The Track 

The 'It List'

The Track
2915 W. Cary St. 359-4781

This unassuming restaurant in the heart of Carytown is now in its 21st year. Owner Chris Liles, who will shake a pan in the kitchen if he needs to, has maintained a high standard of excellence over the years. Regulars know that The Track is a dependable source for fresh catches from Virginia waters. Shad roe shows up as a special as soon as the shad start their run, soft-shell crabs are a spring specialty and rockfish is often a summer delight. I find it difficult not to start with a big bowl of mussels, fragrant with garlic and wine, but lots of other good things command attention. Not that the menu ignores a carnivorous craving — there are always several meat selections.

Seating less than 50, The Track, unlike many small restaurants, keeps the decibels at a level so that conversation can flow easily. Though the restaurant is casual, crisp napkins and soft lights add an elegant note, and service is informed and amiable.

A new chef, Matthew Richardson, came on board about six months ago, but with Liles' hands-on approach, the transition has been smooth. This is a Track where a bet on a good meal is a safe

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