He said: WTF is this all about?! Apparently if you want well-made food from an interesting menu served in an awesomely awesome historic building in the New River Valley, you have to make your way through twists and turns and cows for more than 30 minutes. Why a place like this can’t exist within the confines of Blacksburg is beyond me.
The Palisades is pretty simple, but everything is well thought out and executed by people who seem to really care about quality food. On the river bank in the center of a tiny “town” – which made me glad to be able to blend in with the majority – sits this diamond in the rough. The building is simply adorned because you don’t need much to make historic brick buildings with hardwood floors look classy and inviting. The menu isn’t too extravagant because you don’t need to reach for ingredients nobody has ever heard of to create tasty, well-crafted dishes. And the service is excellent because you don’t need to hire hot, dumb, college blondes to bring in crowds to a good restaurant.
On my first visit to this fine establishment, I went with the trout. I was not disappointed. A whole fish with its skin still on but with its heads and innards off and out was presented with a tasty sweet potato mash that complimented its buttery goodness perfectly. The skin came right off the filets on both sides to reveal a flaky meat that was not overcooked, not undercooked, and obviously had been exposed to copious amounts of butter. I tried some of the pizzas too, and they all hit their marks.
I have only two points of minor criticism. First, I tried a chocolate dessert thing that I did not care for in the least. It had a weird, jelloey texture that I found off-putting. Luckily I was not the one who ordered it; I just tried it. Second, there are no beers on tap. I prefer a draft that I can’t get in my living room to a bottle that I can grab from Kroger for half the price. But overall, I liked the place a lot.
She Said: I had a very similar ‘WTF’ moment when I drove out here for the first time. What/where is Eggleston? Why is there a fancy restaurant out here? Is someone playing a joke on me?
Just meander your way through the swirly twirly roads of outer Blacksburg, take a right after the bridge by the big white house, and you’ll find yourself at the Palisades. Charming and completely in the boonies.
The interior is absolutely lovely in large part due to the historical nature of the building. The decor boasts farmhouse style tables, beautiful exposed brick, a long wooden bar, and a pleasantly creaky floor. It’s comfortable and not pretentious, yet still has the atmosphere of upscaleishness. The price point here is appropriate for the quality with most of their entrees at $16-20 and their pizza’s around $15.
I opted with one of their seasonal pizzas that featured chorizo and roasted corn. I’m a sucker for non-traditional pizzas and this delivered on all fronts. The chorizo was a good level of spicey, the corn perfectly roasty, and the crust was thin and crunchy. All the ingredients worked together nicely leaving me a little sad to go halvesies with the Mr. (although his trout was excellent).
Their menu is small and changes to accommodate seasonal fare but there were still plenty of things I would have enjoyed eating. Food is simple and feels naturally put together – no passion fruit gelee atop minced rabbit snout here – and it totally works. The waiters are friendly and I’m pretty sure the manager was making his rounds through the dining room. Palisades, I wish you were in Blacksburg.
Hop in the car – it’s worth a drive.
As the Governator once said, ‘I’ll be back.’