Photo by Stefanie Gans
Photo by Stefanie Gans

Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill
Modern American & Steakhouse / $$$$ / 500 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg

On the sprawling Salamander Resort & Spa where activities include zip lining, clay shooting, falconry, water-based Zumba and horse-based yoga, there’s also the more relaxing option of eating. It can be so effortless that the staff will rest your handbag on a leather stool for you, and because of owner Sheila Johnson’s diet, vegetarian and vegan options are taken seriously.

Cauliflower stands in for chicken in a General Tso-like dish with the crucifer bound in a thick coating with a sauce of soy and ginger and a little back-of-the-throat heat. Agnolotti stuffed with ricotta and flavored with warming cinnamon and acidic lemon zest is a surprisingly winning combination with pasta. The pinnacle of the vegetable tasting menu is the plate of many mini meals: a corn puree bordering on custard, a medley of strawberries existing in various stages of ripeness and touches of black rice, peas, fava beans, asparagus, microgreens and flower petals uniting into a cohesive dish without an animal in sight—well, unless you’re facing the horse stable …

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(November 2015)

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