Best of Local Chefs

June 4, 2024 Food & Drink

Best of Local Chefs Image

Culpeper is bursting with culinary talent both homegrown and transplanted. With an abundance of local farms, our restaurant scene is filled with family flavors and creative approaches to classic dishes.

Prohibition America Made Modern

At Flavor on Main, Executive Chef Garth Hansen—along with lunchtime Executive Chef Megan Partlow and the rest of his culinary team—creates beautifully plated classic American dishes with a twist. From beef carpaccio on a hot stone to duck breast cooked perfectly in cast iron supported by flavors of orange, walnut and sweet potato, each menu offering serves up indulgence, taste and visual appeal. Some dishes bring in a Southern element or an Asian flair, but all feel modern and cohesive.

Specialty cocktails inspired by the Prohibition era like the Gin Rickey and Bee’s Knees enhance the art deco surroundings. Flavor on Main can also accommodate large groups in two private dining rooms for parties, receptions and business events, making it as versatile as it is decadent.

Family Fine Dining, European Style

In 1995, John Yarnell relocated to Culpeper from Philadelphia, bringing his It’s About Thyme restaurant with him. Over time, his two oldest daughters Joclyn and Jodi, who grew up in the restaurant business, joined him in making It’s About Thyme (and its later other culinary offerings) a family dynasty. Jocelyn works as Head Chef while Jodi became House Manager.

It’s About Thyme has thrived in Culpeper, offering broad European fare from bruschetta to Greek salad to palazzo pot roast. With two executive suites available for rent upstairs, patrons can enjoy a full European culinary experience without leaving the block.

Gourmet Farm-to-Table

Despite its relaxed vibe, the kitchen at Grass Rootes is turning out some seriously upscale food. Culpeper native Andrew Ferlazzo founded the restaurant in 2016, bringing his 30 years of culinary and wine experience to a new home. Ferlazzo began his career working for France’s Chef of Year and has held apprenticeships with some of the biggest names in European wine. When the oldest commercial building in Culpeper became available, he knew he wanted to open his dream restaurant there.

Grass Rootes serves farm-to-table cuisine with a focus on classic dishes and a killer wine and cocktail list. There’s often live music playing by the bar and the feeling is. of a neighborhood pub—that just happens to serve the best crispy brussels sprouts or duck a l’orange you’ve ever tasted. You can start with a cheese board or antipasto at both lunch or dinner, before diving into an entrée like mushroom ravioli with shrimp or pan-seared salmon in a Champagne cream sauce. Or, if you want something classic, you can always order the bacon cheeseburger or Mama Ferlazzo’s secret recipe spaghetti and meatballs. You truly can’t go wrong at Grass Rootes.