By Gerald Bartell
Heading near Norfolk, Virginia? Pack your hunger! This seaside resort packs plenty of great culinary options. Our correspondent Gerald Bartell has the lowdown.
Whether you want a diner or fine dining, food for thought or mind, Norfolk, VA, has the perfect menu. This burgh by the sea (population: 242,803) offers fare to please every palate.
If you want to dine upscale, let Todd Jurich’s Bistro and Omar’s Carriage House
top your list. After graduating from the Lausanne School of Cooking, Jurich arrived in Virginia to mine the culinary pleasures of the Tidewater. On the tables of his wood paneled dining room are entrees like Virginia sea bass with lump crab Norfolk and a duck confit with mushrooms.
Omar’s Carriage House feels distinctively southern, with white brick walls and white slip-covered chairs. But owner-manager Omar Boukhriss accents his menu with flavors of his native Morocco. Start with bastilla, phylo dough filled with eggs, chicken and almonds and dusted with sugar and cinnamon.
Then settle in to a chicken tagine made with Cornish hen, pickled lemon and olives. If you like your food hearty and straightforward, head to Doumar’s Diner and Drive-In. Chow down on coleslaw, salty fries and pulled pork sandwiches, then finish with a homemade waffle cone ice cream that has pedigree -- founder Abe Doumar claims he invented the waffle cone on Coney Island in 1905.
If your hungers are aesthetic, visit Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum of Art. This handsome Italianate-style structure houses nearly 30,000 objects, including European and American painting, Federalist and Art Nouveau furniture and African, Asian and Islamic Art. Come check-in time, try the gay friendly Taywell Hotel, built at the turn of the 20th century and restored at the start of the 21st.