Black Rooster

107 E. Main Street

Marion, VA 24354

(276) 783-4800

Returning home from a Food Festival, Punta Cana,   I dismaying begin thinking of a restaurant with dining that could come  somewhat close to feasting on scallops, flown from Maine and prepared by Executive Chef Bernard Buillas (La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, La Jolla, California) in Southwest Virginia?

In my search a friend mentioned a new chef was turning palates at a restaurant in the General Francis Marion Hotel, Marion, Virginia. With an unoptimistic palate, we set out to try The Black Rooster.

Even the incorrect place setting and amateur wine pouring did not spoil the flavor experience to follow.

Executive Chef Marcus Blackstone, can compete with the top chefs.   Chef Blackstone’s seafood dishes are simply the best in this region.

Seafood delicacies such as Pan Roasted Salmon with Reisling Wine, Lemon, Cracked Black Pepper and Herbs, served with Lemon Caper Dill Sauce,  Pan Seared Jumbo Lump Crab Topped with Lemon Aioli, and  North Carolina Trout Roasted with Lemon and Honey Pecan Butter are a few of the dazzling dishes ($18 – $27) you will find at Black Rooster. A must eat is the European House Salad (Marinated Vegetables and Mixed Greens touched with Balsamic Vinaigrette).

The dessert menus create visions of tastes that sound too good to be true – and they are. The desserts by pastry Chef Earl Baker will not disappoint.  Chef Baker’s chocolate desserts are obviously made with a high quality of

chocolate and are well worth their price ($7 – $8).

Rating: 4 out of 5

Next Review:  The Tavern, Abingdon, Virginia.


Warm Bordeauz Punch

Warm Bordeaux Punch

Town House

132 East Main Street

Chilhowie, Virignia


Executive Chefs John B. Shields and Karen Urie Shields

Town House, Chilhowie Restaurant is my first review for several reasons. Town House stands alone in food class. I am not a regular guest and suspect this is true for many of you. Let’s explore why such an exclusive restaurant may not be for everyone.

Town House Chef’s John and Karen Shield offer an experience that enhances the very best “togetherness” food and wine offer.  Town House is best approached as an experience and an opportunity to taste cuisine that cannot be found in our region or even near. As you eat the very small portions, you must remember this as you will be disappointed, or washing dishes, when the $175-$300 bill arrives.

The event “Christmas in Bordeaux, a four course dinner, with two wine pairings (per course), was worth the price of admission ($125) per person. The opportunity to taste the  wine paired expertly by Katherine Rose of Wines of Distinction, Abingdon, Virginia, and Sommelier Charlie Berg greatly enhanced the experience.  As the small restaurant was sold out, we were not alone. In case you are not sure and most are not, Bordeaux is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. 88% of wine produced in Bordeaux is red, with sweet white wines, dry wines, rose and sparkling making up the remainder.

The Experience: A warm punch Bordeaux punch was a perfect beginning, followed by braised stem of broccoli (brie, pistachio, roasted apples, parsley), bay scallop (pork belly, bitter grapefruit, reduction of saffron, whole roasted pineapple (duck foie gras, bay leaf, quinoa, honey) and fallen soufflé (red wine, sweet spices, toasted chestnut).

Katherine Rose of Wines of Distinction gave individual explanations of the Bordeaux . These wines can be found at her shop, but you will not find them in the supermarket. Prices range as you can imagine, but some can be purchased around $17.

My favorite pairing came with dessert. The 2004 Chateau Margaux ‘Pavillon rouge,’ Margaux enhanced the ginger in the fallen soufflé sorbet magnificently.   As you follow along you will see this does always happen, so a magnificent pairing is not so common.

Fallen Souffle

Fallen Souffle

We all know wine enhances the flavor of food, but I have left  dinners in my pre-sensual palate days, still trying to figure out how the wine recommended had actually enhanced anything but my bill.  I choose my own wines and you can learn too, just follow my blog.

The service was slightly less attentive than expected, but adequate.

Town House is out of the price range and palate pleasure for many, but those who want a special experience in the food world, go forth and taste.

Next review: Black Rooster, Marion, Virginia.

Rating 5 out of 5

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