Short Order

Mezzanine gets a rebound.


Chef Todd Johnson, now sole proprietor of the Carytown local-foods favorite Mezzanine, introduces a grilled radicchio salad with orange glaze and other new menu items at the two-level restaurant with heated patio. - ASH DANIEL
  • Ash Daniel
  • Chef Todd Johnson, now sole proprietor of the Carytown local-foods favorite Mezzanine, introduces a grilled radicchio salad with orange glaze and other new menu items at the two-level restaurant with heated patio.

It’s a little like a divorce, or the break-up of a band, when a restaurant partnership ends its run. Such is the case at Mezzanine, the Carytown dining spot that was a first-ownership venture for partners Randy O’Dell, Patrick Stamper and Todd Johnson. After a 14-month dissolution process, Johnson is sole owner, while O’Dell and Stamper take full ownership of Bellytimber Tavern in the Fan.

Look for some changes at three-year-old Mezzanine, where chef Johnson says menus are being printed to augment the oft-criticized blackboard system; the wine and beer lists are getting an update and some cosmetic changes are in progress. New dishes include khao soi, a Thai entree of savory yellow curry with lobster, shrimp and rockfish over house-made fettuccine and cabbage for $24. Shrimp and grits and short ribs, the restaurant’s most popular dishes, remain on the menu, along with choices that highlight local farms and the purveyor relationships that Johnson has cultivated. He’s a Culinary Institute of America grad who helped open LuLu’s and has worked in Maui and Williamsburg.

Mezzanine is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, with Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 3433 W. Cary St. 353-2186.

Meatless: Dora’s Brazilian Grill in Shockoe Slip has closed after a two-year run. Nate’s Taco Truck Stop downtown also closed last week, although his locally renowned food cart will remain in operation. Owner Nate Gutierrez tells fans he’s leaving open the possibility of reopening the business.

New Year’s Eve at Tanglewood Ordinary: Far from the rowdy crowds, Goochland’s log house with family-style Southern cooking offers a different Dec. 31 experience. Musicians Anderson-Strickland, recently seen on the PBS “Song of the Mountains” broadcast, will perform bluegrass, gospel and old country music in a concert following dinner and dessert. The Ordinary’s legendary fried chicken, steamed shrimp and biscuits, bowls of vegetables and a uniquely traditional atmosphere have attracted visitors for 25 years. Tariff for the New Year’s Eve dinner and show is $40 and includes tax and tip. Reserve via 556-3284 or at

Avenue 805 NYE: Among the better values on this usually exorbitant holiday is the four-course dinner at 805 N. Davis Ave for $55 a person. Lamb, tuna, rockfish and chocolate are some of the flavor options. See the menu at

New at the Roosevelt: The all-Virginia wine list at Church Hill’s new hot spot has three additions. Linden Vineyards’ Hardscrabble Red and RdV’s red and Rendezvouz are difficult to obtain and priced to sell, owner Kendra Feather says. Chef Lee Gregory has new items on this month’s menu, including roast fennel and oyster stew, braised pork cheeks with cheese grits, and vegetarian gnocchi in spicy tomato sauce. 623 N. 25th St. 658-1935.


Arcadia: Steaks, seafood, small plates, sides in new Shockoe Bottom restaurant with chef Matthew Tlusty. Lunch Tuesday-Friday, dinner Tuesday-Saturday, Sunday brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 1700 E. Main St. 417-4005.

Pasture: Urban gastro-pub with grazing menu from chef Jason Alley; oysters, burgers, fried chicken, desserts and new-Southern classics in downtown dining room. Monday-Saturday from 4 p.m. 416 E. Grace St. 780-0416.

Peacock’s Pantry: Fine dining with seafood, steaks, cassoulet, desserts, wines from new chef and owner Elizabeth Lee in decorative, intimate space. Dinner Thursday-Sunday; weekend brunch. 1731 W. Main St. 732-3333.

Margarita’s Cantina: Burritos, quesadillas, margaritas in many flavors, $6 weekday lunch specials. Open daily for lunch, dinner and bar. 101-107 N. 18th St. 225-0331.

The Local Eatery and Pub: Classic Irish comfort food, American sandwiches, craft beer, wide whiskey list. Chef Jason Thrasher serves lunch weekdays, dinner and bar nightly. 1106 W. Main St. 358-1862.

C Street: Breakfast and lunch fare with French twists in Carytown from chef Graham Reeves. Egg of the day with root vegetable hash; pastries and Rostov’s coffee; salads, sandwiches, heartier entrees, outdoor dining on heated patio. Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 3325 W. Cary St. 355-2200.

Mansion 526: Restored Jackson Ward residence with separate speak-easy; Southeastern comfort food at moderate price points. Pork, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, seafood. Lunch weekdays, dinner and bar Monday through Saturday. 526 N. Second St. 308-2913.

Olio: New downtown location for gourmet sandwiches, salads, quality deli foods. Espresso bar and breakfast sandwiches weekdays 7-10 a.m.; lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 600 E. Main St. 775-9597.

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