think of your most ideal evening. is it watching a basketball game while drinking budweiser, going to a movie while eating popcorn with too much butter, meeting with friends and playing kickball, or grabbing a happy hour martini... does it even matter if it was a good day or bad day at that point? feel that feeling right now, it's great right?
go ahead and take a look at this website, it only takes a minute and you will have a better understanding of the vibe in general. river and rail is located on a street that has a small town feel. it's quaint, it's romantic, and it takes you back. "dated" isn't the right word... it's almost like you feel like you've walked onto the set of dawson's creek.
the infrastructure is of an old pharmacy that has been renovated from the inside into an open kitchen restaurant and bar. one of my favorite things is you don't get the "corporate" feeling. it's airy, clutter-free, modern, sleek and sharp.
the reason i tell you the small details of the interior/exterior is because these are the things that give me the true feels. if you have a badass place to park my ass in addition to making a great old fashion or having house-made condiments i'm probably in. they can do both, pretty damn well.
this past saturday the river and rail hosted their first quarterly guest chef series with chef travis milton. the evening started with a cocktail hour where very educated servers (this is huge for me) passed around three different appetizers. squid ink deviled eggs, oyster hush puppies and (). what i enjoyed most throughout this part of the evening was the casualness, you could walk around and introduce yourself to people. i got a quick lesson from the amazing bartenders, talked to chef aaron deal and got up to speed on the wine being served with each course (local to VA, charlottesvilles blenheim vineyards) by an employee that made the trip to roanoke.
next the four course dinner started, i have provided pictures of both food and menu. when each course was presented chef travis milton and aaron deal briefly went over ingredients and background. it was intimate, everyone who attended was included, there was an education factor in addition to the eating and drinking aspect. i didn't feel like i was just dining out, i felt like i was part of something special... this isn't something you can just get any weekend evening.
the food was good. the drinks were perfect. the ambiance and overall experience exceeded what i expected, the amount of work that went on behind the scenes really showed through everyone involved. i will say this is a one of a kind experience offered in roanoke. they have set themselves apart from other dinner events in town and i only expect each dinner to get better and better. thank you river and rail, aaron deal & travis milton for making my saturday night different than the ordinary.