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Preston's new dinner menu ramps up quality with focus on local supplies, fresh ingredients


Diners eating inside Preston's. A redesign of the restaurant’s interior has accompanied the change in menu.

BLACKSBURG, Va., July 5, 2011 – Taking effect July 6, the new dinner menu at Preston’s, the restaurant at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, puts an emphasis on locally grown and produced foods and all-natural ingredients.

“We thought it was important for Preston’s to have a theme,” says Max Kiebach, the new food and beverage director hired after Benchmark Hospitality International took over management of The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center on Jan. 1. “We have begun eliminating packaged or frozen products in favor of local farm-to-table ingredients. Our menu will be updated with fresh, seasonal dishes reflecting a refined American menu concept.”

New on the menu: artisanal cheeses crafted in Virginia (offered as a plate of three or six selections), a grilled artichokes appetizer, a Caesar salad with quail egg, and a fresh-market vegetable plate with quinoa-stuffed tomato. Cuts of beef, pork, and lamb will be served with a choice of Béarnaise, Bordelaise, or au poivre sauces. Salmon with a wild-mushroom garnish will also come with stone-ground Virginia cheese grits, and other seafood entrees will include scallops in a citrus reduction and a fresh fish of the day.

An appetizer called “house-made goodies” consists of pita bread with three accompaniments – hummus, goat-cheese filled peppadews (sometimes described as a cross between a tomato and a pepper), and olive tapenade. On the hot-appetizer list are fresh corn and jumbo lump crab cakes with Meyer lemon aioli (garlic mayonnaise).

Not only have chefs and other kitchen staff undergone training to prepare and present the new dishes, but also they have been instrumental in coming up with some of the new ideas, Kiebach says. “Everyone is excited about the new levels of quality we are achieving with the new cuisine, and they also know how the emphasis on fresh ingredients is paying off in terms of taste,” he says.

Diners will also notice a difference in the restaurant’s look. The updated interior maintains the comfortable, classic feel but, with booths removed, achieves a more open, spacious décor.

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