Critics' Hot Spots 

The places in Richmond that are packing them in.

click to enlarge Dutch & Company - ASH DANIEL
  • Ash Daniel
  • Dutch & Company

"Richmond's professional sport is restaurants," one reader observes on StyleWeekly.com. And it's true: There can be lines out the door from opening day at some of the city's new eateries. Instagram photos proliferate, tweets catch fire, and owners hope expectations can be met and momentum sustained. Of the past year's newcomers, certain standouts caught our early ovations. Dutch & Co. in Church Hill, Saison downtown, Peter Chang China Café in Short Pump, Heritage in the Fan and Belmont Food Shop in the Museum District all have staked an immediate claim on local food-lovers' hearts, and with delectably good reason.

Dutch & Company
400 N. 27th St., 643-8824
Dutch & Co., adding to the destination dining of Church Hill, is among the best of the class in newcomers to the local restaurant scene. With artful European touches, a three-course menu at $28, expert service and vintage decor, it's a gentle charmer that's winning raves. — Deveron Timberlake

Peter Chang
11421 W. Broad St., 364-5168
"Since Peter Chang opened his Short Pump restaurant and raised the bar on authentic Chinese food, newer Chinese restaurants opening here are, like it or not, being compared to Peter Chang's level. Peter Chang is the only area Chinese chef who's cooked at the James Beard House. Twice. And, the restaurant is recently named by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the best restaurants in America." — Ellie Basch

Heritage
1627 W. Main St., 353-4060
"This is the current zeitgeist of Richmond dining — elevated Southern food with an emphasis on local sourcing and bringing outside influences into classic Southern flavors. And from my visits, they're consistently excellent, with a great cocktail program and wonderful house made charcuterie. It's clearly working for Richmonders." — Matthew Freeman

Belmont Food Shop
27 N. Belmont Ave., 358-7467
"This place felt established from the moment it opened. From the '20s-era music to the intimate dining room, it feels like a neighborhood place. The menu is approachable and well executed and that French silk pie is a religious chocolate experience. But even if the regular dinner menu can feel safe at times, the late night cook's plate makes BFS a much-needed addition to the local food scene." — Karen Newton

Saison
23 W. Marshall St., 269-3689
"Everyone can find something appealing at Saison, whether it is the exceptionally well curated beverage lists or the understated, free-of-complications menu. The restaurant is like your favorite pair of jeans. You know you look good in them and they go with everything. Saison just fits." — Robey Martin

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