Virginia Beach Restaurant Week Edition: Braise
Review of Braise,which is run by two Virginia Beach Restaurant Veterans.
Braise is owned by Bobby Huber and Mei Ling Perkins. I've frequented Perkins' prior family-operated restaurant, Forbidden City, and ventured to Huber's Bobbywood for my prom dinner in 2008. Needless to say, I was excited to taste the fusion between the two food styles set in Forbidden City’s former location on Virginia Beach Blvd. After its grand opening last spring, I’d been searching for the most opportune occasion to visit. My friend’s quarter-century birthday brunch was certainly reason enough.
The 12 of us dined in a reserved room off to the side of the restaurant guarded by a sleek glass door with "Braise" etched on its surface. The lighting was comfortably dim, bouncing off the sage and mustard walls. I'd drooled and gawked at the menu prior to arriving, armed and ready to place my order. I peered down, pleasantly surprised to find their two-course Restaurant Week menu, and knew this was a game changer. I first had to choose between a starter and a dessert. After little to no debate I was set on their amaretto sin pie. For my second course, I decided on the short ribs with cheddar grits and fried spinach.
I took advantage of their $3 Sunday drink special and kicked off my meal with a Bloody Mary. Most at the table agreed this was perhaps most attractive looking Bloody Mary we’d seen. A thick slab of bacon rested on the glass, three olives were mounted on a skewer, the signature celery rib stood just so and a lime slice further garnished my favorite brunch beverage.
I picked at my husband's crispy lumpia. ‘Twas the perfect snack to start off a meal.
My entrée was delivered on a cast iron griddle hugged by a wooden plate. The short rib was lightly charred, though extremely tender. There was no knife needed here. Its sauce was gravy-like, peppery and not overpowering. The greens were wilted but remained crunchy. The cheddar grits were anything but traditional—the consistency was less gritty and tasted more like a creamy, dense risotto.
Dessert reminded me of fudge with an amaretto-infused crust. Sliced strawberries in a light syrup were scattered around the pie. The whipped cream was dusted with a cocoa powder.
After my first visit to Braise, I'm interested to see how the rest of the menu plays out. With menu items like orzo mac and cheese and house made pastrami, I'm sure I’ll be visiting sooner than later.
Virginia Beach Restaurant Week celebrates the area’s most delectable restaurants serving prix fixe lunch and dinner menus, depending on the location. For a list of participating restaurants click here.