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The Jerk Pit; City Bar & Rotisserie 

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Spicy jerk chicken, curried goat, fruity drinks and other Caribbean specialties can be had at this a 9-month-old family-managed restaurant. Nearly everything at the Jerk Pit is made to order, so bring a newspaper or book and be prepared to wait. There are daily specials ($6.99 to $10.99) typical of the Jamaican table: braised oxtails, red snapper seasoned with garlic and thyme, curried goat and curried chicken. A section called Lite Fare includes Mango Walk Salad ($6.49), a melange of spicy curried chicken on a bed of greens topped with mango chutney and homemade vinaigrette. Also in the light category is The Pit Pocket: spicy grilled chicken in a pita pocket with a side of homemade potato salad ($4.59). There are also chicken, shrimp, veggie or combo kebabs ($5.99 to $7.49), served over seasoned rice. Other regional specialties include jerk chicken ($3.99 to 7.49) or succulent jerk pork ($3.99 to $6.99). If you're not a fan of spicy food, go for The Maroon Melt ($5.59), a hefty, comforting sandwich consisting of grilled chicken and melted cheese on a soft Jamaican-style bun called coco bread. — Sally Belk King

The Jerk Pit
2713 W. Broad Street
Lunch and dinner Monday -Saturday
353-7755

Open only since June, City Bar & Rotisserie looks and feels like a Richmond institution. More than a dozen different oysters are available, individually ($1.25 - $2), as a sampler ($23.50) with several dipping sauces called mignonettes, or in flights accompanied by wines ($19.25 - $20.75).

The entrees ($15.95 - $32.95) are traditional. According to the menu, the beef is dry-aged 49 days and is featured as roasted prime rib. The rotisserie-cooked leg of lamb is excellent. A loin of monkfish, firm of flesh and usually rather dull, is cooked in a bacon wrap, a play on the old hors d'oeuvres favorite. Paired with lentils and a dose of sherry gastrique, it is a hearty and satisfying dish for an early fall evening.

The Shockoe Bottom dining scene has been rather erratic with many openings and closings. This visit to City Bar & Rotisserie suggests a winner. A wonderful old landmark has been given new life, it's worth the trip. — J. Davis Morton

City Bar & Rotisserie
1548 Main St.
Lunch: Monday - Friday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Dinner:
Monday - Thursday 5 - 11p.m.; Friday -
Saturday 5 - Midnight
649-CITY, www.citybarandrotisserie.com
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