So I owe Steinhilber’s an apology. For the past few years I have been doing a little bit of trash talking when people have asked my opinion of the Virginia Beach restaurant. After celebrating several birthdays, anniversaries and weddings I’ve thought it “over-rated.” Known for its fried shrimp I’ve just thought them “ick.” That may have something to do with me preferring my seafood not fried.
However, last night I experienced a different Steiny’s – so I’m sorry for the past trash talk. Steinhilber’s is more than fried shrimp.
First, it is the history and the location. Formerly the Lynnhaven Golf and Country Club located on the Lynnhaven River in the Thalia area of Virginia Beach. Robert Steinhilber began serving food in 1937 and today the family tradition continues through his daughter and grandson. In fact, Brady was there last night to wish us well as we departed our dinner.
Second is the service. The wait staff is unbeatable – polished, professional, knowledgeable and attentive. One can easily be spoiled in a Steiny’s dining experience. Couple that with the ambiance of a rustic cottage with hard wood floors it is easy to understand why Steinhilber’s is where people go to experience romance. They’ve added a beautiful outdoor eating area since I was there last. I can just imagine how beautiful that could be on a cool spring, summer or fall evening with the candles lit overlooking the Lynnhaven River.
Finally, and most importantly - the food. I feel you have to look past the shrimp. When I finally did I saw dishes that I had no idea Steinhilber’s made. Bison! This wild game loving girl thought I had to go west for this (which I do because Steiny’s is west of my house but at least I can make it by car – or even bike). I also sampled the etouffee with clams, mussels, shrimp, crawfish and surry sausage with yummy, spicy gravy - shockingly delicious.
So I was wrong (I’m only human). I should have known that a restaurant couldn’t succeed for seventy-three years on fried shrimp alone. I truly look forward to going back. Steinhilber’s is an experience but don’t wait for a special occasion, leave it to the Steiny’s staff to create a special evening for you.