Zynodoa - 16Zynodoa’s (mostly) locally sourced food is cooked to perfection and has made Staunton a foodie destination in Central/Western Virginia with good reason. When chatting up the diners at the adjoining table we found that one couple had come from Richmond and the other from Portsmouth (via a weekend trip to Charlottesville) to sample this menu.

We started with ginger pear martinis. The vodka was from Virginia and infused with ginger and mixed with pear nectar. The ginger was subtle, but present and you could definitely taste the pears in the drink. Their wine list is impressive, but after those martinis, we stuck with water to drink.

The buttermilk chive biscuits that were served as bread were light and scrumptious. It’s probably good that they didn’t set down a basket of these, because I would have been full before the appetizers. I started with the Honey Hill Bibb Salad which had Oak Hill jalapeno derby cheese, curried peanuts, and a rhubarb vinegar works vinaigrette. The curried peanuts were a new and delicious taste to me and the lightly dressed salad was mouth-watering. My dining companion had the Chilled Local Asparagus Soup with lemon mint whipped cream. We then shared the Wades Mill Grit Croquettes with surryano ham, gruyere and bacon mayonnaise. The croquettes were deliciously light and crispy.Zynodoa - 06

For our entrées, my companion had Fettuccine Primavera. The homemade pasta was served with am fog mushroom and caromont ricotta, elk run english peas, and surryano ham. The pasta was light and the earthy mushrooms gave it the right balance. I chose the Southern Fried Chesapeake Bay Soft Shell Crabs. A departure from the usual pan fried soft shells, these crabs had a coating that was reminiscent of fried chicken. The accompanying smoked potato salad was creamy with a little bit of mustardy kick, though I admit I didn’t really taste the smokiness. While I passed my asparagus in lemon vinaigrette to my dining companion, she noted that there was not a single woody stem amongst them. If you don’t know, when you snap asparagus stems off by hand, those woody ends will naturally come off, leaving the tender stalks. Too many restaurants take a knife and cut the ends off and gamble that they made the cut in more or less the right place. The properly prepared asparagus is a true sign that they are taking their time and doing it right in the Zynodoa kitchen.

We made the choice to pack up half our entrees to indulge in dessert. While they had Gearhart’s chocolates and a homemade spearmint and strawberry swirl ice cream, we zeroed in on the Bittersweet Chocolate Torte with blueberry sauce and the Lemon Ginger Cheesecake. The torte was dense and chocolatey and had minimal flour in it, if any at all. It sat upon the blueberry sauce, which cut the sweetness of the cake in just the right way. The cheesecake had a gingersnap crust and a light lemon flavor in its creamy luscious filling. There was not a lump or a crack to be had in this cheesecake.

Overall, a scrumptious meal with friendly, attentive service makes Zynodoa worth the trip.

award_star_gold_3 16Rating:

thumb_up 16 iconPros: Excellent food, locally sourced, great service.

thumb_down 16 iconCons: Too far and expensive to eat there every day.

money_dollar 16 iconPrice: Starters $7-12, Entrées $21-28.

car famfam 16 iconParking: Street or downtown Staunton lot.

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