Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dining Like a Banker

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."
Thomas Jefferson

Please forgive the quote, it seemed timely even though it's only tangentially related to this post.

During a recent trip to Richmond, Virginia I had the pleasure of dining at Bank on the recommendation of the ever Elegant Chris and his generous friends. The restaurant (and club Vault) as the name suggests is located in a renovated turn of the century bank on Main Street in downtown Richmond. It's worth having a drink at Bank if only to enjoy the beautiful facade upon entry.

I dined with a few colleagues, who greedily consumed their food without offering so much as a taste, so my review will be based only on my meal.

I began with the pan roasted mussels with spicy tomatoes and garlic with herb toast points. I'm a sucker for mussels and their version was delicious and a bit hearty for the cooling weather.

For my entree I had the citrus glazed mahi mahi served over shitake risotto with a orangea nd grapefruit compote. The dish was more beautiful to look at than taste as I found the citrus fruit a strange pairing with the mushroom risotto. Either accompaniment would have enhanced the fish, but to combine both resulted in an inharmonious dish.

For dessert I had a variation on a flourless chocolate cake that was good, but not particularly memorable.

I shared several bottles of the Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc. I'm a fan of this wine as the acidity pairs beautifully with most foods particularly seafood and Asian cuisines. I always have a few bottles on hand for home cooking and for Thai or Vietnamese take-out.

On the whole it was an enjoyable evening, though the food was always just a bit off from what it could have been. There's little doubt that food is a secondary priority after the club, which appears to draw a large and diverse crowd.

Bank Wrap-Up

Atmosphere: 4 (modern touches in a neoclassical bank)
Drinks: 4 (a good wine list including reserve list, reasonable mark-ups)
Cuisine: 4 (a good assortment of menu items and specials, a bit more focused on seafood)
Sides: 2 (good sides strangely paired)
Desert: 4
Service: 4.5
Value: 4.5
Overall: 4.1

Note: Warrants another visit.

1005 E. Main St.

(804) 648-3070

M-F 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

S&S 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Bank on Urbanspoon


Easy and Elegant Life said...

And next time through I think I've found a solution... Stronghill Dining on Boulevard (very close to my house.) I thought it excellent and very well priced.

Thanks for the review as I live vicariously through your visit to my town!

Athenaeus said...

Stronghill Dining it is on the next trip. Thank you again for your suggestions on places to visit while in Richmond.