As a self-proclaimed food enthusiast and someone who enjoys nearly every cuisine, I found deLux to be a good spot for contemporary American dining. Owned by the same people as The Hardshell and located in Richmond's historic fan district, deLux caters to a younger crowd than its brother restaurant in Shockoe Bottom. It's open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends, and has a menu that includes something for everyone.
The first floor dining area of deLux features retro booths and lighting, and a serpentine bar that runs the entire length of the room. A long staircase leads to the second floor dining area which houses more tables and booths with a slightly more intimate feel. The decor is visibly modern and at 9 p.m. the ambiance transitions swiftly from casual contemporary dining to chic lounge. The lights in deLux were slightly dimmer than I'd like but they contributed to a trendy atmosphere without the noisy conversation.
DeLux serves brunch, lunch and dinner, and manages to put a contemporary twist on many traditional dishes. For instance, at brunch they offer a crab omelet with asparagus and Brie cheese. They also have an extensive $7 pancake menu containing pancakes from buttermilk to banana walnut to chocolate chip.
At lunch they serve a lobster macaroni and cheese with bacon and chives as well as kobe beef sliders for less than $10. Each deLux dinner appetizer can easily feed two adults, and their most popular starter is the Truffle Fries tossed in truffle oil and topped with melted asiago cheese. Their list of creative entrees includes shrimp coated in Captain Crunch cereal, several burger options, and shrimp-and-andouille-sausage-filled ravioli. DeLux offers plenty of vegetarian options as well, and I, although not a vegetarian, opted for the Vegetable Risotto with mushrooms, asparagus, sun dried tomatoes and pesto. As far as risotto goes, it was flawless. The portions of each dish were satisfying and the presentation was clean and simple. DeLux also offers $5 burger specials on Mondays and $10 entrees on Sundays. They boast an extensive wine menu with varieties that can be ordered by the glass or the bottle, $8 mixed drinks, and beer from $3 to $5 dollars.
The performance of the wait staff was extremely satisfactory. My party was well taken care of by two separate waitresses who made sure we were content without interrupting our meal. Food and drink were served promptly and the check was received within minutes of requesting it. Prices at deLux are more than reasonable, with all except five entrees costing less than $20. Most diners can expect to leave deLux fully satisfied for around $20. Appetizers are $10 dollars or below and perfect for sharing. In my opinion, these qualities make a restaurant especially appealing to college students. Overall, the dining experience at deLux was very enjoyable. The food was unique and delicious and the service was consistent. For a well-priced, innovative meal in an attractive atmosphere, head to deLux.
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