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Feel at home in Duner's cozy dining room

Duner's doesn't take reservations, so show up early. Even on a Monday night, nearly every table at Duner's was taken.

Located on Ivy Road just past the little town of Ivy, Duner's remains one of the most secretly popular restaurants in Charlottesville.

Constantly packed, it's a family-owned establishment serving exquisite food in a cozy dinning room.

Running a bit on the expensive side, Duner's daily updated menu offers carefully prepared dishes featuring mostly fishes and meats.

We arrived around 5:30 p.m. and were able to choose almost any table. A few tables had already been taken by regulars but the vast majority were open. We chose a table in one corner of the square restaurant where we were able to watch the traffic flow down Ivy Road through a large bay window.

Plates and other kitchen items adorned the red wallpapered walls. The servers, who looked like they were related, added to the family atmosphere.

It was like we had walked into someone's home, whose mom (or dad) was a great cook. The menu, which highlighted almost two dozen creative dishes, sounded great.

The fish selection on our day was varied, including baked halibut ($18.95), cornmeal crusted trout filets ($17.95), seared rockfish ($18.95), baked cod filet ($18.95), almond crusted mahi mahi ($17.95) and sesame studded salmon ($16.95).

What is particularly nice about the fish dishes is the accompaniments. The trout comes with a spicy green peppercorn sauce and the cod filet, shitake mushrooms and ginger butter.

The more interesting dishes include mango and roasted cashew blat jang with the tuna and blueberry and chipotle coulis with the mahi mahi. The ingredients here are both seasonal and fresh - a combination you don't always find.

The cut of salmon was a large triangular section gently coated in sesame seeds. Sitting in a shallow pool of Chinese black bean sauce, the salmon was surrounded by colored rice and leafy green embellishments.

The mahi mahi's texture was slightly meaty and covered in almonds. With blueberry and chipotle coulis, it should be a permanent dish.

The choice of meat ranged from beef and chicken to veal, lamb and pork to quail and duck.

Each meat was supplemented creatively: The grilled marinated flank steak with soy-ginger cream ($15.95), the roasted lamb rack with Tuscany butter ($24.95), or the supreme of duckling with apricot orange sauce ($18.95).

At the bottom of the menu, several dishes were listed that don't fit under entr


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