HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- When I asked friends who live in Cabell County for restaurant recommendations in downtown Huntington, they in turn plied me with questions. What kind of food did I want? Was atmosphere important? What was my price range?
All legitimate questions. They supplied me with a list of some of their favorites, both fancy and casual, and others that are considered of note by the locals. All are unique Huntington establishments and all are downtown.
And before my phone starts ringing, this list is not intended to be comprehensive. Many fine establishments are not on the list. These are just the names that I most frequently hear mentioned and plan to try when I'm in Huntington.
So, with some trepidation, I present the list:
910 Fourth Ave.
Huntington Prime offers global and regional cuisine using as many local products as possible. Executive chef and owner Michael Bowe's menu features his signature prime rib served in the intimate dining room on the first floor of an historic building. Pizzas are baked in the dining room's stone hearth oven.
The meats in pork belly with smoked Gouda grits and a slow roasted pork chop with a cracked pepper gravy both come from Mason County. Rainbow trout and lamb shanks are West Virginia products as well. Entrees are paired with classic and creative sides and chef-suggested wines.
Soups, sandwiches and salads are served for lunch.
Dinner prices range from $11 pizzas to nearly $30 lamb shanks or filets or steaks.
Hours: Lunch served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Dinner served 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Call 304-697-1113 or visit huntingtonprime.com.
The Thai House
912 3rd Ave
The Thai House, previously a small Dunbar establishment, offers authentic Thai cuisine in bright, airy space in Pullman Square. A variety of curry dishes, noodle and fried rice dishes include lots of vegetables and chicken, beef, duck, pork or seafood, all prepared to the customer's preferred degree of spiciness.
No garden-variety soups and salad here. Instead, Thai seasoned meats and seafood flavor salads and fragrant clear soups. An abbreviated lunch menu features $7 entrees or a $3 special of soup or house salad, crab Rangoon and soft drink.
Prices vary from $10 main dish salads to $11 to $14 for curries, entrees, noodles and rice dishes. The menu includes many vegetarian options.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 9 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Call 304-522-8898 or visit thaihousewv.com.
1208 Sixth Ave.
Inspired by their building's southern charm, the owners chose Savannah's as a name for the elegant, intimate restaurant they opened in an historic house in 1996. Chef Matt Parkins' New Zealand rack of lamb and his generous crab cakes are particular favorites. Pork, steak, veal, chicken, seafood and pasta dishes are seasoned with 20 herbs grown on site.
An impressive wine list of nearly 400 bottles has earned Savannah's a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence every year since 1999.
Small bites and tapas are served in the casual Bistro next door. Dinner service is also available in the Bistro.
Entrée prices vary from about $20 for chicken saltimbocca or pasta Bolognese to about $40 for elk rib chops, filets, steaks and herb and pepper crusted Ahi tuna.
Savannah's opens at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Bistro opens at 5 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Call 304-529-0919 or visit savannahsmenu.com.
21 At The Frederick
940 4th Ave
Housed in the historic Frederick Hotel in the space formerly known as the Elephant Walk, 21 At The Frederick retains some of the elephant décor from its mid-20th century years.
Executive chef Jason Oesterreicher creates French/Mediterranean fusions dishes such as a hand-seared center cut filet topped with braised chanterelle mushrooms and seared Chilean sea bass served with Asian stir-fried vegetables and finished with a Thai chile glaze.
Dinners start at about $20 and range to $40 for an Ancho-rubbed prime cut of New York strip steak.
Hours: 2 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed on Sunday and Monday.
Call 304-529-0222 or visit 21 at the Frederick on Facebook.
Third & Ninth Deli-Market and Paula Vega cupcakes