The Collegian
Friday, August 14, 2020

To dine or not to dine: The White Dog

4/5 stars

The casual pub atmosphere and good food are what keep patrons coming back to The White Dog. Located in Richmond's Fan district, The White Dog offers more than just a meal in an intimate setting. Several times a year, the pub donates proceeds

to the Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, making your meal a charitable one.

Upon entering The White Dog, you are immediately immersed in a quiet and comfortable environment. Set partially underground so the bottoms of the windows are at sidewalk level, The White Dog gives off an air of familiarity. The seating consists entirely of booths that line the wall across from the bar. Owner Barry Pruitt is often the bartender, and the artwork on the walls is by his wife, Roslyn Pruitt. The owners' personal investment in the restaurant is perhaps what gives The White Dog its charming feel.

The American cuisine is much more upscale than traditional pub food. They have appetizers ranging from Bayou catfish fingers, to barbecue chicken quesadillas, to a "bruschetta trio," all of which cost less than $10.

Entrees range from $14 to $28 and represent a wide spectrum of tastes and flavors. The restaurant offers a cheese-and-pear-stuffed pasta served with roasted squash, pine nuts and spinach in a white wine butter sauce for $18. It also offers Bourbon-spiked barbecue shrimp with cheddar grits and collard greens for the Southern palate. The menu is enhanced daily by inventive specials that always

include a seafood dish, a "Vegetarian Plate of the Day" and "Max's Carnivore Special." I ordered a linguine dish with spinach, shitake mushrooms and tomatoes in a roasted garlic cream sauce, which was slightly bland despite the variety of ingredients. Another member of my party ordered the roasted half-duckling with maple Bourbon glaze that was almost too reminiscent of a stack of pancakes.

For dessert, the restaurant offers its famous bread pudding along with four or five other options that change daily. The bar features 10 beers on draft and a sufficient wine list to enhance your meal.

The wait staff at The White Dog is friendly and professional and seems to know all the patrons on a personal level. You get the feeling that most of the waiters and waitresses are local residents who have been working there for years and have

a healthy investment in the success of The White Dog. Our waitress was happy to accommodate any of our preferred substitutions, made sure we were content throughout the meal and served our food promptly.

For those who wish to try The White Dog for themselves, my recommendation would be to go with a small group. The atmosphere inside the pub is conducive to intimate conversation and is perfect for a group of friends who want to enjoy

a good meal and catch up. The White Dog is also perfect for couples looking to dine in a candlelit booth without the crowds that accompany some other restaurants in Richmond. Charming and unique, The White Dog offers an original take on pub food and satisfies its own niche in the Fan.

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Contact reporter Brigid Beitel at brigid.beitel@richmond.edu

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