The highly-anticipated restaurant is the ‘Top Chef’ finalist’s first in Richmond.
Bryan Voltaggio — James Beard finalist, cookbook author and “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters” alumnus — and his business partner, restaurateur Hilda Staples, have opened three restaurants in 120 days. That’s in addition to six other restaurants they own together. The last in their string of projects opens quietly this week in Willow Lawn.
“That’s a lot,” Voltaggio says. “That wasn’t in the plans.”
Voltaggio is straightforward and to the point. His television-ready blue eyes may be looking at you directly, but he seems aware of everything going on around him in his restaurant. As the last pieces are drilled into the garage doors that make up the facade of Family Meal and the wait-staff training gears up, he somehow knows when each dish — pot pie fritters, fried chicken and a classic chopped salad — are ready to go, even though the kitchen pass-through is directly behind him.
The noted chef, hailing from Frederick Maryland, hopes to bring something different to The Shops at Willow Lawn, a shopping center filled largely with regional and national chain restaurants. The menu sounds fantastic, and is definitely unlike any of the other offerings in near proximity.
Photo: The Shops at Willow Lawn