Sunday, May 03, 2009

Dining Out at Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake has plenty of great dining options

When it comes to dining at Smith Mountain Lake, there is certainly no shortage of options. From copious fast-food chains, to quaint family diners, to exotic ethnic eateries, to upscale waterfront restaurants, you’ll find everything necessary to tempt your taste buds.

            During the warmer months, half the fun of eating out at SML is going by boat.

            “We have our own sightseeing trip that cruises by several spectacular houses and coves en route to dinner,” said Charlie Cromwell, a three-year lake resident. “And then we end up at The Landing for a terrific meal on the patio. It’s always a hit with our guests. We start out at about 4:30 for our leisurely ride, get to dinner at 6 or 6:30, and we’re headed home before it gets dark.”

            During the week, when boat traffic is lighter, check out some of the plentiful lunchtime eateries such as the Marina Café at Mitchell’s Point, Mexico Viejo at Crazy Horse Marina, Portside Grill & Bar at Virginia Dare Marina, Bay Roc Marina as well as the numerous options at Bridgewater Plaza – Chopsticks, Moosie’s Restaurant, Mango’s Bar & Grill, Pizza Pub and The Mouse Trap.

            SML resident Charlene Maresca said she enjoys the atmosphere at King’s Point Irish Pub, which is located on the south side of the lake.

            “A bunch of us pile into our neighbor’s pontoon, and we have a great time getting there as well as at the restaurant,” she said. “There’s such a fun atmosphere on the pub’s deck; the waiters really want you to enjoy yourself. The food is good and reasonable, too.”

            For a special treat, consider making reservations at one of the lake’s more upscale restaurants. All of the following are accessible by boat and are a great choice for a memorable meal:

            Chopsticks at Bridgewater Plaza offers a lake view and an extensive choice of Chinese menu selections. Or try the sophisticated made-to-order sushi or the hibachi grill dinner. The kids will love the show by the chef at the hibachi grill (and you will too)!

            Harrison’s at Sunset Cay, voted “Best New Restaurant” in 2008 by readers of the Smith Mountain Laker magazine, has a wide array of delectable menu items, and you may dine inside with a great view or outside under Tiki umbrellas on the deck. Sunday brunch is particularly popular. The restaurant also has plenty of docking with attendants to help you tie up.

            The Landing, winner of numerous Laker “Best of” awards, produces culinary creations that are a delight to the eyes as well as the palate. Outdoor dining is comfortable, and the menu features everything from burgers to gourmet fare. Live entertainment in the bar is scheduled on weekends throughout the summer.

            Benjamin’s at The Pointe, located at Mariners Landing, provides a wide variety of culinary selections that are sure to please, with an outstanding view of Smith Mountain. The restaurant also features occasional live music and theme buffet dinners.

            The menu at The Boat House is sophisticated and international, but there are also bar selections and an outdoor deck menu designed just for people climbing off their boats who want to chill out and enjoy the lake view. The restaurant, one of SML’s most established, often features live music on weekends.

            If you want to dine, see the lake and not have to worry about driving, consider booking a cruise on the Virginia Dare. The owners offer lunch, dinner and specialty cruises with group rates and private charters available. Hang out before or after at the Virginia Dare Marina’s Key West-themed Portside Grill and Bar, which features a covered Tiki hut overlooking the water. 

            Other lake-area favorites that are off-water include The Blackwater Café, The Westlake Golf & Country Club, Casa D’ Amici Italian Restaurant, Fallon’s Pub & Grill, Downtown Pizzeria, El Torito, Joe’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant, Lago Pizza, Michael’s Pizza & Pasta, Downtown Pizzeria, Mayberry Diner, Min’s China City, Mexico Viejo, Michael’s Pizza and Pasta, Smith Mountain Coffee & Café, New York Pizza, White House Restaurant and Reds, Wines & Blues.


Restaurants & Carry Out

Anchors Family Restaurant 540-296-0888
Bay Roc Marina Café 540-890-2194
Benjamin's at The Pointe 540-296-1215
Blackwater Café 540-721-4333
Bluebird Bakery & Grill 540-297-2323
BoJangles' 540-719-2248
Carl's Place 540-576-2838
Casa D'Amici Italian Restaurant 540-296-1329
Chopsticks Chinese Restaurant 540-721-8839
Crazy Horse Marina 540-721-1587
Dairy Queen - Penhook 540-576-1622
Dairy Queen - Westlake 540-721-7541
Diamond Hill General Store 540-297-9309
Downtown Pizzeria 540-297-1269
Drift-In Deli 540-297-9300
Dudley Mart Restaurant 540-721-1635
Duck In Market 540-721-4633
Edo Grill & Sushi 540-297-6888
El Cazador 540-296-0763
El Torito Mexican Restaurant 540-721-3821
Fallon's Pub & Grill 540-297-4562
Finz Bar & Grill 540-297-6777
Freckles Ice Cream Parlor 540-297-2138
Hawk's Country Store & Deli 540-296-0975
Homestead Creamery 540-721-2045
Hot Shots Family Fun Center 540-719-1547
Ice Cream Cottage 540-721-1305
Joe's Pizza & Italian Restaurant 540-721-2422
Jonathan's Restaurant 540-719-1212
King's Point Pub 540-297-7347
La Trattoria Italian Restaurant 540-576-3004
Lago Pizza 540-297-5353
Magnum's The Boathouse 540-352-4071
Mango's Bar & Grill 540-721-1632
Marina Café 540-297-4829
Mayberry Diner 540-206-4485
Mei's China City 540-721-2646
Mexico Viejo 540-719-1000
Moosie's Restaurant 540-721-5255
New York Pizza 540-721-4880
Nobologna Subs & Deli 540-721-1414
Old Oak Café 540-583-1792
Olde Liberty Station 540-587-9377
Penhook Boat Dock 540-576-2868
Pizza Pub 540-721-1234
Rookies Sports Tavern 540-297-4161
Small Plates 540-297-2072
Smith Mountain Dock & Lodge 434-927-5100
Subway 540-721-7827
Subway 540-297-8884
The Clubhouse Café 540-297-7888
The Landing Restaurant 540-721-3028
The Mouse Trap 540-721-4997
Tuscan Tavern 540-297-8900
Wendy's 540-721-5000
The Westlake Country Club Restaurant 540-721-4215
White House Restaurant 540-297-7104