Hall of Fame: Rappahannock
First Place: East Coast Provisions
3411 W. Cary St.
Second Place: The Boathouse
Third Place: The Hard Shell
Why Dylan Fultineer hasn’t been nominated for a James Beard Award is a mystery, but this city knows a great chef — and his East Grace Street restaurant is full every night. It’s also the perfect stop for a cold local beer at the bar and a dozen briny bivalves from its parent company, Rappahannock River Oyster Co. Readers are also smitten with East Coast Provisions. When asked why, chef Trevor Knotts ascribes it to the bounty of the sea. “The sheer number and quality of purveyors has changed,” he says. “There used to be one or two big purveyors and now there’s a bunch of smaller places bringing oysters: Ruby Salts, Big Island and Cedar Point from Weems. There’s a demand for higher-quality food and people want local.” The upscale décor, creative menu and expansive outdoor seating have a lot to do with it, too.