Monday, July 6, 2009


This weekend, my wife's cousin and her family were in town for a 4th of July family reunion. My wife hasn't seen her cousin in over 12 years - which means I have never met the woman. So, always the bold-and-adventurous type (you can hear my wife laughing hysterically right now), I opted to check out our good friend Matt Buschle's new restaurant, Virgil's Cafe in Bellevue, KY (just east of Newport).

Matt was taking a break from the restaurant biz, working at a jewelry store next door to our Fort Thomas store. He'd tell us he was getting ready to open a new bistro down by the river, and months later, his new joint, Virgil's, is going strong. Specializing in using local produce and refurbished furniture and restaurant equipment, it's a really good place to eat, and it's really affordable too. And that goes a long way these days.

So my wife and I took her cousin, her cousin's husband and father-in-law, Friday night, and the restaurant was packed (though it is a very small restaurant). We were greeted warmly by the staff, including our bartender AND waiter, Chris, who was terrific throughout the night (though my wife gave him a jovially hard time). We sat next to the window in the kitchen, and Matt gave us a shout, and told us to sit back and relax.

My wife and her cousin caught up on things, while I got to know the family a little more. Dinner was fantastic, and the wait was not long at all. With a glass of Marquis Philips Holly's Blend, I delved into Matt's Huevos Rancheros, which was delicious from start-to-finish (I could eat Breakfast 24-7 anyway), while my wife had the signature BBQ Ribs with a cherry and cola BBQ sauce, and what her cousin's father-in-law called "Georgia Ice Cream" - cheddar grits. Everyone seems very happy with their choice in dinner, and the restaurant in general. Husband and father-in-law, both Cajun, praised Matt's shrimp and sausage gumbo as authentic cajun style.

It was a great evening made better by Chef Matt and the folks at Virgil's. You should definitely check it out at

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