Toby's is a nice restaurant hidden in a clearing off the main road in Deltaville, Va. If a local didn't tell you about it, there's a good chance you'd never find it. As you drive up the treed lane to Toby's at dusk you will probably see deer and wild turkeys walking in the back yard on the other side of the parking lot. That's a nice surprise.
Once you enter the restaurant, there is a charming ambience that comes from the graceful aging of an old southern home that now serves as a hangout for Deltaville locals in the know.
I enjoyed dinner at Toby's twice this week. From the quality of my experience, I'd say that whoever is cooking in the kitchen is a professional chef who loves food and cooking. A number of the menu items reflect a distinct French influence. Everything that I ordered was delicious and the dishes I saw on other tables looked wonderful. My first dinner was fresh cut calamari made from the large west coast style hand cut squid steaks. The Greek salad was authentic and loaded with feta cheese. A cold beer completed the meal.The next night, I ordered a mixed salad, mussels marinera and a well prepared European style braised pork shank. This was served with mashed potatoes and a garden fresh veggie medley. The made from scratch marinera sauce was superb. Even though a pork shank is typically a winter comfort food, I ordered it because I haven't seen it on a menu since the last time I visited the restaurant street in the Latin Quarter of Paris. I was not dissapointed.
Ordering was difficult because of the number of available tasty choices. But, I did notice another patron eating a large bowl of ultra creamy New England clam chowder chock full of clams and potato chunks. I'll sample that next time.
On my first visit, Phyllis, the bartender welcomed me, asked my name and remembered it. On my second visit, she greeted me by name. She has a warm smile and takes good care of her customers. I appreciated the personal touch coupled with great service and good food. The waitress in the dining room was also taking good care of her customers.
Toby's is quiet, out of the way and attracts locals. If they put a sign on the main road, they could attract more customers from the transient yacht folk who visit Deltaville during the boating season. But, somehow I think that the staff and customers like Toby's just the way it is.
Having discovered Toby's I can now avoid the loud 'fried food' seafood restaurant that sits nearby on the main road.
Toby's is a quiet oasis. Newcomers will be greeted as old friends and well fed. What's not to like?
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