Thursday, January 19, 2012


One of my favorite restaurants anywhere is Zynodoa in Staunton, Virginia.  If you happen to be in the Shenandoah Valley and want a really great meal this is the place.

The unique name is from "The Legend of Zynodoa" which describes the origins of "Shenandoah" which was derived from the Indian legend of Zynodoa, a brave whose life of strength and courage and his appreciation of beauty resulted in having a river and a valley named for him.

The restaurant is downtown in Stauton, one of the best little towns in the Valley.  Southern Living  calls it "the perfect place to base any exploration in the valley."  See for more information on this great town, worth exploring!

The food is simply superb. We dined over New Year's, a six course tasting menu with wine pairings and experienced:

Golden Trout with tossed greens and roasted peanut vinaigrette
Smokey butternut puree with house-cured pancetta and creme fraiche
Hen of the woods and oyster mushrooms with mirco frisee and crispy onion straws
Scallop, oyster and crab cajun gumbo
Angus beet short rib and winter vegetables "pot au feu"
Sweet bay laurel and whiskey tiramisu and apple cider reduction

Chef James Harris will make you think you are in New York, Charleston, or other location known for its top restaurants.  You'll never believe you are in tiny Staunton.  He came out of the Inn at Little Washington in nothern Virginia so he knows what good is, the bar is set very high.

The interior is just as nice.  Very comfortable, ecletic, not too big, not loud.  

I am not a "foodie" and rarely get excited about dining out, but this one is worth the trip and I promise you you'll have a memorable meal.  And like many fine dining establishments, Zynodoa offers food from local Virginia farms, dairies, purveyors, vineyards and breweries.  The menu changes with the seasons.  Come see the best of the South in Staunton!

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