The Liz Moore Market Watch Blog

Patriotic Picnic

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Sat, Jul 10, 2021 @ 09:34 PM

Patriotic Picnic FB and IG Graphic

Liz Moore and Associates was excited to have joined forces with MISSION BBQ to pledge our allegiance to our community with our 1st Annual American Flag Exchange Program.

The event was held at the Liz Moore Richmond office at 14061 Midlothian Turnpike on June 19th. Visitors traded in their old Stars and Stripes for a brand-new three-foot by five-foot American flag. Worn, faded, or torn American flags were be traded in for new flags.

The old flags were retired and respectfully disposed of in accordance with the US Flag Code. It was a great day with Mission BBQ, games, music, and fun!  Tshirt sales even raised money for Wounded Warrior Project.

Tags: lizlocal-richmond-community


Posted by Liz Moore on Sat, Jul 10, 2021 @ 09:20 PM

laBy Brandy Centolanza

When it comes to authentic Italian cuisine, Vito Bellantuono, owner of La Cucina Ristorante Italiano & Pizzeria in Midlothian, takes things seriously. Vito, a native of Italy, has been working hard the past nine years to provide his customers with the best Italian dishes out there.

“We are trying to strike that balance between American Italian food and true Italian food,” Vito said. “We are
always trying new flavors. Our goal is to introduce our customers to different ingredients and to expand their palates.”

Vito co-owns La Cucina, which means “the kitchen” in Italian, with his wife, Joann. The restaurant is located at The Shoppes at Bellgrade on West Huguenot Road. Though he’s owned La Cucina since 2010, he’s been in the
restaurant industry his whole life.

Vito was born in Italy and migrated to the United States in 1973. His father’s entire family was involved in the
restaurant business in Brooklyn, NY, and Vito started working at a young age. He began by serving slices of pizza and washing dishes, which evolved into working in the kitchen and meal prepping.

“It was just a natural progression,” Vito said. “Being a part of this business just became a part of my life.” Vito made his way to the Richmond area in 1995, where he opened an Italian restaurant with his brother-in-law. The duo later opened the restaurant Chianti on Gaskins Road. Eventually, Vito sold his half of Chianti to his brother-in-law when he and Joann decided to open La Cucina.

La Cucina serves traditional Italian food such as pizza and pasta including manicotti, ravioli, cannelloni, and
 lasagna as well as original dishes that Vito creates on a weekly basis. “We pride ourselves on our fish and
veal,” he said. “We have three different specials every week: a fish, a protein, and a pasta.”

La Cucina’s signature pasta dish is pasta Michaelangelo with chicken, shrimp, sausage, red peppers, and
artichoke in a light pink sauce. Other top sellers are the pasta Bolognese served with a meat sauce made with ground veal, beef, pork, and a hint of cream as well as the seared salmon in a lemon caper sauce. The veal and
chicken Marsala entrees are also popular. The restaurant offers roughly half a dozen different veal and chicken dinner entrees.

Vito operates in the kitchen while Joann is responsible for the front of the house. Nearly everything is made
in-house at La Cucina, from the bread to the sauces and dressings. Vito is constantly finding inspiration for his meal selections, even traveling back to Italy for ideas. Customers also rave about his soups.

“Our food is seasonal, and tends to be more hearty in the winter,” he said. “In the summer, I will use a lot more fruit. Right now, I am making a lot of soups. I try not to make the same soup more than twice a year.”

Vito has recipes for more than 100 soups. His wife’s favorite is the chicken gnocchi soup. “Cooking is like handwriting: everyone has their own signature,” Vito said. “I like creating and experimenting in the kitchen and finding out what works and what doesn’t.”

Patrons can eat in the dining room or al fresco on the patio during warmer weather. At La Cucina, Vito and Joann strive to meet the needs of every customer.

“Everything is made to order,” Vito said. “We want to give people a good quality meal and experience at a fair price. We want to make sure everything is right from the moment you place your order to the presentation of the food on your plate to serving you the meal.

Consistency is key to the craft. We don’t compromise on the quality of the food.” Vito and Joann have had loyal customers through the years, some whom come routinely to eat and have watched their two boys grow up. “It’s like they’ve become a part of our family, and that’s very rewarding,” Joann said. “It’s great to hear people say that this is the best food that they’ve had in a long time. Satisfying our customers is what it is all about.



Tags: lizlocal-richmond-food_and_drink


Posted by Lynnette Tully on Sat, Jul 10, 2021 @ 09:02 PM

food craftBy Brandy Centolanza

For the past ten years, Sun Brown has been serving customers with a hearty breakfast and lunch as owner of Food Craft off Victory Boulevard in York County. People from all over the Peninsula and the Southside flock to the establishment for a great meal. So, what is Sun’s secret?

“People like the atmosphere,” Sun said. “We are very family-oriented. When people come here, they are treated like they are a part of our family. People also love the food. I think it’s a combination of those three things that sets us apart.”

Sun was a flight attendant before moving to the Hampton Roads area back in the 1980s to be closer to her
sister, KC. After relocating, Sun started working at a Japanese Restaurant in Newport News and later owned another restaurant in Hampton for seven years before opening Food Craft in 2009. “Working in the restaurant business is all I’ve really known,” Sun said.

When she opened Food Craft, she intentionally wanted to serve only breakfast and lunch in order to free
up her evenings to be with her three children. “That was important to me, to be able to spend time with them at night,” Sun said. “When your kids are little, you want to be home with them.” These days, Sun’s children are grown. Her two sons, Kyle and Coti, help out at the restaurant, working in the kitchen. Her sister is also a regular customer, so Food Craft is truly a family affair.

“It feels good to have my kids here with me,” Sun said. “My kids are always right there behind me.”

Popular breakfast items at Food Craft include the chicken and waffles, French
toast, and pancakes. There are seven different kinds of pancakes available on the menu. The griddle platters come with two pancakes, two eggs to your liking, and two pieces of bacon or sausage.

“I like the blueberry pancakes, but the Cinnabun pancakes are the most
popular,” Sun said. “People like our omelettes too.”

Food Craft also has a bar if you want amimosa or Blood Mary with your first meal of the day. Prefer to stop in for lunch? Food Craft has lunch specials during the week including chicken potpie on Tuesdays; fried chicken on Wednesdays; meatloaf on Thursdays; and fried flounder on Fridays.

“We have regular customers who come in just for the chicken potpie,” Sun  said. “It’s pretty big and when people first see it, they go ‘wow!’”

Other lunch options include craft burgers (there are ten types; Sun’s favorite is the swiss mushroom burger),
sandwiches, and salads. Patrons also enjoy the hamburger steak, which is topped with gravy and sautéed onions and comes with two sides. Among the most popular appetizers are the fried green tomatoes and Scotch eggs: two hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, breaded in panko crumbs and fried until golden brown.

“People just love the Scotch eggs,” Sun said.

Sun is on her feet much of the day as a hostess for the restaurant.

“I always greet the customers, make sure the food comes out right, and thank them as they leave,” she said. “I
think that is important.” People are always asking when Sun will open a second location of Food Craft, a testament to customers’ affection for the restaurant.

There are no plans to expand, however. “I’m just going to keep running it the way I always have been and see what happens,” Sun said. “My customers are all so sweet. I have regulars who have been coming in for many years and have become good friends. I am very lucky.”

Tags: lizlocal-peninsula-food_and_drink

Looking to explore Richmond’s history? Start with Church Hill!

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Sat, Jul 10, 2021 @ 08:49 PM

church hillBy Brandy Centolanza

Church Hill is Richmond’s oldest neighborhood. This area, also known at St. John’s Church Historic District, is steeped in history, having been the site where Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give Me Liberty” speech in 1775. Today, the neighborhood of Church Hill boasts quaint restaurants, shops, and homes.

Church Hill overlooks the city in the East End. The area’s name is derived from St. Episcopal Church, which was built in 1742 by William Byrd II, the founder of Richmond. Church Hill is often used to describe the area of St. John’s historic district as well as surrounding neighborhoods including Chimborazo, Fairmount, Peter Paul, Union Hill, and Woodville.

Most homes in Church Hill predate the Civil War and include architectural styles such as Greek Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne. Church Hill’s streets are lined with row housing, townhomes, and other ornate houses. The area has seen its ups and downs through the years with the latest revitalization in the early 2000s when a slew of new homes and businesses moved into the area.

Nature lovers will appreciate Church Hill as it is close to four parks, Patrick Henry, Libby Hill, Jefferson, and Chimborazo, and provides spectacular views of the James River. Chimborazo Park & Playground features the National Battlefield Park headquarters as well as a miniature version of the Statue of Liberty. The park also has two dog parks, ideal for homeowners with pets.

Meanwhile, Libby Hill Park is one of the three original parks in Richmond’s park system and has great views of the city and river. Another famous landmark is the Church Hill Tunnel. The tunnel, first built in the 1870s as a Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Tunnel, is located 4,000 feet beneath the historic Church Hill area.

In October 1925, the tunnel collapsed on a train passing through, killing four men. Efforts to recover the
train failed and the tunnel, which some believe to be haunted, was eventually sealed up for safety reasons.

Traditionally, the Church Hill Irish Festival is held annually at Patrick Henry Park each St. Patrick’s Day to honor Irish heritage with a parade and Irish food staples such as fish and chips and Irish crafts, music, and other entertainment.

In the Church Hill area, you will also find numerous vintage stores and boutiques, home décor shops, corner markets, coffee shops, and restaurants, including many farm-to-table options. Among the more popular eateries are The Hill Café, Patrick Henry’s Pub & Grille, Alamo BBQ, and The Roosevelt. In
2015, Zagat named Church Hill as one of the top 10 Hot Food Neighborhoods Around the U.S.

Tags: lizlocal-richmond-realestate

Choosing a Rivah Home Don’t Be Up A Creek Without The Right REALTOR

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Sat, Jul 10, 2021 @ 08:32 PM

boatsBy Susan McFadden

It’s more important than ever to work with a REALTOR® who knows the Bay, the rivers, and the tributaries. If buying an existing river home or purchasing a waterfront lot for building is on your 2021 must-do list, read this short article first before starting your search.

With over 1,100 miles of shoreline, the Northern Neck of Virginia is a huge draw for people who want to live on the water full-time or second home buyers within a two-hour commute of the Neck who are considering a weekend and vacation getaway.

Consider first the kind of lifestyle you want to lead before purchasing a waterfront property. Are you looking forward to mooring your powerboat or sailboat to a dock in your backyard? Or, are you more interested in kayaking the shallow waters of the creeks that flow throughout the Northern Neck?

Or, are you just seeking a waterfront home with fantastic water views, sand beach, and an inviting screened porch that’s perfect for kicking back or entertaining?

Matching a property to the river lifestyle you want to lead is crucial to your long term satisfaction with your new river home. A REALTOR® from the Liz Moore & Associates team will show you the best possible options for the lifestyle you want to lead.

Our REALTORS® are also knowledgeable about local building codes and the Chesapeake Bay Preservation
Act regulations. They can recommend a bevy of choice contractors in the region and suggest local contacts to help you navigate the building process. They also know the local lenders who understand the challenges of building or buying an existing home in this rural, waterfront region.

Interest rates continue to be historically low. 2021 will be an ideal time to find and purchase the river home you’ve always wanted. And, Liz Moore & Associates REALTORS® will help you every step of the way, from your initial search all the way through closing.
Call us today or stop by our office - visit for contact info.

Tags: lizlocal-Northernneck-realestate

Kilmarnock Inn

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Jul 06, 2021 @ 11:24 AM

By Susan McFadden

For visitors looking for a more bed and breakfast lodging and dining experience, the Kilmarnock Inn is the port of call. Located on a side street in the charming, walkable Town of Kilmarnock, the inn reflects Virginia’s rich presidential history.

Each of the Kilmarnock Inn’s eight guest cottages is named for a Virginia-born president, such as the Wilson House named for the 28th president Woodrow Wilson.

A classic Southern-style comfort foods menu is served in the Jefferson Gathering Room, or guests can enjoy al fresco dining on the back deck during warm-weather months. The dining facilities are open to the public. Kilmarnock Inn guests enjoy a complimentary full breakfast during each morning of their stay.


Tags: lizlocal-Northernneck-livelocal, lizlocal-Northernneck-food_and_drink

Unwind at the Irvington's Tides Inn

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Jul 06, 2021 @ 11:02 AM

fab-lentz-Kal0BnJvy94-unsplashBy Susan McFadden

Many visitors first discovered the Northern Neck when they moored their boat at one of the many marinas that inhabit the 1,100 miles of coastline or cruised into the marina at the Tides Inn in Irvington, the region’s premier resort, which opened its doors in 1947. The 47-room resort was the brainchild of local residents E.A. Stephens and his wife, Ann. They purchased a 25-acre farm with extraordinary water views and, through a leap of faith, built an inn that welcomed families and couples with room rates starting at $14 per night.

Today, the Tides Inn is still the regional premier resort drawing guests from across the world, the USA, and the Mid-Atlantic. According to their website, the Tides Inn “…continues to introduce new guest experiences, inviting visitors to create their own All-American traditions along the Chesapeake Bay.

Under the management of Enchantment Group, refreshed public and meeting spaces were unveiled in 2019.”
Although the nightly rates are considerably higher than in 1947, the accommodations and resort amenities rival those located in more well-known destinations.

One of many notable perks for Tides Inn guests is the Premier Sailing School that operates from the resort during the summer months. Premier Sailing’s owner Arabella Denvir and her husband Phil
founded the school in 1998 after a long and accomplished sailing history that included years of cruising and racing in Ireland and England’s waters. They also founded the Malta Sailing School and Malta Young Sailors Club before bringing their business model to the lower Northern Neck. Phil passed away
in 2011, but Arabella and her seasonal staff of experienced sailors continue to introduce children, couples, and families to the joy of sailing through personalized instruction.

Classes are not limited to Tides Inn guests but are open to the public. Premier Sailing also offers its Junior Sailing Program to non-members through the Rappahannock River Yacht Club.

Tags: lizlocal-Northernneck-livelocal, lizlocal-Northernneck-food_and_drink

Where the Heck is the Northern Neck?

Posted by Liz Moore on Tue, Jul 06, 2021 @ 10:41 AM





By Susan McFadden

Located within an easy commute from major urban centers, the Northern Neck is about two hours south of Washington, D.C., one and one-half hours east of Richmond, and an hour north of Williamsburg.

The Northern Neck has often been referred to as “Virginia’s undiscovered gem.” It’s the northernmost of three peninsulas (traditionally called “necks” in Virginia) on the Chesapeake Bay’s western shore. The other two are the Middle Peninsula and the Virginia Peninsula.

The region is comprised of four distinctive coastal counties - Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland, and Lancaster - and is flanked by the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. The rivers converge at the lower tip of the Northern Neck to meet the Chesapeake Bay. Two bridges span the Rappahannock River and provide access from the Middle Peninsula to the Northern Neck. The Norris Bridge connects Middlesex County to Lancaster
County, and the Downing Bridge connects Essex County to Richmond County.

Travel by water, air, or car. Marinas dot the 1,100 miles of shoreline, and many welcome transient boaters. Hummel Airport is a public-use facility located in Topping, just a short distance from the Norris Bridge.
Another facility, the Tappahannock-Essex County Airport, is less than 15 minutes from the Downing Bridge. Driving becomes a more recreational pastime once drivers turn off the interstate onto rural, scenic routes heading to their final Northern Neck destination.

From Northern Virginia, take US-17 South and crossover the Downing Bridge from Essex County to Richmond
County in the Northern Neck. Or travel the VA-3 East route that stretches the full length of the Neck.
From Richmond, take I-64 East to the West Point 220 exit. Travel VA-33 East and crossover the Norris Bridge that spans the Rappahannock River connecting Middlesex County to Lancaster County in the Northern Neck. An alternate route from Richmond is US-360 East and then crossing at the Downing Bridge.

Williamsburg is the closest urban center to the Northern Neck. Take I-64W to the West Point 227 exit. Continue on VA-33 East and crossover the Norris Bridge to Lancaster County.

Want to know more? We can help. Go to or stop by our office at 276 N. Main Street in Kilmarnock. All our agents are Northern Neck locals and would be happy to show you this incredible place we call home.

Today is you know the history?

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Jun 19, 2020 @ 08:35 AM

shutterstock-1757321357___18174432622On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln declared “that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free.” Lincoln sincerely believed this to be “to be an act of justice” and “warranted by the Constitution,” invoking “the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.” But his order was not delivered in Texas until June 19, 1865 – some two and a half years later – when Union troops arrived to take control of the state. 


                                                                                              (image source:

Now generally referred to as “Juneteenth” for the day General Granger read the order publicly, it is celebrated every June 19 to commemorate the emancipation.  Two days ago, in Executive Order 66, Gov. Ralph Northam encouraged “all Virginians to think about the significance of this day. It was significant in 1865 because it marked the end of human bondage for African Americans in the United States. But our recognition of Juneteenth now signifies that we understand its importance to all Americans. Juneteenth is not African American history. It is American history. It is as woven into the fabric of our great country as is the celebration of independence on July 4th . And it should be so celebrated.”

You can read the history here, the full transcript of the Emancipation Proclamation here, and Gov. Northam’s order here.

So, happy Juneteenth everyone, especially to our African American agents, clients, and colleagues!

Tags: Locals - 101 Reasons, lizlocal-Richmond, lizlocal-Williamsburg, lizlocal-Peninsula

Over $10k Raised at 2020 Cupcake Wars

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Feb 21, 2020 @ 04:25 PM

This year's Annual Cupcake Wars fundraiser raised over $10,000 for the Tree of Life Cancer Care Fund and Comfort Zone Camp!  Thank you to all who baked cupcakes, donated money, and came out to support our event.


Tags: Community