Special occasions call for special attention, and fortunately, we happen to have a handy list of the best spots to splurge on dinner in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Make a reservation to surprise your significant other or perhaps treat your parents in honor of their anniversary. If you’re looking for an excellent gift, a certificate for a wonderful dining experience is a winner.
Alexander’s | Roanoke
Fresh seafood, prime cuts of meat, and locally-sourced produce provide a solid foundation for a memorable meal at Alexander’s, acknowledged by Gourmet Magazine as one of the “Best Restaurants in America” in 2008-2009.
“This is my go-to spot for special occasions. The service is impeccable and the food is probably the best in Roanoke. On my last visit I had the filet with Gorgonzola butter and it was absolutely delicious. My wife had the duck and loved every bite of it.” – Evan R., Vinton, VA
Frankie Rowland’s Steakhouse | Roanoke
USDA Prime Beef and Maine lobster are cornerstone entrees at Frankie Rowland’s Steakhouse. Known as one of Roanoke’s special occasion establishments, reservations are recommended. Gift cards are available on their website for last-minute gift-giving.
“Excellent food/staff/ambiance. This is the go to place for that special evening. My Filet was fork tender and cooked to perfection. Could not ask for a better meal.” – Curt R., Mechanicsville, PA
The River and Rail | Roanoke
Chef Aaron Deal keeps things fresh and moving at The River and Rail, rolling out a new menu each week based on the best seasonal ingredients. His banana pudding has been pedestaled time and again, and has twice been tapped among the “100 Best Restaurants in the South” by Southern Living. Digital and physical gift certificates are available.
“Most of their food is locally grown and raised. I appreciate that they name the farm where their food comes from. This is a special place to take the wife on your anniversary or your momma for Mother's Day. Will definitely be visiting again!” – David Y., Rogers, OH
Local Roots: A Farm-to-Table Restaurant | Roanoke
Roanoke’s first “farm to table” dining experience was Local Roots: A Farm-to-Table Restaurant. Having set the bar for their presentation of fresh, local, sustainable ingredients, Local Roots maintains its status as a go-to for a nice evening of excellent dining. Acclaim includes “100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America, 2015” and USAToday 10Best “Slow Food Restaurants that are Sustainable & Scrumptious.” Digital and physical gift certificates are available.
“Do yourself a favor and eat here, you will definitely not be disappointed... unless you forget to make a reservation.” – Terra H., Morgantown, WV
Lucky | Roanoke
Southern American and Country French make for a beautiful and delicious menu at Lucky. Like the aforementioned restaurants, Lucky seeks out all the good things from all of the good places to ensure you eat well when you’re with them.
“Great service. Love the low lit ambiance. Had the butternut squash and mushroom soup. LOVED it. Also really enjoyed the beet and goat cheese salad. Definitely a great find!” – Dana G., Denver, CO
Fortunato | Roanoke
If you’re wondering how a pizza place makes its way onto a list like this, wonder no more. Fortunato is not slingin’ pizzas, but handcrafting them in Neapolitan style. There is also an impressive selection of authentic Italian pasta dishes, as well as an extensive wine and cocktail list.
“The Speck and Fennel pizza is fantastic. Good cheese and cured meat on rotation. The rissoto balls with ham are fantastic. Take time for coffee and good individual desserts.” – William W., Houston, TX
Pomegranate Restaurant & Gathering Place | Troutville
Pomegranate feels and tastes metropolitan but it’s tucked into a small town, which makes it even more of a gem for Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Small plates of locally-sourced goodness are served with top-notch service and a craft cocktail, if you desire.
“Super enjoyable evening with live music. Enjoyed splitting the Brie appetizer and salad. One salmon and one ribeye, also to create our own surf and turf! Very well prepared and presented.” – Georgia H., Boiling Springs, PA
Carlos Brazilian International Cuisine | Roanoke
Prepare yourself for a taste bud explosion at Carlos Brazilian. The menu is loaded with the rich flavors of Brazil, Spain, France, and Italy, and their wine list is a terrific match for each international dish.
“The food and service were both above par. In fact, the service from our greeter, and tour guide, server and the kitchen staff was incredibly fast and friendly. We ordered a variety of items and all were enjoyed. The lobster appetizer was deliciously devoured, as was the Brie with raspberry sauce.” – Christine M., Pittsburgh, PA
The Regency Room at The Hotel Roanoke | Roanoke
Acclaim is commonplace for The Regency Room at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. It’s not an overstatement to say the peanut soup is nationally known and sought. In this writer’s opinion, there’s no other fine dining destination in Virginia’s Blue Ridge that holds a candle to the tradition and formality of The Regency Room.
“Celebrated my wife's birthday on 10/28 at the Regency room. From the time we were greeted by Lowell until we left, we were made to feel welcome. Our waiter Earle went above and beyond. Our food was worthy of our special evening. The jazz ensemble even played happy birthday. From drinks to dessert it was a special evening.” – Billy B., Roanoke, VA
Now that you’re more familiar with our “fancy night out” dining destinations, you should try them all and report back with your favorite. Each offers a different ambiance and each Chef’s signature dish shines.
Eat well and often in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, and don’t forget to snap a foodie pic tagged #BlueRidgeDay to show off your eats.