Tarrants Cafe Tarrant Tarrant's Cafe

Tarrant's Cafe

One W. Broad St. (Foushee St.)
Richmond, VA 23220
Cuisine: American
Homey food heralds renewal in this former drugstore-turned-restaurant.
Openings: Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sat.-Sun.


Tarrant's Cafe Restaurant Review:

“Established 1873” states the menu. But that year refers to Tarrant’s origins as a drugstore, a role it held until 1987 when the building became vacant for nearly two decades. Owner Ted Santarella took it over, helping to pump life into a derelict downtown with this upscale charmer with one side that feels pub-like and the other romantic with gilt-framed paintings and chandeliers. He kept the name, emblazoned in stained glass over the door, claiming it was cheaper than buying a new sign. The legacy also suits Santarella’s fare, nothing new-fangled or hip. It’s more a cross-breed of his personal favorites --- if they could be prepared in an eye-drop-size kitchen. An expansion nearly doubled Tarrant’s in size (enlarging the kitchen and giving rise to pizza and take-out/delivery). Offerings span from BLTs and corned beef sandwiches to grilled sea scallops over Parmesan basil risotto and filet mignon, and everything is available at lunch and dinner. Entrées, generous with vegetables, include soup or salad, one night a grandmotherly rendition of sausage and cabbage. A sidewalk chalkboard announces specials such as monkfish Marsala, fettuccine Bolognese and amaretto crème brûlée. Upside-down apple walnut pie and triple berry cobbler are among dessert standbys.