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Barlowe's Terrace; Davis & Main

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I must admit to a certain apprehension of enduring another indifferent hotel meal at in the Omni in Shockoe Slip, but the dinner turned out to be pleasant and rewarding. We didn't find an extraordinary menu or presentations that required an engineering degree, but we had a very good meal with the leisure and quiet to converse and enjoy. As in many hotel restaurants which must appeal to a diverse crowd, Barlowe's doesn't avoid culinary clichés, but clichés can also be honest. All entrees are preceded by a mixed salad, copious in its size and quite varied in its ingredients. Main dishes ($15.95-$24.95) and a trio of pasta dishes ($14.25-$14.75) stay in the comfort zone - chicken breast, pork tenderloin, filet mignon, New York strip, veal chop, duck and salmon. Our server was amiable and accommodating, particularly helpful and knowledgeable about the food and preparations. The food that comes out of the kitchen at is comforting on the order of a weekend spent in loafers and corduroys. The menu is limited and focused around the kitchen's grill, with a predictable lineup of meats that serve as blank canvasses washed with the savory color of the cook's palette of sauce preparations. You must start, however, with the smoked trout and pork tenderloin appetizer served on a platter with smoked cheddar cheese, lingonberries, sour cream and sliced apple: a remarkable synthesis of fall flavors. Tables turn regularly, seven-days-a-week, because in the end Davis & Main isn't about haute cuisine or proper stemware/ It is the kind of place you go to when you're hungry and just plain don't feel like cooking. - Noel Patrick

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