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South Boston restaurant voted top in the state

South Boston’s BISTRO 1888 has been voted the top “Downtown Dining Destination” in Virginia, Destination Downtown South Boston Director Tamyra Vest announced Friday.

Virginia Main Street blog readers logged on in record numbers over the last month casting nearly 59,000 votes for South Boston’s AAA 3-Diamond Rated dining destination restaurant.

BISTRO was one of 25 restaurants in the running for the honor.

An article on the website entitled “Virginia Main Street foodies pick their favorites” written by Doug Jackson states, “Nearly half of the votes were for South Boston’s BISTRO 1888. And it’s a worthy top choice. The Bistro demonstrates what first-class food and downtown reinvestment can do for a community.

“Since executive chef and co-owner Margaret Moorefield moved back east from Portland, Oregon and established the eatery with co-owner Barbara Cage, South Boston has been a dining destination.

“According to Destination Downtown South Boston director Tamyra Vest, the restaurant played an important role in stepping revitalization up to the next level when it opened in 2003. ‘We feel very fortunate. Really good restaurants are critical to an arts and culture based revitalization strategy. When visitors or residents come into town to see a show or an exhibit, they want to pair it with a memorable meal in a welcoming setting.  Bistro 1888 offers that.”’

Commenting on the top state designation Friday, Vest congratulated the restaurant saying, “If anyone out there hasn’t tried our AAA 3-Diamond Rated dining destination restaurant, it’s time to drop in for dinner!

“Thanks BISTRO for your vision, thanks for being an anchor that put feet back on our sidewalks and for giving people that reason to come back downtown,” Vest added.

Earlier this summer, BISTRO 1888 expressed pleasure over the out-of-town traffic this year’s Summer Theatre brought to the area.

“Bistro 1888 was very pleased with the great energy the Summer Theatre brought to the area, the community support and new out-of-town guests,” said Cage, co-owner of the downtown restaurant. “We enjoyed an average of four tables per night of those who going to the performances, which increased sales over last year for the nights Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We sincerely appreciate all those who worked so diligently to make the first season such a success.”

Also this summer, BISTRO 1888 earned the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for the sixth year in a row.

Bistro 1888’s wine list includes over 100 international wines with a focus on the best producers from the major wine regions of the United States, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Chili and Australia.

Within the past year, an emphasis has been on Virginia wines for which the Bistro has 16 by the bottle and four by the glass.

The wine list was created to compliment Chef Moorefield’s extensive menu of Infused New American Cuisine whose preparations encompass Mediterranean, Pacific Rim, Asian, Classic French, Carribean and Pacific Northwestern traditions.

The idea is to have a wine to compliment and pair with the intricate flavors of each dish and to please simple and sophisticated palates.  From a full bodied French Bordeaux with Rack of Lamb to a light and fruity Oregon Pinot Noir with an Exotic Mushroom Penne, the variety of food and wine offers something for everyone.

Chef Moorefield said, “We focus on having something for everyone, from the guests who like to share several appetizers, or those who enjoy soup and a salad, to the guest that enjoys a three or four course meal paired with wines.  We want everyone to be comfortable and enjoy their experience.”

Two years ago, South Boston’s Main Street vintage restaurant graced the pages of the March 2008 Southern Living magazine.