Downtown bistro Virginia’s had a respectable run from 2015 until owner Reed Adelson (previously of the Mark by Jean-Georges and Locanda Verde) chose to close at the conclusion of the cozy spot’s lease in 2021. Brick-lined and slightly rustic, its reprise less than a mile away opened with similar design in a larger space by the same name (dubbed for Adelson’s mom) this past March.
The new address on Third Street was made-over outside and in after previous occupant Root & Bone vacated last year. As Virginia’s, redux, the facade is lipstick-red with pops of the same shade around the small bar near the entrance and the dining room to the left. The interior seats 60 at tables and schoolhouse-style chairs, with room for another 35 on the sidewalk.
Former Fat Choy owner chef Justin Lee’s menu is made of mostly smaller plates with enough variety to appeal to groups, if sometimes better portioned for two. Hamachi crudo ($18) arrives four triangles to an order, though they’re sliced a bit thicker than many paper-thin preparations elsewhere. They taste as fresh as the sea, each topped with a jalapeño-sliver that adds a glancing crunch, if not heat, all bathed in a bright, citrusy gloss wanting for a few slices of bread, which one could order with olives for another $9. The clams casino ($18) is more easily divvied, with six hot half-shells, lightly herbaceous and bacon-forward with and a crumbly-crisp panko crust.
The mains comprise a decent variety in spite of their truncated real estate—more-or-less four unless you stretch to include the serviceable Little Gem salad ($16.) A heartier vegetarian option, risotto ($26) with Parmesan and confit tomatoes is adeptly textured, plenty creamy and comforting for cooler spring evenings, though its stated wild mushrooms seem like your average grocery aisle variety.
Steak frites ($40) are on the opposite end of the spectrum, presented as a snapshot from any charming boîte, with welcome, textbook execution. Fantastic, thin and golden fries are piled beside a handful of frisée and a 10-oz New York strip capped with a melting medallion of butter. The house-recommended medium rare is convincingly achieved and this dish, paired with a great martini ($19) or pleasant pinot noir pour ($19) make the most convincing case for Virginia’s 2.0 as a lovely (re)addition to the area.
The Vibe: Relaxed and neighborhoody.
The Food: Bistro and steakhouse-influenced with shareable apps like clams casino and nice steak frites.
The Drinks: Cocktails, wine and beer.
Virginia’s is located at 200 East Third Street. It is open Tuesday-Thursday from 5pm-10pm, Friday from 5pm-11pm, Saturday from 11am-3pm and 5pm-11pm and Sunday from 11am-4pm.