When new Esquire restaurant editor Josh Ozersky was in Richmond this spring for the Mid-Atlantic Food Writers Symposium, he must have been impressed. Tonight, East Grace Street's Rappahannock has been named one of Esquire's Best New Restaurants of 2014. He also named Virginia as region of the year, and gave Sub Rosa Bakery a shout-out as well.
Rappahannock and chef Dylan Fultineer join previous winners like Del Campo in Washington, Chicago's Alinea, and this year, Sean Brock's Husk in Charleston, S.C.
Ozersky writes: "Chef Dylan Fultineer has three things at his disposal that all chefs long for: amazing seafood, a big space, and an audience ready to be wowed. And wowed they are, or at least they should be."
Cousins Ryan and Travis Croxton, owners of Rappahannock Oyster Co., opened the restaurant in 2012. They met Fultineer while he was at Chicago's Blackbird and were able to lure him away from a West Coast stint at the Hungry Cat. Fultineer assembled a network of local purveyors when he arrived, and dishes range from a rockfish and oyster bourride to the fall menu's wood-grilled rainbow trout with shell beans, red kuri squash, guanciale and pickled red onions.
"We're really honored of course, but also so thankful for Josh to recognize Dylan's ability and prowess in the kitchen," co-owner Travis Croxton says. "We've got some incredibly talented chefs in this city, but we're not quite sure many folks realize what a coup it was to bring Dylan, with his pedigree, into Richmond, and we're hoping that this award helps us shine that light a little brighter."
Perhaps it's time for Richmonders to order more than oysters and Prosecco?
Update: Richmond's Sub Rosa Bakery was also mentioned in Esquire's story.
Correction: The article originally stated that Rappahannock opened in 2011. It opened in 2012.