Author: Leona Baker

Spring Pea and Asparagus Risotto Recipe

Spring is almost in the air, but it’s what’s in the ground at area farms that promises a fresh start on the plates of local cooks. As we wait patiently for our beloved strawberries to ripen to plump red perfection,…

Open to the Possibilities of Floating Shelves

We’ve all seen fabulous floating shelving in design magazines and home décor displays, pristinely arranged with color-coordinated books and baubles. Nothing extra or out of place. The picture of well-curated minimalism. If you love the look but don’t know where…

Arts Fest Headed Outdoors

On any given Friday or Saturday night—in normal pre-COVID times—the outdoor space between the Virginia Arts Festival building at the corner of Bank and East Charlotte Streets in Downtown Norfolk would likely be buzzing with arts patrons and event goers,…

Homemade Dog Food and Biscuits

Even during the pandemic, our local restaurants have been creative in coming up with new recipes and new ways to enjoy our old favorites. And the gourmets among us have been busy in the kitchen taking quarantine cooking to new…

New Restaurants to Try in 2021

Baby Izakaya Virginia Beach What the pub is to Ireland and the tapas bar is to Spain, so the izakaya is to Japan. Kevin Ordonez (already a star in our culinary firmament…

New Restaurants to Try in 2021: Orion's Roof

While there are many eateries in Coastal Virginia boasting beautiful waterfront views, even seagulls might envy the nearly 360-degree vista of the Atlantic Ocean and the restored Cavalier Hotel that greets diners…

New Restaurants to Try in 2021: Fin & Tonic

It would be easy to return nightly to chef-owner Kenny Sloane's Fin & Tonic, where small plates loom large in a more casual iteration of his original Fin Seafood in Newport News,…

Billy the Kidden Rescue Works Wonders for Cats

Billy the Kid may be history’s most notorious outlaw, but Virginia Beach-based Billy the Kidden Rescue (BTKR) has a far kinder and gentler reputation. Just ask Stevie Wonder, a fluffy gray and white cat who BTKR pulled from the Suffolk…

Fox Tail to Pair Worldly Flavors, Vintages in Phoebus

When you dream of opening a cozy, intimate wine bar with big international menu flavors to match, you can’t let a pandemic put the cork back in your unbottled enthusiasm. And, like many local restauranteurs, the owners of the new…

A New Space for Sports at the Virginia Beach Sports Center

“This is the kind of game-changing project Virginia Beach is known for,” Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer told the socially distanced crowd gathered in the fall sunshine outside the entrance to the Virginia Beach Sports Center for a grand opening…

Oyster Academy Is Delicious Fun

If the phrase “lunch and learn” conjures up images of boxed sandwiches and boring slide presentations, that’s probably because you’ve not had the privilege of washing down sublimely fresh, just-out-of-the-Rappanhanock bivalves with your choice of Virginia wine at the Virginia…

A Taste of Suffolk History at the Truitt House

Violet-eyed film icon Elizabeth Taylor knew how to make an entrance—on screen and off. In the grand foyer of the Truitt House in downtown Suffolk, I can’t help but imagine an impossibly bejeweled Taylor elegantly descending the shallow steps of the home's exquisite floating staircase. She may have done just…

A Mind-Bending Virtual Journey

Never underestimate the power of imagination—even in the face of a lingering pandemic. In a new virtual production co-commissioned by the Virginia Arts Festival, renowned mentalist and performance artist Scott Silven gets inside the memories, minds and hearts of audience…

2020 Giving Back Awards Winners

While this year may be one most of us are anxious to put in the rearview mirror, 2020 was also a time when those willing to be of service to their communities reflected the best of human nature while faced…

2020 Community Impact Awards Winners

The businesses listed on the following pages—from food trucks to law firms, dental practices to security agencies—do so much more than serve customers. Please join us in celebrating our Community Impact honorees for all the ways they go above and…

Ham It Up in Smithfield This Season

“For a little country store in the middle of nowhere, you have to have a niche. Ours is inside that building,” says DeeDee Darden, motioning to a rectangular pine and cinder block structure with a bright red coat of paint.…

Apple Fritters Recipe for the Fall

Photos by Kathy Keeney | Recipe by Jacqui Renager European and early versions of apple fritters in the U.S. often called for whole apple slices dipped in batter and lightly fried. The all-American staple people have come to know and…

Summer Reading Suggestions from Norfolk's Prince Books

Among the silver linings of the coronavirus pandemic was the opportunity to set aside many of the high-paced distractions of modern life in favor of the simpler things we love. High on the list of many people’s stay-at-home activities: cracking…

Summer in a Mason Jar Tomato Jam Recipe

Photos by Kathy Keeney | Recipe by Jacqui Renager As backyard gardens begin overflowing with sun-ripened beefsteaks and Coastal Virginia farm stands are boasting a rainbow crop of heirlooms and old favorites, tomatoes rightfully take center stage on summer plates.…

2020 Marks the 20th Anniversary of The Norva

If the walls of The NorVa could talk, they’d probably ask how much time you have. The former Vaudeville theater in downtown Norfolk, originally opened in 1922, celebrated its 20th anniversary as a now-legendary local pop music venue on…

Quarantine Cooking: Soft-shell Crabs Benedict

COASTAL BRUNCH: A delicacy synonymous with spring, crisp-fried soft-shells pair perfectly with the zing of classic hollandaise. (All photos by Kathy Keeney)   Sure, we’re all stuck at home these days. But spring has sprung and there is still a plethora of great…

Coastal Grill Offering Gourmet Meal Prep Kits

As local restaurants and small businesses of all kinds look for creative ways to serve their customers and the community during the Coronavirus pandemic, there is a silver lining in some of their delicious innovations. Virginia Beach mainstay Coastal Grill,…