CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Midlothian fine dining bistro born out of the pandemic was recently named “Best Locally Owned Restaurant in Virginia” by Southern Living Magazine as part of its annual “Best of the South” issue.

The award went to 21 Spoons, a restaurant in the Brandermill area started in 2021 by local entrepreneur Ann Butler. Butler also owns Edible Education, a program geared towards getting kids excited about food and cooking.

But Edible Education classes came to a sudden halt in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Butler wondered what to do next, she had the opportunity to open up a brand new restaurant next door to her Edible Education space.

21 Spoons originally opened as a pop-up in early 2021. According to the restaurant, Butler and the team at 21 Spoons “set out to get their community excited about food again.”

The 12-table restaurant is described on its website as “farm-to-table with a twist.” Butler, head chef Derrick Turner and the rest of the team frequently collaborate on a menu that features both mainstays and seasonal options. The current menu includes charcuterie boards, lamb lollipops, homemade bread, grilled octopus and Butler’s signature quinoa chocolate cake. Many of the dishes feature products from local farms like Powhatan’s Manakintowne, Charlottesville’s Twenty Paces and Blackstone’s Richland Creamery.

The restaurant also hosts monthly themed wine dinners, where costumes were often encouraged.

21 Spoons is located at 13568 Waterford Place in Midlothian. It is open Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and both reservations and walk-ins are welcome. More information can be found on their website.