I think it took my parents and I about 10 minutes to actually say the name of this restaurant correctly. If it helps, think Shenandoah. Don’t get caught up on the name for too long though. Instead, focus on the delicious local food that this Staunton, VA restaurant has to offer.
I found out about Zynodoa by simply typing in “restaurant in Staunton, VA.” Of course, the name caught my eye and as I researched the place a little more I quickly realized I had to visit. Why? Not only do they get some of their food from Polyface Farm, they also have an extremely impressive chef.
Michael Lund’s resume includes six years at five-star The Inn at Little Washington (rated best restaurant in the world by Travel & Leisure Magazine) and has also cooked at Obama’s first state dinner. At first, when reading these credentials I couldn’t help but wonder why such an educated chef would want to come to Staunton. Now, after reading Omnivore’s Dilemma and watching Food Inc. I can see exactly why chefs would venture to the Shenandoah area. Lund incorporates so many farms into the menu and proudly advertises it right in the restaurant through a giant sign.
The atmosphere is very chic with light green walls, simple lights and a glowing bar.You can also see into some of the kitchen while sitting at many of the tables. My mom ordered a Manhattan from the bar ($10) and said it was one of the best she’s ever had. After travelling to pretty much every major city, I never would have thought that my mom’s favorite drink would come from Staunton.
With the delicious chive rolls with honey butter to start, I knew that my dad’s asparagus soup and my mom’s fennel salad were going to be just as good.
There was a lemon chive cream and croutons in the soup that complimented the fresh and light taste of the asparagus. My mom’s salad had feta cheese and a cabernet vinaigrette dressing. I’ve never seen a salad with such perfect lettuce. Every piece was so green and crispy. Perfect.
At this point, I was anxiously awaiting my surf and turf entree. When it arrived, I was anxiously awaiting to dig my fork in. It takes a lot of self-resistance in order to snap these pics for my blog. You’re welcome!
I got my meat done medium and of course it was cooked to perfection. I really do find it so annoying when meat isn’t cooked correctly whether it’s rare, medium, well-done etc. When you get a chef like Lund in the kitchen, you’re guaranteed perfection.
The diver scallops were the biggest ones I have ever seen. There were more of the in-season asparagus underneath. Also, the light lemony tarragon sauce (that’s a guess) was great mixed togther with the flank steak and pureed potatoes. Every bite was so flavorful and because it was all local, it was all so fresh.
My mom got the Polyface Pork Loin. I went to Polyface a week ago and visited the happy pigs at the famous farm. I couldn’t help but think about them when I saw my mom’s plate. But eh, I got over it and reached across the table to get a bite.
Zynodoa’s “Inspired Southern Cuisine” (as their menu puts it) means it’s almost a given that grits would be on the menu. A warm bacon vinaigrette was underneath. After my bite, I can now see why Polyface’s practices with their animals are so highly regarded. It makes for amazing food.
The fresh food continued with dessert. My mom got a cheese platter with three different type of cheese including goat with pepper lining the eges.My dad got a delicous chocolate tort that was so dense when cutting it with a fork. Yet, when eating it it seemed so light.
The second I saw brioche french toast on the menu I knew I had to order it. With a black pepper blackberry syrup and a maple ice cream it really was a great ending to a delicious night.
Zynodoa proved to be one of the those restaurants that’ll you’ll never forget. With only two weeks left in the Valley it was nice to be reminded how lucky I am to have lived in the area for four years. Local food has made an impact on me because of living here and Zynodoa made me realize just how amazing local can be.