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Lemaire

The 'It List'

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Lemaire
In the Jefferson Hotel 788-8000

Comforts are legendary at Richmond's only grand hotel. You could order a peanut butter sandwich here and would feel special. The appointments are lavish. The white-glove and silver service is quick but detached. The rooms have high ceilings and tall windows and are dressed with fabulous fabrics. The seating is always comfortable and the linens are perfect.

Sure leadership in the kitchen is from Jeff Waite who crafts a dependable but varied menu and keeps a sensitive eye on the wine list. He emphasizes creative — but not too cute — use of native Virginia and regional ingredients. You'll find Virginia ham, crab and other indigenous flavors. Pay close attention to the nightly specials, the restaurant's best work.

A caution: The Jefferson is undergoing renovation. The gardenlike entry portico and circular drive is no more. So, if you are choosing this restaurant to impress clients or your mother-in-law, note that you must now enter the hotel from the Main Street side and that you'll be coping with construction

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