Calling all Deadhead locavore herpetologists! Here’s your restaurant! Owner/executive chef Rodney Einhorn named his restaurant after the Dead’s Terrapin Station while also paying tribute to the local diamond-back terrapins. Terrapin has long been “the best restaurant in town,” but they recently underwent a makeover so that today’s edition is a more casual and accessible place, while retaining the uncompromisingly fresh and creative food.

An assortment of local sea creatures and vegetables find their way into the frito misto, which comes with a sidecar of an Old Bay foam that does wonders to potentiate the briny flavors of the fried seafood bits.

You know the drill at restaurants like this: everything is either made in house or obtained from top-notch local purveyors, and ingredients are combined with thought and skill. They are proud of their pastas here – you’ll usually find a plate of homemade ravioli dressed with vegetables of the season, as well as an assortment of other pasta shapes combined with local seafood, house charcuterie, and Parmigianno Reggiano (and, of course, more vegetables, fresh or pickled).

Strawberry Short Cake dressed Japanese-style cotton cheesecake with macerated local berries, vanilla bean ice cream, and a strawberry lemon sauce.

One of Terrapin’s most popular offerings (and a relative bargain to boot) is available on Wednesday evenings. They call it Chicken & Pinot Night, when they feature a set menu of fried chicken made with Ashley Farms birds, accompanied by vegetables, truffle mac ‘n’ cheese, and a glass of pinot noir. Cost? $22.

Terrapin is not the kind of place to head to with a particular dish in mind and, as far as we’re concerned, that makes the experience all the more interesting. If we lived nearby we’d be frequent diners, exploring as much of the interesting menu as possible. As visitors, we have to make choices, and our recommendations lean towards whatever seasonal ravioli are on the menu, the frito misto in whatever form it takes on the day you arrive, and the wondrous crisp short rib. Really, though, it’s hard to go wrong.

A Crispy Short Rib can usually be found on the menu. Here it rests atop shishito peppers and charred cauliflower. The beef is butter soft within its crackly crust.

3102 Holly Road
Virginia Beach VA 23451
Terrapin’s Website
Terrapin on Facebook

Cocktails are particularly well-made at Terrapin. They were featuring bourbon the day we visited so we enjoyed a Honey Peach Old Fashioned.




Local terrapins are protected by the government. Not so butter terrapins.