Submitted by J-Colio t3_10co4m2 in rva

Following last night's post about places that would deserve a Michelin star if they reviewed this area, I spent way too long this morning making myself a list of most of the non-troll responses so I could visit them. When I was making this list I was googling the chefs and exploring the restaurants' websites for more information. The top of the list seems to be skewed towards actual fine dining, whereas when I got deeper into the comments I was getting away from truly exceptional and finding lots of really good places. If there's a question mark next to someone, it's because I'm not 100% sure.


  • David Shannon (James Beard)

L'Opossum (Oregon Hill)


  • Brittany Anderson (James Beard)

Metzger Bar and Butchery (Church Hill)

Brenner Pass (Scott's Addition)

Black Lodge (Scott's Addition)

Leni All Day Cafe (DC)


  • Andrew Manning (James Beard[?])

Longoven (Scott's Addition [reportedly $900 for two])


  • Bobo Catoe Jr.

Alewife (Church Hill)

Odyssey Fish (Manchester (soon to leave), 2nd location coming to Patterson)


  • Lee Gregory (James Beard)

Alewife (Church Hill)

Odyssey Fish (Manchester (soon to leave), 2nd location coming to Patterson)


  • Joe Sparrata (Multiple local awards)

Heritage Restaurant (The Fan)

Southbound (Stony Point)


  • Evrim and Evin Dogu (James Beard?)

Subrosa Bakery (Church Hill)


  • Patrick Willis

Lemaire (Jefferson Hotel)


  • Steve DeRaffele (owner definitely, chef maybe)

Pinky's (Scott's)


  • Leah Branch

Executive chef Roosevelt (Church Hill)


  • Mark W. Herndon

Co-owner of Roosevelt

Co(?)-owner Buckheads (Parham & Patterson)

CIA graduate

Former executive chef in governor's mansion


  • Kendra Feather

Co-owner Roosevelt

Co(?)-owner Garnett's Cafe (The Fan)

Co(?)-owner Laura Lee's (Forest Hill)

Co(?)-owner WPA Bakery (Forest Hill)

Co(?)-owner Ipanema Cafe (sold?) (The Fan)


  • Walter Bundy (AAA Four Diamond rating)

Shagbark (Libbie Mill)


  • Dale and Aline Reitzer

Acacia midtown (Libbie Mill)


  • Rachel Best (Vegetarian awards)

Blue Atlass (Fulton Hill)


  • Clay Hoss (food is good enough to put up with some bullshit)

Helens (Carytown)


  • David Dunlap (Lots of experience at 5 diamond restaurants, 3 michelin starred restaurants, etc... )

Midlothian Chefs Kitchen (Midlothian)


  • Sunny Baweja (James Beard?)

Lehja (Short Pump)


  • Peter Chang (James Beard?)

Peter Chang (Downtown, Short Pump)



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grampscirclea t1_j4gskst wrote

Dale and Aline Reitzer belong near the top of the list, especially with the next iteration of Acacia opening within the next month. Acacia had a massive influence on the dining scene here for almost 3 decades, and Dale was named one of the best new chefs in the country back in '99. They also were the head organizers of Restaurant Week here.


[deleted] t1_j4i5rsx wrote

Yeah but before they closed in the fan all the food was from 80's/90's. Shrimp cocktail on the menu is going to get you any awards. Just Saying


grampscirclea t1_j4i7h4s wrote

Sure, it got outdated. But that's normal. Then you start fresh with some new ideas, and hopefully reinvent your business. Hopefully it works out for them, Dale is incredibly talented.


Ms-Pamplemousse t1_j4jlry4 wrote

I feel like you're being a little disingenuous by suggesting their food was as basic as shrimp cocktail. I never saw that on the menu. Did they have a few items that were on the menu for *years* (like their delicious ceviche)? Yes. But they had a lot of regulars who were regulars for a reason.


[deleted] t1_j4jor3f wrote

I wasn't saying it wasn't good, and yes, there was a shrimp cocktail on the menu,
I wouldn't judge by how many regulars to measure how good a restaurant is unless it fills up the restaurant with them 3+ times a week. Restaurants also can't live on regulars. Lots of shit places have a lot of regulars.


Ms-Pamplemousse t1_j4jpvai wrote

I expected to maaaybe see it on an old photo of their bar menu, but even that didn't have shrimp cocktail. I still think you're full of it.


[deleted] t1_j4jqvxd wrote

That’s fine, but when I went to eat there for the first and only time after hearing the hype I vividly remembering see shrimp cocktail and being like wtf. But hey you don’t have to believe me. 🤷🏻‍♂️


RulerOfTheRest t1_j4gxd0j wrote

You Forgot:

  • Balsac the Jaws of Death

Gwar Bar (Jackson Ward)

Seriously though, Mike Derks has been workin' in restaurants probably about as long as he's been in Gwar, both in the kitchen and in management, and has come up with some amazing recipes and dishes throughout the decades.


[deleted] t1_j4h06c1 wrote

Clay Hoss at Helens? not a huge fan of the salty servers in the front but his food is a reason to put up with that. Downvote away! eta: words


Standard_Violinist21 t1_j4hjywl wrote

Rachel Best at Blue Atlas also kills it.


Free-Range-J-Sauce t1_j4hw7cf wrote

I second this nomination. The vegan take over is something to behold. She is new on the scene but knows what she is doing.


yesiambear t1_j4o8b4i wrote

Blue Atlas is amazing. I cannot say enough great things about what they are doing there.


[deleted] t1_j4i5nm3 wrote

Long oven is truly the only one on that list that even comes close, and they would get one star, not more. Would also like to point out that Long Oven the food is extremely affordable for their tasting menu; you can walk out for under 400 for 2 people, not including wine; with wine and cocktails, you can easily get to 900 dollars, (but also they have affordable options for pairings as well) as stated by OP. But for the quality of food, service, etc that is an easy 900-1000 dollar NYC Michelin star meal with very few drinks.Maybe Alewife, maybe grisette, maybe L'Opossum, maybe shagbark. But those are a stretch. But out of those, Grisette and shagbark would be my top guess. All top choices for a Gourmand award tho.

Subrosa would definitely get a gourmand award.

No one exactly knows how they score, but there are 3 times a Michelin judge will visit the restaurant in a year. You never know who or when.The basics are Quality of Product, consistency, the Personality of the chef showing through the food, and mastering the cooking techniques.

Source: I worked in several 1-3 Michelin star places in NYC, along with being a CIA grad and 30+ years in the business.

Also, I would like to point out that getting nominated for a James Beard Award is NOT HARD AT ALL. For the most part, you have to submit something in writing during a specific time of year to be nominated (someone that does not work in that establishment). James Beard awards have merit when you win one, not nominated. But it is great to get nominated b.c. you cooked and severed someone good enough for them to write a bomb ass letter about your place.


J-Colio OP t1_j4ilp5r wrote

Interesting context.

The first two chefs appear to have made it to the finals/semi finals of their contests. I assume that means much more than just the nomination? The third guy looks like he was only nominated or didn't make it far into the contest.


[deleted] t1_j4iq9nx wrote

Sure making it further means more I guess.

Unless you are talking about top chef or some Other tv show, and that me something completely different.


J-Colio OP t1_j4iqv4k wrote

No, of their James Beard awards. I don't think either actually won, but they made it far.


[deleted] t1_j4ivdgg wrote

Yeah I mean it’s pretty cool bc the committee are actual people who really know food, so I’m sure it feels great to find out you got that far. I just feel like chefs sometimes use their James beard nomination as more than it is. People hear James beard and swoon, and there are so many given out, that to me it feels lackluster.


Gamegis t1_j4j3qy6 wrote

Kinship was a pretty affordable Michelin restaurant in DC, I think we spent like 150 for two there.


[deleted] t1_j4jr0qq wrote

Never been but heard it was good! Haven’t really had a chance to really check out DC, I’ve only been to rosés luxury and it was fantastic.


NedDasty t1_j4sz7e6 wrote

Agree that Longoven is the only one BUT...they don't quite get a Michelin star. When they're on their game, yes, but they have too many misses. For the star you need a stellar experience every time. I've had a few amazing experiences there and a few good-to-great ones.


[deleted] t1_j4t012q wrote

Fair assessment, I’ve been there a total of 5 times. 4 of them felt amazing but the last one service was lacking badly, food was still on point tho.


Ghandiglasses1 t1_j4kwerv wrote

Kismet in Scott’s addition recently opened up and their executive chef/owner(?) Ajay Kumar is also the executive chef at karma modern Indian in DC which has a bib gourmand already. Can confirm the food is incredible. Executive chef Danny Mena at Conejo in westhampton is doing some pretty great things with Mexican food that I haven’t seen around Richmond either.


Charlesinrichmond t1_j4ltunz wrote

Conejo is very solid. A little bit better and it could be great. Doesn't quite make it for some reason.

But no matter, like Cocodrilo they will be filled in that location almost no matter what they do. So much unmet demand. At least unlike Cocodrilo, which is pretty bad, Conejo is good


bruhalle t1_j4grfxs wrote

Lloyd Arnold


J-Colio OP t1_j4jqvrb wrote

It looks like he was at Bistro Bobette, which has been closed for a couple of years now? Where is he?


bruhalle t1_j4jzoyw wrote

He may be the reason Noma is shitting the bed from what I've gathered


mtrva t1_j4hg766 wrote

walter bundy. shagbark.


Ms-Pamplemousse t1_j4jmxse wrote

Lee Gregory (3-times James Beard semi-finalist) of Alewife should definitely be on this list.

Sunny Baweja of Lehja should also be on the list, also a James beard semi-finalist.

Also, Sub Rosa and Brittany Anderson are James Beard semi-finalists. Which is still a huge honor, but perhaps worth the distinction. Pretty sure David Shannon is the same.

Peter Chang, a James Beard finalist, could potentially be on this list as well as he has a restaurant here.


J-Colio OP t1_j4jsivl wrote

Edited, thansk!

I fucking love Peter Chang. I want that pork belly injected straight into my veins.


JWelchRVA804 t1_j4guhyf wrote

David Dunlap, chef/owner Midlothian Chefs Kitchen has a pretty extensive history with great restaurants.

Kevin Liu of Jasper and The Tin Pan is probably the most educated chef in the region! (Naval Academy/MIT)


J-Colio OP t1_j4jr7my wrote

What a resume! Edited, thanks.


rameyjm7 t1_j4lenwl wrote

Caboose, Ashland VA

So gooodd


markerfive t1_j4lk0zg wrote

I don’t see Grisette on your list. Our dining experiences there have been exceptional. I don’t have any information on the owners or chef.


Charlesinrichmond t1_j4ltzqt wrote

Chef/owner used to be the chef up at Detente in Edgartown. Good place. I wouldn't say exceptional, but very good. bistro done well


Charlesinrichmond t1_j4looro wrote

pinkys is a nice place, but doesn't belong on this list. Blue atlas has killed it, keep forgetting about that place


J-Colio OP t1_j4losor wrote

I haven't been. The pictures looked pretty.


groundcontrol3 t1_j4h5r9t wrote

I think your Alewife, Southbound, and Heritage section is incorrect. Lee Gregory owns Alewife, Southbound, and Odyssey Fish


J-Colio OP t1_j4hjl62 wrote


I was looking for head/executive chefs moreso than owners.

It looks like Bobo Catoe Jr. Is chef de cuisine at alewife. The Google search for the other guy looked to an article that mentioned alewife, so that's where the confusion came from.


needsexyboots t1_j4iiyhm wrote

Just FYI on Odyssey, the Patterson location is going to be the only location, they’ve already left Hatch


neatlair t1_j4lfbnq wrote

Blue atlas is amazing