Highlands Animal Hospital, Abingdon, 276-628-4115 third place: Flying Fur! Daycare and Dog Training, Newport, 540-544-9663


Best Interior Designer

Lou Harris, Lou Harris Inc. 1085 Spruce St., Martinsville, 276-632-1881 Since beginning her design company in 1973, Lou Harris has traveled all over the country to work on projects as diverse as houses, corporate headquarters and country clubs. “We’re not a regular decorating business,” she says, “we’re a lot more involved than that.” Harris does consultation and drafting to custom-created window and floor coverings, textiles and furniture. second place: Sean Doherty, Doherty Interior

Design, Roanoke, 540-520-8587 third place: Edith-Anne Duncan, Designs by Duncan, Blacksburg, 540-357-2121

Best Air Charter Service Martinair, Inc.

22 Waypoint Drive, Roanoke, 800-777-7401 Martinair, Inc. says it can fly just about anywhere you need to go, anytime you need to leave. Really. With a 24-hour dispatch service and a fleet of 13 private jets, you have the flexibility to make your own itinerary and to arrive only a few minutes before your flight (bye-bye TSA). Pets are welcome on board too.

EASTERNVIRGINIA REGION• •Shopping Arts Culture & Entertainment SOUTHWEST & Services

Best Florist, 540-563-4440

second place: New River Valley Mall, Christiansburg, 540-381-0005 third place: Downtown Blacksburg, Blacksburg, 540-951-0454

Best Bridal Shop

Best Sporting Goods Store

Chantilly Lace Bridals, Formals & Tuxedos

Dick’s Sporting Goods

500 New River Road, Christiansburg

922 University City Blvd., Blacksburg, 540-381-0102, 540-951-5361

Begun as a basic bait-and-tackle store in New York in 1948, founder Dick Stack’s son Ed Stack and his siblings grew the company into more than 500 stores across the nation. Today, they carry sporting goods equipment, apparel and footwear for everything from working out to camping, kayaking and fishing. Dick’s is the serious recreationalist’s go-to store.

Representing lines by Mori Lee Bridal, Maggie Sottero Bridal and Casablanca Bridal, which creates custom, made-to-order gowns, Chantilly Lace Bridals can outfit the entire party with dresses for bridesmaids and mothers and tuxedo rentals, offering in-house alterations as well as gown preservation for after the wedding. You can even submit wedding-related questions through the website’s Ask Lacie page.

second place: Mahoney’s of Abingdon, Abingdon, 276-628-6249 third place: Mountain Sports Ltd., Bristol, 276-466-8988

Best Cycle Shop

second place: David’s Bridal, Roanoke, 540-563-5800 third place: AmRhein’s Brides & Formals, Roanoke, 540-989-7100

Best Gift Shop

East Coasters Bike Shop

Janice Cain Stationery

1301 N. Main St., Blacksburg, 540-951-2369

316 Brown St., Martinsville

When bikes arrive at stores, they do so in boxes, and many stores simply assemble and call them “built.” Not so at East Coasters Bike Shop. Staff follow a 51-point checklist during assembly, honing in on details and double-checking so bikes are built better and need fewer repairs—which they do as well, just in case you need it., 276-638-3282

second place: Cardinal Bicycle, Roanoke, 540-344-2453 third place: Bike Barn of Blacksburg, Blacksburg, 540-443-9960

second place: On a Whim, Blacksburg

Janice Cain Stationery started out as a paper company 30 years ago. Today, the former papery is a full-service gift shop that sells everything from coffee table books to gourmet foods and decorative pillows. Janice Cain also specializes in personalization and performs monogramming on site. 540-552-3160 third place: chocolatepaper, Roanoke, 540-342-6061

Most On-Schedule Home Builder Lucas Home Builders, LLC 650 Lucas Road, Newport


Lucas Home Builders specializes in new home construction. Owner Shannon Lucas is a certified green professional, and he must be doing something right: his small company has been building in the Roanoke area on referral only (no need to advertise) since 2004. second place: Hill-Thomas Builders, Ltd., Eggleston, 540-921-0002 third place: Progress Street Builders, Blacksburg, 540-552-1812

Riverfront Restaurant, Chilhowie

Chef Blackstone’s Steak Oscar ¼ pound lump crab ¼ cup cream cheese 2 tablespoons sour cream 2 tablespoons Duke’s mayo 3/8 tablespoon Old Bay 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice ½ teaspoon parsley pinch cracked black pepper 2 teaspoons pecorino romano cheese, grated dash Texas Pete

Mix all ingredients, then gently fold in crab. 4 4-ounce tenderloin steaks sea salt cracked pepper olive oil Roll steaks in olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper. Grill to desired doneness. Top steak with crab. Broil until slightly carmelized, approximately 2 minutes. Serves 4 276-646-2233

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Shopping & Services • SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA

Natural Growth

Best Men’s Clothing Store

Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op gets more local as it grows.


If you think co-ops are run by disorganized, tie-dyed hippies who eat nothing but dry lentil beans, then you need to visit the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op. Sure, it began with a couple selling cornmeal and whole-wheat flour from their basement in 1971, but only because “there was a vacuum in Roanoke Valley for that sort of product,” says General Manager Bruce Phlegar. Forty-two years on from its basement beginnings, Roanoke Natural Food Co-Op has an 11,000 square-foot store in Grandin Village, where shelves are filled with tasty favorites like Annie Chun’s Organic Pot stickers and Country Choice Organic Chocolate Sandwich Cookies—and business is booming. Phlegar, 58, has been a member since 1979 and general manager since 1997. He describes Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op’s business model as a “consumer cooperative,” meaning it is a for-profit organization in which owners, or members, buy up to 8 shares in the business for $25 each (totaling $200) and get a say in the goings-on of the store. Owners receive monthly specials and a patronage rebate, with anywhere from 20 to 100 percent of the profit generated by owners (who make up approximately half of the customer base) being distributed back to them. Business is so good at Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op that they are expanding operations. “We took a leap of faith,” says Phlegar, of the second location, which opened at Center in the Square in downtown Roanoke in April, and the new 25-acre urban farm, Heritage Point, which began operation in October 2012. Heritage Point is located six miles from downtown, and will see the co-op go hyper-local, by providing goods directly to its two stores. Heritage Point brand Lettuce Blend and Baby Lettuce hit the shelves in April, while a chicken coop with a brood of 100 hens will soon provide Heritage Point-branded free-range eggs. Phlegar credits this success to the business model. “People are invested in the co-op,” he says, “and not just in the $200 sense.” Seems a little cooperation goes a long way in Roanoke Valley., 540-343-3734 At the turn of the century, 18-year-old Joe Davidson emigrated from Lithuania with dreams of working in the clothing industry. Little did he know, the fine gentleman’s clothier he opened in 1910 would remain a Roanoke fixture for 103 years and counting. Davidsons is still family owned and customers keep coming. second place: Draper & Ferrell Clothiers, Martinsville, 276-638-3985 third place: Kegley & Co., Abingdon


' Best Independent Home Decor Store Black Dog Salvage 902 13th St. SW, Roanoke, 540-343-6200 Black Dog has become the go-to place for architectural antiques, commercial salvage and modern society’s other cast offs. Their 40,000-square-foot store is filled with wrought iron, antique tile, period lighting, mantels, hardware, doors, windows, stained glass and other interesting finds rescued from old buildings for reuse in others. Black Dog has been doing green for more than 40 years. second place: Cranberry Lane, Bristol, 276-669-9899 third place: magnolia, Abingdon, 276-206-8134

Best Fine Jewelry Store

Best Women’s Clothing Store

Best Children’s Clothing Store

Pieces Boutique

Sprout Consignment

3545 Electric Road, Roanoke

107B E. Church St., Martinsville

123 Charwood Drive, Abingdon, 276-806-7469, 276-206-8941

Back in 1930 Nathan Fink established Fink’s Jewelers, a member of the American Gem Society, in Roanoke. Eighty-three years later, third generation Finks continue the family tradition in 16 locations throughout Virginia and North Carolina. The company’s Electric Road flagship store carries the largest diamond and designer jewelry inventory in the area.

Most boutiques often carry quirky, sophisticated pieces you won’t see in a mall department store. But at Pieces Boutique, owner Ashley Simpson goes the extra mile to hunt for clothing and accessories— from retro crop tops to hand-painted clutches—that her customers can’t find anywhere else. The shop receives new arrivals weekly, so there’s always a fresh selection of one-of-a-kind pieces.

Kids grow up fast and outgrow their clothes even faster, so quality consignment stores are a budget-friendly godsend for many parents and their sprouting offspring. Established in May 2011, Sprout Consignment sells maternity wear in addition to large toys, baby equipment and children’s clothing for newborns through size 14.

Fink’s Jewelers, 540-342-2991

second place: Goodman Jewelers, Abingdon, 276-673-3110 third place: Capone’s Fine Jewelry and Design Studio, Blacksburg, 540-953-1000

second place: Forget-Me-Not, Abingdon, 276-628-2700 third place: Urban Gypsy, Roanoke, 540-400-8552

second place: Our Little Cherubs Boutique, Roanoke, 540-725-7777 third place: Once Upon a Child, Christiansburg, 540-382-5045 third place Tie: Toad’ly Kids, Roanoke, 540-774-7282

Best Orthodontist

Best Shoe Store

Most Beloved Pediatrician

101 Cleveland Ave., Suite 6, Martinsville

4714A Starkey Road, Roanoke

Terrified of going to the orthodontist? It’s hard to be when you’re in the hands of one as experienced as Dr. Snyder. A board-certified orthodontist who opened his own practice in 1987, he’s also a fellow of the International College of Dentists, American College of Dentists and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

Yarid’s has evolved considerably since its 1918 founding in Lewisburg, West Virginia, and the family business now lies in the hands of sisters and thirdgeneration owners Emilie and Katherine. The two have rebranded the department store as a luxury boutique chain specializing in footwear, handbags and accessories for both men and women.

Edward P. Snyder, D.D.S.

Yarid’s, 276-632-4144

second place: David C. Jones, D.D.S., Martinsville third place: Franklin Wheelock, D.D.S., M.S., M.D., Roanoke, 540-989-5621

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second place: Shoozies, Bristol



412 S. Jefferson St., Roanoke

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Luthur A. Beazley III, M.D., F.A.A.P. 1802 Braeburn Drive, Salem, 540-772-3580 Whether your little one has the chicken pox, a high fever or strep throat, Dr. Beazley can make her better. The board-certified pediatrician, who completed his residency at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a veteran at treating sick children and consoling concerned parents. second place: David W. Seamon, M.D., Martinsville

276-632-9714 third place: Christopher Stapleton, M.D., Blacksburg, 540-552-7272

a b o v e p h o t o c o u r t e s y o f R o a n o a k e N a t u r a l F o o d s c o - o p, o p p o s i t e p h o t o c o u r t e s y o f b r u n o ’ s g a s t r o t r u c k

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Best Outdoor Outfitter

Best Cosmetic Surgeon

902 13th St. SW, Roanoke

201 Cascade Drive, Pembroke

112 Abington Place, Abingdon

It seems we’re not the only ones interested in Black Dog Salvage: its reality TV show, “Salvage Dawgs,” premiered in November on the DIY network, with more episodes coming in June. The inspiration is the store, now in its 13th year: a 40,000-square-foot warehouse for reclaiming, repurposing and reselling architectural, commercial and industrial elements.

Tangent Outfitters doesn’t just sell the supplies that you need to explore the outdoors; it takes you along for the ride. Tangent is a supply shop and café that spawned from a New River guide service, which continues today. The company hosts a variety of daytime and overnight adventures, including stand-up paddleboarding, tubing and fishing.

Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Emory is invested in his field beyond the operating room walls. He was appointed assistant clinical professor of surgery at George Washington University in 1996 and has since written a number of peer-reviewed journal articles in addition to creating and producing an award-winning motion picture about plastic surgery.

second place: Hidden Memories Antiques and Art, Abingdon, 276-628-5377 third place: Antiques on Main, Christiansburg

second place: New River Outdoor Co., Pembroke, 540-921-7438 third place: Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Blacksburg, 540-953-7060 third place tie: Mountain Sports, Ltd., Bristol, 276-466-8988

second place: Philip E. Grubbs, M.D., F.A.C.S., Blacksburg, 540-951-8885 third place: Enrique A. Silberblatt, M.D., F.A.C.S., Roanoke, 540-994-7408

Best Kitchen Designer

Best Dentist

Black Dog Salvage, 540-343-6200

540-381-0539 third place Tie: Zephyr Antiques, Abingdon

Tangent Outfitters and Cascade Cafe, 540-626-4567

EASTERNVIRGINIA REGION• •Shopping Arts Culture & Entertainment SOUTHWEST & Services

Best Antiques

Roger E. Emory, M.D., F.A.C.S., 276-623-4500


Best Hospital

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital 1906 Belleview Ave., Roanoke, 540-981-7000

At 100,000 square feet, the newly expanded Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in Virginia. It’s also home to one of the Commonwealth’s largest emergency departments, which comprises the region’s only Level I trauma center, the Chest Pain Center, a pediatric emergency room and a noteworthy forensic nursing program. second place: Johnston Memorial Hospital, Abingdon, 276-258-1000 third place: LewisGale Medical Center, Salem, 540-776-4000

Best Dermatologist

Judith Szulecki, M.D. 209 Cleveland Ave., Martinsville


After graduating from the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry and completing her residency at Virginia Commonwealth University, Judith Szulecki began practicing general dermatology in 1973. What’s even more impressive than her 40 years of experience is the fact that she still sees 45 to 50 patients a day—and she would be happy to see you too. second place: Daniel S. Hurd, D.O., F.A.O.C.D., Blacksburg, 540-953-2210 third place: Chad Johnston, D.O., F.A.A.D., Blacksburg, 540-951-3376

Richard T. Anuszkiewicz, Ewing Cabinet Company 1701 S. Main St., Blacksburg, 540-951-0544 A graduate of Virginia Tech’s residential design program, Richard Anuszkiewicz (pronounced Annaskev-ich) joined the Ewing Cabinet Company design team in 2010 and was recently promoted to executive designer and showroom director. The Pittsburgh native is also one of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s “30 Under 30” professionals—did we mention he’s only 24? second place: Tim Martin, Martin Plaza Furniture Outlet, Martinsville, 276-632-1010 third place: Mary Jane Miller, Along Came Mary Interior Design, LLC, Bristol, 276-669-1933

Mark A. Crabtree, D.D.S. 407 Starling Ave., Martinsville, 276-632-9266 Aside from tending to patients at his dental practice, Martinsville Smiles, the former Martinsville mayor and past president of the Virginia Board of Dentistry presides over the Piedmont Virginia Dental Health Foundation. Crabtree is a founder of the nonprofit, which provides dental care for needy residents in the Martinsville-Henry County area. second place: Richard L. Anthony, D.D.S., Blacksburg, 540-552-8870 third place: Michael D. Doty, D.D.S., Abingdon, 276-628-6251 third place Tie: Justin Tebbenkamp, D.D.S., Blacksburg, 540-961-3279

Best Independent School Carlisle School

300 Carlisle Road, Axton, 276-632-7288 The Commonwealth is home to 67 schools that offer various International Baccalaureate programs. But as an educator of students in preschool through 12th grade, Carlisle School is the only one of Virginia’s IB World Schools to offer the Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma programs. Now that’s what we call a global-minded curriculum. second place: Faith Christian School, Roanoke, 540-769-5200 third place: Community School, Roanoke, 540-563-5036

Meals on Wheels Bruno’s Gastro Truck rolls. Food trucks have been the hottest thing in dressed-down cuisine for some time now, and there are plenty of them out there today. But Bruno’s Gastro Truck just may be the Mack Daddy of all food trucks. “It’s a full out kitchen,” says Tiffany Silva, whose husband is the Bruno of meals-on-wheels renown. Based in Smith Mountain Lake, the tricked out 22-foot truck has a full four-burner stove and oven, a flat top, a grill and two double fryers. And, oh, did I forget to mention the 13,000 watt generator? While most food truckers do a lot of prep in a real, bricks-and-mor-

tar kitchen, then load it for transport (and pray that the refrigeration holds up), the Silvas and their staff of two to three prepare gastronomic feats and feasts in the gastro truck on location (you can find them in Roanoke, Lynchburg, Blacksburg and of course, Smith Mountain Lake) making the whole operation more efficient. Their mobile gourmet kitchen also permits them to do some whiz-bang dishes that lesser trucks just can’t handle, like crème brulées and braised meats—a notch up from standard food truck fare. “The whole thing about the truck is to do really good food,” says Tiffany. B e s t

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Shenandoah VALLEY “the big valley” is virginia’s breadbasket, with farms, orchards, breweries and wineries as far as the eye can see, and the Shenandoah River near-bursting with bass. But simply producing an abundance of food is only half the battle—it’s what you do with it that counts! The Shenandoah region is home to sophisticated cities doing mouthwatering things with local ingredients, such as Chef Ryan Zale at the Local Chop & Grill House in Harrisonburg, a city that’s also home to the craft beer skills of the Three Brothers Brewing Co.; not to mention the farm-totable destination that is Staunton, where restaurants like Zynodoa are leading the way. In Winchester, three generations of the Marker family not only grow apples, peaches and more at Marker-Miller Orchards, they create homemade cider and baked pies, while in Timberville, the Beachy family gives pastry a Texas twist with their Ole’ Time Fried Pies. For all this and more, we never pass up an opportunity to eat, drink and explore in the Valley.

Photography by Cade Martin ♠ Illustration by Shane Rebenscheid ♠ Styling by Neely Barnwell Dykshorn

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ARTS, CULTURE & Entertainment Best Art Event

Virginia Fall Foliage Festival Art Show 122 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro, 540-466-0850 Autumn in Waynesboro is a sight to behold, but the idyllic valley town becomes even more beautiful when its streets turn into an outdoor art gallery at the Virginia Fall Foliage Festival Art Show. Annually, about 20,000 visitors attend the juried exhibition, featuring jewelry, paintings, sculptures, pottery and more by artists from around the country. second place: Art in the Park at Gypsy Hill, Staunton, 540-885-2028 third place: First Fridays Downtown, Harrisonburg, 540-801-8779

Best Overall Museum

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley 901 Amherst St., Winchester, 888-556-5799

Blues, Brews and a Bowlful of Chili Kicking up the heat this fall in Waynesboro.

If sampling chili and sipping a microbrew while listening to the syncopating sounds of the blues sounds like your recipe for an enjoyable evening, look no further than Waynesboro’s September event, the Virginia Chili, Blues n’ Brews Festival. Held in downtown Waynesboro, the festival has grown from its humbler beginnings just seven years ago. “This year we have three major headliners,” says event organizer Terry Short, 40. “In past years we’ve only had one major headliner.” This year’s lineup features local talent alongside Grammy-nominated artists Big Bill Morganfield from Muddy Waters, Ana Popovic and Devon Allman. As for the brews, the festival has a growing list of mega and microbrews on tap for this year, 16 and counting (and all are just $3). “We literally get beer connoisseurs who come just for the beer,” says Short. In fact, he says, “some people come just for the beer, some people come just for the blues, and some people come just for the chili.” And about that chili. Twelve contestants cook up 400 gallons of chili in the People’s Choice Chili Cook-off. Festival-goers sample each contestant’s chili, and vote for their favorite. “It’s basically a buffet system,” explains Short. Ticket holders may sample as much as they like. This year’s event is scheduled for September 21, and with the growing list of breweries, the chili cook-off and the Grammy-nominated headliners, the festival expects to surpass last year’s 4,000-person attendance. And the festival isn’t just for fun: Benefitting Waynesboro’s Virginia Main Street Association, all proceeds go to revitalizing the downtown area. “Keeping doors open,” explains Short. And that’s something to feel good about.


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The Glen Burnie Historic House, with its six acres of gardens, and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley have merged to create a unique trifecta preserving the art, culture and history of the region. Planning a self-guided tour? Don’t miss out on its R. Lee Taylor Miniatures Gallery, 14 formal gardens or the Shenandoah Valley Gallery. second place: Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton, 540-332-7850 third place: Explore More Discovery Museum, Harrisonburg, 540-442-8900

Best Performing Arts Company American Shakespeare Center 13 W. Beverley St., Staunton, 540-885-5588 Forget “Hamlet” as you knew it in high school; the American Shakespeare Center’s troupe brings revered works to life in traditional Elizabethan fashion. Performances are held in the Blackfriars Playhouse, the only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater in the world, where the lights are always left on to encourage actor-audience interaction. second place: Wayside Theatre, Middletown, 540-869-1776 third place: Shenandoah Academy of Dance, Buena Vista, 540-570-0848

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Most Creative Charitable Event

Best Mixologist

1817 Mountain View Church Road, Blue Ridge

614 S. Main St., Woodstock

1 Mill St., Staunton

Have you always dreamed of a country wedding? Diamond V Farm’s vintage barn and majestic views of the Peaks of Otter can help you make your most romantic childhood fantasies come true. If only finding the perfect partner were so easy ...

In Woodstock, Thanksgiving is synonymous with food, family and the Regulus Group’s annual Turkey Trot. The event, featuring both 5K and 10K races, has been held the Saturday before Thanksgiving since 2010. The young, yet wildly popular competition benefits a different local charity each year. There’s also a “Teeny K” race for little ones.

Love hangouts where the bartender knows your name? Then you’ll enjoy Mill Street Grill, where Julie Mace has been mixing drinks and making conversation for 17 years. “I think if you work at a place that long, you develop a rapport with the customers,” says the expert mixologist, who is as personable as she is talented.

second place: Deck the Halls, Lexington, 540-463-7861 third place: Dancing with the Stars of the ‘Burg, Harrisonburg, 540-434-5268

second place: Mortye Johnson, Bistro on Main, Lexington, 540-464-4888 third place: Chevvone “Chevy” Bray, Byer’s Street Bistro, Staunton, 540-887-6100 third place tie: Susan Weeks, The Bard’s Nest, Staunton, 540-448-3175

Diamond V Farm, 540-537-3912

second place: Stonewall Jackson Hotel, Staunton, 540-885-4848 third place: Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton, 540-851-1733

Best Music Venue Clementine

153 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, 540-801-8881 Bringing a bit of edgy, urban flair to charming downtown Harrisonburg, Clementine is all about food, music and art. Beyond booking captivating performers and serving up everything from risotto fritters to tortilla-crusted catfish, the local hangout hosts community events appropriate for all ages, including game nights and art shows. second place: WTA’s Gateway, Waynesboro, 540-943-9999 third place: Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, 540-568–7000

Best Food Festival

Virginia Chili, Blues n’ Brews Festival

Regulus Group Woodstock Turkey Trot, 540-459-2142

Best Historic Museum

Frontier Culture Museum

EASTERN REGION • ArtsCulture Culture&&&Entertainment Entertainment SHENANDOAH VALLEY • Arts, Arts Culture Entertainment

Best Special Event Venue

Julie Mace, Mill Street Grill, 540-886-0656

1290 Richmond Ave., Staunton, 540-332-7850 Engineered to make you feel like you’ve gone back in time, this museum tells the story of native and early immigrant Americans through an array of outdoor exhibits. Where else can you tour a 1600s English farm, 1700s West African farm and 1850s American schoolhouse in one place? Living history demonstrations complete the experience. second place: Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, Staunton, 540-885-0897 third place: Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, 888-556-5799

301 W. Main St., Waynesboro, 540-447-6350 What could be more pleasurable than taking part in a chili cook-off and sampling microbrews, all while live blues music plays in the background and the warm September sun warms your back? The answer: Doing so while benefitting Waynesboro Downtown Development Inc. Pepper in exhibitors and artisans, and you’ve got one spicy festival. second place: Rocktown Beer & Music Festival, Harrisonburg, 540-432-8922 third place: Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, Winchester, 540-662-3863

Best Movie Theater Zeus Digital Theaters

120 Osage Lane, Waynesboro, 540-416-0536 Zeus is best known for ruling Mount Olympus so it follows that his namesake movie theater zapped its competition this year. Want to feel like a movie god? Rent out one of Zeus’ eight auditoriums for a private screening and they will show any film you command. second place: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Winchester, 540-313-4060 third place: Visulite Cinema, Staunton, 540-885-9966

photo courtesy katie robbins

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Teatime in Troutville

Tea tavern attracts locals and far-flung travelers. Move over, Starbucks; tearooms are on the rise. “Teas are becoming the new coffee because of the health benefits,” says Kim Arney, 54, owner of White Oak Tea Tavern in Troutville. Black, green, white, herbal or oolong, each type of tea has its own salutary effects, including reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering blood pressure. With that in mind, more people are ditching cookie-cutter coffee shops and indulging in the tearoom experience. And White Oak owner Arney is ready for them. The historic Cloyd House, a log cabin constructed circa 1783 and home to the simple, rustic shop, is a fitting setting for a quiet tea break. The menu is, according to Arney, “small and perfect ... famous for our two chicken salads and baked breads.” And though the cozy space (with only five tables) is part of its charm, its primary draw is the loose tea that Arney blends herself. “Once a tea drinker tastes a fine, loose tea, they will never be satisfied with a tea bag again,” says the Botetourt County native, who bought the tearoom when her catering business grew so much that it kept her more and more away from home. The tea business beckoned, not only as a respite, but as a vocation. “After much prayer, I felt there was quite a ministry within the tea business,” she says. Arney acquires leaves from tea estates in China, Japan, Canada and England, fuses them with a variety of ingredients, including rose hips, ginger and dried fruit, and packages them onsite. Blends like maple blackberry, vanilla grenadine and peach apricot white tea draw customers from as far away as the United Kingdom. Tea lovers “go out of their way to visit,” she says. “ We have become a destination restaurant but have a very loyal following from locals,” Arney says. And if you’re just passing through? Be prepared stay awhile. “We have good tea,” she says. “If we get you once, we keep you.”

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Iris Inn

191 Chinquapin Drive, Waynesboro, 540-943-1991

Perched atop a mountain overlooking the Shenandoah Valley, Iris Inn has airy rooms and cabins designed to bring people close to nature. The three-story stone fireplace in the Great Room is perfect for relaxing after a day spent touring Virginia’s wine country, fly fishing the South River or simply enjoying the calm of the mountains. second place: Fort Lewis Lodge, Millboro, 540-925-2314 third place: Frederick House, Staunton, 540-885-4220

liv ing & recreation Most Luxurious Hotel

Best Retirement Community

24 S. Market St., Staunton

160 Kendal Drive, Lexington

Restored to its original splendor with a $21.1 million renovation in 2005, the Stonewall Jackson Hotel takes Southern hospitality to heart with 124 plush and pet-friendly rooms. Located in downtown Staunton at the gateway to the Blue Ridge, the hotel is in walking distance to shops, restaurants and galleries, and is right next door to the Blackfriars Playhouse.

Meet friends for lunch after a painting class in the shadow of the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley. Take a daily Tai Chi class, or jog down the road for an event at one of several nearby universities. This is what everyday life is like at Kendal at Lexington, a continuing-care community that promotes the history, culture and natural beauty of Lexington.

second place: The George Washington, a Wyndham Grand Hotel, Winchester, 540-678-4700 third place: The Homestead, Hot Springs, 800-838-1766

second place: Sunnyside Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, 540-568-8411 third place: Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, 540-438-4225

Stonewall Jackson Hotel

Best Place to Dance The Artful Dodger

47 Court Square, Harrisonburg, 540-432-1179 This coffeehouse and cocktail lounge keeps things cool and casual with a varied lineup of live music Wednesday through Sunday nights. Benefit concerts and salsa nights frequently shake up the schedule. An extensive menu features dishes like Bombay Chicken Salad, and breakfast is served all day and night. second place: Sweet Caroline’s, Winchester, 540-723-8805 third place: Blue Nile – Downstairs, Harrisonburg, 540-432-6453

Best Resort for the Whole Family Massanutten Resort

1822 Resort Drive, McGaheysville, 540-289-9441

Hit the slopes in the morning then catch a wave in the afternoon—no joke. Alongside hiking and fly fishing at this Blue Ridge resort, Massanutten also has a year-round waterpark complete with “The Pipeline” for surfing. second place: The Homestead, Hot Springs, 800-838-1766 third place: Bryce Resort, Basye, 540-856-2121

EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment SHENANDOAH VALLEY • Living & Recreation

Most Welcoming Bed and Breakfast, 540-885-4848

Most Challenging Golf Course Packsaddle Ridge Golf Club 3067 Packsaddle Trail, Keezletown, 540-269-8188

Kendal at Lexington, 800-976-8303

Best Hiking Trail Appalachian Trail Shenandoah Valley, 304-535-6278

Given four-and-a-half stars by Golf Digest in 2008 and 2009, this 18-hole public golf course has sweeping views of the Shenandoah Valley from both the course and the clubhouse, which features a pro shop and the Packsaddle Grill. The par 72 course plays 7,024 yards at the longest tee zone.

Stretching from Georgia to Maine, the 2,184-mile Appalachian Trail follows the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Eastern seaboard, passing through 14 states, including Virginia. Hiking the entirety takes the better part of a year, but most choose to hike it in sections.

second place: Lexington Golf & Country Club, Lexington, 540-463-4141 third place: Rock Harbor Golf Course, Winchester, 540-722-7111

second place: Chessie Nature Trail, Lexington third place: Shenandoah National Park Trails, Shenandoah Valley

A Barrel of Laughs

Three Brothers Brewing Co. in Harrisonburg enjoys sweet success in the suds business. An April post on Three Brothers Brewing Co.’s Facebook page said that one of their 600-gallon tanks had burst and that free beer was flowing for anyone willing to come down and get it. For Harrisonburg’s only craft brewery, opened on North Main Street by hometown boys Adam (30), Tyler (27) and Jason (23) Shiflett just last December, this seemed like pretty bad news. “That was an April Fool’s joke,” explains Adam, a former Naval submarine officer. “Everybody likes to have a little fun, right?” And why shouldn’t these guys have some fun? After all, they’re having a Cinderella moment. After rolling out their first brew last December, they were selling at capacity in just a few months and are now ready to double their production to

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4,000 barrels per year. Three Brothers’ beer is also now on tap in nearly all of Harrisonburg’s several dozen independent restaurants, and is being distributed to about 30 restaurants in the Richmond area. In addition to the buzz about their beer (Adam says his current favorite is Great Outdoors, a Virginia Pale Ale), the trio is being lauded for their ecofriendly practices. “You kind of owe it to the community to do everything you can,” he explains. Adam says the craft beer community has offered support and advice as they get Three Brothers up and running pointing to O’Connor’s Brewing in Norfolk and Devil’s Backbone in Lexington in particular. Yes, the Shifletts have a lot to smile about.

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Living & Recreation • SHENANDOAH VALLEY

Best Outdoor Adventure

Shenandoah National Park

The Homestead, Hot Springs

Shenandoah Valley

Atlantic Salmon Confit with Yellow Lentils, 540-999-3500 Possibly best known for the popular hike up Old Rag Mountain, Shenandoah National Park's more than 500 miles of trails includes cascading waterfalls, rock scrambles to mountaintop vistas and Limberlost Trail for those with limited mobility. Hiking, biking, fishing and horseback riding are permitted, and nearly all 196,000 acres are open to backcountry camping. second place: Appalachian Trail, Shenandoah Valley, 304-535-6278 third place: Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton, 540-332-7850

Best Hunting Preserve

The George Washington & Jefferson National Forests Shenandoah Valley, 540-265-5100 These two forests combined are the largest public land blocks in the eastern U.S., with more than 1.8 million acres of primarily Appalachian hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood forests spread across Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. Twenty-three designated “Wilderness” areas protect the land and animals, but game hunting is permitted in specific areas. second place: Green Valley Hunter’s Paradise, Millboro, 540-996-4134 third place: Goshen-Little North Mountain Wildlife

Management Area, Shenandoah Valley, 804-367-1000

Salmon Confit: 4 salmon steaks 2 vanilla beans, split 1 quart extra virgin olive oil Preheat oven to approximately 125 degrees. Place olive oil in a medium pan together with the vanilla and salmon fillets. The olive oil should cover the fish entirely. Place in the oven and cook slowly for 30-40 minutes. Reserve. Lentils: 8 ounces smoked bacon, diced small 1 pound yellow lentils, parboiled 3 ounces carrots, diced small 3 ounces celery, diced small 3 ounces onion, diced small 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon chopped parsley ½ cup chicken broth 1 teaspoon ground cumin sea salt freshly ground pepper Preheat a non-stick frying pan. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Drain extra oil from pan, and add the onions, carrots and celery. Sauté until translucent, then add the lentils, cumin, chicken stock, butter and parsley. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and season to taste. Reserve.

Best Historic Site

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum 20 N. Coalter St., Staunton, 540-885-0897

Most Fashionable Horse Show/Race Bonnie Blue National Horse Show 487 Maury River Road, Lexington, 540-464-2950

A United States Equestrian Federation-rated horse show, this May event celebrates its 27th anniversary this year. Organized by the Virginia Horse Center and held in the Anderson Coliseum, a 600-acre competition facility, the show features classes for Saddlebreds, Hackneys and Friesian horses spanning three days. second place: Elkton Horse Show, Elkton, 540-578-3046 third place: Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point, Boyce, 540-837-1820

603 Old Plantation Way, Millboro, 540-925-2314 Fort Lewis Lodge, the cattle farm on Colonel Charles Lewis’ 3,200-acre mountain plantation circa 1750, provides bed-and-breakfast-style lodging from rooms to cabins for a genuine outdoor retreat. The Cowpasture River runs through the farm, a popular river for fly fishermen with large populations of smallmouth bass and rock bass. The lodge stocks rainbow trout every spring. second place: Douthat State Park, Millboro, 540-862-8100 third place: Clearbrook Park, Clear Brook, 540-665-5678 o f

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Best Tennis Club Pro

Chad Reed, Augusta Health Lifetime Fitness, 540-932-5280

Fort Lewis Lodge

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second place: Lee Chapel & Museum, Lexington, 540-458-8768 third place: Virginia Museum of the Civil War, New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, New Market, 866-515-1864

107 Medical Center Circle, Fishersville

Best Place to Fish


A museum dedicated to preserving the history of the 28th president of the United States, the birthplace and childhood home of Woodrow Wilson is conserved, while the library continues to collect and preserve the raw materials of history and promote Wilson’s ideals.

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A Professional Tennis Registry National Tester and Certified Teaching Professional, Chad Reed also has a specialized certification in wheelchair tennis. Teaching and coaching since 1995, Reed plans Special Olympics and wheelchair tennis programs alongside the junior and adult tennis programs at Augusta Health Lifetime Fitness. second place: Bev Coffman, Augusta Health Lifetime Fitness, Fishersville, 540-932-5280 third place: Robyn Russell, Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA, Staunton, 540-885-2553 third place tie: Jim Scott, Jim Scott Tennis, Winchester, 540-667-5737

White Balsamic Dressing: ½ cup white balsamic vinegar, reduced to 1/8 cup 1 cup vanilla olive oil from cooking the salmon 1 tablespoon chives, chopped fine 1 tablespoon shallots, chopped fine 1 tablespoon honey sea salt freshly cracked pepper Whisk together the honey and reduced vinegar in a medium mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil forming an emulsion. Add remaining ingredients and season to taste. Reserve. Arrange lentils in equal portions in the middle of four plates. Drain the extra oil from the salmon and place the fillets on top of the lentils. Drizzle the dressing over the salmon and garnish with a few sprigs of herbs. Serves 4

Best Wine Trail

Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail Shenandoah Valley Tucked between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Alleghany Mountains lies the Shenandoah Valley. Between tastings and tours of the 14 wineries featured on this wine trail, take in the history, culture and natural beauty of the valley with stops at Civil War battlefields, caverns, hiking trails, historic homes, antebellum plantations, inns and restaurants. second place: Shenandoah County Wine Trail, Shenandoah County, 888-367-3965 third place: Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop, Shenandoah Valley,


Best Group Fitness Gold’s Gym

485 South St., Front Royal, 540-636-3400 Pilates, yoga, Body Pump, cycling—Gold’s Gym offers a myriad of group fitness classes all day, including four 6 a.m. classes for that before-work workout. The gym is not just for adults though: The Front Royal location offers three levels of children’s tumbling every Sunday, as well as “Zumbatomic” so kids can get their Zumba on too. second place: Augusta Health Lifetime Fitness, Fishersville, 540-932-5433 third place: Rockbridge Area YMCA, Lexington, 540-464-9622 third place tie: Staunton-Augusta YMCA, Staunton, 540-885-8089

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Peck’s BBQ

477 Lee Jackson Highway, Staunton, 540-886-4647

Though its location has changed a few times—from Fishersville to Waynesboro to Staunton—since it first opened in 1980, Peck’s down-home barbecue remains exceptional. Owner Peck, formally known as Samuel A. Thomas III, sees to it that everything his restaurant serves is made from scratch, from the coleslaw to the hush puppies. second place: Hank’s Smokehouse Southern Grillery, McGaheysville, 540-289-7667 third place: Bar-B-Q Ranch, Harrisonburg, 540-434-3296

food & drink A Weather Eye

Best Caterer

Mother Nature drives the menu.

full circle catering 20 Swink Lane, Lexington, 540-463-1634 The mission of full circle catering is simple: “fine food for all folks, leaving as little footprint as possible.” Given that the business is currently one of just four caterers in the Commonwealth to be recognized as a Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association, we can safely say owner Jenny Elmes has achieved that vision. second place: Six Star Catering, Winchester, 540-877-9900 third place: Shaffer’s Catering, Barbecue and Deli, Woodstock, 540-459-3744

Best Dessert Menu

Local Chop & Grill House 56 W. Gay St., Harrisonburg, 540-801-0505 Local Chop & Grill House has only been open since October 2009, but its gourmet dessert menu is already legendary. This establishment’s finishers, like goat cheese and lemon cheesecake made with lemon white chocolate ganache, graham cracker crust and raspberry coulis, are the stuff of dreams. second place: The Chocolate Bar Restaurant, Shenandoah Fine Chocolates, Winchester, 540-535-0010 third place: The Red Hen, Lexington, 540-464-4401

Best Steakhouse Joe’s Steakhouse

124 S. Main St., Woodstock, 540-459-5637 What’s the only thing more exciting than enjoying a hickory-smoked sirloin, certified black angus ribeye, beef skewer or St. Louis ribs? Why, doing so during Joe’s Mystery Dinner Theatre, of course! Perhaps the biggest whodunit of all is a HOWdunit: How do they make the steak taste so good? second place: Local Chop & Grill House, Harrisonburg, 540-801-0505 third place: Mill Street Grill, Staunton, 540-886-0656

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EASTERN REGION • Arts & Culture SHENANDOAH VALLEY • Food Drink & Entertainment

Best Barbecue Restaurant

Best Bakery

Newtown Baking 960 W. Beverly St., Staunton, 540-885-3799 Newtown may open at 7:30 a.m. during the week, but its bakers are always on-site by 3 o’clock in the morning to begin making fresh bread. From sourdough pecan raisin and walnut wheat to classic Italian filone and seeded baguettes, Newtown’s selection of breads and pastries promises to satisfy even the narrowest of tastes. second place: New Leaf Pastry Kitchen, Harrisonburg, 540-432-8942 third place: Shank’s Bakery, Harrisonburg, 540-433-2253

Chef Ryan Zale of Harrisonburg’s Local Chop & Grill House is watching the weather. The unusually cold spring means that the 60 local farms that supply the restaurant don’t know yet exactly what they’ll have for him, and so menu planning for next month is on hold: “At this point, I’m just waiting for farmers to call back and say hey, things are poppin’!” But that’s what farm to table is all about, says the 34-year-old Ohio native. “We rely on Mother Nature to see what we’re going to get.” Zale came to Harrisonburg in 2009 to open the Local Chop & Grill House after spending two years at the Inn at Little Washington. Zale says when he agreed to open the restaurant he wanted to modernize the traditional chop house. He added dishes diners do not see on typical chop house menus, including a charcuterie plate with salumi and pastrami, and what he describes as “playful” appetizers like Boer Bok rosemary goat sausage with butternut squash purée, crispy kale and Turner Country ham consommé. And of course, there is the meat. Locally sourced beef comes from Buffalo Creek in Lexington. “It is easily some of the best beef I’ve tasted in Virginia, or anywhere,” says Zale comparing it to an A2 Wagyu. (Zale also sources beef from a producer in Kansas known for high-quality hormone-free product.) Zale says he has noticed an uptick in the questions he gets from diners about the source of the food he serves. Zale knows the farmers that supply his menu personally, and can talk to diners about the producers’ philosophies and even the lifestyle that their animals lead. For Zale, the backstory on the food he serves is just as important as what is served on the plate. “It’s exciting that people are getting involved and wanting to know where their food comes from. I’m happy knowing I’m fighting for a good cause.” B e s t

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Best Pizzeria

Best Farmers’ Market

11 E. Washington St., Lexington

19 E. Beverley St., Staunton

Wharf Parking lot on Johnson Street, Staunton

Lexington’s very first farm-to-table restaurant, The Red Hen is committed to showcasing the finest meat and produce available in the Shenandoah Valley. So whether Executive Chef Collin Donnelly has prepared you pan-fried haggis or a butter leaf lettuce salad, you know your meal is supporting the local farming community.

At Shenandoah Pizza, each pie is named for one of the Valley’s landmarks or notable figures. We recommend the Skyline Drive, topped with Alfredo sauce, spinach, tomato, bacon, smoked gouda and mozzarella, or the Virginia Vineyard, featuring grapes, gorgonzola and rosemary. If you’re counting calories or carbs, order the Shenandoah Bake. There’s no crust!

second place: Mill Street Grill, Staunton, 540-886-0656 third place: Zynodoa, Staunton, 540-885-7775

second place: Melting Pot Pizza, Front Royal, 540-636-6146 third place: Salerno Family Restaurant, Lexington, 540-463-5757

On Wednesdays and Saturdays eight months of the year, dozens of vendors pack historic downtown Staunton’s Wharf Parking Lot to create the Staunton/ Augusta Farmers’ Market, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The market’s website also features a number of tasty recipes, from Queen City cheese and chives potato casserole to “Absolutely Ultimate” potato soup.

The Red Hen, 540-464-4401

Shenandoah Pizza, 540-213-0008

Staunton/Augusta Farmers’ Market

second place: Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market, Harrisonburg, 540-476-3377 third place: Lexington Farmers’ Market, Lexington


Best Breakfast Restaurant

Most Creative Chocolatier

705 Greenville Ave., Staunton

123 W. Nelson St., Lexington

Kathy’s Restaurant, 540-885-4331 This Staunton treasure can whip up any home-style meal just like mom used to make, but Kathy’s is prized for its breakfast menu—specifically its gourmet pancakes which, it claims, are the best in the world. You can now enjoy Kathy’s flapjacks at the restaurant or purchase her secret formula pancake mix to take home. second place: The Little Grill, Harrisonburg, 540-434-3594 third place: Mrs. Rowe’s Family Restaurant & Bakery, Staunton

Cocoa Mill Chocolatier, 540-464-8400 Chocolate-covered strawberries are nice, but Cocoa Mill’s famed chocolate-dipped ginger will have you seeing coated confections in a new light. The crystallized ginger and bittersweet chocolate make for a simply divine, sweet-and-spicy treat. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Lexington chocolatier also offers a tempting assortment of chocolate bark and truffles.

Best Al Fresco Dining Byers Street Bistro 18 Byers St., Staunton, 540-887-6100 “Eat. Drink. Live.” Byers Street Bistro’s motto is straightforward, yet memorable, just like its outdoor dining experience. A sprawling patio paired with live, late-night entertainment and an extensive dinner menu featuring everything from “The Godfather” pizza to vegetable Napoleon makes for an al fresco meal you won’t soon forget.


second place: Shenandoah Fine Chocolates, Winchester, 540-535-0010 third place: Chocolate Occasions, McGaheysville, 540-289-5940

Best Sunday Brunch

Best Burger Joint

1 Mill St., Staunton

107 N. Main St., Lexington, 540-462-6000

Red Lobster

Ah, the irony. There is nothing run of the mill about this 19th-century flour mill-turned-restaurant, especially the Sunday brunch menu, which showcases delectable versions of eggs Benedict. On the off chance you’re not in the mood for filet mignon, shrimp Florentine, crab cake or fried green tomatoes and shrimp Benedict, Mill Street is happy to make your dish to order.

Pure Eats believes so strongly in using local fare that everything the restaurant serves--from Buffalo Creek beef patties to Homestead Creamery milkshakes—is made from ingredients produced within a 75-mile radius. Though its burger menu is full of classic favorites (think double bacon cheeseburger), Pure Eats’ specialty burger offerings vary weekly to “keep locals on their toes.”

2121 E. Market St., Harrisonburg

second place: Joe’s Steakhouse, Front Royal, 540-636-5637 third place: Southern Inn Restaurant, Lexington, 540-463-3612

second place: Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint, Harrisonburg, 540-433-5225 third place: Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Staunton, 540-885-8861

second place: Mill Street Grill, Staunton, 540-886-0656 third place: The Green Leaf Grill, Waynesboro, 540-949-4416

Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop

Best Sushi Cuisine

Mill Street Grill, 540-886-0656

Best Place for a Sandwich Blue Sky Bakery

Pure Eats

16 Lee Ave., Lexington

Lexington Coffee Shop


9 W. Washington St., Lexington

Mike and Brenda Gregg founded this homey restaurant nine years ago as a bakery, but its sandwiches became so popular that the pair let the business evolve into the bustling sandwich shop it is today. Blue Sky’s sandwiches, made with freshly baked, homemade breads, from honey wholewheat to four-cheese focaccia, are addicting. second place: The Pampered Palate Cafe, Staunton, 540-886-9463 third place: The Woodstock Cafe & Shoppes, Woodstock, 540-459-8888, 540-464-6586

second place: Dave’s Downtown Taverna, Harrisonburg, 540-564-1487 third place: Village Square Restaurant, Winchester, 540-667-8961

Best Seafood Restaurant, 540-564-2719 What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Red Lobster? The “sea food differently” catchphrase? Lobsterfest specials? The legendary cheddar Bay Biscuits? It’s the perfect combination for a college town: good seafood at affordable prices. The world’s largest casual dining seafood restaurant enterprise, Red Lobster has fans from Harrisonburg to Honolulu.

Massaki Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar 1027 Richmond Road, Staunton

This quaint downtown coffee house promises locals “the freshest cup in town, always.” And with Lexington Coffee Shop’s vast variety of gourmet coffee blends from around the globe, that’s an easy promise to keep. Bring the dog—pets are welcome on the patio—and a good book to while the hours away., 540-886-9191

second place: Coffee on the Corner, Staunton

second place: Sushi Matsumoto, Lexington, 540-464-8196 third place: Beyond Restaurant & Lounge, Harrisonburg, 540-432-0105

540-887-0041 third place: The Woodstock Cafe & Shoppes, Woodstock, 540-459-8888

No need to go out for dinner and a show: at Massaki, you get two in one. Sit back and watch as expertly trained Hibachi chefs (one of whom showed off his skills on Rachael Ray’s TV show) prepare your meal in between knife juggling, shrimp tossing and setting veggies on fire.

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Best Overall Restaurant

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Best Local Microbrewery

621 N. Main St., Harrisonburg

123 S. Randolph St., Lexington

A restaurant since the 1940s and a worker-owned collective since 2003, the Little Grill serves up a healthy array of vegan, vegetarian and meat options. Locals check in regularly for the fun-flavored pancakes of the month; lemon poppyseed for March, ginger pear for August and spiced chai for November, just to name a few.

Blue Lab may be less than three years old but, in that short time, the family-run, two-barrel nanobrewery has crafted over 40 styles of ale. Whether you drink a pint on the premises or take a keg to go, this Lexington brewery gives you the flavor of the region.

The Little Grill, 540-434-3594

second place: Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery, Staunton, 540-885-4755 third place: Counter Culture Cafe, Healthy Foods Co-Op, Lexington, 540-463-6954

Best Overall Bar

Southern Inn Restaurant 37 S. Main St., Lexington, 540-463-3612 Southern Inn and its owners, George and Sue Ann Huger, are nothing if not resilient. The Hugers not only restored the then-66-year-old building when they acquired it in 1998, but also rebuilt it following a devastating 2010 fire. This phoenix-like energy—plus a stunning drink selection—are just part of why Southern Inn is the best bar in town. second place: Local Chop & Grill House, Harrisonburg, 540-801-0505 third place: Capital Ale House, Harrisonburg, 540-564-2537 third place tie: Zynodoa, Staunton, 540-885-7775

Blue Lab Brewing Company, 540-458-0146

second place: Devils Backbone Outpost Brewery, Lexington, 540-462-6200 third place: Three Brothers Brewing, Harrisonburg

Best Sports Bar

Buffalo Wild Wings 437A Tiffany Drive, Waynesboro, 540-943-9464 Buffalo Wild Wings, also affectionately known as B-Dubs and BW-3, is about three things: “Wings. Beer. Sports.” With 16 signature wing sauces, a multitude of domestic, imported and craft beers on tap and at least 30 flat-screen TVs per restaurant, it’s no wonder Buffalo Wild Wings is a Waynesboro favorite. second place: O’Neill’s Grill, Harrisonburg, 540-574-4267 third place: Macado’s, Lexington, 540-464-8200

Best Ice Creamery The Split Banana

Best Winery

Barren Ridge Vineyards 984 Barren Ridge Road, Fishersville, 540-248-3300 Who says you can’t go home again? After years of living abroad, John Higgs and his wife Shelby proved the old saying wrong. He returned to the apple orchard where he spent his youth (Higgs’ father purchased the land back in 1934) and converted it into one of the Shenandoah Valley’s favorite wineries. second place: Rockbridge Vineyard, Raphine, 540-377-6204 third place: Bluestone Vineyard, Bridgewater, 540-828-0099

Best Wine Shop

7 W. Beverley St., Staunton, 866-492-3668 With an impressive lineup of more than 60 gelati and sorbet flavors, the Split Banana has a plethora of possibilities for ice cream lovers. The five-year-old shop’s unique blend of exotic (honey saffron, cocoa ancho, orange Cointreau) and locally inspired (Virginia peanut butter, Highland County maple, Beverley apple pie) concoctions make other ice creams seem oh-so-dull. second place: Klines Dairy Bar, Harrisonburg, 540-434-6980 third place: Sweet Things Ice Cream Shoppe, Lexington, 540-463-6055

Most Creative Cocktail Menu Zynodoa

115 E. Beverley St., Staunton

Washington Street Purveyors, 540-885-7775

9 E. Washington St., Lexington

As proprietor Charles Smith will attest, life is too short to drink bad wine. That’s why his 17-year-old shop is a haven for only the highest quality wines, brews and gourmet foods. When you visit Washington Street Purveyors, bring an open mind; Smith loves to introduce his customers to new things.

While this hip Staunton hot spot is known for whipping up “inspired Southern cuisine” in farm-to-table fashion, its frequently changing cocktail menu is a draw all on its own. Popular selections include the Lavender Lemon Drop—Cirrus vodka, lavender simple syrup and lemon— and Eat.Drink.Love—cava sparkling wine, Chambord and Split Banana blackberry raspberry sorbet.

second place: The Woodstock Cafe & Shoppes,

second place: Local Chop & Grill House,, 540-464-9463

Woodstock, 540-459-8888 third place: Downtown Wine & Gourmet, Harrisonburg, 540-432-9463

Harrisonburg, 540-801-0505 third place: Village Square Restaurant, Winchester, 540-667-8961

Zynodoa, Staunton Smoked Scallop, Arugula and Cucumber Salad with Grapefruit Viognier Vinaigrette 8 scallops, approximately 2 ounces each 4 large grapefruits 1 egg 4 ounces baby arugula, cleaned and picked 750 ml bottle Viognier (we use Michael Shaps) 2 English cucumbers peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch lengths 1 pint sugar 4 pints water 1 shallot, finely diced 1 pint good white wine vinegar 1 pint light olive oil or grape seed oil salt and pepper to taste

EASTERN REGION • Arts & Culture SHENANDOAH VALLEY • Food Drink & Entertainment

Best Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant

Chef’s note: If you don’t have access to a smoker, then grilling will impart almost the same flavor. Peel grapefruit and remove the pith. Slice peels lengthwise and cover with one pint of water in heavy pot. Heat to boiling and drain. Repeat process two more times to remove bitterness in the peels. The fourth time, add sugar to water and simmer for one hour. Set aside. While you are cooking the zest, juice three of the grapefruits, combine with Viognier in a heavy pot, and reduce on medium heat until you have about 3 ounces by volume liquid. Set aside and cool to room temperature. While that is cooking, peel and segment the remaining grapefruit, slicing between the white segment lines so that only fruit segments remain (no white pith). Prepare smoker. Season scallops with salt and ground black pepper, put in smoker. At Zynodoa, we smoke in a pressure smoker for three minutes. Do not cook all the way through, as there will be a second cooking to caramelize. Remove scallops from smoker and place in refrigerator. Slice cucumbers lengthwise, about 1/8 inch thick, making sure to avoid seeds. In a bowl or dish, cover cucumber slices with vinegar and shallots, and season with salt and pepper. In a blender, thoroughly mix Viognier grapefruit reduction and egg. Drizzle in oil until emulsion is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add a light coat of oil and sear scallops on both sides until caramel in color, adjusting heat as necessary. To plate, spread vinaigrette on the bottom of each plate. In a large bowl, mix arugula and candied grapefruit zest. Toss in a small amount of oil to coat leaves. Drizzle some of the syrup (made during the grapefruit zesting process) on leaves as well. Place cucumbers, arugula, grapefruit segments and scallops onto each plate. Serves 4 as an appetizer.

photo by sera petras

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Tres Bella Luxury Spa & Boutique 426 N. Royal Ave., Front Royal, 540-635-2255 Including special spa packages like Chocolate Lovers Delight and Rainforest Restoration, hydrating green tea manicures and pedicures, 12 different kinds of massages from couture to classic, tanning, waxing, peels and facials—Tres Bella’s list of spa treatments goes on and on. Even your little princess can partake in the pampering with the “princess manicure/pedicure” for children under 12. second place: High Tech Design & Day Spa, Verona, 540-248-3333 third place: The Beauty Spa, Harrisonburg, 540-564-1925

Best Shopping Area/Mall

Historic Downtown Staunton Beverley Street, Staunton, 540-332-3867 The revitalization of Historic Downtown Staunton has helped turn this district into a destination for shopping, dining and fun at the gateway to the Blue Ridge. Colonial-era buildings now house shops, galleries and restaurants, and the American Shakespeare Center and Blackfriars Playhouse add to the cultural mix. second place: Apple Blossom Mall, Winchester, 540-665-0202 third place: Downtown Harrisonburg, Harrisonburg, 540-432-8922 third place Tie: Downtown Lexington, Lexington, 540-463-5375

Best Men’s Haircut Rocktown Choppers

320 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, 304-902-0315 The old school barbershop atmosphere is alive and well at Rocktown Choppers: It’s men-only here. They only do military cuts, flat tops, fades, high and tights, classic old-fashioned haircuts (and some modern men’s hairstyles, too) and include a hot towel and hot lather straight razor neck shave with each cut. Did we mention the price tag? Just $8. second place: Foilz Hair Studio, Harrisonburg, 540-433-6459 third place: N 2 Hair Barbering & Styling, Harrisonburg


Best Florist

The Jefferson Florist and Garden 603 N. Lee Highway, Lexington, 540-463-9841 Jefferson Florist has an extensive variety of flowers and arrangements, probably because it maintains its own greenhouse at the bottom of the Shenandoah Valley in Rockbridge Baths. It’s been in business since 1983, and have created fabulous floral arrangements at some of the area’s iconic places, including The Homestead, Lee Chapel at Washington & Lee and VMI. second place: Honey Bee’s Florist, Staunton, 540-887-1221 third place: University Florist, Lexington, 540-463-6080 ph o t o C o u rt e s y o f M ar k e r - M i ll e r Orchards

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Best Day Spa

shopping & se rv ices Best Hair Salon

Best Air Charter Service

600 University Blvd., Harrisonburg

51 Aviation Circle, Suite 103, Weyers Cave

The stylists at Foilz specialize in highlights and color, although that is not all this full-service salon offers. Up to date on the latest styles and techniques, the stylists can do everything from a basic cut to hair extensions. Men and kids are welcome too.

Trade the TSA for a friendly greeting. Park just 50 yards from the plane, board immediately and bring the entire bottle of shampoo if you wish (3 ounces of shampoo doesn’t go very far, you know). These are just some of the perks of flying with an air charter service, which Professional Air Solutions brings to the Shenandoah Valley. Their most popular routes include Chicago, Atlanta, Baton Rouge and Providence.

Foilz Hair Studio, 540-433-6459

second place: Encore Salon 215 Spa, Lexington, 540-464-4215 third place: High Tech Design & Day Spa, Verona, 540-248-3333s

Professional Air Solutions, 540-849-0823

All in the Family

Apples have been the Markers’ business for more than a century. In 1908, when Amos Marker bought a piece of land in Winchester, it came with a stone house on it that was already about 100 years old. He raised his family there and, by the time his son John picked up a shovel in the 1930s, that plot of land was ripe for planting. John planted so many apple trees that, before he knew it, the Marker land was awash in orchards, and selling apples became the family business. When John’s son Ralph came along, the natural progression was to expand the operation, so in the ’40s and early ’50s, Ralph set about adding peach trees. By the time the next generation took over, the orchards had expanded to include several varieties of apples. Out of necessity, the packing shed became a fruit stand where passers-through and local residents could purchase some of the tastiest fruit in the valley. In the century-plus since, Marker-Miller Orchards has remained a family enterprise, now run by John Jr., 65, his wife Carolyn, 64, and their daughter Heather McKay, 37. Covering some 350 acres, the business has diversified to include many varieties of apples, vegetables and other fruits, including hard-to-find damson plums and apricots. The packing shedturned-fruit stand has been replaced by a complex that includes a playground to entertain children while parents pick produce and a market where Marker-Miller pies, jams, jellies and other delectable comestibles—like Marker-Miller’s famous apple cider doughnuts and its fruit wines—are sold. McKay estimates that some 40,000 visitors come in the six months a year that MarkerMiller Orchards is open for business. And while expansion isn’t on the horizon at the moment, Marker-Miller Orchards continues to grow through diversification. “We’re always adding different vegetables to harvest,” says McKay. “And, of course, we’re replanting trees with new varieties of apples.” As the only member of her generation to be involved in the family business, McKay hopes that the next generation will step it up a little. “Family is very important,” she says. “You always hope there is someone in the family who has the desire and love to continue farming. It’s not a glamorous nine-to-five job with weekends off, but it … allows you to spend time with family, witness the life cycle firsthand, and know that, at the end of the day, you left a little mark for future generations.” For a full list of what’s ripe for picking from June to November, go to

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Margaret McElroy, Margaret McElroy Interior Design

Best Women’s Clothing Store

Best Sporting Goods

111 Lee Highway, Verona

50 Middlebrook Ave., Staunton

The Fashion Gallery

Wilderness Adventure

134 E. Beverley St., Staunton, 540-248-4292

Margaret McElroy began her interior design career in Richmond and, since 1992, has added projects as prestigious as a Symphony Designer House and a home on the Historic Garden Week tour to her portfolio. She opened a retail store in Staunton in 2009, where she provides home furnishings and accessories alongside her design services.

Just north of Staunton is the aptly-named Fashion Gallery: 25,000 square feet of formal and casual clothing, shoes and accessories. Staff there love fashion with a Southern twist, so much so that it is a “premiere Vera Bradley store,” which means it receives its selection of the colorful cloth merchandise before anyone else. second place: Design at Nine, Staunton

second place: Beth Young, A.S.I.D., Staunton



third place: The Yellow Button, Harrisonburg, 540-801-8110, 540-886-2480

third place: Stephen Robbins, Hamilton-Robbins, 540-885-3200

Ltd., Lexington 540-464-9142

Best Lawyer

Victor M. Santos 12 N. New St., Staunton, 540-885-0346 The practice of Nelson, McPherson, Summers & Santos, L.C., has become a mainstay in downtown Staunton, operating out of its New Street location for 50-plus years. As one of seven lawyers at a practice with diverse fields of expertise, Santos specializes in divorce relations, civil litigation, personal injury, insurance and business law.

Best Pet Boarding Puppy Luv


Amanda’s Touch Bridal & Formal

The folks at Puppy Luv have been grooming and boarding dogs for more than 30 years, so they know a thing or two about caring for animals. Though they specialize in puppies, Puppy Luv provides grooming, doggie day care and boarding services to animals of all ages. Visits always include exercise in the large outdoor area.

1561 Commerce Road, Suite 403, Verona

second place: Creature Comfort Inn, Strasburg, 540-465-3007 third place: Cedarcrest Country Club, Fishersville

third place: Laurence A. Mann, Lexington, 540-463-7119

third place Tie: Woodworth Animal Hospital,

The Factory Antique Mall 50 Lodge Lane, Suite 106, Verona, 540-248-1110 The Factory Antique Mall is definitely a destination: A brand new expansion finished this year brings the space to more than 100,000 square feet—one of the largest antique malls in America—complete with a café and an artisan center. Aisles have street names for easy navigation, and maps are available at the entrance. second place: Duke’s Antique Center, Lexington, 540-463-9511 third place: The Antique Mall, Lexington


Wilderness Adventure carries clothing, gear and accessories for all of the Shenandoah Valley’s outdoor adventures. Along with brands like North Face, Patagonia, Keen and Merrell, the store also carries shoes but, even more importantly, the staff is willing to share insider knowledge of the area’s best places to hike, backpack, climb and canoe. You can’t put a price tag on that. second place: Rockfish Gap Outfitters, Waynesboro, 540-943-1461 third place: Dominion Outdoors, Fishersville, 540-337-9218

Best Bridal Shop

4110 Greenmount Road, Harrisonburg

second place: H. David Natkin, Lexington, 540-464-3283

Best Antiques

SHENANDOAH VALLEY • Shopping & Services

Best Interior Designer, 540-943-7577 Waynesboro, 540-942-5163, 540-248-5123

Traveling nationwide to handpick the Verona shop’s dress selection, Amanda’s Touch has more than 200 gowns in stock alongside bridesmaid’s, mother’s and flower girl’s dresses, and tuxedo rentals. Weddings are not the only specialty though: As a retail store for Top 10 Prom, one of the world’s largest designer dressbuying groups, it carries designer formals too. second place: Becky’s Bridal, Buena Vista, 540-261-3140 third place: Bridal Impressions, Harrisonburg, 540-564-9622

Best Children’s Clothing Store

Best Gift Shop

Grandma’s Bait

SoLace Studios

24 E. Beverley St., Staunton

193 W. Spotswood Ave., Elkton, 540-886-2222, 540-298-5222 The workspace and showroom for the marbled silk designs of fiber artist Barb Polin, SoLace Studios carries handcrafted clothing and accessories featuring the ancient fabric and leather design technique known as marbling. Marbled silk is also available by the yard, and the studio shows the work of more than 100 regional and national artists as well. second place: The Emporium, Staunton, 540-885-1673 third place: Pumpkinseeds, Lexington, 540-464-5002

Owners Bob and Shirley Robinson had decided on the name for their store long before they opened it in 1981. Then manager of the children’s department at a major department store, Bob would put especially cute items in the front aisles with the sign, “Grandma’s Bait.” Today, their store carries those especially cute and traditional children’s clothes, toys and accessories. second place: Kids @ Kimberly’s, Winchester, 540-662-2195 third place: Once Upon a Child, Harrisonburg, 540-438-5607

Most On-Schedule Home Builder Welsh Construction, Inc. 15A N. Randolph St., Lexington

Red Hen, Lexington, 540-464-1008

Spiced Asian Pear Cake

As a full-service construction firm, it’s no surprise that home building, additions, renovations, and interior and exterior remodeling are on Welsh Construction’s list of services, but what sets this firm apart is its ability to do historic restorations. Based in Lexington, Welsh has worked on historic projects from a small 1700s log cabin to the Thornhill Estate mansion. second place: Bryan A. Nesselrodt Construction, Inc., Mount Crawford 540-810-5842

1 cup olive oil 2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 pinch ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ cup candied ginger, diced 4 cups Asian pears, peeled and diced

third place: Beebe Construction, Inc., Lexington, 540-461-0150

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a cake pan. Combine the

flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat oil and eggs until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla, and beat well. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture until combined. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the pears and ginger by hand using a wooden spoon. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Place pan on wire rack to cool. Serve with toasted pecans and whipped cream. Serves 8 to 10

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EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment SHENANDOAH VALLEY • Shopping & Services

Best Cycle Shop Black Dog Bikes

121 S. Lewis St., Staunton, 540-887-8700 Located in the Historic Wharf District in Downtown Staunton, Black Dog Bikes supports the local biking community from its full-service bike shop. Weekly group rides, welcoming everyone from beginners to experienced cyclists leave, from behind the building. Check out the shop’s Facebook page for ride times, routes and weather updates. second place: Shenandoah Bicycle Company, Harrisonburg, 540-437-9000 third place: Lexington Bicycle Shop, Lexington 540-463-7969

Best Fine Jewelry Store Crown Jewelers

6 E. Beverley St., Staunton, 540-885-0653 Specializing in watches and estate jewelry, with two full cases of estate collections, this small, independently owned jewelry store has served Staunton since 1960, from buying to repairs and cleaning. The European-trained jeweler uses a laser for the most delicate repairs and on-site engraving, and the watchmaker has more than 55 years of experience. second place: James McHone Jewelry, Harrisonburg, 540-433-1833 third place: Hamric & Sheridan Jewelers, Inc., Lexington 540-463-2022

' Best Independent Home Decor Store Hamilton-Robbins Ltd. 21 S. Main St., Lexington


Hamilton-Robbins just might inspire a few decorating ideas with the eclectic variety of items in the store. Sift through the fabric samples, or browse the antique furniture and paintings, fine linens and soaps, ceramics, glassware, pewter, silver and brass jewelry, oriental rugs, even bottles of imported olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It also offers engraving, custom printing and calligraphy. second place: Arthur’s Home Gallery, Staunton, 540-885-8609 third place: The Lady Jane Shop, Harrisonburg, 540-820-6629 third place Tie: Ponte Vecchio Living, Winchester, 540-450-8762

Best Men’s Clothing Alvin-Dennis

102 W. Washington St., Lexington, 540-463-5383 Seersucker and poplin suits. Colorful cumberbund sets by High Cotton. Barbour, Sperry and Vineyard Vines. Since 1963, Alvin-Dennis has provided Lexington with traditional casual and formal clothing, Southernstyle. It also carries a large selection of W&L and VMI clothing, jewelry and accessories, from belts to blazer buttons with school colors and logos. second place: Bell’s Fine Clothing, Winchester, 540-667-1430 third place: Belk, Harrisonburg, 540-434-4477

Pie in the Sky

Ole’ Time Fried Pies in Timberville takes pie to new heights of yummy. What could possibly be better than pie? Fried pie, perhaps. An old-fashioned treat popular in the southwestern states, fried pies are making a name for themselves in the Shenandoah Valley, thanks to a small business called Ole’ Time Fried Pies. Run by the Beachy family—Alvin and Karen, both in their 50s, and their four daughters who range in age from 14 to 19—Ole’ Time Fried Pies delivers their home-cooked goods to nearly 30 businesses over a 300-mile radius from their hometown of Timberville twice a week. “It’s a family business,” Alvin says. Everyone participates, and even the school-aged girls are “on standby for the frying and delivering.” So what is a fried pie? “Most people describe it as like a turnover,” explains Alvin, “basically we take a dough that we handmake ourselves, flatten it to a 6.5-inch circle, add the filling, fold over the dough and crimp the edge, then fry it.” It’s still pie, but better. Alvin got the idea from his sister, Anna, who has run her own fried pie operation in Texas for seven years. “She taught us everything we know about fried pies,” says Alvin. But there was a learning curve. “We tried them on our own the first time, and it was just a disaster,” says the Virginia native. But they seem to have gotten the hang of it. They began just two years ago, but today the family fries nearly 2,000 pies over two days each week to keep up with demand. All of their fillings are handmade, and while the pies come in just about every flavor imaginable, from coconut cream to blackberry, they can do only 10 flavors each week. Apple and peach are favorites, but they frequently try out new flavors. On top of the delivery business, you’ll find the Beachys frying on-site at festivals across Virginia most weekends during the summer. Some people recognize the treats, but it seems to have skipped a generation: “In Texas,” says Alvin, “it’s not uncommon for people to say ‘My mama used to make these,’ but in Virginia, you’re more likely to hear ‘My grandma used to make these.’” If the Beachys are bringing the fried pie back to Virginia, well, that’s all right with us. 540-435-2077

Best Shoe Store

Best Hospital

7 S. Loudoun St., Winchester

78 Medical Center Drive, Fishersville, 540-667-5600, 540-332-4000

Opened in 1947 and now owned and operated by three generations of the Wilkins family, Wilkins’ Shoe Center has a huge selection of shoes: more than 30,000 pairs in stock. Casual and formal, it also carries dance shoes, steel-toed boots and other safety shoes, and its athletic division outfits high school and college teams across five states.

Augusta Health has grown since it began providing healthcare to Augusta County in 1994, opening the doors of its newest expansion in March—the Heart & Vascular Center. The hospital employs more than 225 full-time physicians and has 255 beds and a number of specialty centers, including its Sleep Center and Internal Medicine Center.

second place: The Sole Source, Harrisonburg

second place: Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Harrisonburg, 540-689-1000

Wilkins’ Shoe Center, 540-564-2668 third place: Design at Nine, Staunton


Augusta Health

third place: Winchester Medical Center-Valley Health, Winchester, 540-536-8000 B e s t

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y e l l a n V i t h s a e o B d n d a e Vot Shen e Th Waynesboro is a natural place to explore a stunning landscape; centrally located in Virginia, easily accessible via interstate and 3 miles from the entrance from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive and the Appalachian Trail. Waynesboro is a charming destination as well as an ideal hub for day trips and excursions. Most Welcoming B&B

Seafood Restaurant

Sporting Goods Store, Outdoor Outfitter

Independent School

191 Chinquapin Dr 1-888-585-9018

415 W Main St 540-949-4416

1461 E Main St 540-943-1461

225 S Wayne Ave 1-w800-946-7773

Food Festival

Art Event

329 W Main St 540-943-9999

301 West Main St 540-447-6350

126 S Wayne Ave 540-949-7662

Music Venue



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EASTERN REGION • Arts Culture & Entertainment SHENANDOAH VALLEY • Shopping & Services

Best Dentist

Frederick W. Broadhead, D.M.D. 80 W. fourth St., Front Royal, 540-635-4567 Ever wonder what is really happening when you hear the dreaded drill at the dentist’s office? Dr. Broadhead’s website explains it all before you arrive at his office. The FAQ page describes a number of procedures from root canals to cosmetic dentistry, and answers many toothrelated questions. second place: Stephen T. French, D.D.S., Woodstock

540-459-3411 third place: D. Clayton Devening Jr., D.D.S., F.A.G.D., Lexington, 540-463-2134 third place Tie: William B. Hanna, D.D.S., Staunton

Skyland Resort, Shenandoah National Park Caramelized Onion Soup with Jarlsberg Crouton 4 tablespoons butter 6 medium onions, thinly sliced ¼ teaspoon salt 4 cups water 1 can (14 ½ ounces) beef broth 1 ¾ cups brown beef stock or beef broth ¼ teaspoons dried thyme 4 slices (½-inch thick) diagonally cut french bread 4 ounces gruyere or fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup) In nonstick 12-inch skillet, melt butter over mediumlow heat. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very tender and begin to caramelize, about 45 minutes. Reduce heat to low

Best Cosmetic Surgeon

Saied Asfa, M.D., F.A.C.S. 1502 Brookhaven Drive, Harrisonburg, 540-432-0303 No stranger to being among the best, Dr. Asfa graduated in the top 1 percent of his medical school class and went on to be chief medical resident and chief plastic surgery fellow during his subsequent training. Highly trained in plastic and reconstructive procedures, he also provides a number of minimally- and non-invasive procedures from facelifts to body contouring. second place: Matthew Karen, M.D., Winchester, 540-667-3223 third place: Paul A. Lambert, M.D., Winchester

and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer onions to stock pot. Add ½ cup water to same skillet and heat to boiling, stirring until browned bits are loosened from bottom of skillet. Add to onions in stock pot. Add remaining 3 ½ cups water, broth and thyme to onions, and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange bread slices on cookie sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 5-7 minutes. Spoon soup evenly into four ovenproof bowls on cookie sheet and top with toasted bread, slightly pressing bread into soup. Generously distribute Fontina evenly on top of each. Bake until cheese has melted and begins to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Serves 4

Best Dermatologist

Jerri A. Alexiou, M.D. 2062 Pro Pointe Lane, Harrisonburg, 540-433-8700 After completing her dermatology residency training that the University of Arkansas, Dr. Alexiou opened her Harrisonburg practice in 2001. Trained in the latest treatments for diseases afflicting the skin, hair and nails through continuing education courses, Dr. Alexiou treats everything from acne to skin cancer. second place: Cynthia H. Dent, M.D., Waynesboro, 540-949-6934 third place: Jane M. Lynch, M.D., Waynesboro, 540-949-6934, 540-722-2280

Best Kitchen Designer

Paul Borzelleca, Modernboy Woodshop 501 Middlebrook Ave., Staunton

Best Orthodontist

A.B. Hammond, D.D.S. 208 E. Washington St., Lexington, 540-849-0155, 540-463-7744

Paul Borzelleca is all about color. At Modernboy Woodshop, which does its own finishing, he can do things to cabinets others cannot. One of his favorites is painting cabinet interiors bright primary colors for a bit of surprise. “I think the sassy interiors put a smile on your face,” he says, and we agree.

During his residency at Columbia University, Dr. Hammond not only trained in orthodontics, he was also involved in cleft lip and palate research and earned a master’s degree in functional anatomy. At his Lexington practice, Dr. Hammond perfects patients’ smiles using various treatments, from less painful, high-tech braces and retainers to Invisalign.

second place: Joanne Peretti, Fashion Floors &

Cabinets, Lexington, 540-464-1422 third place: Beth Young, A.S.I.D., Staunton 540-290-1929

second place: Frances M. Kray, D.D.S., Harrisonburg, 540-433-8814 third place: Stephen G. Alvis, D.D.S., Harrisonburg, 540-433-3790


Best Independent School Fishburne Military School 225 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro, 540-946-7700 A military boarding school for boys grades 7-12, Fishburne’s military tradition and academic ideals extend back to the founding of the school in 1879. Today, as a nationally recognized JROTC program, with an 8:1 student-teacher ratio and 100 percent college acceptance, they continue the traditions their “Corps of Cadets” can be proud of. second place: Stuart Hall School, Staunton, 540-885-0356 third place: Pollywog Place, Woodstock, 540-459-6582

Best Outdoor Outfitter Walkabout Outfitter

15 W. Washington St., Lexington, 540-464-4453 Walkabout Outfitter carries clothing, shoes and gear for the outdoors, outfitting the hardcore hiker, the backpacker, or those who simply want to walk about outside. It recently added rock climbing to its list, carrying climbing gear alongside their hiking and camping essentials. Check out its website for sale events or a list of local hikes. second place: Wilderness Adventure, Staunton, 540-885-3200 third place: Rockfish Gap Outfitters, Waynesboro, 540-943-1461

Most Beloved Pediatrician

George Sproul, M.D., F.A.A.P. 401 Commerce Road, Suite 421, Staunton, 540-885-8143

A Staunton native, Dr. Sproul returned to his hometown in 1977 to begin practicing. A parent, grandparent, and a pediatrician, he knows a thing or two about caring for kids. His practice at Valley Pediatric Groups takes care of parents too, offering prenatal visits and newborn care classes so newbies know what to expect. second place: Scott B. Dubit, M.D., Lexington, 540-463-0951 third place: Robert C. Gunther, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., Fisherville, 540-932-0980

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220 LOU D OU N ST SE 路 LEESBU RG 路 703 771 8590

126A COMMERCE ST 路 OCCOQUA N 路 703 497 7437

Really good pie begins on the farm...


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A Wine & Food FestivAl tWo Hundred YeArs in tHe MAking August 30th - September 2nd © 2012 Robb Sharetg/ All Rights Reserved.

Courtesy Equinox Restaurant

Picture a food and wine festival so unique that no existing name quite fit. A food and wine experience so epic, in fact, that we’re calling it something completely new: Epicurience. Held in the East Coast’s premier wine region, Loudoun, Virginia: DC’s Wine Country. It’s where insiders come to savor award-winning wines and seek out noteworthy farm-to-table cuisine. Taste the finest in Virginia wines, meet top tastemakers and master winemakers, prepared by celebrated chefs from around the country including renowned DC chef Todd Gray.

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Virginia Living - Best of Virginia 2013  

The second annual Best of Virginia, as voted for by over 25,000 of our readers. Find out about the best art events and the most luxurious ho...

Virginia Living - Best of Virginia 2013  

The second annual Best of Virginia, as voted for by over 25,000 of our readers. Find out about the best art events and the most luxurious ho...