Paysanne Restaurant; Rare Olde Times, Irish Public House 

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Paysanne Restaurant

The newest eatery in Shockoe Slip cooks with a slight French accent but has strong roots in the American neighborhood-diner tradition.

You could fashion an interesting meal from the starters, salads and sandwiches ($4 - $14), which range from the seemingly prosaic tomato soup with grilled cheese to the more exotic mahi-mahi Reuben or luxurious foie gras with onion marmalade. Among the salads, the Gorgonzola-walnut salad with pears and Virginia ham is a symphony of flavors.

Sauteed mahi-mahi atop a lush mushroom-shrimp risotto takes fish and rice about as far as they ever need to go (and I'd go back to have that combo again). A simple grilled pork chop, a meaty porterhouse cut, is cooked perfectly au point, painted with an orange glaze and a touch of cumin. Paysanne reflects our new culinary sophistication by offering the familiar, but with some interesting twists and turns. — Davis Morton

1421 E. Cary St.
Lunch: Monday - Friday, 11:30 - 2
Dinner: Monday - Thursday, 5 - 10;
Friday - Saturday, 5 - 11

Rare Olde Times, Irish Public House

Despite its dedication to Irish culinary authenticity, Rare Olde Times offers a pleasant dining experience worth checking out and a lamb stew worth coming back for.

The spacious interior boasts the typical Guinness advertisements, green upholstery and dark-stained walls found in other Irish pubs. At first glance, it seems the menu at Rare Olde Times offers simple dishes to pad the stomach before patrons consume gorgeous pints of Guinness, i.e. chicken tenders, wings, potato skins, and fries.

Sandwich selections range from the simple (a grilled cheese, $4.50); to the coronary (a deli club ($7.95) that includes enough pastrami, corned beef and knockwurst to clog even those hard-to-find arteries).

Try the savory shepherd's pie ($9.95), this enticing traditional Irish dish is prepared with ground beef (left pink) mixed with peas and carrots, mashed potatoes and baked with an additional layer of white cheddar cheese and brown gravy.

If fish and chips ($9.95) or the corned-beef cabbage ($10.95) don't appeal to you or your more Protestant friends, you can find grilled chicken ($9.95), crab cakes ($12.95) and grilled tuna ($9.95).

Rare Olde Times lacks the pretentious nonsense found in so many bar-restaurants that complicate the simple and then have the nerve to throw on a high price tag. — Kevin Finucane

10602 Patterson Avenuebr>(In the Canterbury Shopping Center)
750 1346
Open for dinner Monday-Saturday 3:00p.m. - 12:00p.m.Reservations recommended for parties of 6


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