Sunday, January 10, 2010
The Street Cook - Virginia Beach
I finally made it to The Street Cook (hereinafter SC)Saturday night. Although I thoroughly enjoyed Maninno's a couple of weeks ago, I still had a craving for The Street Cook which had not been satisfied. The SC is an unassuming restaurant located in an older strip shopping center. It is not a fancy place, and has not changed a bit in the 8 or so years that I have going there. It is long and narrow, comprised entirely of booths.Parties larger that 4 will sit either in the rear where tables along the wall can be combined, or to a smaller alcove to the left of the entrance where the same is done. The interior is not modern or trendy, but is rather cozy. We met another couple there and were quickly snuggled in our booth.
The SC is primarily Mediterranean fare with some heavy Italian influences. No diet food at SC. Preparation of most entrees includes a lot of butter, a lot of sauces, pasta and, of course, cheese. Their traditional Greek meals are superb. They used to serve a traditional family style salad with meals, but that has changed and is no longer an option. I am sad to see that go. We started our meal with the Clam appetizer which features little neck clams in either white wine or marinara sauce with a side of garlic bread. I always choose the white wine sauce. It is great for dipping the garlic bread. These clams are always good, and I was not let down BUT...I think I like the ones at Mannino's better now. Clam wars! Mannino's was a little lighter on the garlic which made the sauce more palatable and had that hint of pepper as well.
For my entree I ordered Veal Francesca, which appeared to be the Veal Meal (I had to write that!) with the lightest preparation. The last time I was there I ordered Veal Sorrento and it was just too much, way to heavy for me. It was breaded and loaded with cheese. I completely lost the flavor of the veal in it. I was hoping this would become my go to Veal Meal, as I really love veal. Alas, it was not. I was underwhelmed. The veal was tough, perhaps from being overcooked? My friend ordered a veal dish and found hers on the tough side as well.
I was out ordered by my husband. He stuck to Greek and got the Pastitsio. I sampled a few bites. It was scrumptious! All portions are very hardy at SC, as you can see from these photos. Our friends pointed out some funny typos in the menu, which he was told he was the first to notice. A funny one is that the house wine was "Carlos" Rossi, not Carlo. This gave me a good giggle! If I could choose one area for improvement with The SC, it would be to get a wine menu. Not improve it. Get one. They have a full bar, extensive menu and should be serious about having some wine options to complement meals. I ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio, as did my friend and when we ordered a second the server suggested we get a bottle. You just get whatever they bring out. No options provided. The other funny menu typo was what is traditionally spelled "Hummus" was spelled Hoomas. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, because I am a terrible speller, I checked Wikipedia. According to Wiki "Hummus (a transliteration of the Arabic: حمّص; also spelled hamos, houmous, hommos, hommus, hummos, hummous or humus;". Wow. So many options! Not one HOOMAS in there!
No one had room for dessert, but they have a nice dessert menu. I have had the Baklava before and it is good. Our friend told us they have something called the Bomb, that you have to call in and order in advance. Occasionally they have some on hand, but I'm sure it does not last long. He says if you can get it, do not pass up the option to do so.
We had a great time at dinner. Good friends, good food. I am sticking with the Greek menu from here on out, but highly recommend their seafood pasta dishes too. They're just a little heavy for me. The service was okay, with only a couple of glitches. First, it took about an hour and 15 minutes to get our meal. I didn't really notice because conversation was lively, but that is a fairly long haul. The same thing occurred on my previous visit. Second, the server set us up with Parmesan cheese and crushed pepper minutes before the main course was served. Within minutes one server came by and asked if she could "borrow" the pepper. Right behind her another server did the same with the cheese. The pepper returned, the cheese did not. Come on. Get some more condiment set ups guys!
It is a good idea to make reservations on weekends. They fill up fast. The SC used to be a cash only place (can you believe it!) but recently changed that and now accept credit cards. Fantastic! This made me very happy. I see they are open for lunch and brunch, but not being a bruncher like Alex, I can't speak to it. Let me know if you are a fan or have tried it out.
The Street Cook
1949 Lynnhaven Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23453-1618
For Reservations call 757.471.7810
Sunday Brunch - 9-2
Dinner - 4-8
Tuesday - 11:30 - 8:00
Wednesday - 11:30 - 8:00
Thursday - 11:30 - 8:00
Friday - 11:30 - 9:00
Saturday - 4:00 - 9:00