In Search Of International Dishes

Getting tired of American hamburgers and hot dogs? So are we. Our 2017 November/December In Search Of feature will direct you towards local restaurants that give you a taste of other parts of the world.

Chez Max Restaurant

10622 Patterson Ave., Richmond • 804-754-3464 •

If you’ve ever found yourself and a loved one stuck in the infamous dinner decision limbo, allow me to help you decide: Chez Max. Every detail of this exquisite French restaurant has clearly been carefully selected to foster the ultimate dining experience. If I may offer some more assistance with your dinner decisions; the grilled lamb chops with garlic, thyme and rosemary in a brandy demi-glace is a good place to start.

Dishing on the Dish: Grilled lamb chops with garlic, thyme and rosemary served with a brandy demi-glace.

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AZZURRO Ristorante 

River Road Shopping Center (6221 River Rd.) • 804-282-1509 •

Time seems to move at a more relaxed pace at Azzurro. An elegant, white-tablecloth setting, the superb service, and the aroma of the wood-fired pizza oven offer a warm welcome that encourages you to savor the experience. The food and drink are equally appealing. Their ever-popular linguini pescatori includes fresh mussels, clams, and shrimp in a house-made pomodoro sauce topped with fresh basil. Pair this with a staff-recommended red wine or a specialty cocktail and you’ll find it easy to linger over your meal.

Dishing on the Dish: Linguini Pescatori: Mussels, clams, and shrimp in pomodoro sauce with fresh basil. Paired with a glass of Volte Face.

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Little Mexico 

1328 W. Cary St. • 804-525-4216 •

With Little Mexico coming up on its ten-year anniversary, it’s worth exploring what makes this Mexican hotspot so fun and successful. The restaurant caters to large parties and the menu will surely satisfy everyone in the group. The smoky shrimp in the recently added Chipotle Shrimp Tacos pair beautifully with the house-made cilantro crema. While the food alone is worth the trip Little Mexico might possibly have the best margaritas around.

Dishing on the Dish: Their Chipotle Shrimp Tacos dish features three soft corn tortillas with sautéed shrimp, red cabbage, avocado, queso fresco and cilantro crema served with black beans.

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Les Crepes

3325 W. Cary St., Richmond • 804-355-2038 •

Fernando Lozada has taken everything you know about crepes to a new level of flavor and extravagance. The menu at Les Crepes ranges from savory to sweet, all are a brilliant and carefully crafted sight to behold. The Mousse au Chocolat is a crowd favorite, and for good reason. The hand-cut strawberry flowers on top of three scoops of chocolate mousse highlight the detail Lozada puts into all of his work. The newly opened Cary Street location is upscale and elegant. It’s a place you won’t want to pass up on your next Carytown trip.

Dishing on the Dish: Mousse au Chocolat. Chocolate crepe, chocolate mousse and strawberries topped with chocolate sauce, blueberries and whipped cream.

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La Grotta

529 E. Broad St. • 804-644-2466 •

Northern Italian food at its best at its above-ground location at the Hilton Garden Inn. La Grotta’s spot is just as charming and elegant as the former location and can host private parties from 10 to 100 people.

Dishing on the Dish: The Ravioli Di Pollo con Panna features homemade ravioli filled with chicken served in a light cream sauce.

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La Cucina Ristorante Italiano and Pizzeria

11440 W Huguenot Road, Midlothian • 804-378-8940 •

La Cucina is the third local restaurant venture of Italian-born chef-owner Vito Bellantuono. The red walls, cozy bar, classic Italian fare and attentive service set a warm, friendly tone that says benvenuto! Pizza with a light and buttery crust is a customer favorite.

Dishing on the Dish: Seared Salmon. Atlantic salmon pan-seared in a lemon and caper cream sauce, shown here with roasted zucchini.

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Palermo Trattoria and Pizzeria

15717 City View Drive, Midlothian • 804-376-7643 •

Palermo’s kitchen offers recipes rooted in Sicilian and family traditions. Generous portions and delicious pizza are the standards here.

Dishing on the Dish: Pappardella Carbonara. Ribbon pasta with Pecorino Romano, pancetta, black pepper and a touch of cream topped with a poached egg.

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Plaza Azteca

15600 WC Commons Way (Westchester Commons), Midlothian • 804-897-1124 •

Plaza Azteca menu focuses on traditional flavors combined with a Tex Mex flair served up in a cheerful, casual atmosphere.

Dishing on the Dish: Burrito San Jose. A 10-inch flour tortilla filled with grilled chicken, chorizo, rice and beans. Finished with cheese sauce and pico de gallo.

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Kona Grill 

West Broad Village (11221 W. Broad St.) • 804-364-5660 •

It’s possible to learn the basics of making sushi as long as you have the fresh ingredients, the time, and the desire to learn. Observe the sushi chefs at Kona Grill and you’ll see sushi that’s elevated from basic food status to art form. Kona Grill offers a global contemporary menu but their sushi options are especially notable. The Lollipop Naruto is a recent addition to the menu and it’s a complex and well-executed take on a simple dish.

Dishing on the Dish: The Lollipop Naruto is made with yellowtail salmon, spicy crab and shrimp. Other ingredients include cucumber, jalapeno, avocado and pickled lemon, with a garnish of green onion, smelt roe and sriracha.

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The Greek Taverna

1903 Staples Mill Rd, Richmond • 804-477-6216 •

With a full menu of tradtional Greek recipes, you’re bound to find your favorites. If you’re new to Greek food or just want to share, try the Taverna Pikila. It’s a generous platter that includes a veritable smorgabord of housemade spanakopitas, tiropitas, keftedes and sausage. The restaurant décor is upscale and modern yet incredibly welcoming.

Dishing on the Dish:  Taverna Pikila. Spanakopitas, tiropitas, keftedes, homemade sausage, feta, dolmades, and olives. Served with tzatziki sauce and pita bread.

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Lola’s Farmhouse Bistro

1840 Manakin Rd., Manakin • 804-784-2000 •

An evening meal at Ronnie and Tommy Hussey’s Farmhouse Bistro in Goochland is more than dinner; it’s an experience. When you walk through the doors of this converted house it feels as though you’re on a private getaway right on Manakin Road. And, with Tommy’s years of experience in crafting delicious cuisine, the food meets the expectation set by the wonderful setting.

Dishing on the Dish: Shrimp Scampi: garlic and spices over italian linguini.

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Mama Cucina Italian Restaurant

4028 Cox Road, Glen Allen • 804-346-3350 •

Mama Cucina has become a West End favorite for those looking for quality Italian cuisine and homemade pastas made with fresh ingredients. With the sounds of Sinatra and Martin filling the cozy space, you’ll feel like you’re dining in the company of family and friends you’ve known for years. A full bar and extensive selection of Italian and domestic wines compliment the comfortable family atmosphere.

Dishing on the Dish: Chicken Palermo: Sautéed chicken in a creamy pesto sauce, olives and roasted red peppers over penne pasta.

Staff Writer
Author: Staff Writer