Great Venezuelan flavors highlight a visit to Virginia Beach’s Maracaibo Bistro – The Virginian-Pilot

Jimmy da Greek Deli has been open for less than two years, and it has been my favorite; I wrote about amazing gyro pizza in this column in November 2019. Outpost of the original Yorktown restaurant, this location lacks traction, and is closed.

A restaurant with a decidedly different flavor has opened up in the space, located in the Market Square shopping center on the edge of the King’s Grant. Flavors from several continents, this time South America, are served at Maracaibo Bistro, a Venezuelan restaurant. And I have a new favourite.

Eat: SAMPLER MARACAIBO, LOMITO NEPTUNO

My partner and I, Doug, wanted to dive straight into Venezuelan cuisine, and started with Sampler Maracaibo. On a large plate there was plenty of food and flavour. There were three mini empanadas – delicious meat dumplings. A trio of tecinos, aribitas and pataconsitos were also included.

The importance of corn and bananas was evident in the offerings that supported a number of meats and cheeses.

We loved the empanadas. Each one was filled with marinated beef and packed into a deep fried crunchy dough. Doug and I also enjoyed tequenos – a type of mozzarella sticks wrapped in cornmeal and fried – which were familiar but different enough to be more interesting than the cheese sticks we’ve encountered before.

The aribitas were fried cornbread stuffed, like a sandwich, with offerings – in this case beef, chicken, and cheese. All was delicious.

Having filled our appetizers, which we pushed away and then put into boxes for breakfast the next day, we turned our attention to our shared entree.

Lomito Neptune features grilled steak. Atop is a large portion of seafood in a savory sauce, almost stew-like in texture. Besides rice and rice. Tostones are fried bananas.

For me, this was unusual in surfing and turf, but it worked, and it was delicious. The steak was delicious and tender, like a skirt steak. I enjoyed it, especially when eaten with spears with some seafood.

A good variety of seafood was served. In the brown sauce there was calamari, fish, mussels, and shrimp. It was cooked until soft, and it was very tasty. Rice along with sauce and steak juice, and banana plants added a nice flavour.

Drink: Tinto di Verano

Mixed with red wine, lime soda and the addition of fruit, the Tinto de Verano cocktail is similar to sangria but without the fruit juices or other sweeteners. Instead, the wort comes from lime soda, which elevates red wine and gives the drink a little fizz.

I enjoyed this drink very much. Served chilled, it was refreshing and light, but still had some of the body and structure of red wine. I will try this at home, hoping it will be my signature summer cocktail when I am entertaining family and friends.

Maracaibo Bistro is located at 2874 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach. Call 757-917-5187 or visit www.facebook.com/MaracaiboBistroVaBeach.

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Join Celestia Cox and her queens Rainbow World: Pull Lunch. The brunch hosted in the New Realm taproom is the culmination of the Pride Month festivities. The cost of event admission is $20, and it includes one drink. Lunch is held on June 26 from 10 am to noon.

On the menu: chicken and waffles with maple syrup and fruit skewer. avocado capers toast with fruit skewer; grits loaded with cheese, sweet sausage, shallots, and roasted jalapenos; and scrambled eggs with bacon, toast, and a fruit skewer.

New Realm Brewing Co., Ltd. At 1209 Craft Lane, Virginia Beach. Reservations and ticket sales are available at www.RainbowRealmDragBrunch.eventbrite.com.

Sushi is like a samurai A hands-on class that teaches home chefs basic sushi skills. Participants roll their own sushi, and leave with recipes for sushi rice, yum yum sauce, and sweet sushi sauce. The event takes place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sundays at the Kitchen Barn, and costs $85. Chef Matt Starcher leads the experiment.

The Kitchen Barn is located at 1628 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach. Call 757-422-0888 or visit www.KitchenBarnOnline.com.

Patrick Evans Hilton, [email protected]

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