Summer inspires us. When the days are long and hot, the outdoors can be irresistible—even if one is just lounging on the porch, cold drink in hand, waiting for the sun (and the temperature) to drop.
Of course, with spiking thermometers and the clicks of cicadas comes another summer standby: the grill. Even if enormous slabs of red meat aren't your thing, the grill offers not only a delightful range of dinner options, but the undeniable ambiance of summer. The smell of smoke, the sizzling of something cooking, the inevitable hungry group hovering nearby as they anticipate dinner... What could be more authentically summer than that?
This season is a time of bounty, when colorful produce is only a farmers market away, and as a result cuisine becomes more creative; the stews and soups of winter replaced by lighter, brighter dishes that reflect the occasion and the mood.
The warmer months are a time not only for what’s in season, but what’s in season locally. Summertime Virginia offers a wealth of produce and products that are uniquely ours, from grass-fed beef to summer squash. So with the sun in the sky, what else to do but throw that local goodness on the grill?
We asked some very talented minds—from restaurants whose menus reflect an investment in local, seasonal cuisine—what they throw onto the flames when they’re off the clock, beer in hand, enjoying a summertime sunset.
Brick Chicken, by Chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve, Old Town Alexandria
Veggie Napoleon, by Chef David Hausmann of The Boot, Norfolk
Grilled Beef Kebab with Greek Yogurt and Grilled Corn, by Chef Kosta Kontogiannis of Local Roots Restaurant, Roanoke
Quinoa Burger and Sunflower Cheese with Broccoli and Goji Berry Salad, by Chef Giovanni Guarini of The Bank Food and Drink, Pearisburg
Apricot Habanero Glazed Shrimp and Tuna Kebobs, by Chef Matthew Morand and Laura Morand Baile of Ettamae’s Café, Richmond.
More at VirginiaLiving.com/Recipes