Author: Marisa Marsey

Crazy for Cocoa Bombs

It wasn’t tick-tick-tick that signaled the explosion. It was TikTok. Viral videos of cocoa bombs last fall triggered legions to crave the cold-weather conceit, a thick chocolaty shell that bursts open to unleash a fusion of hot chocolate mix and…

Main Street Morsels in Downtown Suffolk

You stroll past a rustic-chic restaurant whose founder cooked at the legendary James Beard House. Turn the corner, there’s a sushi bar whose chef-owner trained under Iron Chef Morimoto. Take several steps down the street, and chili-spiked watermelon and pineapple…

Requiem for a Foodie Friend: Jane Gardner

I’d love to be meeting Jane Gardner for lunch today. Alas, the extraordinary woman Coastal Virginia knew as an award-winning reporter and trailblazing female anchor (at a time when that gender-descriptor was requisite), died on July 11. That’s how I…

Equinox Coffee Co. Creates Weekly Nox Box Amid COVID-19

Equinox Coffee Co. remained open for takeout throughout stay-at-home. “We could be one point of normalcy,” says Heidi Joy Delacruz who manages the cozy coffee shop in Norfolk’s Park Place. To reach those who weren’t venturing out, she and owner…

Virginia Cheese Co. Opens Following COVID-19 Delay

Ashtyn Greene was close to unveiling her Virginia Cheese Company in Norfolk’s Freemason District when COVID-19 nixed that. But she’s resilient (her mom chose her name because a complicated pregnancy meant she would have to be strong, like an ash…

Norfolk’s Grandiflora Wine Garden Prepares to Open

Besides a newborn baby, nothing expresses faith in the future like a garden. That’s why the plantings and progress at Grandiflora Wine Garden, a nascent three-room inn and wine bar in Norfolk’s Chelsea, delivered a pop of optimism during our…

Sydney Meers Brings New Restaurant to Selden Market

Two months after turning off Stove The Restaurant, Sydney Meers knew that retirement was the right call. Then came month three. Petting his three cockatoos and two cats, it hit him: “This is not fulfilling” (his rescues probably thought otherwise).…

Rumba, a Rare Food Court Find

With all the hoopla over big city food halls, you might be surprised to learn there’s a foodie destination in Patrick Henry Mall’s food court. At Rumba Cafe, the scintillating flavors of Cuba convey via lechón asado (roast pork), shrimp…

Rustic Spoon-fed at Virginia Beach’s The Rustic Spoon

Ryan Hines pulls out an item from his desk with unabashed excitement, fingering it delicately as if marveling at a diamond. It’s his Grandmother Lillie Mae’s, circa 1930s, biscuit cutter. “Look carefully,” he says. “See Hines etched into it?” It’s…

The Coach House Returns to Norfolk

Originally, John Power was just going to consult on what to do with the former Chow space on Norfolk’s North Colley. “But the minute I stepped in, I knew I was the one that had to do it,” says the…

Norfolk’s Glass Light Hotel Illuminates Food Art

Dale Chihuly’s Ikebana Glass on Glass Paintings. Peter Bremers’ Duality. Serge Gouloumès’ Slow Cooked Farm Egg. Be careful with the first two, they're part of the Perry glass art collection displayed for the public, as well as guests, in the…

20 Beloved Restaurants with Staying Power

No one looking for easy work ever said, “Hey, let’s open a restaurant!” Hours are long, success rates low. Still, our area is home to many beloved eateries that have survived and thrived for a score or more. In honor…

Empowered Plant Cakes: Healthy and Delicious Desserts

Paige Welch, who’s vegan, wanted to make a salubrious cake for her son’s first birthday. So she whipped up a plant-based peanut butter and raspberry chia jam confection, devoid of cane sugar, artificial ingredients and preservatives. It was delicious. And…

Gluten-Free Dining at 350 Grace in Ghent

Among the offerings at 350 Grace, Willie Moats’ new Ghent restaurant (in the space formerly occupied by Pasha Mezze): Carolina-style shrimp and cheesy roasted red grits; fried green tomatoes and lobster deviled eggs; biscuits with honey-maple-bourbon butter. It’s obvious he’s…

Hangry's Food Truck Sets Up Shop in Virginia Beach

Some food trucks in Coastal Virginia are shifting into permanent digs. One of the latest is Hangry’s, setting up shop in a sunny little spot in Thalia Bay Shoppes. Its toque-wearing calavera logo with knife and fork “crossbones” heralds a…

Town Center Cold Pressed Expands with Roastery

Don’t head to the new Town Center Cold Pressed on Ghent’s 21st Street for your morning juice or java; it doesn’t open until 5 p.m. That might come as a head-scratcher for frequenters of its other three cafes. But if…

Community Embraces La Brioche Bakery in Norfolk's NEON District

Courtesy of Downtown Norfolk Council “People here are really kind,” says Parisian-born Jacqueline Devulder of La Brioche, her accent as buttery rich as her husband Yvan’s croissants. “They’re very supportive with small businesses.” Proof abounds. Soon after the bakery’s March…

Ray Ray's at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Groupies of Ray Labuen who have followed him for decades from The Belvedere Coffee Shop to Doc Taylor’s and beyond are as ecstatic as he is that the deft chef finally has a place of his own: Ray Ray’s in…

La Patrona Taqueria in Virginia Beach

If you drive by fast, it looks like the sign says Tequileria. Closer inspection reveals Taqueria, and La Patrona is all about tacos (featuring handmade tortillas) and other street food including gorditas, sopes, huaraches and elote in a former Captain…

Raw Foods to Relish at Coastal Virginia Restaurants

Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartare, Byrd & Baldwin. Photo by Ilsy Serrano It wasn’t too long ago that the majority of local restaurants serving raw fish were attributed to sushi. Every now and then, a menu would feature exciting, uncooked offerings:…

5 Go-To Gazpachos at Local Restaurants

Gazpacho at The Stockpot. Photo by David Uhrin When it comes to chilled soup, gazpacho is our go-to. We love you, borscht, but hot in winter is our preferred delivery method, and sorry vichyssoise, you pale in comparison. Vivid and…

The Bakery on Mason Opens in Cape Charles

The Bakery on Mason in Cape Charles just opened, but it’s not exactly a newbie. Folks know it as The Bakery at Riverside Farm, beloved at Eastern Shore farmers markets as well as Virginia Beach’s Old Beach Farmers Market, though…