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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

January 20, 2023

Where the Industry Eats: RedSalt’s Stephen Johnson

This restaurant GM stays close to the Elizabeth area

by Kristen Wile

Folks in the restaurant industry know good food, so we want to know where they eat when they’re not cooking. In this series, we ask a local chef, bartender, restaurateur, or food artisan to share their favorite restaurants in town and what they order there. This week, we’re sharing the favorite spots of RedSalt by David Burke general manager Stephen Johnson, whose resume also includes positions as the opening general manager at both PARA and The Stanley.

The Fig Tree, Elizabeth
Johnson’s order: Elk chop. “One of the best things I have eaten, period,” he says. “To finish the meal, the beignets are life changing. If you’re on a date night, get one for each of you because sharing is not an option in my book. Service is top notch, food incredible and consistent, with an amazing wine list.”

The Fig Tree

The Fig Tree’s elk chop. Kristen Wile/UP

Caswell Station, Elizabeth
Johnson’s order: Affordable drinks great game day food. “My favorite Sunday spot for football or a bite and a cocktail after work,” he says. “Feel free to go anytime day or night. John, one of the owners, is as friendly and genuine as they come — makes you feel like family.”

Bistro La Bon, Plaza Midwood
Johnson’s order:
Pan-seared gnocchi, braised short rib, and the charcuterie board. “Amazing date night spot; consistent every time I go,” Johnson says.

Dogwood Southern Table, SouthPark
Johnson’s order: Duck and dumplings and charcuterie. “Almost every year for the last several years, I go here with friends and/or family to celebrate mine and chef Alex Verica’s birthday since they are a couple days apart.”

Cilantro Noodle, Plaza Midwood
Johnson’s order: Pho filet mignon. “Boring, but it is so good,” he says.

More from this series:

The Crunkleton’s Richelle Espinosa-Brewer
Rocksalt’s Travis Hearne
Patrick Gourmet’s Patrick Garrivier
Fin & Fino’s Jonny Cox
Counter-’s Sam Hart

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