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About lwildernorva

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  • Birthday 01/13/1954

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  1. And I thought of myself only as a minor player on this board because of my remote location. Until this: Don's Hassles in Norfolk Apparently the Empire stretches much further than I thought. Cue music from Star Wars as Darth Vader enters for the first time. . . Yes, those alcohol sales until 2 a.m. will doom you around here. BTW, to be fair to my hometown, Ocean View is a problem area, and there is some justification for the restrictive rules. Just sayin', if you're ever down here, and your local contact wants to hang out late in OV, maybe you've got the wrong local contact.
  2. I guess the old joke about "the food is awful and the portions are so small" applies here. I probably wasn't very clear. The argument I can't win with my friend is to skip the Outback and go to an entirely different restaurant with no wait so that we can spend two hours at the table in the restaurant rather than half the time standing outside. When I go out to eat, I generally don't mix in any other activities (no show, no movie, no shopping) and instead expect that I'll have a drink and share a bottle of wine (or two) with the table. There are times when a speedier pace works for me (stop
  3. My experiences at Outback are prompted by a friend who loves it, so when I visit him in California or he comes to Virginia, I know that an Outback trip is imminent. I never have anything particularly bad nor particularly memorable. The cuts of beef are better than I can get at a regular grocery store but not from my local butcher. Cooking to the requested doneness is generally accurate. I like the option of a baked sweet potato as a side with my steak or burger. The service is generally what I'd expect from corporate-trained personnel who are probably threatened encouraged to stay on scri
  4. Last night, on my recommendation, my brother-in-law and nephew had dinner at Notti Bianche. Interested in their experience, I talked to my nephew this morning who told me that they had had a very nice meal with a lone misstep occurring when he received what he felt was an undercooked serving of sea bass. My nephew asked the waiter to have the chef cook the bass to his liking. The waiter complied, the chef complied, the bass returned to the table cooked as requested, and my nephew was happy. At the end of the meal, he learned that the waiter, without request or other verbal complaint, had r
  5. Although I am attracted, in part, to a restaurant like Citronelle because of the chef's fame (earned by skill and hard work), I don't expect him to prepare most of the dishes that I order. At that level, I do expect that he will bring a vision to the restaurant in terms of food, service, and atmosphere that is regularly executed and that justifies the price charged. In my experience, Richard meets that standard. I'm always happy when I see that a chef, an owner, and their staff enjoy their place of work so much so that they'll spend at least some of their off hours there. So long as they d
  6. I second the suggestion for the Blue Talon, which reopened a month ago after a fire last fall. And unfortunately, I must also second the advice to avoid the Trellis. The Trellis was one of my favorite restaurants for a number of years (beginning with lovely lunches outside on Merchant's Square when it first opened and I was still a student at William & Mary). I have not been to the Trellis for several years, but I have recommended it to several friends, each of whom has reported a mediocre, overpriced experience.
  7. I was in San Diego in March and highly recommend Parallel 33. Website: Parallel 33. It's fusion cuisine with the additional theme that all foods served come from countries that share the same latitude as San Diego: 33. The restaurant is small, a little loud, and informal. Service was good as was the food. My friend had the spiced vegetarian samosas with two chutneys as an appetizer while I had the flatbread with three dipping sauces to start. Dinner for her: coriander crusted scallops, purple sticky rice, asparagus, roasted kaboucha, and cashew nut kung pao. I had the grilled duck br
  8. I'd add as a consideration the design of the restaurant. If the bar is somewhat distinct and out of the view of the rest of the restaurant, I'd more likely consider a TV. If the bar is integrated into the restaurant with the TV in full view of dining patrons, I'd be more likely to leave it out. If the bar area is fairly large, a TV will work (I concur with the suggestion that flat screen HDTV is the only way to go; anything else just looks too 20th century); if the bar area is small, those flat screens will overwhelm the bar space. Notwithstanding all of this, however, I agree if the resta
  9. Tautog's is a generally good seafood restaurant and located in an old-style beach cottage. A relatively new place that does tapas with a good mix of beers and whiskies is Pacifica, located approximately at 36th and Pacific in a small strip shopping center. The owner also owns Crackers and Empire in Norfolk, Six in Hampton, and Metropolis on the Outer Banks, and each of those locations is quite successful. In addition to the other suggestions along or just off Shore Drive, I'd suggest Dockside--roughly the same area as Bubba's, with both screened and unscreened decks that overlook the boat d
  10. Although I think that any good reliable neighborhood restaurant would be a good venue, I'd favor the steakhouse bar idea as well. Noise levels tend to be at a semi-sports bar level anyway, and with Georgetown in the Final Four, I can't imagine cheering violating any standards of conduct. Let me make one suggestion. Get there earlier than you think you should. The first game is set for 6:07. There are a number of people (like me) who consider the Final Four Saturday much better than the championship game itself (two games so less a chance of two blowouts, Saturday night so there's Sunday t
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