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Although I rarely get to dine in Virginia, there are so many new and exciting restaurants opening up that I find myself drawn to the area more and more. Well, maybe not drawn to Virginia but I am drawn to the food! Last time I tried Yona (see our review here; it is so so good) and this time I went to Palette 22, a new spot in Shirlington.

Palatte 22 has a really cool concept. In addition to being a restaurant (focus is international cuisine) the venue also serves as an art gallery where not only is the work of local artists displayed and available for purchase, but one of the local artists whose work is being showcased is actually working in the restaurant.

The food is as appetizing as the art; although I was only there for lunch I sampled four delicious dishes. The first, watermelon served with grilled halloumi, where the sweet and salty elements of the dish serve as perfect complements of each other. Next, a great roasted cauliflower dish where the cauliflower has little burnt edges, and the toppings of marcona almonds, raisins, and a north African spice blend add crunch, sweetness, and heat. One of my favorite items that I sampled with a mushroom flatbread, smothered in truffle oil and arugula. There is nothing like well-cooked, perfectly seasoned mushrooms. The vegan ceviche was also a treat, especially with the crispy fried root vegetable chips that come with the ceviche. Watch out, those chips are crazy addictive.

Next time I hope to sample the grilled street corn and avocado hummus! Oh and the churros of course.