Answers from Our Experts (2)
Between the property’s rich cultural history in Richmond and the special attention to local ingredients on its menu, Lemaire has plenty for you to learn about. However, we’ve narrowed it down to five things for your convenience:
1. Prime Real Estate: One of the great things about Lemaire, other than the obvious answer of food, is its location in The Jefferson Hotel. Housed in a historic Beaux Arts building, the hotel was the vision of Lewis Ginter, the wealthiest man in the city of Richmond at the time of The Jefferson’s opening in 1897. Throughout its rich history, the hotel has housed 13 presidents and numerous celebrities and dignitaries.
2. Staying Local: Saying that Lemaire specializes in local cuisine is a bit of an understatement. Oysters come straight from the Chesapeake Bay, mushrooms from Dave and Dee’s Mushrooms in Sedley, Va.; grits from Byrd Mill in Ashland, Va.; and local micro greens from Manakintowne Specialty Growers and Cabbage Hill, both outside of Richmond. As a whole, most of the food served on the menu is grown or produced within 90 miles of the restaurant.
3. Sophisticated yet affordable: Despite its former reputation for fine dining, Lemaire changed its tune a few years ago by maintaining its level of quality but lowering the price tag. The result? You can get a great meal without breaking the bank. No entrée on the menu is over $30 and most bottles of wine are under $50.
4. Perfect for Pairings: Both the menu and the expansive wine, cocktail and craft beer lists at Lemaire provide plenty of opportunity for exploration of taste and combinations. The service staff is well versed in their beverages and pairings so be sure to ask for their recommendations.
5. Just Desserts: Don’t even think about not ordering dessert. Or, consider Lemaire just for dessert. Either way, their executive pastry chef will impress with both masterfully created dessert classics and modern riffs on childhood favorites.
Five things that you should know about Lemaire are:
1. Lemaire is a New American restaurant featuring extraordinary Virginia grown ingredients and the Southern influences of the Richmond Region. We’ve been following the farm-to-table philosophy for many years and couldn’t be happier that it’s now the norm in our exciting industry.
2. In 2009, after over 20 years in operation, Lemaire closed for eight months while we completed a full renovation to the beautiful dining rooms, added the bar and a carefully crafted a brand new menu that best represented our commitment to fresh, local and Southern.
3. The bar menu is filled with small plates including the same fresh, local ingredients. A favorite with regulars and new guests alike is the three appetizers for $20 special available each day from 4 to 7 p.m.
4. Lemaire continues to provide a revolutionary wine list. Over 200 bottles are available with nearly thirty offered under $30. A robust list of wines is available by the glass, the half-bottle and the quartino — perfect for sampling and sharing.
5. Lemaire was originally the ladies' parlor and waiting room within the hotel. The architecture is breath-taking and remains as it did upon the hotel’s opening in 1895. The furnishings, fixtures and treatments reflect a more modern era but the space itself remains grand, gracious and inviting.