For: Salt and Pepper Ribeye
110 E. Cameron St., Culpeper; 540-825-4444; piedmontsteakhouse.com.
“This is our version of a bread basket,” as a bowl of house-made potato chips and fried onion strings start the meal at this Italian-leaning steakhouse.
Owner Steve Miller leased the late 19th century historic brick building in downtown Culpeper after it had been repaired from the damage incurred by the 2011 earthquake; but it still feels like a part of history.
Miller explains this building housed the first elevator in town (1920) and the exterior structure of the elevator remains visible, separating the bar from the dining room, like a doorway.
The server talked me out of asking for either the house, herb or Cajun rubs, insisting the kitchen works salt and pepper into the rib-eye so well, it’s all the seasoning needed. The girl didn’t lie.
Steak emerges stained with well-worn cross marks from its time on the char-grill. But a medley of green beans, carrots and mushrooms tastes more Lean Cuisine than farm fresh.
A boozy and espresso-laced tiramisu, swings the mood back toward a happier time.