Pretty Pretty Plates: The Most Beautiful Dishes in Hampton Roads

Presenting an eyeful of some of the most beautiful dishes in Hampton Roads.

Sonoma Wine Bar & Bistro
Executive Chef Richard Boone
The Dish: Crab and Flounder Roulade Beauty on the outside: A refined, almost delicate roll of large pieces of jumbo lump crab carefully wrapped in succulent flounder and placed atop a platform of rich, creamy risotto becomes edible art. Beauty on the inside: Jumbo lump crab, fresh flounder, fire-roasted red pepper risotto, honey dijonnaise, and sautéed broccolini. Sonoma is at 189 Central Park Ave., Virginia Beach. Call 757-490-9463 or visit



Le Yaca
Executive Chef Daniel Abid
The Dish: Le Filet Grille’ Sauce Roquefort Beauty on the outside: Simply-butelegantly presented, this beautiful piece of steak is adorned with a velvety, creamy sauce, making the dish even more inviting. Beauty on the inside: Pan-seared Angus tenderloin, Roquefort cheese, port wine, demi-glace and cream sauce. Le Yaca is at 1915 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg. Call 757-220-3616 or visit


The old adage goes that one eats first with the eyes, then with the stomach. We have a tendency to believe that. Who hasn’t seen a display of food and remarked that it’s too pretty to eat but secretly couldn’t wait to dive right in?

Presentation has always been important in food service, but it seems that many restaurants have found a perfect balance between knowing how to not send something too over-the-top and refraining from a dish with nothing but a sprig of parsley and a wedge of orange.

Proper plating is so important, in fact, that it is almost always a category in any cookoff competition; the Hampton Roads Magazine Dish of Hampton Roads awarded at the annual March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction relies
largely on looks in addition to taste and other factors.

And you don’t need to look much further than online to see how many folks love taking pictures of their food in restaurants, instantly sending them as a Tweet or uploading them to Facebook.

Across Hampton Roads, there are many chefs doing remarkable things in the kitchen, including making plates appetizing before the first bite is taken. When working on this issue of Hampton Roads Magazine highlighting some of the most beautiful women of the region, we thought, why not highlight some of the prettiest plates, too?

We dined at a large number of restaurants last year and  saw an impressive array of picture-worthy food. These pages include some of our favorites.

****For the rest of this article, see the March/April 2011 issue of Hampton Roads Magazine.****

Categories: Restaurants & Food