To the Reader 

Everyone has an opinion. And these days it seems like you're asked to share it more than ever. Just try to go online without being asked whether you "Like" something, or want to vote it up or down, or whether you'd recommend it to a friend. Even one of the new features of our website, StyleWeekly.com, encourages you to rate movies, restaurants and local events with your choice of stars and comments.

With that in mind, we appreciate the thousands of you who took the time to share your opinion by participating in our Style Weekly Readers' Poll, which was open during four weeks starting in mid-February. The results of that poll are included in our 2011 Best of Richmond, a relaunch after several years. It's a key element of this issue, which at 236 pages is the biggest in Style's nearly 30-year history.

Is it science? No. But it's a unique and way to take a snapshot of your favorite arts events, music, shopping, service providers, restaurants, bars, people, media, hideaways and more. In some cases, the results are surprising. In other cases, not so much. And our critics and contributors have added their own thoughts, too. We hope you find something inside that's useful, entertaining — and debatable.

The Editors

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