Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cotton Southern Bistro

It was my 47th birthday and I was in desperate need of comfort food and I wasn't going to cook it for myself. After a little bit of research I found the Cotton Southern Bistro in Chesapeake. The reviews were mixed but one thing that really impressed me was that with every negative review on Urbanspoon, the owner responded and offered to make the situation right. He seemed to really care about his customer's satisfaction.

Cotton is located in a shopping center on Grassfield Parkway and the ride from Kempsville at dinner time was traffic filled but not unbearable. When we walked in I was surprised at how large the dining area was. There was plenty of seating and I noticed that there was also a separate bar area. We were seated immediately and our drink and appetizer order was taken.

The menu is filled with so many options but I was able to decide on the fried pickles as a starter.

The picture is deceving because there were twice as many pickles in the platter when it was brought to the table. I didn't think to snap the shot until we were almost finished. That's because they were so good. The pickle chips were lightly dusted and fried. Not at all heavy and the creole dipping sauce was a nice compliment but I could have eaten them by themselves.

Cotton serves nightly specials and on Monday we were treated to a pound of steamed shrimp for $7.99.

Seasoned with a generous amount of Old Bay and served with drawn butter and cocktail sauce.

As I said at the beginning of the review, I was in search of comfort food. What is more comforting than fried chicken and macaroni and cheese?

The chicken fried chicken is a breast fried perfectly and topped with country gravy. The chicken was so tender and so juicy and for me, it was the perfect portion size. The mac and cheese was also very good. Not as good as mine ... but still delicious.

The third entree for the evening was the Cotton signature dish, the Kentucky Hot Brown

This is an open-faced grilled turkey sandwich served with fries and smothered with brown gravy. And they aren't kidding when they say "smothered". The turkey was tender and the gravy was tasty but there was just so much of it, that it made the fries soggy and inedible.

The service at Cotton Southern Bistro was friendly. I was a little confused by the uniforms which were black and white striped shirts which made all the waitresses look like referees. I didn't get it but I suppose it's not for me to get. The unform had no bearing on the level of service which I thought was superb and the prices are reasonable as well with the average entree being about $15.

Check Cotton's website for nightly specials and they also advertise live entertainment.

I enjoyed our visit to Cotton Southern Bistro. I love to eat local and the next time I'm craving good comfort food I'll be sure to head back.

648 Grassfield Parkway
Suite 12
Chesapeake, VA 23322
(757) 609-3156

Cotton Southern Bistro on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 9, 2011


What's better than authentic Italian food? Authentic Italian food in my neighborhood!

I was so very excited to have discovered Pulcinella in the Kempsville neighborhood of Virginia Beach. I've been a resident for several years and I'm not sure why I didn't stumble upon this place sooner.

Pulcinella is conveniently located in the Kemps River shopping center in between Tropical Smoothie and Outback. It's a cozy, little place and very comfortable. I arrived shortly before 6:00 pm and almost every one of the twelve tables was occupied. Since I was dining alone I had to wait until one of the smaller tables became available. They provide outdoor seating but I was willing to wait for an indoor table. The wait was no more than fifteen minutes.

Once seated I ordered a glass of pinot noir and perused the menu. The menu contains a huge variety of pasta, chicken and veal dishes as well as many appetizers and salads. For such a small place I was surprised at how many different items were on the menu.

I decided on the veal sorrento.

The veal was thinly sliced and extremely tender and prepared with roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. For me, the portion size was perfect and the flavor was light and delicate. The side dish that I ordered was spinach which was sauteed in olive oil and garlic and dusted with grated parmesan cheese. It complimented the veal perfectly.

Of course, I had to have dessert so I ordered the chocolate mousse.

It was smooth and creamy and the perfect ending to a perfect meal.

The service was outstanding. When I received the check there was a note to leave the tip in cash. I'd never seen that before and it could have been awkward for someone who doesn't normally carry cash. Like myself. However, that day I did have cash with me so it all worked out.

Finding Pulcinella was the highlight of my week. The food was fantastic. I overheard the man at the next table say that he lived in Naples for thirteen years ... in my mind he knows good Italian food and the fact that he was sitting in Pulcinella's speaks volumes.

If you're in the neighborhood you should definitely check it out. Pulcinella is open seven days a week and you can view their entire menu on their website.

1255 Fordham Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
(757) 222-0081


Pulcinella on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Classic Diner

You ever wake up craving something specific? That happens to me sometimes too. This morning I got up and ran almost five miles and after showering and shampooing all I wanted was eggs and homefries. I could have easily gone into my kitchen and prepared them and I usually do but today I really wanted to hold a menu and have someone else do the cooking and serving.

My desination was the Broken Egg on Kempsville Road but when I pulled up the line was out the door. If I didn't have another appointment I probably would have waited because their food is really good. But I was starving and not in the mood to wait. I considered a few other places that I knew of but I didn't want to drive all the way to Great Neck for eggs and homefries. There had to be a place in Kempsville that wasn't a chain, where I could get a good breakfast and not wait half an hour to be seated.

Classic Diner.

Classic Diner is conveniently located in the Providence Square Shopping Center and I like the place. The service is always friendly and quick and the owners are just really nice people. This place is nothing fancy. Don't wait to be seated and don't look for a cloth napkin. It's a diner for goodness sake.

When I walked in all the booths were taken and all but two of the tables were filled and there were a few seats at the counter. They were extremely busy so I was glad to get a seat. I looked at the menu briefly even though I knew exactly what I wanted. I ordered a veggie omelette and homefries with wheat toast.

The omelette was loaded with spinach, onion, green pepper, tomato, mushroom and swiss cheese and the potatoes were perfect. It was so good just to come to an unassuming little place and get a good meal at a good price.

The customers never stopped coming in and by the time I left there was a wait to get a table.

Classic Diner is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch.

1021 Providence Square Shopping Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
(757) 467-3000

Classic Diner on Urbanspoon