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Warner No Stranger To Local Eateries

Talk about diverse. Once Warner's wife and young daughters moved to town in June from Northern Virginia, they just didn't feel like being cooped up in the mansion. Warner — and his at least two-person executive protection team — wandered through the Virginia Commonwealth University area in search of some eats. They stumbled upon Uncle Buck's Downtown, and grabbed a box of fried chicken.

But it's not just grease Warner appreciates. He and his family have also dined at Limani in Carytown, one of the five best restaurants in town, according to a recent feature from Style restaurant critic Randall Stamper. "Chef Matthew Tlusty is a fish fanatic and his understanding of it and respect for its subtleties are obvious," writes Stamper, who also raves about the restaurant's service.

Warner's also visited Acacia on Cary Street and Sticky Rice on Main Street. And he's developed a taste for Southern Culture Restaurant — helped by the number of receptions that he attends there.

"He was here a week ago on Tuesday," says Laura Wilkinson, Southern Culture manager. "He's very nice." Apparently, Warner enjoys some spice. He's dipped into apps like Cajun chicken fingers and a house specialty called Cajun baby cakes — minced shrimp, scallops and crab meat lightly fried and served with a remoulade. Warner also likes atmosphere though, and has come for live jazz on Thursday.

Then there are the bars. A couple of months ago, says Baja Bean Company manager Jeff Allums, Warner and a small entourage rolled through a few Fan bars. "And from what I understand, he hopped," he says, hitting four or five different establishments — including Baja, Easy Street and Star-Lite Dining & Lounge.

"He just blended in," Allums says, although "it seemed kinda staged."

Of the bar-hop, gubernatorial spokeswoman Qualls says, "The governor's doing his part to boost the local economy."

— Jason Roop

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