While Traveling Series Part 3: Much a do about wine! (GF)

The last part of my three part series takes me to a great restaurant in Norfolk Virginia.

With a population of almost 243,000, Norfolk is the second largest city in the State of Virginia, the first being Virginia Beach. Norfolk received its name for its natural harbor that sits at the base of Chesapeake Bay. Norfolk’s rich history as a strategic military base and transportation point have made Norfolk prime for computer tech companies, federal and government businesses to thrive. In recent years Norfolk has slowly started climbing the medical ladder with its research facilities  and transit systems; with the corporate headquarters for the Southern Railway being based in downtown Norfolk.

Along with friends, we made our way to downtown Norfolk where we ventured into a little wine bar called Press 626 located at (insert irony here) 626 West Olney Rd, downtown Norfolk VA. Walking up to the door I immediately noticed that what we were walking into was none other than a historic house that had been converted into this fabulous restaurant. Warmth and charm hit you as soon as you enter; and the southern hospitality abounds. With the sun pouring in the bay windows we were seated in a beautiful alcove off the bar that was surrounded by rustic and earthy brick walls.

Not only do the servers know their wines but I was pleasantly surprised by the menu selection. The owner was not only inventive with the menu options and the home grown fresh ingredients but made my day when I saw the “create your own salad” option. First we started out with the Caprese salad (9.95) that comes with fresh garden basil, fresh mozzarella and fresh heirloom tomatoes. Then we ventured into the trio of homemade spreads (10.25) that include a sun-dried tomato jam, kalamata olive tapenade and feta spread. All this came with toasty warm flat bread. We paired this with a dark dry red wine from our wine selection. The olive spread and jam was juicy and full of flavor; the tomatoes were ripe and fresh. Of course I avoided the cheeses, but then again who needed the cheese when I was about to make a fabulous salad of my own creation!

This wonderfully inventive idea only runs you about $10.00 and you get 10 items to select. But first you get to choose your lettuce! This was such a great and healthy  idea and there were so many options to choose from that our entire party participated in this. We each made our own salad.  Choices range from things like fruits, vegetables and cheeses to protein (ie: eggs, chick peas, pine nuts), crunch and dressing. For someone with digestive sensitivities this is a great find. Not only was I able to control what I was putting into my body, but it was healthy and fun (you get your own little menu and check list).

Great friends, great wine, great healthy food; the perfect way to cap off my eat healthy while traveling series!

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