Food, Folks and FUNdraiser

Tonight I had the opportunity to attend the WHRO (our local PBS station) "Strolling Supper Party" benefit dinner featuring dishes from the best of the best of the best area restaurants (Hampton Road's Magazine's "Platinum Plate" winners). 

I walked into the huge ballroom and gawked.  The smells, the sites of 26 restaurants putting their best cuisine out for some 300 strollers to sample was astonishing.  I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy store - I didn't know where to start.  So...I started at the very beginning (it's a very good place to start) and selected a small plate containing two perfect slices of smoked New York Strip with homemade Worcestershire sauce served with a healthy dollop of wasabi mashed potatoes from the Riverstone Chophouse, Suffolk. 
After that hearty appetizer, we started our way around the room.  Some of the offerings were bite sized (all-meat tiny crab cakes from The Flagship Restaurant, Portsmouth and Lebanese chicken salad on pita rounds from Croc's EcoBistro in Virginia Beach) but some larger servings I opted to share with my husband (prime rib chili from Smokehouse and Cooler, Virginia Beach and rich she-crab soup from Lucky Oyster - a restaurant right by my house I was honestly surprised to see among the other Platinum Plates, as the two times dined there I thought the food and service to be sub-par).   

I will admit there was some weird stuff, and some - in my opinion - tried a too hard (too many little swirleys of sauce masked the flavor of the final dish) but the vast majority of the entrées were very good.  My choice for best - the one that got my red ticket in their jar - was my first selection.

Chophouse's simple rich beef flavor and creamy, flavorful mashed potatoes were my hands-down favorite.  I am definitely going to head out to Suffolk and visit the beautiful "Frank Lloyd Wright style" restaurant to peruse the whole menu.

BUT...despite all the amazing offerings, the one I can't get out of my mind was the fascinating plate of "molecular desserts."  Never had I had anything like raspberry caviar or mango foam but all four bite-sized selections amazed my taste buds and intrigued my mind.  I just might also have to go to Art Café 26 in WIlliamsburg for more than a wee sample!

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