DC Eater - 18 Essential Restaurants in Richmond, Virginia

Chef Leah Branch has made the Church Hill restaurant a destination again, all thanks to the chef’s sure hand and old soul point of view. Think crab soup with saffron cream and bottagra and tobacco smoked pork butt with Deb’s (as in food anthropologist and writer Deb Freeman’s) Nana’s collards.
PLate of food

Southern Living - Where To Eat In Richmond, Virginia, Right Now

The Roosevelt's pioneering role in Richmond's culinary growth has cemented its status as a modern RVA institution.
The Roosevelt exterior

Richmond Dining All-Stars of 2023

In June, The Roosevelt's first African American executive chef joined forces with another culinary powerhouse, Debra Freeman, for a first-ever Juneteenth dinner at the James Beard-nominated Southern restaurant at 623 N. 25th St. Through inspiring food and storytelling, the duo dialed up the spotlight on the indelible footprint of Black culinarians along the foodways of the American South and beyond [...]
Chef Leah Branch

Best Restaurants

Over a decade into its journey, The Roosevelt still manages to charm guests.[...] The menu is a playful projection of Branch's upbringing, local produce and dishes guided by the African diaspora, with thoughtful touches from an Urfa chile pepper gloss on fried catfish to cracklings sprinkled on tobacco-smoked pork butt and served with Deb's Nana's collards.
Richmond Best Restaurants

Smooth Operator

At the restaurant, Hancock chooses wines that showcase both time-honored vintages and modern small producers. We caught up with the New York native to talk selection process, his cab-sav loyalty and industry shifts.
Troy Hancock

Eat It, Virginia: Leah Branch

Eat It, Virginia podcast - Leah Branch: The Roosevelt presented by Duke’s Mayo Hot Tomato Summer
Chef Leah Branch on Eat It, Virginia podcast

It's Juneteenth. What's for dinner?

“For Juneteenth, Branch is partnering with food anthropologist Debra Freeman to present an eight-course meal showcasing Virginia’s Black history and several of its most esteemed culinarians. Guests at tonight’s sold-out dinner will delve into the contributions of John Dabney, Edna Lewis, James Hemings, and Juba Garth, among others.”
Chef Leah Branch (left) and food anthropologist Debra Freeman

The Nineteenth of June - The Roosevelt is honoring Black chefs from throughout Virginia's history on Juneteenth

“One of the really wonderful things about Leah is she is able to take this ancestral and cultural history, this cultural memory and take that a step further,” says Freeman. “She’s able to create something new and really expand the traditional knowledge of what a stereotypical Southern dish can be.”
The Roosevelt - Richmond, Virginia

TOP 40 UNDER 40 - Leah Branch

"uber creative, talented and thoughtful chef Leah Branch"
Chef Leah Branch - Richmond, Virginia

THE NEXT BRANCH | The Roosevelt’s new chef elevates Southern food with history and passion

"Lighthearted as it seems, there is serious craft and intentionality behind Branch’s cooking. Her ability to balance flavors, masterfully saucing and garnishing dishes and making the layers cohere, is impressive. Her technique, such as tempura-frying stalks of rapini in rice flour to a gossamer crispness, is impeccable. And her use of ingredients that showcase the African diaspora – like benne seeds, black-eyed peas, and Carolina Gold rice – is insightful."
Chef Leah Branch - Richmond, Virginia

5 Great Cocktail Spots in Richmond, Virginia

"The drinks program, meanwhile, was recently rebuilt from the ground up to revolve around cocktails that incorporate a quartet of “house blends,” with each blend being a combination of spirits/liqueurs that can lend a vivacious character to classic cocktails. [...] It’s a cocktail menu that feels both adventurous and educational for the consumer."
Cocktails by Zack McRoy - Richmond, Virginia

People to Watch - A rising class of dining industry standouts

"Branch has embedded herself into the culinary fabric of Richmond. Joining the crew at a time when guests were beginning to dine out again on a regular basis, yearning to be stimulated and satiated, while peers looked on with excitement about the arrival of fresh blood on the scene, Branch delivered."
Chef Leah Branch - The Roosevelt, Richmond Virginia

Richmond dining all stars of 2022

"The neighborhood restaurant retains the classic Southern charm we know and love, but Branch has taken it upon herself to steer the menu in a boldly different direction. Her latest menu dives deep into the Louisiana bayou, then paddles back around to the French Quarter. Think: fried gator piccata and duck confit gumbo."
Chef Leah Branch - The Roosevelt, Richmond Virginia

For Richmond, a Compelling New Chapter

“I’m fascinated by what Africans brought here and how they helped shape Southern culture,” said Leah Branch, the new executive chef at the Roosevelt, whose dishes also include a soft potato roll stuffed with crawfish, a playful riff on lobster rolls that is based on one of her grandmother’s specialties.
Chef Leah Branch - The Roosevelt, Richmond Virginia

Our Tips on Where to Eat in Richmond, Virginia

"When The Roosevelt opened in 2011, it turned charming Church Hill into a dining destination and hit the best of lists early and often. Now, with executive chef Leah Branch, one of the few African American female executive chefs in the region, it continues to be both a neighborhood gathering spot and a place worth driving miles for."
Where to eat in Richmond, Va

Found in Translation - Leah Branch sheds a unique light on the food of the South

"Branch’s arrival feels like a breath of fresh air, representing one of the few Black female executive chefs in the region. It’s a moment the restaurant — and Richmond — has been waiting for"
Roosevelt Executive Chef Leah Branch at The Roosevelt

Into the Fire - A chile-centric dinner series celebrates the spicy side of life

"Unlocking a world of fiery exploration, David Hunsaker and Barbara Hollingsworth of Hanover’s Village Garden hope to change that and broaden diners’ horizons. Accompanied by Barboursville Vineyards, the farming duo are reintroducing Chile Chill Out, a pepper-centric culinary series featuring meals at restaurants around the region where chiles will be front and center."
Chile Chill Out Dinner at The Roosevelt

9 Richmond restaurant drinks and dishes featuring seasonal summer produce to try while you can

"Chilled Peach Soup at The Roosevelt: Step aside gazpacho — this bright, flavorful soup captures the fresh flavor of ripe peaches, but combines them with sour corn, cherry pickles and Edwards Surryano Ham for a sweet, tangy and savory flavor combination.""
Dining room at The Roosevelt

Best Church Hill Restaurant

"Hitting its decade mark last summer, this Southern-tinged neighborhood restaurant has entered a new era in recent years .... with a fresh voice in the kitchen with executive chef Leah Branch"
Richmond Magazine Best and Worst

There's a new chef in town

“There’s a new chef in town. The Roosevelt in Church Hill has hired Leah Branch as its head chef. The Chesterfield native, whose passion is Southern cuisine, has been featured on “The Today Show,”Cooking Channel’s “Sugar Showdown” and in Vice magazine.”
Chef Leah Branch

50 Restaurants We Love

“The restaurant, which recently turned 10, is the whole package, layering masterful preparations of (mostly) Southern classics with a kind and observant staff and slayer cocktails”
The Roosevelt - Richmond Virginia

10th Anniversary Dinner at The Roosevelt

“A special three-course prix fixe dinner to celebrate 10 years and to benefit Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay”
The Local Palate

A Toast To 10 Years

“Lightning in a bottle is the best way to describe the Roosevelt's ten-year run”
The Local Palate

Best Church Hill Restuarant

“The Roosevelt manages to strike a balance between offering dishes such as crispy lamb belly and fiddlehead ferns, while retaining an unpretentious, homey feel”
Richmond Magazine Best of 2021

Juicy Fruit - a recipe for tomato tartare

“In this part of Virginia, growing tomatoes is an art form, and the folks in Hanover County have nearly perfected it. ”
tomato tartare

Richmond Times-Dispatch - The Roosevelt proves that change can make a restaurant stronger

“The Roosevelt proves that a great restaurant can both endure and transcend change. […] The restaurant continues to stand unwaveringly as a symbol of how Richmond’s growing food scene came to be and where it’s going.”
interior of the roosevelt

Southern Living - The Best Bars in Every Southern State

"Those spots that have us coming back, week after week or whenever we are back in town. We take our family members and out-of-town friends to these spots because they have something special to offer–a homey feel, a friendly and totally lovable bartender, fancy cocktails, or memories of our youth."
best bar in Virginia

USA Today - Made in Virginia: Flavors only found in Richmond

Have you been to Richmond, Va. recently? Arrive hungry. Virginia’s capital has long been a destination for good grub, and in recent years, the dining scene has catapulted onto the national stage. Beyond salty ham biscuits, pimento cheese and other classic staples of the Virginia larder, Richmond has become a destination for great eating with a bumper crop of homegrown culinary concepts.
Made in Virginia: Flavors only found in Richmond

Thrillist - The 13 Best Restaurants in the South

"It's relaxed and welcoming and a neighborhood spot and, whether it's over pimento cheese with pork rinds and a Seersucker cocktail (bourbon, sweet tea syrup) or the double cheeseburger with bacon onion jam, The Roosevelt will constantly make you want to stop in and say hi. Just don't be weird about it."
best restaurants in the south

Conde Nast Traveler - 8 Best Southern Cocktail Bars: Where to Drink in New Orleans, Charleston, and More

"The Roosevelt, located in the Church Hill neighborhood, perfectly exemplifies the new Richmond food scene with its creative approach to Southern food and drink. Their newest drink, a rye whiskey punch called the Remington, is the perfect cocktail for a Southern winter, with the warmth of rye and rum, the brightness of orange juice, and a delightful blend of spices."
Conde Nast Traveler

The Local Palate - Culinary Richmond

"Culinary talent exists in spades in Virginia's capital. What makes this scene so singularly remarkable is [...] the flavor of friendship that peppers their cuisine; egos take a backseat to collaboration as the most talented chef's work together."
The Local Palate

8 Under-the-Radar Foodie Cities

"Richmond, Virginia / Best Kept Secret: Check out The Roosevelt for inventive pairings like catfish with bean and bacon succotash and Nashville-style spicy fried pig head."
RICHMOND The Next Great American Food City

Southern Living - 100 Best Restaurants in the South

"And that "order anything" attitude? Just go ahead and apply that to the cocktail list as well."
100 Best Restaurants in the South

Esquire - Best Bars in America

"Pleasant, casual, and very hospitable, with damn tasty drinks made form mostly local ingredients."
Best Bars in America

Style Weekly - Best of Richmond

"The Roosevelt has a gracious, Southern vibe with a menu to match. With Southern poutine, Coca-Cola cake, a brilliant cocktail menu and an all-Virginia wine list, guests leave happy and full." Most Welcome Throwback Food Trend, Best Places to Find Virginia Wine, Best Dinner, Best Richmond Chef
Gluten Free Fried Chicken

Pilot Online - The 30 places to eat in Virginia before you die

"The food here is the kind your Southern grandma would serve if she were a hip lady who concocted dishes like sausage corn dogs."
Eat Virginia

Richmond Times-Dispatch - Dish: And the Elby winners are...

"The Roosevelt in Church Hill took home the big prize of the night, Restaurant of the Year"
Restaurant and Chef of the Year

Southern Living - Where to Drink Now

"We sipped our way through the South to compile a list of our 100 favorite Southern bars. From down-and-dirty dives to sleek and buzzy cocktail lounges, these spots are sure to liven up any Friday night."
Southern Gin Fizz

New York Magazine - Tap Into the New South in Richmond

"Revitalized neighborhoods, new cultural attractions, and a rising culinary scene are rejuvenating Virginia's capital. [...] Reserve a table well in advance for The Roosevelt, the perennially packed, modern Southern gastropub that opened a year ago in the emerging Church Hill neighborhood."
The Seersucker / The Roosevelt

Richmond Magazine - Elby Awards Winners

Thomas "T" Leggett picked up the Elby for best Cocktail Program; Kendra Feather was named Restaurateur of the Year.
Elbys 2013

Garden & Gun - Slice of History

"The Roosevelt channels a Depression-era ethos into Southern riches"
Garden and Gun: The Roosevelt

Richmond Magazine - 50 Fantastic Food Finds - The Seersucker at The Roosevelt

"Mint juleps are a traditional drink of the South, not really of Richmond. For a drink that tastes like a native concoction, go to The Roosevelt and order a Seersucker [...] The result is sweet and smoky joy that will make you think of Richmond in August while the Great Dismal Swamp is burning, and I mean that in the best possible way."
The Seersucker

Style Weekly - Restaurant of the Year: The Roosevelt

"I like the blending of local ingredients and local culture," Freeman says. "Perhaps the biggest point it scores for me is that the restaurant truly feels like a new South. [...] The Roosevelt celebrates the South, but it points a new direction for our relationship to our culture. Be creative, be open-minded, hang on to our roots but keep things moving."
Restaurant of the Year