Dinner Will Be Served at Clayton’s
“It’s going to be so beautiful at night,” Ralph “Clayton” Anderson gushes. “Cars going by will look in and see the flames shooting up from my wood-fired oven.” He’s envisioning the evolution of his roaringly popular Clayton’s Counter Delicatessen (CoVa 2022 Readers’ Choice for Best Sandwiches) into the rechristened Clayton’s when it moves next door in this commercial plaza near Oceana in early 2023.
Adding dinner service, Anderson will bake focaccia and flatbreads and finish off high-end entrees of steak, seafood and chicken in said oven while a full-fledged bar for artful cocktails and drafts amplifies his current wine and beer selections. The space, larger than CCD by more than half, will seat 50-60 including a patio.
This was his dream—in the corner unit he desired—when he opened in 2020. But the pandemic back-burnered plans and, instead, “I made myself a lunch destination by putting deli in the name,” he explains, making iconic sandos like house-smoked pastrami as well as loaded fontina mac & cheese, antipasto and pierogi. That midday biz will not change a jot in this adjacent spot, but now happy hour (3-5 p.m.) will herald dinner (5-9 p.m.). TheCounterVB.Wixsite.com/ClaytonsVB
New Ways at Waypoint
With Waypoint changing hands from Hans Schadler to Mario Buffa, schnitzel yielded to veal alla Milanese, and za’atar pide leans Mediterranean, but the revered Williamsburg restaurant upholds its seafood focus, helmed by Executive Chef Brian Hines (of Buffa’s Riverwalk and their co-creation Water Street Grille). Fine dining remains (white tablecloths!), albeit a tad more relaxed. “Still local oysters, still topnotch service,” says general manager Chris Souder. “Just not as bow tie.” There’s TV in the bar, but no pearl-clutching, please. Even Middle Eastern Michelin-starred restaurants introduced telly thanks to the World Cup. WaypointGrill.com
Among the newest bakeries attempting to ascend to the macaron throne established by Norfolk’s Hummingbird French Macaron and Dessert Boutique (HummingbirdMacarons.com) is Café Geneviève (CafeGenevieve.com/Macarons) in Selden Market, where unabashed Francophile Geneviève Malarkey serves delectable meringue confections with locally roasted Craft Vessel Coffee. At Lady Marmalade (LadyMarmalade757.com) in Chesapeake, Heather Hallett (an alum of Johnson & Wales University and Marriott Boston Copley Place) adorns her bespoke cakes with macarons and supersizes them into “Big Macs.” We say the more macs the merrier (and are counting the days until macaron ice cream sandwiches return to Hummingbird in spring)!
Ceremony Leaves You High and Dry
Dry January is just around the corner, so celebrate with Ceremony, Southeastern Virginia’s first (oxymoronic sounding) dry bottle shops, curating alcohol-free wines, beers and spirits plus mixers, mocktail accessories and recipes for both home imbibers and pro bartenders. Whether you’re cutting back, teetotal-ing or simply sober-curious, visit Less Than shops (Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Richmond) or EnjoyCeremony.com. Free delivery.
Mellow Out at the Oceanfront
If you find yourself craving pizza at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, there’s a new pie in town. Mellow Mushroom—the popular franchise based in Atlanta, Georgia—has opened its most recent Virginia location at 35th Street and Atlantic Avenue featuring its signature, made-to-order pizzas. The spot, attached to the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, can’t be missed with its gigantic eye-catching globe and colorful mural painted by Virginia artist Mark Paul Deren. The restaurant features many original art pieces, architectural and design elements tied to its Bossa Nova music theme. Along with pizzas, appetizers, sandwiches and other bites, they offer handcrafted cocktails and mocktails, indoor and outdoor bars and a spacious patio for al fresco dining. And, this is VB, y’all, so word is there might be a frozen orange crush in the works. MellowMushroom.com
–Leona Baker and Kelsey Thomas contributed to this article.
A Yummy 757 Deal from Yelp
Hungry for a sweet deal in the 757? Throughout November, Yelp Coastal Virginia is partnering with participating area businesses to offer select items for just $7.57 in homage to our area code. The idea is to support new businesses in particular and build awareness about Yelp and the Yelp Elite Squad, says Yoonie Leake, community manager for Yelp Coastal Virginia. All deals represent at least a 50% discount. Check into a participating business using the Yelp app and you’ll receive an offer for their deal. Get three pieces of chicken, one regular croffle and one sweet croffle from KOKO Korean Fried Chicken & Croffles. Or how about three classic cinnamon rolls from Cinnaholic or six macarons from Café Geneviève in Norfolk? And it’s not just restaurants. Burn off some of those calories by jumping on over to Hope Fit VA Bungee Fitness in Chesapeake, where you can try out a class for $7.57. Yelp757Deal.com
More News from the “Nosh Pit”
• Mark Florimonte, who aced his tenure as William & Mary’s campus executive chef, is now Kingsmill’s executive chef, overseeing the AAA four-diamond Williamsburg condo/golf resort’s five restaurants
• Ian Hock morphed Codex inside Ghent’s Veil Brewing Co. into Lil ‘Za Pizzeria with creative pies to match craft brews (Codex is still writ large on Granby Street Downtown)
• Paul Chhabra (of Norfolk and Suffolk Rajputs) moves into the fast-casual lane with Rajput Indian Eats at Chesapeake’s Crossways Shopping Center
• Fry’s BIG Kitchen sounds like a greasy spoon but it’s a family-friendly Kempsville eatery named after Chef-Owner Donny Fry with a menu ranging from collard dip, Mykonos bowl (featuring homemade garlic-beet hummus) and Rasta shrimp pasta to, yes, fried green tomatoes
• “Chambongs”—a champagne flute and bong fused into one—are rocking VaBeach’s Bay Local (both Shore and Laskin)
• Mochi fans flocked to the recent opening of Mochi & Mochi inside Farm Fresh Newport News for the scrumptious sticky-chewy, rice-based donuts and bubble tea
• Amedeo’s Ristorante and Bakery’s pumpkin madeleines and cranberry-orange tiramisu truffle cups rate among our favorite treats smacking of the season.
Wine Dinners Return with a “Vin”geance
Restaurants pressed pause on wine dinners at the height of the pandemic, some going virtual or hybrid, but as Cobalt Grille’s Wine Director Arden Allen, who resumed monthly
dinners with Chef-Owner Alvin Williams as soon as it was possible (next one is Nov. 17, CobaltGrille.com), says, “We get so much joy out of doing them in person.” Other restaurateurs concur, rolling out a full roster this season. Among anticipated red-letter dates (or white, as the case may be):
Tierre Roja Wine Dinner
Zoës, Nov. 1
Preeminent sommelier Marc Sauter hosts the East Coast release of Tierra Roja’s 2019 vintage with founder Linda Neal, who’s planted vineyards for such as Quintessa. Sauter describes her own winery as the “bull’s eye” in the Napa Valley neighborhood that includes Screaming Eagle and PlumpJack. (Dec. 7: Annual Growers’ Champagne Dinner) ZoesVB.com
First Sundays Supper Party & Wine Tasting
Press 626, Nov. 6
Lindsay Bennett’s wine-centric Ghent hot spot pours a portion of the proceeds of monthly “First Sundays Supper Party & Wine Tasting” into good causes like this one for LGBT Life Center. (Dec. 4: ForKids benefits) Press626.com
Ankida Ridge Wine Dinner
Terrapin, Nov. 10
Award-winning, family-run Ankida Ridge, dubbed Virginia’s “Little Burgundy” for exclusively producing pinot noir and chardonnay, is
silhouetted against Rodney Einhorn’s impeccable cuisine. General Manager Brian
Williams didn’t hesitate when the winery reached out: “I remember when the Vroomans brought in their first vintage of Pinot Noir. Unforgettable!”
Sparklers for the Holidays
The Baker’s Wife, Dec. 1
Skip the Christmas lights. Head to this Hampton spot for a tinselly glow with a five-course feast and five “Sparklers for the Holidays,” part of the monthly first Thursday wine dinners at Dana and Phillip Epstein’s Phoebus showplace. BakersWifeBistro.com
100 Point Wine Dinner
Yiannis Wine & Food, Dec.14
Manager Amber Cubilla says that of all the notable events owner Yiannis Choutris orchestrates, he ranks as tops his annual dinner featuring only 100-point wines (scoring by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast). YiannisWine.com