Author: Leona Baker

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,…

New Musical on Edgar Cayce Premieres at Zeiders

“The audience will be traveling through time and space over a period of several thousand years,” says Bart Kuebler, music and artistic director of Zeiders American Dream Theater, of the new musical Remembering Tomorrow: The Lives of Edgar Cayce. An enigmatic…

Tenth TASTE Location Opens in Town Center

Virginia Beach Town Center just got a little tastier. TASTE, the popular Virginia Beach-born gourmet specialty food market and café, celebrated the opening of its 10th location—this one with a prominent presence in Virginia Beach’s Town Center—with a ribbon-cutting ceremony…

Lemon-Ups and Lobster Shine at 12th Annual Samoa Soiree

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast A wintery forecast couldn’t stop the sweet and savory fun and Mardi Gras-themed festivities at the 12th annual Samoa Soiree held at the Westin Hotel in Virginia Beach on Feb. 20. Hosted by the Girl Scouts of the…

Cheese It Up Food Truck Debuts in Virginia Beach

There’s a new food truck in Coastal Virginia, and owner Mike McMurphy isn’t shy about hitting you with the ooey-gooey good stuff. It says so right in the name. Cheese It Up food truck—easy to spot with its bright blue…

Eat, Play, Love: Fun and Games at Laid-Back Eateries

A little over a year ago, the erstwhile Sonoma at Virginia Beach Town Center effectively transformed itself into the restaurant version of a mullet—business in the front, party in the back. Or maybe the other way around. Their long-running upscale…

Wines and Spirits at CoVa WineFest

Photo by David Uhrin We recently told you about the craft beers and ciders that will be available in the Virginia Craft Beer Garden at the the 2020 Coastal Virginia Magazine WineFest, Jan. 25–26 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Now let’s talk…

The Joy of Local Cooking Classes

Photos by Jim Pile and David Uhrin A certain level of deference is owed to a woman wielding a knife. In the case of high-energy Chef Mary Cook, make that three knives. The only three knives you’ll ever truly need…