**this blog is not for restaurant reviews, that is not and has never been my scene. This post is not a review but a retelling of a great food experience.
Just when we are packing up to head deeper into the East side of things, a restaurant I could not have imagined up in my best “If only a restaurant like this would open up in my neighborhood..” day dream opens it’s doors.
The Roosevelt happens to be the third in a family of wonderful eating establishments opened by a woman I am proud to call a friend, but this one feels extra special to me for reasons beyond the respect and admiration I have for the proprietor.
Chef Lee Gregory of the Roosevelt is a Southern boy and his love for his region’s cuisine shines clear and true on this menu. I tried just a few dishes and each was homey, yet refined and intriguing. The Pimento Cheese had something special about it..(remoulade?) and the squash fritters tasted fresh and of sweet summer squash, not of fry oil dredged in dipping sauce, which is so often the case. Pan fried(!) gnocchi in a cheese sauce was the bad boy (read: you love him even though you know he’s oh so bad for you) of the table.
The special of Mahi and boiled peanuts stole my hungry belly’s heart. The desserts we tried were made in house, comforting and deeply flavorful without being too fussy. The place is beautifully airy and inviting and I am sure it will develop a kind of upwards of 30something bar scene. It’s definitely the type of spot where I could sit and nurse a drink and graze on Southern influenced bar snacks. There have been quite a few places opened in the last month here in town and I have high hopes for the restaurant scene in RVA. It’s obvious The Roosevelt is escalating the standard of casual eating in our city, I hope many places take the hint and follow along.