Variety Restaurant | Old-School Cool | Seafood & Steaks

Review by: Michael Stern

Vintage Culinary Americana

In every way except for price, the Variety Restaurant shows no evidence that anything has changed in the world of dining-out for the last three score years. Waitresses are old-school. They neither introduce themselves by name nor offer the provenance of daily specials. But they will tell you if they believe you’ve made a wrong choice off the menu. By the second time I visited, I had earned the moniker “Hon’.” Square-meals eaters who appreciate old-school cool and retro ambience without a jot of fashion will see the Variety as a rare opportunity to leave contemporary fashion far behind.

Surf…

To begin a meal, I’ve enjoyed she-crab soup vibrant with spice and loaded with sweet meat and oyster stew that balances buttery and oceanic — less about comfort and more like a thrilling nautical embrace. And of course, there are oysters, sparkling on the half-shell (or, if you wish, fried). Among fabulous flatfish usually available are grouper, shark, and whole flounder boasting fine, flaky flesh. A medley of seafood can be had on the “King Fisherman’s Platter,” which runs well over $20 at dinner but less than that when the restaurant is open for lunch. (Lunch service is discontinued during summer months.)

…And Turf

Ribeye steaks are a house specialty, available in sizes from 10 to 20 ounces. The meat is choice, not prime (in the $30 range, not $50), aged enough to resonate with deep mineral potency, fork-tender, and full flavored. When filet mignon is on the menu, it’s a prize: tender, juicy, radiantly beefy.

Note: Please pardon digital noise in some of the interior photos. Old-school cool means dim, dim lighting. It is dark enough inside the Variety that many pictures were shot at ISO 50,000.

Directions & Hours

4pm - 10pm
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 4:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 4:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 4:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 4:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 4:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

Blackeyed Peas

DISH
Collard Greens

DISH
Iceberg Lettuce Salad

DISH
Broiled Salmon

DISH
Ribeye Steak

DISH
Hushpuppies

DISH
Baked Potato

DISH
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

DISH
Oysters on the Half Shell

DISH
Hamburger Steak

DISH
Seafood Platter

DISH
Broiled Shrimp

DISH
Green Beans

DISH
Cole Slaw

DISH
She-Crab Soup

DISH
Broiled Flounder

DISH
Hash Brown Potatoes

DISH
Greek Salad Dressing

DISH
Stuffed Flounder

DISH
Sirloin Steak

DISH
Oyster Stew

DISH
Broiled Scallops

DISH
Broiled Grouper

DISH
French Fries

DISH
Fried Shrimp

DISH
Filet Mignon

DISH
Spaghetti

DISH
Garlic Bread

DISH

Variety Restaurant | Old-School Cool | Seafood & Steaks Recipes

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