Fun Dining Off the Beaten Path
If you’ve just arrived in Newport News, you are probably busy trying to find your way around town. That’s hard work and sooner or later, you’re going to get hungry. While you can find virtually any kind of food you want in our area, you may be interested in knowing which restaurants have long been favorites among the locals. Here are two that, while as different from each other as night and day, might offer just what you’re looking for in a satisfying dining experience.
History, a View and Great Jazz
The Train Station sits smack on the James River for a stunning view that few restaurants can equal. The current building, which dates to 1940, replaced the original depot. There used to be a bustling commercial presence here. The first passenger station was erected in 1892 and by 1900, there was an expanded terminal facility that included a passenger pier, three coal piers, four merchandise piers, two grain elevators and miles of railroad yard tracks.
The restaurant’s motto is “Good food, good times, good people,” and they have been adhering to that outlook for the past 16 years. They claim to have the best crab cakes on the Peninsula, but The Train Station is also noted for tasty ribs and fried chicken.
As for the entertainment, people come from as far away as Richmond to enjoy “Jazz on Friday@The Station.” In warm weather, the bands set up outside on the deck where the river view makes a great backdrop for the great sounds. The Train Station also offers Open Mic Tuesday Night and a Sunday all-you-can-eat buffet from noon until 4 p.m. Service is friendly but not always the fastest in town, so come prepared to sit back and relax with a favorite adult beverage while you ponder whether you’ll have room for apple or peach cobbler come dessert-time. Check the website for more information.
The Train Station, 2295 Harbor Road, 757.247.7512
Pleasing the Sophisticated Palate
If you have moved to our area from the big city—say, Washington, D.C. or New York—you might feel you’re not quite ready to embrace the kind of southern fare you’ll find at The Train Station. In that case, you might feel more at home at Circa 1918. You’ll find intimate quarters, a casual atmosphere and American fusion/eclectic food items. Start with a classic cocktail, a new cocktail creation, a glass of beer or your favorite wine. Move on to the entrée of your choice, from Pan Roasted Sea Scallops with Carrot Butter, to the Circa 1918 Lamb Burger and all the interesting and original selections in between. Be sure to ask for the daily special as well as special chef’s creations. The restaurant also offers several ideas to top off your meal, including the “OMG” Cheesecake with caramelized bananas and a macadamia crust.
Remember that Circa 1918 is a small dining establishment, so making a reservation is recommended. In warm weather, you might want to reserve an outside table from which you will have a lovely view of historic Hilton Village. The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday. Dinner service begins at 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.