Salutations and T.G.I.F. to you all! We want YOU to vote and help out the Richmond food scene, plus try all of the great new restaurants and events coming your way. Sound good?
- First off, do a few hand stretches and get those fingers ready to type, because you've only got a few days left to vote for Richmond's best and worst restaurants! Our annual Best & Worst: Dining & Drinks poll closes this Sunday, so head to the e-hills and let us know your picks for Richmond's best restaurants; yes, you can win a prize (and yes, it's a good one: a two-night getaway at the Gaylord National)!
- Other must-vote news: Three (three!) Richmond chefs are up for consideration in Food & Wine magazine's People's Best New Chefs 2015. Click your way over to Food & Wine's Mid-Atlantic poll and vote for chefs Phillip Perrow and Caleb Shriver of Dutch & Co. (these two count as one vote, so there's some bang for your buck) or chef Dylan Fultineer of Rappahannock. "We are excited to be nominated!" the Dutch & Co. team says in a news release. Best of luck to all!
- All national praise, all the time; Congratulations to Lemaire for making it into The Daily Meal's "101 Best Restaurants in America" list for 2015. And a special shout-out to Peter Chang, whose Fredericksburg restaurant also made the cut! (Lemaire/The Daily Meal)
- New restaurant alert: Do you like wings? Do you like tacos? Asado Wing and Taco Co. just opened in the former Empire spot on West Broad Street, and serves up — you guessed it — wings and tacos. While the new restaurant will sport eight TVs and cater to the VCU crowd, we're still hoping it maintains some of Empire's glorious dive-y, grungy nature. (Richmond.com/Richmond Times Dispatch)
- Speaking of the VCU neighborhood, farewell to Panda Garden, but hello, new Chinese restaurant run by two Peter Chang alumni! The duo will open Lapple in the old Panda Garden space and serve southwestern Chinese cuisine, complete with self-heating clay pots. (Richmond BizSense)
- On the other side of town, the Kitchenette food cart is building itself a permanent home and prep space in Westover Hills! Look for that hub in May. (RVANews)
- Now that spring is here, we're ready to welcome warm weather Scott Stapp-style, with arms wide open. Fortunately for us, Ardent Craft Ales just announced its first outdoor festival: Swine & Brine. We've got a full preview with the beer list and the rough menu, featuring whole-hog cooking from Metzger Bar & Butchery, delicious plates from ZZQ, The Roosevelt and Saison, plus seafood from Merroir and Rappahannock. (Richmond magazine)
- Also perfect for spring: baseball, and more specifically, The Nationals' new Virginia-inspired food stand they're launching this season. Expect biscuits and a variety of grilled-cheese sandwiches, and you can forget basic peanuts and Crackerjacks because they'll also offer bacon-and-bourbon popcorn. (The Washington Post)
- And if you're looking to detox from all of those biscuits, there's a new healthy food service in town; get to know Fed Kitchens, the Paleo-friendly meal service available for pickup at the Richmond gym of your choice. (Richmond magazine)
Embrace this gorgeous weather with some great events:
- On Sunday, hunt for Easter eggs at the Carpenter Theatre. There will be food trucks! (Plus, there will be live music and a petting zoo. Nothing not to love about a petting zoo, people.) (Richmond CenterStage)
- Next Wednesday, get your "om" on at another Hardywood Brewasana. Beer and donation-based yoga. Donation-based yoga and beer. It's a pair made in inner-peace heaven. (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery)
And now for some (inter)national links:
- If you're looking to make Easter a little more, uh, adult, try this recipe for Easter egg Jello shots. (Huffpost Taste)
- And if you're looking for a bit of cultural heritage with all that feasting, here's a great, quick segment on the history of matzo balls. (NPR)
- What's the real cost of turning farmed salmon pink? It turns out that fake salmon pigmentation is a more expensive process than you probably thought, and it's not doing the wild salmon economy any favors, either. (The Atlantic)
'Til next time, click your way to culinary enlightenment and don't forget to vote.