Reviews & Press

Boldly Bright - Longtime server Ryan Harris is a familiar face of RVADine

"Laura Lee’s regulars (and Secco Wine Bar regulars before that) will instantly recognize the rainbow hair and impish smile of Ryan Harris, a Chesterfield native who has spent the last decade working in area restaurants. Whether you spot him pouring drinks, roller skating or walking his dogs around his Near West End neighborhood, you can reliably expect the 28-year-old server to light up your day."


Best bets for Mother's Day brunch in Richmond

"At brunch, start with the poutine ($12) featuring crispy French fries topped with sausage gravy and pecorino romano cheese, then move into the fried chicken platter for two ($26), served with hot honey, biscuits, hush puppies and slaw for an indulgent celebratory feast. Bonus: brunch is offered Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. "


9 of our favorite frozen boozy drinks to try around RVA

"The selections at Laura Lee's in Forest Hill change regularly, but you can pretty much assume they'll be delicious. Whether it's a frozen sangria featuring tropical fruit and white wine, a Painkiller, or The Undercurrent with rum, burnt apricot honey, pineapple, coconut and citrus, you're in good hands.”"


The Final Course

"Another walnut-infused beauty is the Nocino Nuts and Berries at Laura Lee's. Developed by restaurant manager Ben Nelson, it replaces the Frangelico traditionally found in the classic Nuts and Berries with Nocino from Don Ciccio & Figli, a family-run operation out of the D.C. area that specializes in Italian-style liqueurs, amari and digestifs. Nelson says, “It's a spiced liqueur made from green walnuts and has a delicious warming quality.”"


The 15 Best Restaurants in Richmond

"Tucked south on the river in Richmond's Forest Hill, neighborhood favorite Laura Lee's features contemporary American dishes in a playful, plant-filled space [...] a modern spin on traditional Southern classics like confit chicken thighs with cheddar hominy grits and smoked pork ribs with a spicy honey glaze and Virginia peanuts."


The 2010s were a decade that changed everything in Richmond dining

"Nearly every neighborhood in Richmond has its own legitimate little dining scene. [...] In South Richmond, there's Laura Lee's, Little Nickel and Galley, to name a few."


Soft and Seasonal

"Lightly pan sauteed, the two soft-shells have a stellar supporting cast in crispy fried potato cubes, colorful chopped kale, fat little squares of bacon and assorted mushrooms, all tied together with a curry aioli that announces itself subtly but unmistakably."


The Rest is Gravy

"Scott Lewis of Laura Lee's shares a recipe for crawdaddy sausage with cheddar bay drop biscuits and crawfish gravy."


Libations We Love - A roundup of cocktails we can't live without.

"I love bourbon, but that has little to do with why I'm a smitten kitten when it comes to this libation. For me, it's all about the intoxicating balance of sweet and sour in this beauty. You get some glorious tartness up front thanks to lime juice and a ton of Angostura bitters, but the finish is smooth and semi-sweet thanks to some simple syrup chilling in the background with Four Roses."


Keeping It Chill

Over at Laura Lee's, which just turned out a delightfully potent frozen Negroni, Ben Nelson uses a refractometer to get things just right. "It's a pretty special piece of equipment that I wouldn't think is necessary, but the sugar content has to be in this narrow window," he says. "It's not like baking: You can't just scale up and expect it to taste the same."


Elby Nominations Announced

Nominated for: Family-friendly Restaurant, Restaurateur of the Year (Kendra Feather)


Best New Restaurants

"It's the type of place Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern would meet for drinks [...] Laura Lee's offers a smart, seasonal menu and a thoughtful front-of-the-house staff."


Kendra Feather Pays Homage to the Neighborhood Bar with Laura Lee's

"Although Lewis hails from Danville, Virginia, the menu does not hold tightly to Southern cuisine and incorporates some Asian flavors. Crispy chicken wings are tempered with ranch dressing and General Tso's Sauce; the double cheeseburger is topped with American cheese, as well as kimchi mayo; and steamed mussels are fortified with pork belly, corn, jalapeños, and gochujang."


20 Essential Richmond Restaurants

"Everything comes back around, even fern bars — aka the ‘70s and ‘80s hangouts festooned with greenery and tchotchke. The adorable Laura Lee's is a fern bar revival, featuring playful dishes like chicken wings glazed in Cheerwine-based sauce."


Laura Lee's Is a Formidable Challenger on the Richmond Dining Scene

"Laura Lee's team has crafted a lovely atmosphere with outstanding food and drink, plus excellent service."


Southern Charm: Richmond, Virginia, Is a Culinary Hot Spot With Rich History

"In Richmond, the suburbs are also home to great neighborhood restaurants serving Southern cuisine with a twist. Cross the James River into the Forest Hill suburb and you'll find Laura Le''s..."


Laura Lee's a cheerful and delicious neighborhood dining destination

"The feeling you get from this cozy neighborhood restaurant and bar is that it's pretty happy on its little block of Semmes Avenue and planning to stay awhile."


Twelve Unforgettable Richmond Dishes

"With bread crumbs subbing for bread, it's essentially a banh mi without the baguette — pork belly, cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrot, radishes, and jalapeños. The combination delivers a fiery yet fresh-tasting new take on the classic Vietnamese sandwich."


Winging It

"Laura Lee's — on Forest Hill Avenue — double fries its fresh wings and then adds Gojuchang, a hot Korean spice paste. The wings are completely gluten-free, states Scott Lewis, chef de cuisine."


R•HOME - Tasteful Design

"I love seeing Laura Lee's when it's full of people... it's such a warm and inviting space. It feels like it's kind of always been there."


Richmond Magazine - The Elbys

Nominated for: Best New Restaurant, Rising Star (Scott Lewis), Employee of the Year (Michael Smith)


The Town Dish - Cross the Mason-Dixon Line for a Taste of Richmond This Holiday Season

"Lewis playfully hits the mark for a neighborhood restaurant, with a menu including a fried chicken sandwich with homemade Polynesian sauce, pork shank with with hominy cheese grits and braised greens, steamed mussels with cider and sausage, and a decadent take on “loaded potato skins.”


Richmond Magazine - First Look: Laura Lee's, Opening Tonight

“I really loved the space and I love the neighborhood, and I love neighborhood places," Feather says. "That appeals to me more than anything. All of us who live in the city know the value of our neighborhood place and what it means to you.”


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