Graham has been home a little over a month now, and in that month we’ve tried two new restaurants. Well… two that were worth writing about.
One of his first weekends back, we headed to Virginia Beach for brunch at Commune. Commune is brand new, and is a sustainable cafe, using locally sourced ingredients as a means to bring people together. We really enjoyed this place. There isn’t much private seating, since most of the dining space is taken up by a large, family style table. The woodwork inside is beautiful, and there is a ton of great, natural light.
Graham went with the breakfast sandwich. This beauty was served on a house made brioche bun, with sausage, and egg & fresh greens. This was so pretty, it made me hate that I can’t stomach runny egg yolks.
I had the pungo grits: Indian cornmeal grits, hickory glazed pulled pork, fried egg, seasonal roasted veg, smoked peanuts. Since I don’t do runny yolks, they fried my egg well, and it was delicious. The smoked peanuts had a slight wasabi flavor to them, and the roasted peppers were delicious. The dish needed more salt, but other than that it was wonderful.
Since they’ve taken a break from Le Mu, and have more free time, our friends Sav & Elise have put together a list of restaurants in the area they want to check out. Saint Germain in Norfolk is at the top of the list, so the four of us had dinner there last week.
The interior of the restaurant is beautiful, and the food was incredible. I can honestly say that I have never had anything like it. Our server was a little pretentious (at one point he commented that HE was awesome, and rarely spoke or smiled), but honestly it was to be expected with all of the attention the restaurant is currently getting.
While I enjoy trying new things, the menu is incredibly intimidating. Not just the food menu (which included blood sausage, beef tongue pastrami, fois gras served with cotton candy & pop rocks…), but their cocktail menu as well. I hadn’t even heard of about 90% of the ingredients listed in their impressive variety of cocktails, so I just threw caution to the wind and picked the one that seemed the least scary. I had the Double Cup (citadelle, grape shrub, orange blossom water), and it was absolutely delicious, but when I was trying to decide it would have been nice to have had a more personable server.
I couldn’t resist the fois gras & cotton candy. It came out like this, and he instructed us to make a tight ball of the cotton candy around the fois gras, and take a bite. It was the strangest sensation. You got a bite of everything, and if the combination of sweet & salty wasn’t enough, you also get the fizzy pop rocks. Both couples ordered a few items to create a pretty delicious charcuterie board. We stuck with the safer choices (Oaxacan chorizo, Jamon Serrano (La Alberca, Spain), and a spanish cheese. I don’t remember what Sav & Elise chose, although I know one of theirs was the blood sausage, which I just couldn’t bring myself to try… The meats & cheeses were acccompanied by an assortment of in-house pickled vegetables, jams, mustards, & honey, and house made saltine crackers.
Sav & Elise stuck with the charcuterie board, and ordered a variety of small plates. Graham and I were starving, and ordered meals. I had the Chilean sea bass (Chilean sea bass/ brussels sprouts puree/ sweet roasted salsify/ charred Brussels sprouts/ kalamansi lobster nage) and it was phenomenal. The fish was a huge portion, and was so flaky and completely perfect. As was everything else on this plate. I really enjoyed the Brussels sprouts puree, and would love to recreate that at home. Graham went with the pork belly (maple glazed pork belly/ coarse antebellum white grits/ fermented beet tops/ pickled persimmon preserves/ jonagold kimchi). This was delicious as well. The persimmon preserves were incredible with the grits. We all left Saint Germain so full it physically hurt, but it was an amazing dinner. My only complaint was with the lackluster service. He had warmed up and was friendlier by the end of the dinner, but it would have been more beneficial at the beginning of the meal. There were a lot of the things on the menu I was unfamiliar with, but he didn’t seem open to questions.
We’ll definitely return though… I guess I just need to research on my own beforehand.