MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) – Vanessa’s Kitchen in Morgantown is a recently opened restaurant looking to establish itself in the region. Having just opened in June, owner and chief chef Vanessa Martenson hopes to draw people in with their food and atmosphere.

Sign above the steps leading down to Vanessa’s Kitchen. (WBOY image)

Vanessa has previous experience owning a restaurant in Hudson, New York before she moved to West Virginia.

Vanessa Martenson and James Bailey

I had a restaurant in New York and I closed it to come here because he [Co-Owner James Bailey] got a job down here. Morgantown was the most happening place to go, so we came here. And we found the Seneca Center and it’s beautiful and we fell in love with it and the rest is history.

Owner and Chief chef of Vanessa’s Kitchen-Vanessa Martenson.

There is a lot of history in this building. [The glass factory] has been here for over 100 years…Especially at night [when it’s quiet] and the lights are on, it’s gorgeous out here. [Vanessa] did a great job of telling me exactly how to…[string the lights].

James “Jay” Bailey Co-Owner Vanessa’s Kitchen

It’s nice food in a causal atmosphere!

-Vanessa Martenson
Seared salmon with asparagus, house steak fries, and a crab cake with a basil mayo sauce over arugula. (WBOY image)

The menu at Vanessa’s Kitchen has something for everyone. From the “Bougie like V” side of the menu, you have more extravagant items, entrees such as Ribeye steaks, sushi grade tuna, scallops, blackened shrimp and more.

Though if you’re looking for something more laid back, the “Casual Like Jay” page may be more your speed. That page has entrees like a “West Virginia Fish and Chips,” with rainbow Trout as the featured fish, an Oyster Po-Boy which is popular around lunch, and a chicken sandwich which, in Jay’s own words, is massive!

The chicken sandwich is about 4 inches thick by time you put lettuce and everything on it. That’s a huge sandwich!

– Jay Bailey

By dinner time, the steaks, tuna and salmon are all popular items, and the crab cakes are popular throughout the day. Additionally, there are also specials that change regularly depending on what kind of fish or meat Vanessa has at the restaurant. Other seafoods that have been featured at the restaurant include halibut, swordfish, clams, oysters and crab legs.

A crab cake with basil mayo sauce over arugula.

The Kitchen also makes its own homemade custard and has a late-night breakfast from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. on game nights for the Mountaineers. They have homemade pancakes the size of dinner plates and biscuits almost five inches in diameter.

Overall, both Vanessa and Jay enjoy seeing the reactions to the food and interacting with customers. They hope to get a liquor license soon for the restaurant so that they can have appropriate drinks to accompany their food. They also plan to continue their catering service as well as utilize the banquet room that holds 65 people for future events.

Vanessa’s Kitchen can be found on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Their address is 709 Beechurst Avenue Morgantown, and the hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. They are closed on Sunday