Platinum Plates Award Winners 2012

Our tenth annual list serves up the best restaurants in Hampton Roads

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Platinum Level

Blue Talon Bistro
Chef David Everett produces wonderful classic French bistro fare in a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere. Blue Talon Bistro offers what they call “serious comfort food,” and we seriously agree; attention to each and every delicious morsel is given, and service is always outstanding. We love to start with Everett’s charcuterie.

420 Prince George St., Williamsburg

Byrd & Baldwin Brothers Steakhouse
Quality cuts of meat and related fare are served in a richly appointed, two-level steakhouse. Over the years we’ve seen Byrd & Baldwin progress from a charming downtown offering to one of Norfolk’s restaurant gems.

116 Brooke Ave., Norfolk

Eat – An American Bistro
This jewel-box of a restaurant, located in the North End of Virginia Beach, offers fresh, creative cuisine with a focus on seafood and American regional. Relaxing, hip, fabulous service and outstanding food from chef/owner Erick Heilig keeps us coming back.

4005 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach

River Stone Chophouse
Set in a stunning two-story restaurant inspired by the American Arts and Craft movement, the food at River Stone is equally impressive. A fresh, seasonal menu with an emphasis on steak is offered. In addition to prime, aged beef, a large selection of seafood is also offered and prepared deliciously. Outstanding wines round things out.

8032 Harbour View Blvd., Suffolk

The Trellis Restaurant
Legendary restaurant now showcasing the talents of Executive Chef David Everett includes updated American regional cuisine prepared with classic executions

403 W. Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg

The Criteria

Since 2003, Hampton Roads Magazine has been proud to present our annual Platinum Plate Awards to honor fine dining establishments across the region. As the only comprehensive dining awards in Hampton Roads, our advisory board of culinary professionals takes seriously the task of evaluating restaurants and informing our readers.

The application process is open to all restaurants in the region that meet eligibility requirements—not just the restaurants the critics have dined at on their own. Restaurant owners and management applied for the awards by completing a simple application process, which included an application fee paid in the form of a gift certificate.

By using the gift certificate when reviewing a particular restaurant, the dining critics were assured a degree of anonymity, allowing for an unbiased examination. All restaurants that applied were reviewed, and by virtue of their application are recognized at the minimum on the base level of the awards.

Some critics chose to use previous visits within the evaluation period in lieu of using the gift certificate. All restaurants were evaluated more than once by two or more critics. Throughout the process, limited exceptions were at the discretion of HRM’s food editor.

Reviewed restaurants which met critic criteria were also eligible for other award levels, too, including Silver, Gold, 24K Gold and the coveted Platinum levels. Additionally, we selected 10 restaurants from the Platinum level to name as “the best of the best” in Hampton Roads dining.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Restaurants must be located in the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Smithfield, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg or Yorktown; in the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, Surry or York; or on the Eastern Shore of Virginia in the towns of Onancock south to Cape Charles.
  • Restaurants must be open to the public during regular, posted business hours and offer cuisine from a published menu.
  • Restaurants must have been open to the public since Jan. 1, 2011 or earlier.
  • Restaurants must offer sit-down service from waitstaff.
  • In the spirit of supporting local, independent restaurants, no restaurant group with more than six locations in Hampton Roads or elsewhere was allowed to apply.
  • An application fee of $125, in the form of a gift certificate, was required for each participating restaurant.
  • All applications were required to be postmarked by Wednesday, March 31, 2012.

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