The Crab House; Zeus Gallery Cafe
The Crab House is a family restaurant that offers a break from some of its more freezer-to-fryer counterparts. If going to a medium-range seafood house has turned you off in the past because the menu offered only the option of a fried meal or lobster, the Crab House may be worth a visit. The menu offers an impressive selection of steamed items, by weight or per piece, including shrimp, top-neck and littleneck clams, blue- and green-lip mussels and, of course, crabs. The absence of lobster, even on the menu's surf and turf entree (served with shrimp, scallops or oysters), goes mostly unnoticed in light of the variety of other options. Dinners include fried frogs' legs ($15.95), steamed sea scallops ($13.95) and catfish ($8.95 - $13.95), and are served with your choice of sides including coleslaw, fries, new potatoes, rice pilaf, applesauce and daily options. For those who prefer a dinner which neither swam nor hopped, there's a grilled Delmonico steak (16.95), chicken fingers ($9.95), and create-your-own pasta dishes prepared with your choice of Alfredo, marinara, or scampi sauces (beginning at $10.95). Kevin Finucane
The Crab House
The Shoppes at Innsbrook, 4040 Cox Road
Lunch Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.;
Dinner Sunday-Monday 4-9 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday 4-9:30 p.m., Wednesday 4-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 4-10:30 p.m.
Hours subject to change depending on the season.
Zeus Gallery Cafe is one of the handful of very good Richmond restaurants that have figured out a niche and stuck to their formula: glamorous food, casual atmosphere. That's probably why it's been around for a dozen years. It's American, but it borrows heavily from Europe with tours through American low country and an occasional Asian jag.
How else to explain filet mignon with a sangiovese demi-glace and foie gras appearing on the menu beside Creole shrimp with andouille sausage, basil-corn tomatoes and garlic over rice, and alongside Asian duck breast with snow peas, plum sauce and basmati rice? It's eclectic. It's melting pot. It's American.
The menu is hard to read, handwritten and crammed on a slate board that makes the rounds on an as-needed basis. But the servers are pros ours had been there for 10 years. They know the regularly changing menu very well and are happy to make recommendations if asked. Patrick Getlein
Zeus Gallery Cafe
201 N. Belmont Ave. (Behind the museum)
Open for dinner Sunday-Thursday 5-10 p.m.,
Friday & Saturday 5-11 p.m.
Brunch served Saturday and Sunday, 9a.m.-2 p.m.
Most entrees $17-$25