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None Such Place; Manakin Grill 

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After seven months of darkness, word has been spreading — slowly — that the lights are back on at None Such Place in Shockoe Bottom.

The None Such dinner menu features Southern stalwarts such as catfish and crab cakes, as well as finer uptown items such as pork tenderloin, beef tenderloin, portabellos and salmon. The prices for these range from $13 to $22 (lunch is about half the price). Despite the inescapable presence of crab cakes around this town, Hall's crab cakes ($22.95) really are exceptional: great big hunks of fresh crab held in suspension by a light sea-scallop mousse. Despite the good-to-very-good entrees, some missteps in the kitchen and some quirks in service indicate that None Such hasn't quite hit its old stride — yet. In the near-desertlike Bottom, the return of None Such Place is a welcome sight — Noel Patrick


1721 E. Franklin St.
Lunch Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dinner Monday-Saturday 5-10 p.m.
344-5050




Manakin Grill's menu is divided into "small plates" (appetizers that could be minimeals), salads (field greens, Caesar, spinach or Cobb), sandwiches (burger, BBQ, grilled chicken, etc.), "large plates" (entrees) and sides. Plus, there are specials (lobster tail, New York strip) and a children's menu with the basics.

For starters, we decided to share a small plate of Carolina crab cakes with Cajun rémoulade ($8.75) and a field-greens salad served with candied walnuts and Vidalia onion vinaigrette ($4.95).

When our entrees arrived and our10 oz filet mignon ($20.95) — requested to be cooked medium— was rather well-done (i.e., charred), our waitress readily returned it to the kitchen without batting an eye. Meanwhile, I happily savored my shrimp picatta ($16.25): a dozen medium-sized shrimp accompanied by capers and diced tomatoes on a bed of linguine, all with an absolutely heavenly lemon cream sauce.

Despite a misstep or two, Manakin Grill is surely on the right track with a nice, balanced menu and excellent service to boot. — Carter Braxton

Manakin Grill
12912 Plaza Drive.
Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11
a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday Brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Limited menu between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
784-0544.




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