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For those of us whose lives are more centrally situated in the Richmond area, Mountain Road is not really on our way to anything. All that changed for me on a recent Saturday night when I made the trek to the Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center to check out its restaurant-in-residence, .

How is it that no one has found this place, we wondered as we realized there was only one other party being served in the restaurant? Our waitress explained that on nights when there is an event happening in the Cultural Arts Center, the restaurant is busy and reservations are recommended.

The menu offers a diverse selection of appetizers and entrees ranging from sandwiches, personal pizzas, salads and burgers for less than $10, to beef, pork, veal and seafood entrees plus several pasta dishes, all $22 and under.

For starters, Bottomless Pitt ordered oysters prepared with sautéed spinach and lemon fennel vinaigrette ($7). He reported that the six oysters were tasty, baked to the right consistency and delicately flavored with fennel. Salads came with our entrees, and I chose a small Caesar with a creamy lime-Caesar dressing. My salad was fresh with crispy croutons and the dressing was nice, although I didn't taste any lime in it.

B.P. was delighted with his entrée, a Delmonico steak served perched on a bed of perfectly lumpy mashed potatoes with a veggie medley ($19). I ordered the seafood penne a la vodka ($17), a huge plate full of scallops, shrimp and baby lobster tails, all prepared just right and accompanied by prosciutto. The basil tomato corn sauce was rich and creamy, just the right complement.

We couldn't resist sharing a slice of warm, homemade blueberry pie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a treat worthy of pushing even the fullest stomach over the edge.

For all of those who live nearby in the numerous subdivisions that now populate formerly rural Glen Allen, and for the adventurous city slicker, Expressions at the Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center ought to be a dining destination.

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