L’Opossum offers a quirky take on traditional French cuisine in a very eclectic interior, masterminded by Chef/Owner David Shannon. Opening in 2015 it immediately won the Elby (Richmond-region award) Dining award for Best New Restaurant and in 2017 won the Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year. You can see why it also has claimed fame as the most romantic restaurant with a number of sexual references in the food and art. Inside you’ll find a small darkly lit place with booths on one side of the long room, cut-outs holding statues between tables on the opposite wall and small tables in the middle. The tables are embossed with gold patterns underneath heavy plastic coating that brought Rorschach to mind and the lighting is from dozens of colored balls hanging from the ceiling. The walls are covered with plates, paintings and statues. Service was great – helpful and friendly, offering advice when needed. It may not be the best food I’ve ever had but the place itself is worth a visit and a chance to soak up the vibe.
We started with one of their cocktails, Throwing Shade made with Woodford Reserve bourbon, burnt oranges, Aperol and sweet vermouth. It was nice but then we did order a bottle of wine for the rest of the meal. Bread service was a slice of housemade bread with whippy butter. it was fine.
We chose to split another entree for our appetizer, the “Jumbo lump crab cakes: all crab, all the time” served with wilted spinach and Béarnaise tartar sauce. The 2 crab cakes were topped with some pickled onion and tartar sauce. Below them was a nice pile of spinach and under that some fingerling potatoes. The Béarnaise was underneath it all. Both the spinach and potatoes were cooked perfectly and were tender and delicious. The spinach was seasoned with lots of garlic. The crab cakes had a lovely crisp on the outside and inside was a filling of mostly solid crab. I wouldn’t have thought of this combination but it did work. The buttery sauce and great onions brought it all together. Good one.
The Filet Mignon of Beef “Swellington” was crowned with a fascinator of truffled duxelles aux champignons et cognac all on a pink peppercorn and port reduction. This was a good-sized piece of tenderloin that had additional truffle oil added at the table. The green beans and carrots with the meat could have been cooked a few minutes more, they were almost raw. The mushrooms and onions on the plate were fine. The pastry filled with foie gras on top was delicious and really accented the cooked perfectly and tender beef. It was a fun plate.
The Swashbuckling Bundt Pirate was awash in hot buttered rum and grilled pineapple ambrosia, “Yo-Ho- Ho.” The gag was complete with the “argh!” sign attached to the plate. The cake was sweet with tons of texture from the crisped coconut and soft pineapple. Some cream topped the pile covered with the coconut and a good supply of sticky sweet sauce was below. Tasty.