By Grace Silipigni
Entertaining out-of-town colleagues requires significant preparation. As host company, you are prompted to design an itinerary that perfectly balances business with leisure. One which rewards productive sales seminars with social luncheons and closed deals with celebratory happy hours. To lighten your to-do list, we’ve discovered Le Yaca, an inviting, yet sophisticated venue that allows you and your partners to simultaneously conduct business and unwind.
Le Yaca is an upscale, white-table eatery that originated in the French Alps during the mid-1960s and later transitioned to Williamsburg in 1980. After thriving in the colonial area for nearly four decades, current owner and chef Daniel Abid extended Le Yaca’s French flavors to the coast with the establishment of a Virginia Beach bistro in 2017.
Its ambience, much like European culture, is chic and intimate. Natural light pours into the warm dining room from the eatery’s towering windows. The private booths and spacious tables outfitted with high back chairs serve as the perfect settings for drafting proposals over French-inspired cuisine.
As business gatherings often commence with brief introductions, we chose to keep our first course simple, too. Accompanying our discussion on editorial trends was Le Yaca’s Salade Verte.
Anchoring the light starter was a bed of red leaf lettuce tossed in a creamy Dijon vinaigrette. Embellishing the layer of greens were halves of crisp red grapes, transporting us effortlessly to the French countryside. A basket of warm French bread and velvety butter were also delivered as a complimentary hors d’oeuvre.
With our creative juices flowing, our cravings for more intricate flavors intensified, and our second course delivered just that. Broiled in a porcelain cocotte was a colorful fusion of seafood savors and fresh, roasted vegetables served au gratin.
Buoying the layer of pan seared scallops and wild caught shrimp was a tier of buttery risotto adorned with lima beans, baby mushrooms, peas, carrots and tomatoes. Nuanced flavors of umami and sharp parmesan surfaced in every forkful and were absorbed fully by the delicate textures of each aquatic meat.
We polished off our main dish and eagerly perused Le Yaca’s list of French desserts as we rounded up our final thoughts. Searching once again for a sense of balance, we settled on a decadent Foundant au Chocolat a la mode.
Plated with elegance, the modest scoop of vanilla ice cream was ornamented with a thin Vienna finger and presented atop an artistic drizzle of vanilla bean sauce. To the right was the small, yet tantalizing lava cake dusted with powdered sugar and embedded withgranules of crystalized sugar. Perched in the cake’s center was a decorative mint leaf, fresh raspberry and toasted macadamia nuts, thus achieving a flawless symmetry of salty and sweet.
We departed our meeting feeling full and accomplished, vowing to return again for our yet another business luncheon.
Le Yaca has two locations at 741 First Colonial Rd. in Virginia Beach, and at 1430 High St. in Williamsburg.