Sun's out, fun's out. By "fun," we mean great new restaurants and events where we'll be stationed throughout the spring and summer, sipping on craft sodas and finally enjoying some nice weather. Ya dig?
- Who here loves Peter Chang? I assume you're all raising your hands, so I'll also assume you'll all join me in celebrating the fact that Peter Chang Wok, Chang's new fast-casual concept, is coming to the VCU area later this year. There's no lease and no official address, but Chang's business partner, Gen Lee, assured me that we'll soon be tasting the same high-quality Sichuan cuisine we'd find at Peter Chang China Café, at a fraction of the price. (Richmond magazine)
- While we're on the topic of great chefs, Top Chef's Bryan Voltaggio opens his Willow Lawn outpost of Family Meal today! Expect some great Southern food and definitely order the fried chicken; we hope this new location will hold some fun events, like the summer drive-in movies at the Frederick, Maryland, Family Meal. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a Richmond Lunchbox location, too.) (Style Weekly)
- Fun Fact: The Richmond magazine 2015 polls are now open! In lieu of our regular all-at-once approach, we now bring you two weeks of voting per round, one subject at a time. Up first is Dining & Drinks, so be sure to tell us your thoughts on the best (and worst) of #RVAdine. BONUS: Voting enters you to win a two-night getaway at the Gaylord National. Nothing not to love, so get voting.
- As if the #freedom, grilling and fireworks weren't enough cause to love July 4, we've found yet another: It's the date that Roaring Pines will open its brick-and-mortar retail shop in Church Hill, complete with a craft soda bar (and a patio for enjoying said sodas). USA. USA. (Richmond magazine)
- More on the beverage front: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery just announced its new beer (via Snapchat, of all places)! You can find Foolery, the new imperial milk stout, on April 4, but be warned: Only 500 bottles are available, and they're limited to one per person. I imagine Hardywood is going to look a lot more like the Thunderdome than a brewery on that fateful day. (Richmond magazine)
- More beer news: Powhatan County is planning its first brewery. Fine Creek Brewing Co. should open in 2016 as part of a 20-room county inn. (Richmond.com/Richmond Times Dispatch)
- In Cool Richmond-Area People Doing Cool Richmond-Area Things news, Lockhart Family Farm, along with chefs Jason Alley, Travis Milton and Dylan Fultineer, is bringing back a historical breed of sheep.You'll be able to find Hog Island lamb on the menus at Pasture, Comfort and Rappahannock this Easter, and also in Ellwood Thompson's Local Market next spring. History never tasted so good. (RVANews)
- Something to keep an eye on: Shawarma Shack is set to open in the old Big's BBQ space, bringing Lebanese food and hookahs to The Fan with a variety of vegetarian options. (Richmond BizSense)
- And in brunch news, Estilo launches brunch this weekend! Remember when we checked out the revamped menu from chef Owen Lane? Starting next Sunday, April 5, you can taste some of that exact delectable creativity in the form of carnitas Benedict, huevos rancheros and plantain pancakes. (news release)
- Last but not least, a hearty congratulations to Hardywood, whose Gingerbread Stout was named one of the 101 Best Beers in America, and to Mättias Hagglund of Heritage and Thomas Leggett of The Roosevelt for their mentions in Tasting Table's guide to drinking in the South. (Men's Journal) / (Tasting Table)
Ready for some fun events? No? TOO LATE. THEY'RE HERE.
- Get a taste of Northern India at the annual Punjabi Mela festival tomorrow, Saturday, at the Cultural Center of India in Chester. Warning: There will be no alcohol. Fun fact: Drinking is actually prohibited. (Punjabi Mela)
- On the other side of the coin, this Saturday, you'll also find a cornhole tournament at Center of the Universe Brewing Co. You'll find a lot of beer there. (Center of the Universe Brewing)
- Then on Monday, head to Southern Season for a book signing and class on healthy Southern cooking led by Virginia Willis, the former kitchen director for Bobby Flay and Martha Stewart. (Southern Season)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- File under "Useful, Always": Here are a few simple tips to not screw up that gorgeous wood cutting board you bought. (Tasting Table)
- Do you put Sriracha on everything, spending your days idly wishing for another form of the chili-garlic-vinegar condiment to arrive so that you may put Sriracha on even more items? You're in luck. On April 20, dehydrated Sriracha is hitting grocery shelves, meaning, wait for it, powdered Sriracha. Also keep your eyes peeled for Sriracha hummus, Sriracha potato chips, Sriracha croutons, Sriracha ketchup and more, all from the original makers of Sriracha, Huy Fong Foods. This trend will never cease. (Yahoo! Food)
- Drive-thru? More like bike-thru, am I right, guys? No, but really, McDonald's just launched its first to-go window for cyclists, where the takeout containers are designed to hang from handlebars. It is actually called a McBike-Thru. Maybe we can get one here in Richmond by September? (Foodbeast)
'Til next time, get outside whydontya.