When Foodbuzz asked for submissions to participate in 24, 24, 24, I knew I had to send in something for The Bank. And it worked out perfectly with Beadie and her husband here – we were able to have an amazing date night.
We look pretty good after hiking all afternoon :)
The Bank Food and Drink is noted as “Pearisburg’s only establishment for gourmet dining” and has received 4.5 stars from the Roanoke Times’ review of the restaurant.
The best part? The Bank is located in downtown Pearisburg, in what used to be “the bank” building in the town. The owners have been able to create an amazing dining experience without losing the charm and history of the building and its surroundings.
The plot of land where The Bank now stands started as a private residence in the mid 1800s. After changing hands a few times, the land and house were bought by The Bank of Giles on May 12, 1905 for a mere $750. The plan was to tear down the standing house and build a new bank building in its place.
On June 22, 1906 the new bank was purchased by The First National Bank of Pearisburg for $4000. This bank served as a community bank and landmark until 1959 when the bank relocated. The property was then purchased by C.A. Lucas who later donated the building to the Giles County Historical Society in 1981.
Unable to raise funds needed to restore the old bank, the society sold it in 1985. The building changed hands several times, becoming the First National Bank of Christiansburg, and then was purchased in 1992 by Attorney Garland S. Spangler for his law office.
In 2005, Linda and Lynn Hayes, owners of the Inn at Riverbend, a bed and breakfast in Pearisburg, decided to purchase the building to provide a location for a restaurant to serve their guests and the New River Valley.
Meeting Chefs Cunninghame and Linda West was fate! Cunninghame grew up in Giles County and was ready to leave Las Vegas and return to this beautiful area to lease this building and open The Bank-Food and Drink.
And this place has history – check out this old picture I saw hanging in the lobby! That was taken in 1946, and you can see the old phone booth on the corner! You can also see the old burglar alarm above the top middle window that is still there today.
One of the many things I love about this place is that they kept the inside divided up a bit. They do have 2 rooms that have more than one table in them, but a few of the rooms (that I’m guessing used to be offices) are still single rooms, so we had our own dining room last night. It’s fun to feel like you’re the only people there.
The first thing they bring out is probably one of the best breads I’ve ever had. It’s warm, oily focaccia bread with an olive oil and basalmic saucer to dip, and is one of my favorite parts of the meal.
I had this one slice, broken in half so I could dip as much as possible!
For my starter, I decided to try something new instead of getting my usual salad. I am glad I stepped out of my box here, because this salad was amazing.
I ordered the oven roasted portabello, feta, and balsalmic greens salad, and it was just as good as it sounds. I don’t know that I’ve ever had warm mushrooms on a salad before, but the combination of the roasted mushrooms, sweet syrupy basalmic and salty feta was delicious. This may have to become my new starter here!
For my meal, I ordered one of my favorite things on the menu: Salmon with Shrimp, Mussels, and a Tomato Caper Sauce
The salmon was perfectly cooked, there were just enough shrimp and mussels, and I really love this dish because the sauce adds a great flavor without being overwhelming. It’s almost like a thin tomato broth with tomatoes, capers, and garlic, so you don’t lose the salmon. Most of their dishes also come with a vegetable and mashed potatoes, which are always great and not too much! I ate all of my veggies, all of the potatoes, and most of the salmon but it was a big piece and I just couldn’t finish it all and have room for dessert.
And dessert is one thing that you have to get here. I think it should be mandatory, actually. They are that good.
All 4 of us ended up ordering the same exact dessert last night and it’s probably our favorite out of all the ones we’ve tried.
We all ordered the Chocolate Mousse Bombe with a vanilla creme brulee center, crispy praline chocolate wafer, raspberry sauce, enrobed in a dark chocolate.
I’m surprised I stopped eating long enough to get a couple pictures of the decadent mousse.
Now that’s the sign of a good meal.
Nick and I have been here a few times before, and we have never had anything we didn’t like. Having a chef and pastry chef in our little town that have worked in California and Las Vegas in the past is truly a treat and we always know that whatever we order will be amazing.
Thanks Foodbuzz for the chance to have a fun date night!
And thanks to all my dinner guests: Nick, Beadie, and Mike, for a fun night full of good friends and good food.