Happy early long-weekend bliss, everyone! Whether you're leaving town or staying put, there's a ton of great news, plus a few great events — this week and next — to keep us happy and full.
- This week kicked off with big news: Shockoe stalwart Aziza's On Main will close at the end of May, and mobile pizza operation Pizza Tonight will take over the space and offer small plates in addition to its acclaimed wood-fired pizza. Be sure to stop by Aziza's sometime by May 30 and bid farewell to the #RVAdine favorite. (RVANews)
- Speaking of Aziza's, its former chef, Philip Denny (also of McCormack's Big Whisky Grill), will open a Mediterranean-style restaurant in Shockoe Bottom later this summer. There are some big CH-CH-CHANGES happening in Shockoe, it seems. (Richmond.com/Richmond Times Dispatch)
- Just slightly to the west, Lucca Enoteca Pizzeria will serve Italian food in The Berry Burk building starting this August. (Bonus: It's owned by the team behind Maya Mexican Grill in Short Pump!) (Richmond BizSense)
- Over in Jackson Ward, Pork Chops & Grits is closed, but The Reachmonde just opened in its place, serving up Mediterranean and soul food fusion. (Style Weekly)
- Speaking of new, there's a recent addition to the Richmond pop-up scene. Please welcome The Jackdaw, built on a punk rock + cheap beer + Chinese food foundation. It launches early this summer and aims to host three or four dinners per month, and while it doesn't have a location locked down just yet, its founders are in talks with Shoryuken Ramen and a few other spots/purveyors around town. (Richmond magazine)
- This week we also took you inside the world or Richmond's craft beer trading rings, complete with tips on how to trade beer for yourself! Cheers, gang.
- The on-again, off-again Chimborazo Farmers Market looks like it won't be a regular occurrence after all, but will instead happen only once, so mark your calendars for June 19. (Church Hill People's News)
- And our June issue rolls out next week but you can get a taste of what's inside with our feature on local kombucha culture hitting RVA, now online. (Do not be frightened by any giant, floating SCOBY you may encounter on your kombucha quest.)
Ease on into that long weekend with some great events:
- Get knee-deep in some strawberry fields on Saturday at the 11th Annual Strawberry Fields Festival, which includes but is not limited to: strawberry picking, live music, craft vendors, food vendors and pony rides. (Pony rides? What? Yes.) (Gallway Farms)
- And/or head to Triple Cross Brewing Co. on Saturday for the release of the Coco for Coconuts Imperial Porter, the winner of the first annual RVA BrewCraft competition and maybe pretend you're on a beach drinking beer out of a coconut somewhere. Or not. (Triple Cross Brewing Co.)
- And/or stop by Hardywood for the release of its Peach Tripel. (Despite today's rain, just thinking about this beer makes today feel like summer.) (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery)
- When you return from your weekend away (or perhaps your weekend here and you didn't have to battle traffic, so perhaps you are the smartest), visit Pasture on Tuesday, May 26, for a Case For Hope foster child awareness event. Bring in toiletries like shampoo, toothbrushes, floss and deodorant, and enjoy appetizers and door prizes, plus great company, for a great cause. (Pasture)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- For your entertainment and reading pleasure, I submit An Illustrated Field Guide to Modern-Day Foodies. (First We Feast)
- If you're grilling steak this weekend, here's a handy way to tell if it's done. Compare it to your face. Yes, really. (Food 52)
- Speaking of grilling out (and illustrated guides), here's your visual report on 40 kinds of hot dogs from around the world. (Food Republic)
- See also: How Not to Burn Your House Down While Grilling. (Bon Appetit)
'Til next time, pick all the strawberries, drink all the beer.