The Tobacco Company is one of Richmond's finer restaurants. Entrees at supper can run as high as $30. This restaurant is aptly named because it occupies what once was an old four-storey tobacco warehouse. That night, my friend Lee and I were here for dessert. I was not impressed at the rudeness of the doorman who gruffly asked to see Lee's identification. I was afraid that, although Lee wasn't planning to take any alcohol, they wouldn't let him in (as he was 3 months shy of 21 at that time). He let us both in, but the attitude left us with a bad taste right out of the chute. We were seated in the Victorian lounge with a fireplace and antique furniture. You never know whom you might encounter in places like this. That night, we saw state senator Henry Marsh pass by our table. There was live entertainment in the Jimmy O Band which sung old favourites such as Ring of Fire and the singer tried to emulate Louis Armstrong in his signature song What a Wonderful World. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, given the name, that folks could smoke cigars and cigarettes more freely here (There were even cigarette girls which I thought went the way of the dirigible.) Our waitress was as nice and attentive as she could be. Normally, I rate restaurants predominantly on the quality of the food and the service, but Tobacco Company gets a low rating from me because of that doorman's unnecessarily rude treatment of my friend Lee gipper84. That doorman is lucky I didn't bust his head.
Favorite Dish: One way to get the full atmosphere of a fine dining establishment is to come after the supper rush and just order dessert or drinks. I had been here before to do the latter several times before. This is the first time I went for dessert before Lee left on holiday. All desserts were $5.95 (but the price listed below is what one might expect to pay for an entree). I had the tiramisu (for those in Roxboro, that's not some foreign car, but the Italian word for pick-me-up). That's an apt name because it consists of lady fingers soaked in rum, Kahlua and Marsala, layered with mascarpone cheese and cream (garnished with a vanilla wafer).
I went to a training meeting at the hotel across the street from this establishment. The group I was with (headed by my boss several levels up) went here for lunch one afternoon, and the head/boss person of the group also took us to happy hour one evening. They had enough to eat at happy hour that we didn't need to go out to dinner afterwards. It cost me $1.50 plus 50 cents tip for a cranberry ginger ail.
The restaurant was around a central courtyard with a lot of plants. They had an antique elevator, and a chewing tobacco advertisement on the wall of the stairs (photo 3).
Favorite Dish: I actually found the receipt for this meal. I had the quiche of the day and the soup of the day, and it was $8.98. $10.48 total with tax and tip. It was good.
I was on an expense account, but it was based on fast food prices, especially for lunch. Looking at the lunch menu I suspect I might have wanted:
Grilled Chicken & Spinach Salad
Spinach, Feta, diced peppers and red onions with grilled chicken and hot bacon dressing. Also available Cajun spiced. $7.50
Of our group, two had the taco salad (about $6.95), one had the Cajun beef tips ($8.95), one person had the Executive club ($5.95), and another person had the soup of the day with a salad instead of the quiche.
Tobacco Company is a very nice restaurant if you take the ambience and only concentrate on that. The inside of the restaurant is flawless. It has very comfortable leather sofas and chairs that you can dine in. The walls are covered with old photos of Richmond, and mirrors. The restaurant even offers live music upstairs on Friday and Saturday nights. It is kind of dim inside and be ready for some jerk at the front door to hit you off the bat with " Let me see your id". What I mean by that is right when Nat and I walked in one Friday night rather than saying hello welcome to Tobacco Company, some prick who obviously needed to relieve himself spouted out "Let me see you id" I thought it was quite rude considering I wasn't coming to drink but to enjoy one of their fine desserts. The main course meals at Tobacco company are way overpriced and have no comparison to places like Julep's, Bookbinder, or even Morton's. If you are looking for fine dining and want to spend a good deal of money on good food, take Tobacco Company off your list now. Now the one thing I love about Tobacco Company and the only thing that makes me go back, is there desserts. Their desserts are flawless and are quite good.
Favorite Dish: The reason I slam them so badly on their entrees, is because the last time I had steak there was literally the last time I will ever have steak there. Usually a good steak can survive without drowning it in some sort of barbecue sauce or steak sauce, however the only thing that could rescue this steak from the trash was a whole lot of A1 Steak sauce. The steak was dry, and overcooked even though I specifically asked for it to be cooked Medium. Now if you only want desert or find yourself with nothing to do after a good ball game at the Diamond, I would recommend wholeheartly going here for a good dessert. I had the brownie float, basically a brownie covered with vanilla icecream and hot fudge. It was great. As a matter of fact Nat ate his Tiramisu so fast that I caught him eyeing my brownie float like the Coyote used to eye the Roadrunner. I let him finish off the last little bit that I couldn't find room to fill. My VT passport photo is actually taken from the night Nat and I had dessert here. Notice the huge smile on my face after I was done eating.
I stopped in to the Tobacco Company on a trip through Richmond several years ago. I was very impressed by the huge, four-story building with its great open floor plan and balconies on top of balconies. Originally an abandoned warehouse, this is now one of the cornerstones of the city's downtown area. They have good food, along with a dance club, fireplaces, bars, and more, in a very nice environment. The building was renovated in the early 1970s and really helped lead to the downtown revitalization in this old tobacco district.
We stopped in for lunch, just on a whim, while passing through the area. Their menu has a wide variety of salads, sandwiches and burgers, notably the Philly cheese steak, the barbecued pork, the Cuban, crab cake, and the BLT all for under $13.
On another occasion, we stopped for dinner, arriving around 10pm just before the kitchen closed for the night. We sat at the smoky bar since the rest of the restaurant seemed to be closed. My dad and I both had the blackened prime rib sandwich with fries and a few beers. This was an excellent sandwich, cooked to order, sliced, then quickly blackened. The piece of meat was huge; it probably would have sold for $20 as a dinner prime rib, but on the sandwich, it is just $10! Great deal for an excellent meal.
The dinner menu is much more extensive and expensive with appetizers starting around $10 most entrees in the $30 to $40 price range. Some of their dishes include various steaks, seafood, chicken, and pasta.
Come for lunch if you want to experience this great environment without breaking the bank; come for dinner if you have guests you want to impress.
What was once an old, abandoned, tobacco warehouse is now a beautiful, fun and exciting four-story dining and entertaining palace complete with antique fixtures throughout and a cigar/cigarette girl reminiscent of the 20's. Casual, huge & hopping restaurant. Menu was extensive with wonderful soups, salads, meats & fish.
Favorite Dish: Fish was fresh & wonderful.
The Tobacco Company
Great fancy restaurant in Richmond. Arguably the nicest to take company. The building is a converted Tobacco House, hence the name. The elevator is tres cool. There are 3 floors and the first consists of a fancy bar, but I don't remember there being any tables on this floor.
Favorite Dish: fried shrimp.