Even though I know plenty of hotels feature quality restaurants, I’m always a little skeptical of hotel dining. It’s a lot of pressure to prepare three quality meals a day and please all walks of guests. So, I wondered what I’d think of Parterre, the new spot at the Linden Row Inn. After seeing a few foodie friends post pictures, I wanted to know more, so I stopped in last week.
Parterre takes over the old Urban Farmhouse space on the first floor at the Linden Row Inn. The bright whites of the Urban Farmhouse remain, but the addition of a beautiful wood bar warms up the space and makes it more welcoming to wander in for a drink or meal.
The atmosphere is casual elegant, nothing stuffy or fancy. My friend and I made ourselves at home at a table, then asked the bartender to put the closed captions on the flat-screen TV hanging at one end of the bar so we could play along to Jeopardy, and he happily obliged.
The name is a nod to the Linden Row’s history—Edgar Allen Poe spent time in a beautiful garden that was once located on the property. Later when he wrote his famous poem “To Helen,” he mentioned an “enchanted parterre”—or garden. Many believe this to be the same garden that was once on the Linden Row’s property.
Speaking of parterres, there is also a spacious patio for dining—it was too cold to enjoy it when I went, but I’m looking forward to visiting it in the Spring.
Drinks at Parterre
The menu features a full selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. There’s also a little takeout area where folks staying at the Linden Row can purchase bevvies to take back to their rooms. In the restaurant, the wine spans on-draft selections by the glass as well as bottles you can select for a corkage fee of $10. We went with an easy Tempranillo and were pleased to notice Virginia wines by White Hall Vineyards, too.
The cocktail list features an appealing range of eight riffs on standards. I might have to return to try the Southern Hospitality featuring Jack Daniels, Coca-Cola, house-made peanut orgeat, and roasted peanuts.
Beers include rotating local taps, plus cans, bottles, and ciders.
I hear happy hour is coming in December, so keep an eye out!
The Food at Parterre
“Regional Southern comfort food,” is the description I read of Parterre’s food. Chef Marlin Remick has worked at a bunch of restaurants around town and was recently chef de cuisine at Perch. He makes many of the meal elements from scratch, adding touches of flavor and innovation across the menu.
Breakfast includes light options like local bagels, fresh-baked muffins, and fruit with granola. More substantial choices include options like a sausage-and-egg po’ boy or sweet potato hash.
Lunch and Dinner
The lunch and dinner menu is the same and is sandwich heavy. Some sammies that caught my eye include the house-made pastrami Reuben, a sweet potato po’ boy, and a 7 Hills Food burger.
A few starters span crispy chickpeas, Cajun fries, crispy Brussels sprouts, and my choice, Pork & Pimento. A big heap of freshly cooked, still crackling pork rinds fall all over a perfect scoop of house-made pimento cheese. It’s plentiful, satisfying, and affordable at $7.
There are a few entrees on the lunch/dinner menu, but if you go for dinner, I’d encourage looking at the specials menu that includes a wider selection of regularly changing entrees.
On my visit, my friend and I split two of the specials. First, I went for the 24-hour-brined fried chicken ($16). If you go and this is on the menu, don’t think, just order it. The fried chicken includes a breast, leg and thigh, that feature crispy, well-seasoned skin, and tender, flavorful chicken. I generally expect fried chicken breast to be dry—not here. I ate every bite. The chicken was served over crispy Brussels sprouts and cardamom-sweet potato puree. On the side, pepper jelly and chef Marlin’s Fresno chile hot sauce were perfect for dipping.
We also tried the Chesapeake Crab Cakes, which were priced right at $22 (the most expensive item on the menu on my visit). The crab cakes were filler-free and served with confit fingerlings, sautéed green beans, and garnished with low country relish. While I really enjoyed this dish, I think it would have benefited from a sauce—if you order it ask for some of chef Marlin’s hot sauce for dipping.
For dessert, we tried the beignets with house-made banana ice cream and brown sugar (you can also enjoy them with coffee ice cream and powdered sugar). Three perfectly puffy pastries were crispy on the outside and a lovely ending to the meal that didn’t overwhelm the rest of the food. The beignets are also available at breakfast.
Parterre is a comfortable, affordable addition to downtown Richmond’s dining scene. I can see myself stopping in regularly for a snack, meal, or drink. Go and try it!