New Restaurants to Try in 2021: Orion’s Roof

Orions Roof Featured
Orions Roof
Photo by Leona Baker

While there are many eateries in Coastal Virginia boasting beautiful waterfront views, even seagulls might envy the nearly 360-degree vista of the Atlantic Ocean and the restored Cavalier Hotel that greets diners at Orion’s Roof atop the new Marriott at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. From this rarified vantage point, chef Hisashi Araki—previously of the acclaimed Nobu restaurant empire—invites guests on a culinary world tour by way of Japan and Peru, where a fusion of sushi and ceviche are just a jumping off point for a bold adventure in taste and texture.

The higher price point complement to Tulu, a fresh and health-conscious bar and bistro on the first floor of the same hotel, Orion’s Roof is indeed a destination for those who will come to revel in the chef’s tuna and tempura rolls or glistening arrays of sashimi. But there are plenty of nods to flavors near and far—from a Japanese twist on Mexican street corn to Grilled Carolina Prawns with Thai red curry cocktail sauce, Foie Gras Nigiri to Grilled Cornish Game Hen with cilantro rice and jalapeño ponzu sauce. There’s udon and lo mein for the noodle lovers, Coconut Curry Chicken Soup and Thai Green Papaya Salad on the lighter side.

At a soft opening back in August, guests were treated to a smorgasbord of menu offerings including Crustaceans in Sweet Vinegar—a simple, fresh and elegant amuse bouche of crab, shrimp, clams, octopus with cucumbers and seaweed salad–and an entrée of Steamed Chilean Sea Bass topped with a savory olive tapenade, served with stir fried Chinese broccoli and a side of fried rice. Finally, who doesn’t love a dessert that’s an event? Be sure to check out Orion’s Kakigori, an homage to the chef’s upbringing. Popular in Japan, this mountain of feathery light shaved ice is laced with fresh fruit and other flavors—a sharer for sure, just like the view.

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Leona Baker
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