Servers Sublime 

When we go out to eat, we hope we get their table.

click to enlarge Kali Strain of Amuse at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Ash Daniel

Kali Strain of Amuse at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

A fine meal is better when the server knows how to deliver it. Indeed, the front-of-house staff can leave a lasting impression that guarantees a return visit or thwarts the very thought. Richmond has a long way to go to match the professional service standards of other places, but among the bright spots, these folks are exemplary as they lead the charge:

Mya Anitai, a co-owner at Dinamo in Oregon Hill. Always attentive, she's one of the best guides you'll encounter to finding your way through a menu. She's knowledgeable, opinionated and willing to use her tastes to guide you, or to set them aside if your preferences differ. — M.F.

Danny Spry at Amour Wine Bistro in Carytown. I am always surprised at how he can seem so knowledgeable but so invisible. In the tiny space that is Amour, he navigates an inconspicuous service that's nothing short of admirable. — R.M.

Kali Strain at Amuse in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is personable, smilingly efficient and on a sunny mission to ensure guests have a good time. — K.N.

click to enlarge Ron Stradone, occasionally on duty at Camden’s Dogtown Market. - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • Ron Stradone, occasionally on duty at Camden’s Dogtown Market.

Ron Stradone at Camden's Dogtown Market in Manchester parlays a stint at the Inn at Little Washington into attention to every dining detail — and his quick wit doesn't hurt, either. — K.N.

LaJoy Smith at Mama J's in Jackson Ward lives up to her name with a smile, and can recite two-dozen varieties of cake without missing a beat. — D.B.

Chuck Engel at Chez Foushee sets the tone for the quietly elegant setting downtown and is always cordial and attentive to guests. — D.B.

Thomas Buchanan at Acacia, who is sophisticated yet restrained, and quite knowledgeable about every aspect of the food and drink menus. He is my absolute favorite server in Richmond. — D.B.


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