New Year, New Flavors: 17 Restaurants to Try in 2022

Hope you’re hungry. From beef carpaccio to barbecued ribs, wonderous waffles to tofu mushroom curry: Get ready to dig in with our annual roundup of new local restaurants to try in 2022.

Feature Photo by Sara Harris Photography

17 New Restaurants to Try

Compiled by Leona Baker, Marisa Marsey, Arielle Patterson, Barrett Baker and Robey Martin

Amedeo’s Ristorante in Suffolk

Photos by Leona Baker

The team that brought you elegant eats at Vintage Tavern and River Stone Chophouse are now taking you straight to Oderzo, Italy via North Suffolk. Learn more about the fascinating history behind how the new Amedeo’s Ristorante got its name in this story, but, as we sampled our way through the menu on a recent visit, we feel certain its eponymous inspiration would declare it delizioso. Let’s talk dessert first because, why not, when there is an on-site bakery right next door producing not only gorgeous rustic loaves, pastries, cannoli and tiramisu but plated desserts like their delightful Planter’s Peanut Layer Cake with whipped peanut butter frosting and house-made peanut brittle.

From Chef Travis King’s kitchen, we started off fresh with their radicchio salad, the bright, bitter crunch of its greens and tart apple complemented perfectly by the punch of gorgonzola cheese, pomegranate, walnuts and prosecco vinaigrette. The “Gorgonzola Gamberetto” appetizer was a panorama of plump sauteed shrimp, gorgonzola and brandy cream sauce atop grilled focaccia. The spinach ravioli simply satisfied with large, house-made pasta pillows stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, and, oh yes, more gorgonzola. International flavors, family history and local ingredients strike a sweet-savory balance in their “Salmon Obici.” And, while we knew mixologist Nick Matamoros was a master behind the bar after he took home the People’s Choice Award at Coastal Virginia Magazine’s recent CoVa Cocktail contest, he demonstrated his knife skills by artfully filleting our whole branzino (pan-seared sea bass) at our table. Bravo!

Learn more at Amedeos.com. 

– Leona Baker

The Baker’s Wife Bistro + Bar in Hampton

The chief concern nagging Dana Clark Epstein prior to opening the casually sophisticated Baker’s Wife in Phoebus last January with her husband Phillip: “Is Hampton ready for French?” Turns out the answer is: “Mais oui!” OK, make that a yep, for the Epsteins (also owners of The Grey Goose in Downtown Hampton) couched it as French-American, but judging from the bustling business, her hometown is gaga for Gallic. Their bestsellers are the classics like escargot and seared foie gras. “We knew we could serve tuna tartare,” she recalls their early menu planning. “But beef tartare?” The special was a hit.

Img 4987The name Baker’s Wife embraces them both. He’s the baker (try his bread pudding soufflé and rustic galettes capped with house-made ice cream), she’s the wife. And the GM. And the sommelier. Her extensive wine program includes monthly tastings, dinners and classes, and wine pairings at the chef’s table, an eight-top where guests prearrange a set menu. Sip a champagne cocktail to live jazz (Wednesdays and Sunday brunch) at the looker of a 34-foot long golden quartz bar, beneath a gigantic resplendent chandelier, in this picturesque 1905 brick building, and you’ll know Dana’s dream of their new restaurant as French, fun and sexy has been realized. Now she’s ready to push the envelope further, musing: “Why don’t we do frog legs?”

Learn more at BakersWifeBistro.com.

– Marisa Marsey 

Bailey’s Bayou in Portsmouth

When James Bailey moved to the region for a career in the Navy, he wanted to introduce Coastal Virginia palates to authentic Cajun and Creole flavors. The New Orleans native first gauged interest by serving his food at pop-up events. After rave reviews and retirement, he opened Bailey’s Bayou in Olde Towne Portsmouth. Bailey says the key component to authenticity is appreciating and understanding what goes into the dish. Take the gumbo served at Bailey’s Bayou. He starts the traditional stew with a roux that takes an hour to come together before adding the “Holy Trinity” of vegetables (celery, bell peppers and onions), then brings it together with a combination of meat and seafood.

Savor the down-home flavors of Cajun and Creole staples like jambalaya, étouffée, red beans and rice, boudin and freshly fried beignets for a sweet finish. Louisiana’s famous sandwich, the po’ boy, is served with your choice of grilled bologna, fried catfish or oysters, chicken, shrimp or Louisiana hot sausage. One of the restaurant’s most popular entrees, however, is one of Bailey’s own creation. Shrimp jambalaya pasta started as something he whipped up for a Super Bowl party then added to his menu. Linguini and alfredo sauce gets a Cajun kick with traditional spices, served with shrimp, chicken and sausage. When Bailey initially opened his restaurant in March 2021, the establishment was primarily takeout. He’s already expanded with a dine-in seating area and a bar serving daiquiris that will have you ready to dance down Bourbon Street, or at least Portsmouth’s Court Street.

Learn more at BaileysBayou.com.

– Arielle Patterson

Blue Crab & Purple Pig Bistro in Poquoson

Photos by Jim Pile

Before retiring from the Coast Guard, Chef Barry Wildman was assigned to Virginia for his last duty station—a location he thought was going to be the most bland and boring place to serve. He quickly changed his mind after discovering the bounty of inland farms and seafood from the nearby Chesapeake Bay—both of which inspired the restaurant’s name. Using these freshly sourced ingredients, Chef Wildman has created a menu featuring what he calls upscale comfort food—dishes that people will recognize but featuring slightly different ingredients of the highest quality. Examples include filet mignon stuffed with wild mushrooms, shallots and fresh herbs, served over horseradish mash and parsnips with sage and prunes; beef short ribs braised with cipollini onions, oyster mushroom, baby carrots and horseradish mash; and in-house crab ravioli, featuring fresh pasta, blue crab, ricotta, pumpkin, sage, walnuts and aged parmesan.

Even the appetizers offer a departure from the norm. Try the “Flight of the Pig,” which includes pork, pork shoulder and slab belly bacon with seasonal jams and pickled vegetables. Smoked bacon bites include Medjool dates, spiced gorgonzola and applewood-smoked bacon. Duck confit spring rolls get their zing from ginger and garlic with a mandarin orange glaze. And if you think the food is incredible, check out their selection of beer, wine and cocktails, including an amazing flight of mimosas they serve with Saturday and Sunday brunch.

Learn more at BlueCrabPurplePig.com.

– Barrett Baker

Brothers in Norfolk

Photos by Keith Cephus Photography

Tony Brothers set out to open a fine dining restaurant with a live jazz soundtrack. He didn’t anticipate it being his namesake in his hometown of Norfolk. Inspired by the restaurants and entertainment venues he experienced during his travels as a longtime referee in the NBA, Tony opened Brothers in downtown Norfolk in March 2021. Since Tony is still on the hardwood officiating, he passes the business ball to his fiancée Kimberly Jenkins and executive chef Kevin Jenkins. “They are really the force behind this,” he explains.

Brothers menu boasts a range of offerings. The kitchen dishes out the finest cuts of lamb, veal and pork chops, as well as steaks and fresh seafood, complemented by an extensive wine list.

Tony recommends beginning your Brothers experience with the jumbo fried shrimp served with a house-made spicy remoulade, a personal favorite he especially wanted on the menu, along with the lamb chop lollipops. Daily specials and a fresh catch just scratch the surface of the cuisine Brothers offers. Upstairs, the sound of live music fills the lounge. Loft at Brothers is a cozy space where guests sip cocktails as local and national jazz bands create a relaxing, upscale vibe.

Singer-songwriter Jonathan Butler was the first to perform at Brothers. Since then, the restaurant has hosted acts for Motown Tuesdays and the Brothers Jazz Series. Tony already has plans to expand the venue’s musical offerings with the Brothers Concert Series this year.

When it comes to fine dining and live entertainment, Brothers is a slam dunk.

Learn more at BrothersNorfolk.com.

– Arielle Patterson

The Farmasea Restaurant in Gloucester

Where customers once waited for prescriptions or sidled up to the soda counter for a milkshake, they might now order a house-made shrub in their “Mood Stabilizer” cocktail. Welcome to the bar at the cleverly named Farmasea Restaurant, housed at the historic former Morgan’s Drug Store on Gloucester’s Main Street. Chef/owner Will Mitchell returned to his hometown after earning culinary clout at places like High Cotton in Charleston, SC, on a mission to offer the community a bit of passion on a plate. Call it neo-Southern comfort food if you will, but with no freezers on site—you know it’s fresh, and you can bet seafood will have a starring role, sourced nearby as much as possible from places like Mobjack Bay Seafood.

Think seared puppy drum with oyster mushroom risotto, truffle English pea puree and cranberry butternut chutney. Or swordfish schnitzel with German blue kraut, confit roasted fingerling potatoes and tarragon mustard cream sauce. Staples like shrimp and grits are always on the menu, and you’re likely to find crowd-pleasing classics like French onion soup, beef Wellington or baked Alaska, too. “Hey, y’all,” try some collard wontons or a Southern caprese with fried green tomatoes. Maybe spice things up with an Argentinian grilled skirt steak with fried polenta stack, smoked tomato ricotta sauce and chimichurri. Back at the bar, there’s Prosecco on tap, sure to cure at their Sunday brunch, where a duck confit club shares menu space with Coca-Cola brined chicken and waffles. Welcome home to flavor town.

Learn more on Facebook.com @FarmaseaRestaurant.

– Leona Baker

The Fishin’ Pig in Norfolk

Photo by Arielle Patterson

Surf meets turf with a Southern twist at The Fishin’ Pig in Norfolk (not to be confused with Syd’s Fish Pig Café). The Fishin’ Pig began as a combined concept of Grady’s BBQ and Shorty’s Famous Seafood & Chicken Breading, opening its first location in Farmville in 2013. The restaurant expanded to Coastal Virginia, bringing in local partner Tom Fox to establish the third total franchise, and officially debuted the slow-smoked, dry-rubbed flavors of Memphis-style barbecue in June 2021 in Norfolk’s Railroad District. Get a taste of Fishin’ Pig’s major barbecue meats with the “Grady’s Smoke Shack Sampler.” Served with homemade slaw and hushpuppies, this meal-lover’s platter comes with a quarter rack of ribs, smoked wings, andouille sausage, beef brisket and pulled pork.

The ribs, in particular, are a family tradition from franchise co-owner Matt Hurley who named the platter after his father, Grady. While Fishin’ Pig does specialize in Memphis barbecue, the restaurant pulls inspiration from other regions, including St. Louis-style baked beans made with brisket drippings. Cast a line into Fishin’ Pig’s seafood offerings like “Joan’s Catfish Basket,” “Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos” and a shrimp po’ boy. The fried seafood, along with the fried green tomatoes and fried pickles, are coated in Shorty’s breading for a seasoned crunch. While the menus are similar between the three Fishin’ Pig restaurants, the Norfolk location has the largest bar and showcases local beers. Wash your ’que down with an ale from neighboring O’Connor Brewing Co. or Rip Rap Brewing Co.

Learn more at FishinPig.com.

– Arielle Patterson

Fox Tail Wine Bar in Hampton

Since they graced our Coastal Virginia Magazine food issue cover in March 2021, this intimate yet worldly wine bar in the heart of Phoebus has been going strong, adding an outdoor patio with fire pits and heaters to their get-to-know-your-neighbor gastropub. Co-owners Christopher Fox and Justin Ramos are military veterans whose international travels and combined passions for wine and fine dining at an accessible price have come to fruition. The wine is still flowing from France and Italy all the way to Utah, with a recent feature of Twisted Cedar wines, owned by the Cedar Band of Paiute Indians. Pair their malbec with Fox Tail’s wagyu smash burger on a Hawaiian roll with house-made sweet and spicy pickles and you’ll be fab and happy.

In addition to ever-present charcuterie and other shareables like spicy crab dip and handhelds like quesadillas and gyros, keep an eye on their social media for a rotating menu of around-the-world flavors and specials—from Puerto Rican fried chicken to pork birria tacos, shrimp and grits to shepherd’s pie. Don’t skip dessert when there might be homemade organic ice cream, warm banana bread or apple pie. And Sunday brunch is bangin’with faves like chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, breakfast empanadas, and specials on bottles of bubbly. Finally, what would a self-respecting wine bar be without…cocktails? Oh yes, they’re creative behind the bar, too, warming things up not long ago with mulled wine and coquito (Puerto Rican eggnog) and offering an assortment of martinis, Mary’s, mojitos, negronis and more.

Learn more at FoxTailWineBar.com.

– Leona Baker

Granby Waffle Shop in Norfolk

Photos by Arielle Patterson

Granby Waffle Shop, a Richmond export for waffles loaded with ingenious toppings, officially opened its doors June 2021 in downtown Norfolk. The waffle slinger debuted in a space previously occupied by a catering company/restaurant connected to Slover Library. Granby Waffle Shop is the sister restaurant of Capitol Waffle Shop with locations in Richmond. Virginia Beach-native Jamie Colston admired the concept of Capitol Waffle Shop from brothers Brad and Brian Barzoloski and approached the two with the idea of bringing the restaurant to Coastal Virginia. Granby Waffle Shop transforms your idea of the classic waffle through inventive combinations, with a semi-sweet house-made waffle mix at its base. Diners have their choice of building their own waffle or choosing from the specialty options.

The specialty waffles are separated into dessert waffles like the indulgent “Martha Waffle,” with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, blueberries, crumbled donut, powdered sugar, whipped cream and caramel, or savory selections like the Brunch Waffle, with scrambled eggs, queso, ground chorizo, chopped bacon and arugula. The popular “Grandma’s Waffle” piles high breakfast staples—scrambled eggs, fried chicken bites, strawberries and blueberries—dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with syrup for a sweet-and-salty flavor bomb atop a fluffy waffle. “When people build the waffles themselves, they go all out,” says Colston. With over 40 sweet and savory toppings to choose from, including Doritos, sriracha, M&Ms and Nutella, Granby Waffle Shop allows diners to flex their creative culinary muscles and indulge their imagination.

Learn more at GranbyWaffleShop.com.

– Arielle Patterson

Island Jerk Hut in Chesapeake

There must be something in the jerk sauce. Customers line up well before opening at fast-casual Island Jerk Hut for Richard Downer’s freshly prepared curry chicken and oxtails, but it’s the jerk pork ribs that sell out first, awash in that penetrating Jamaican jam of pimento, scallions, thyme, clove, Scotch bonnet peppers and much, much more. Jerk chicken is no slouch, though. Twelve-hundred pounds fly through here weekly, marinated for two days, dry-rubbed, smoked out back. “This is where the magic happens,” says Jamaica-born Downer, patting two smokers like steeds. Fired up before sunrise, the aromas make neighbors dream they’re in the Caribbean.

Among jerk-crazed fans who followed Downer to this enlarged reincarnation of his erstwhile hut-sized South Norfolk eatery is rapper Pusha T, who orchestrated a VIP party during Something in the Water. Word is Pharrell loved the cabbage. Rightly so, carrots and peppers imbue it with a mellow sweetness. Downer goes to New York for imported ingredients unavailable locally. He stocks Jamaican sodas like D&G (cream, pineapple-ginger) and TING (sparkling grapefruit). There’s Snapple, too. Wait, Snapple? “I put in what I like,” he says. Downer learned cookery from his farmer-grandfather, restaurateur-grandmother and mom. “The same way we do it in Jamaica we do it here,” he says. Maybe not exactly. Folks come back from the island and report: “It wasn’t as good down there.”

Learn more at IslandJerkHut.net.

– Marisa Marsey

Masala Craft Indian Kitchen in Williamsburg

Photos by Sara Harris Photography

There’s so, so much more to Indian cuisine than tikka masala. Masala Craft, the eight-month-old restaurant nestled in the corner of a Fresh Market-anchored shopping center off Monticello Ave. in Williamsburg, is hopeful you’ll leave, and then return, with those thoughts exactly. A ghee-roasted chicken might conjure up butter chicken but edgier, nuttier, bolder with almond milk, pistachio and saffron. Tried and true (and familiar) creamy saag levitates with the addition of a bitter mustard greens. Order it with chunks of tender lamb. A daily chaat special, studded with strawberry and pomegranate, sparks with crisp puffed rice. Vegetarians and vegans, take note: There are more than 15 dishes (more even if you modify) for your dining pleasure like charred cauliflower steak and a hard-to-comprehend-its-heartiness tofu mushroom curry.

The small spot is a family affair. As their website notes, “Masala Craft was born from the heart,” and daughter Shaveta, father Avinash and mother Neeta Arora are passionate about using recipes from their home and home state of Punjab on their rotating menu. If tandoor (a cylindrical clay oven) baked lightly spiced potato-stuffed kulcha “flatbread” or a garlicky naan doesn’t get you, perhaps a turmeric-infused gin cocktail will? And if that isn’t enough, be sure to try dessert. An ethereally light pistachio ricotta cake, made by a Virginia Beach baker whom the Aroras just call “Auntie,” could very well bring the house down.

Learn more at MasalaCraftVA.com.

– Robey Martin

Oscar’s Oceanside in Virginia Beach

Classic dishes are classic for a reason. And when they are done well and served in a beautiful setting with uncompromising service, you can’t go wrong. That is what diners are already coming to expect at the Oceanfront’s newest fine dining establishment, Oscar’s Oceanside, where General Manager Gastón Peralta works the room on a busy Friday night gracefully dropping in on guests to see that their luscious lobster tortelloni is everything they’d hoped or that their filet mignon is cooked to perfection. Bringing a touch of Miami glam to Atlantic Avenue and to signature Italian pasta dishes, succulent steaks and fresh local seafood, Oscar’s is the latest restaurant from the owner of nearby Chops.

Wow your dinner date with their beef carpaccio appetizer, delicately thin slices of filet topped with dressed greens, or their seared tuna with Thai-lime cucumber salad. Go big or go home with a house specialty, their decadent Seafood Au Gratin, as a main course—lobster, scallops, fish, shrimp in an Old Bay cream sauce. Or have your cloth napkin ready for their savory short rib pappardelle or the veal chop portobello, both customer favorites. Oscar’s 3 Course Menu is a prix fixe restaurant week all year long, offering select items in each course all for $49. Choose a classic Caesar salad, shrimp risotto and cheesecake, for example, and you’ll be headed to your happy place. Fresh mojitos and other cocktails and an accessible wine list by way of Italy, France, California and South America will complete your evening.

Learn more at OscarsVB.com.

– Leona Baker

Session in Virginia Beach

Beets meet beats and the bacon is thicc (thick in hip-hop-ese) at this chill little fast-casual breakfast-lunch-ery with a hook for every culinary genre—carnivore, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-intolerant and beyond—amidst a playlist as handcrafted as the fare. Owners Kevin Warren and Priscilla Queen generate a ViBe District vibe on Shore Drive inspired by a shared taste in music and divergent palates. She’s a vegetable-loving clinical dietitian; he self-identifies as a “bacon, egg and cheese guy.” Kevin is a part-time DJ, too, so while he spins lo-fi jazz and hip-hop in the early hours, Priscilla rolls out bangin’ breakfast burritos, fly flatbreads and salads primped with vibrant color.

As the morning progresses, he’ll switch up to funk, house and R&B; all well-balanced classic versions, mood-lifting for Lil Wayne and Wayne Newton fans alike. The entire menu is available all day whether dining inside or under the shade sail of the garden-edged patio. Eat uber-healthy with a roasted veggie bowl (options: eggs or plant-based JUST Egg) and a smoothie. Or more indulgent with “The Nancy”—a turkey sandwich with Swiss and tangy Russian dressing—chased with caramel crunch brownies and a mimosa flight (beer and wine available, too). Priscilla points out that with its Dijon cabbage slaw, even “The Nancy” means, “You’re still getting greens.” Speaking of which, check out that money-green leather sofa. Juicy.

Learn more at SessionVB.com.

– Marisa Marsey

Three Notch’d Brewing & Craft Kitchen in Virginia Beach

First Photo by Leona Baker, Second Photo Courtesy of Three Notch’d Brewing

Gordon Biersch regulars, who had a tear in their beer when the national brewery chain abruptly closed its VB Town Center location, now have a bona fide Virginia brewery in its place. This is the fifth location for Charlottesville-based Three Notch’d and the third with a restaurant. With a relocated bar and interior reno à la industrial German beer hall, the refreshed space is now refreshing customers with flagship brews like its 40 Mile and Minuteman IPAs, fruited sours and a rotating menu of ales, stouts, ciders and more. Head Brewer Sarah Gregor unleashed her first VB tap, Blushing Blossom Blonde Ale made with fresh hibiscus tea, in November, and you can expect more including guest collabs with local breweries like Young Veterans.

When the hunger hits, turn to Three Notch’d staples like pretzel bites and beef sliders or build-your-own mac-n-cheese bowls to fill up fast. Or, since we’re at the Beach and Chef Stephen Kerschner hails from Baltimore, get crabby with loaded crab fries. On the main menu, look for hardy choices like steak frites or blackened salmon and grits with smoked tomato and chili gravy or veggie-forward seasonal options like stuffed acorn squash with quinoa salad and sweet and sour kale made with their Blood Orange Gose. Back to the beer: Be one of the cool kids and join their “Fresh Beer Club,” a $19.99 monthly subscription that gives you access to specially selected releases for delivery or pickup along with other perks. You’ll be hoppy you did.

Learn more at ThreeNotchdBrewing.com. 

– Leona Baker

Tin Cup Kitchen + Oyster Bar in Virginia Beach

Photos Courtesy of Tin Cup

“Every day I come in and go, ‘Oh, what a view,’” gushes Beverly Arbogast, hostess at Delta by Marriott’s Tin Cup Kitchen + Oyster Bar since its March opening, as she looks out at sailboats, paddleboarders and pelicans on this tranquil stretch of Chesapeake Bay. She’s not alone. Guests from near and far tell her that they’ve forsaken the Oceanfront for the vista here, too. Then again, maybe the view they mean is the fetching presentations of bronzed local rockfish, zero-filler crab cakes and sandwiches like pepper jam-slathered short rib grilled cheese, savored in the nautical-sleek restaurant, outdoors on the Dune Deck or at the window-backed bar.

The latter boasts a magnetic “Bottoms Up” draft beer system, guaranteeing a perfect pour no matter how busy bartenders are shaking eye-catching craft cocktails that espouse the waste-reducing trend of fragrant dehydrated fruit garnishes. The Tin Cup feels so much a part of the coastal scene – check out its raw bar’s “Oyster Trail” (showcasing all eight Virginia oyster regions) – that it’s easy to forget it services the entire hotel with breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late-night menu. But it’s not just for out-of-towners. Locals dig it, especially off-season, especially for daily happy hours, especially when they drift from surfside to the “walk up” bar to devour soon-to-be-iconic crab and corn hushpuppies and down (what else?) fresh-squeezed crushes.
Learn more at TinCupVB.com.

– Marisa Marsey

Union Taco in Norfolk

Photos by Marisa Marsey

Pity that tacos got pigeonholed into Tuesdays and aren’t duly celebrated daily. Union Taco remedies that wrong, killing any residual pain with nearly 100 tequilas, 20+ mezcals and impressive scratch margaritas. But the kick is that this full-service urban taqueria in the unselfconsciously-hip, emerging Railroad District isn’t just for tacos. Sure, they’re amazing—spanning the expected carne asada and baja fish to pan-Asian bulgogi beef and banh mi to braised tofu and seta asada (roasted mushrooms)—but chef Rob Jackson is so adept with high-quality ingredients, El Guapo-battered Thai curry cauliflower tempura and blackened fresh fish with charred pineapple pico, queso fresco, edamame succotash and sticky rice should top your “to-eat” list, too.

Tacos and tequilas was the initial concept pals Bryan Connolly and Kevin Dugan conceived upon launching their business partnership. But the tavern-y space they found in Virginia Beach spoke to the also-alliterative bourbon, beer and burgers so they opened Union Alehouse there in 2018. At this new Norfolk venture, gaze through garage doors at lights aglow over the long, wraparound bar, reclaimed wood accents and a thrumming conviviality, and you’ll know they were wise to wait; this spot is as hot as house-made, Carolina Reaper-sparked “savage sauce.” And while desserts like caramel-sauced funnel cake fries tempt, circle back to tako (grilled sous vide octopus) in a flour or corn tortilla. It’s always taco’clock here.
Learn more at UnionTacoVA.com.

– Marisa Marsey

Willoughby Fish House in Norfolk

Photos by Arielle Patterson

What started as Amy Higgins’ search for a spot to park her dad’s trailer transformed into a new beginning when she and chef Sean Kraft decided to take their catering experience and open Willoughby Fish House. After spending a year remodeling the waterfront space on Norfolk’s Willoughby Harbor Marina, the restaurant officially opened its doors in June 2021. Higgins hopes to bring back a fresh seafood menu and the community feel that she experienced at local restaurants growing up. Kraft emphasizes the importance of local and sustainable seafood.

The menu features regional favorites James River and Sewansecott oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp and crab legs, as well as fresh catches of fish served fried, grilled or blackened.

While seafood is ubiquitous on the menu, in the form of fried fish sandwiches dredged in a house-made breading, mahi fish tacos and crab mac and cheese, Willoughby Fish House has options to satisfy any appetite. The family-friendly restaurant also dishes out familiar fare like pulled pork that’s been smoked in-house for 16 hours, burgers and house-made jambalaya. One of the most unique items on the menu are the “Hog Wings”—slow roasted, flash-fried pork shanks tossed in a sauce of your choosing. Cap your meal off with a homemade dessert. Key lime pie is a fixture on the menu, but Higgins says more desserts are available based on what she just happens to have a taste for and wants to bake.

Learn more at Facebook.com @WilloughbyFishHouse.

– Arielle Patterson 

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