Sunday, September 18, 2011

Steinhilber's - Virginia Beach

Updated 9/19/11
A rainy Saturday of errands had my husband and me at the VA Beach Town Center. After going to see a movie we decided to eat dinner there too before heading back to Chesapeake.  Steinhilbers was my first and only suggestion. I know it is not really a Town Center restaurant, but it is close enough for me. Off we went. The parking lot was jammed at 6:30, and with no reservations, I feared a wait. However, we were immediately seated in a side room, which is often reserved for parties. It was perfect; quiet and empty! Our meal was excellent as always. The service was on point and unobtrusive. Usually I go for seafood, but Saturday I had a hankering for meat. Here's what we had.

Steinhilber's dish: 10oz Prime Rib
10oz. Prime Rib

Steinhilber's dish: Bone-in Veal Chop
Bone in Veal chop, stuffed with spinach, feta, roasted pecans and panchetta. Served over horseradish mashed potatoes.

Steinhilber's dish: Flourless Chocolate Cake
Flourless Chocolate Cake. The photo does not do it justice!

Steinhilber's dish: Carnegie Deli Cheesecake
1/2 Slice of Carnegie Deli Cheesecake. This is about 4" wide by 4" tall. Humongous!
Steiny's never fails to please. It remains one of my favorite local restaurants!

Original Posting 8/10/2009
Steinhilber's exterior
The story goes that in 1935 restaurateur Robert Steinhilber decided he needed a break from the hustle and bustle of big city life in Norfolk, and decided to move to the country. He didn’t have to go too far from home back then. Exquisite waterfront property was still available in abundance along the shores of the Lynnhaven River. Robert settled on a nice chunk of acreage that was formerly the Lynnhaven Golf and Country Club, bordering the Thurston Branch of the river. I am guessing that he must have been a “Type A” workaholic, because 4 years later he opened the restaurant Steinhilber's on his piece of tranquility.

I know quite a few locals who have never eaten there, and I admit that sometimes I forget about it too. It’s one of those “out of sight, out of mind” places. You don’t see Steinhilber's unless you are going to Steinhilber's. The location is prime real estate. (I think that one of the biggest let downs of this area is that there are so few great restaurants with water views.) Unless you are seated at a window table for two, the view is actually pretty limited from inside the restaurant, but I always like to take a stroll after dinner and go down by the dock and check out the scenery. I love the water. The entrance also has probably the largest Crepe Myrtle trees I have ever seen in my life. They are huge and simply stunning this time of year.

The interior isn’t very exciting. Typical old Va. Beach pine look, with white table cloths. The bar area could use a little renovating to modernize and make it look more inviting. Since there is usually a wait, and most folks end up in there, it would be a worthwhile investment. Steinhilber's interiorSame for the restroom. It is very 1970’s Virginia Beach. There is an outside patio for al fresco dining which is nice. There is plenty of anti bug paraphernalia and big fans with built in misting. However, I had taken the time to straighten my mane AND it was about 100 degrees outside, so we opted to wait for a table. The hostess told us there was a 25 minute wait, but we were seated at our two-top with a water view in fewer than 10. **Note-Unless you are a vampire or of similar nature, do NOT sit in the basement. It is dreary and has a faint, lingering aroma of mildew.

Now, for the good part, the food! I really love seafood, and it is usually my top choice when dining out for dinner. As usual, we ordered the Fantail Fried Shrimp appetizer for starters. It’s hard to understand why people would go nuts over fried shrimp, until you try these. They have mastered the technique and the accompanying sauce is the perfect partner. They are a little pricey at $18 for 6, but it’s not like I eat there every week. An occasional culinary splurge is acceptable. No penny pinching at Steiny’s please! They had some fabulous sounding specials Saturday night, especially a stuffed pork chop that had me tempted, but I had a serious yen for lump crab and lots of it. I ordered the Lobster Combination, which is a baby lobster tail, shrimp and lump crab in either butter or cheese sauce. I’m not a big fan of cheese sauces, so bring on the butter! No calorie counting at Steiny’s please! The entrée is accompanied by a choice of side and bread. The dinner salad always comes out with their three signature dressings. You don’t select your dressing of choice. The bread basket will contain cornbread and dinner rolls. The dinner rolls are ho-hum, but the cornbread is yummy. The entrée was very rich and delicious. When they say lump crab meat, you can take them at their word; no fillers, no claws, nothing but pure lump. Decadent! I didn’t have any room for dessert, but ordered one and ate it any way. I indulged in a delicious chocolate pie and tasted their Key Lime pie. The chocolate beat the Key Lime, no contest. It was so smooth, rich and creamy.

I would be remiss if I did not mention their wine list. They have a decent selection of wines, but overall it appears a little outdated and pedestrian. If they were to spruce up the bar area and add some zing to the wine list (especially by the glass selections) I’m sure they would sell more of it. I also need to commend the wait staff. Service at Steinhilber’s is always top notch. Someone is always filling your water glass, clearing your table, restocking bread, etc., however, it is so understated and low key that you barely notice it is occurring.

It appears I will be headed back to Steinhilber’s in the near future as my step daughter has requested it for a family celebration. Even though I was just there, I told her I would have no problem going back. There’s plenty of variety on the menu, interesting nightly specials and the food is always excellent.


Steinhilber's is located at:
653 Thalia Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
(757) 340-1156

Steinhilber's Thalia Acres Inn on Urbanspoon


Karl said...

Let me know when you are going next, it would be woth the drive from Florida to have a Steiny's dinner.

Dhalia Rodriguez Edwards said...

Just had a great anniversary dinner there today. A +++


Dhalia Rodriguez Edwards said...

Oh my I just noticed that you follow my sisters blog..well old blog. Eyelid Kisses. :-)

Her new blog is

Also two gals from Norfolk area. :-)