In downtown Luray, Va we ate at the Artisan Grill which is located on a corner next to an art gallery (hence the name).
Most of the menu items were named after famous artists. I had the Gaugin sandwich- basil, fresh mozzarella, tomato and Balsamic vinegar. Dave ate a blue cheese burger. The food was decent ;nothing really special.. Both of our breads with our meal were falling apart.
Favorite Dish: Peanutbutter swirl ice cream cone
I usually don't worry about reviewing chain restaurants, but I had to after this experience. We ate at Applebees in Waynesboro (just south of the park). Their new section of the menu refers to a Steakhouse experience. Any steakhouse that would serve the piece of meat Applebees did would shut down in days. It was rubbery and full of gristle. The service and atmosphere were fine, but what a terrible meal! Avoid Applebees if you are hungry for steak.
If you're in the Thornton Gap area of the Skyline Drive, and need a burger fix, check out Burgers n' Things down in Sperryville. A little roadside stand, with outdoor picnic tables, it's not fancy by any stretch. But after a hard day hiking, this is perfect place to get a burger and shake fix, and it's cheap.
A few miles west of the Thornton Gap entrance station on Route 211.
Favorite Dish: It's a classic burger stand, cheeseburgers, shakes, fries, chicken wings. Pull up a picnic table next to the creek, and enjoy.
This is an amazing place. We were staying at a local B&B and the owner recommended Apartment 2g and made reservations for us. When we got there, we were a little thrown off by the different doors to the building, then pleasantly surprised. Apparently, the chefs and owners of 2g (David and Stacy Gedney--- who have previously worked at both the Ashby Inn AND the Inn at Little Washington) not only do they own Apartment 2g, but also a quaint but impressive wine shop and ANOTHER restaurant (Element: sort of a modern bar and bistro type place)... all of which are in the same building, each with its own entrance from the street. I wish we had realized this sooner, it would have made a fun evening if we had done a little wine shopping then went over to Element for drinks before going upstairs to Apartment 2g for dinner.
Once we went up the squeaky old stairs, we were amazed. The restaurant feels like the apartments it used to be. We sat in a small room with only two other tables, big windows that overlooked the street, and paintings and photographs by local artists scattered about the walls. There was even a TV in the corner.
As it says on the menu, “Apartment 2g is an open invitation to the chef’s ‘apartment.’ Come hang out in the kitchen or watch the meal come together from the privacy of your table.” And it’s true. Every so often I would glance up to the corner and watch as David would zoom his way around the kitchen preparing our meal and those of the rest of their guests.
The food was amazing, and the wine too. We don’t know too much about wine, but we saw some Virginia wines on the list and thought it might be fun to try something local. We asked the waitress for a recommendation and since we like light red wines and she brought us a bottle of Linden’s claret. It was great and went very well with my meal.
The service was good too: very friendly and efficient, but a less formal than I had originally expected.
It was a Friday night, which means the menu was a 5-course Prix Fixe, but the waitress told me that they served Spanish-style tapas on Wednesday and Thursday nights and the Prix Fixe on Friday and Saturday nights, and that they make changes to the menu every week.
The first course was unlisted: chicken croquettes. This was followed by shrimp risotto, arugula salad with goat cheese and chili grape dressing. We then had a choice of three entrees: filet mignon with potato onion pie and spinach (which I had and enjoyed greatly), pork chop with mustard greens, potatoes, and sweet mustard glaze, and halibut with warm orzo chic pea salad and swiss chard (which my wife had and I stole a bit of-- it was amazing too). It was easy to remember exactly what we had, because they let us keep the menu since we were celebrating our anniversary. Then dessert was the perfect ending to the evening. We each had cappuccinos, while I had the deliciously rich chocolate pave and my wife had the mexican chocolate cake, a flour-less chocolate cake that is apparently a popular favorite.
All things considered, it was a great experience. I definitely recommended this place to anyone visiting the area. But be sure to make reservations. We saw another couple turned away because the restaurant was full.
Near Shenandoah is the Inn at Little Washington, known as one of the world's best inns and restaurants. I needn't say anything more - far greater lights than I will tell you about it. Not a casual experience - dinner reservations are highly recommended, and the fare is steep - $128 per person minimum.
A nice casual restaurant. The South River Restaurant has an American style menu. It is popular among the locals.
Favorite Dish: Filet Mignon