Henrico County VA

A chic new world

Classic and upscale are words I’d use to describe Eurasia, a café and wine bar in Gayton Crossing on Gaskins Road. I’d also call its food unique, but its atmosphere lacking.

First-timers may have a little trouble finding the restaurant tucked away in the Far West End shopping center, but fortunately they won’t be met with a long wait on a weeknight. Unfortunately, they may not be greeted with a smile either, but let’s hope I visited on an off night.

The restaurant swaps out its menu items seasonally and features “New World” wines from countries outside the traditional wine-growing areas of Europe and the Middle East like the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa and Argentina.

The restaurant’s dim lighting and jazzy background music set the tone for a perfect first date or a celebratory night out with family and friends. The overall setting is what I’d call snappy casual—a mix of impressive foods (the menu features a “swanky Caesar salad”), sleek decorations, and fancy people who just left work. The deep browns, reds and yellows of the décor and furnishings reminded me of full wine glasses and rich desserts.

The menu boasts fun and creative cuisine starring fresh fruits and vegetables from local independent farmers. My meal, when all was said and done, was the perfect fusion of southern favorites, despite an appetizer of hot and sour soup, a dish that connects the menu back to its namesake.

The menu’s southern fare includes sides of sweet potato fries, mac-n-cheese, and bacon braised collards. Asian influenced dishes include pork tenderloin pad thai and Chinese 5-spiced braised short ribs.

I treated myself to ornate fried-green tomatoes, a pulled pork taco salad topped with goat cheese, and pork chops and cheddar and onion polenta covered in a bourbon mustard cream. My tender, medium-well pork chop was seared in all the right places.

Overall, I found the smallish portion sizes leaving me wanting more of everything.

I finished the night off with a flourless toffee chocolate torte, a dense and delicious ending coupled with a second glass of merlot.

Separate from the dining area is a chic bar brimming with young professionals and other happy-hour seekers. Thursday is ladies’ night, and cocktails and martinis are $5.

Every Wednesday night, all wine bottles under $80 are half off.

Find Eurasia online at http://www.eurasiarich.com

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