A Taste of Virginia History: A Guide to Historic Eateries and Their Recipes

Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott

John F. Blair, Publisher
$20.95 paperback
7 ½ x 8 ½
294 pages
illustrations throughout
Published in 2004

When you sit down for a slice of Virginia Peanut Butter Pie at the Half Way House near Richmond, you’re in pretty good company. George Washington slept here. Thomas Jefferson visited, as did Patrick Henry and the Marquis de Lafayette. It is believed Benedict Arnold used the tavern during his raids up the James River in 1781. Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Ulysses S. Grant all darkened the doorway in the next century. Charles Dickens came in 1842. James Whitcomb Riley scribbled poetry on the wall of his room.

If you know much about the Old Dominion, you won’t be surprised at the rich stories from the Half Way House. Indeed, Virginia is the perfect subject for a book offering a variety of dining experiences in historic restaurants.

At the Bailiwick Inn near Washington, D.C., you can nibble Grilled Quail Salad while you listen to the sad story of the first Confederate officer casualty of the Civil War, Captain John Quincy Marr, who died on the front lawn. At The Kitchen at Powhatan Plantation in Williamsburg, wait staff in period dress will serve your every need at one of America’s original plantations. When you visit The Tavern in Abingdon, you can enjoy anything from Jambalaya to Carbonara Florentine in one of the oldest structures west of the Blue Ridge, once visited by Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, and the king of France.

A Taste of Virginia History features 120-plus restaurants and 300-plus recipes that will satisfy your appetite for the best the state has to offer.