Downtown Richmond’s dining renaissance takes a deeply seasonal turn with the October 1 opening of The Lobby Bar inside Quirk Hotel Richmond, in the heart of the city’s Arts and Design District.

The Lobby Bar, which will serve as the hotel’s signature restaurant, celebrates the region’s micro-seasons, growers and craft producers with a menu rooted in rustic American cooking that embraces global flavors all the same.

Chefs Felipe Bolivar and Chef Anna Schmitt, both Virginia-area natives, share a respect and understanding for the diversity and heritage of the local food culture, and their menu at The Lobby Bar speaks to this familiarity.

Local produce shines in starters such as heirloom cherry tomato and canary melon dressed with Georgia olive oil and summer bean salad with charred corn, cherry tomato, and feta vinaigrette. Dishes offer simple but bold flavor combinations that make the most of the star ingredients. Among the highlights: Caramelized gnocchi with chanterelle mushrooms and parmesan Fraiche cream. Grilled octopus, served with red lentil ragu and yogurt sauce. Spicy Italian autumn olive pulled pork with aged Parmesan and housemade sourdough. Chorizo, also made in-house, is featured in risotto with cilantro and lime aioli.

The wine program showcases a selection of sustainably produced offerings from the region and beyond, with a focus on biodynamic and organic wines. Cocktails include a list of classics with an innovative twist such as the “High Tea” that includes lavender-Earl Grey infused Belle Isle Moonshine, lemon, and bitters, “Modern Day Hemingway” which includes blanco tequila, lime, Luxardo Maraschino, and absinthe, and more.

The Lobby Bar will initially open with limited dinner hours, 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and will extend service to seven days a week in mid-October once Q Rooftop Bar closes for the season.

The restaurant is on the ground floor of the historic Quirk Hotel building, constructed in 1916 in the Italian Renaissance style with details such as groin-vault ceilings and limestone arches. Already a spacious, light-filled space, the socially distanced  dining room and bar exudes relaxed refinement.

Enhanced safety measures and staff protocols include the use of digital and disposable menus and sanitizing between seatings, ensuring a seamless guest experience.

The Lobby Bar currently serves brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, offering a thoughtful range of dishes that highlight the season’s best ingredients, from Swiss chard crespelle with housemade ricotta, to Nicoise salad with charred lemon vinaigrette, to the fried egg-topped Brunch Burger made with pastured beef from Seven Hills Food in Lynchburg. Butter pecan baklava is a sweet signature both at brunch and dinner.

The Lobby Bar is at 201 W. Broad St. in downtown Richmond.

Hotel & Lodging, Industry News