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Hermitage Grill and Sticky Rice

Tastemakers

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One word describes Hermitage Grill in North Side: cozy.

OK, one word can't describe this North Side eatery, but the place does have a great homey, American-pub feel. Locals know it as a great place to hang out, and it's fast becoming a hotbed of conversation for the culture set after concerts at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

They keep the lights low here to counterbalance the bright white linen cloths and the bare setting. Being at the Hermitage is like feeling casual in fine dining. If you want to, you can even sidle up to the bar and blend in like a neighborhood regular.

Owners J. Waller McCracken and John Meyers say their restaurant specializes in homemade North Carolina barbecue, along with nightly specials ranging from tossed pasta to grilled seafood and steaks.

It's an eclectic mix of food that rotates with the seasons. One Hermitage fan told Tastemakers to look for the pork medallions special with fresh Georgia-peach sauce.

Sounds too good to be true. The Hermitage is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, with Sunday brunch. 6010 Hermitage Road. 264-7400.

For even more adventure, look to the upper Fan for Sticky Rice.

Don't worry, we're not pushing Japanese noodles and Tater Tots here, although these items are available by the bucket. We're talking about the restaurant's Tuesday Karaoke Night, quickly gaining cult status among the best of Richmond's worst bar wailers, as well as thirsty Fan dwellers in search of a good laugh.

Trust us, it could only be better if they would bang a gong every time someone walks in. Singing starts at 11 p.m. 2232 W. Main St.

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