We had a busy week full of food news, so let's get right to it. (There is cake and ice cream to eat, after all.)
- Nothing makes our stomachs rumble like the thought of a meal from chef Peter Chang, so you can imagine our delight in his signing a 10-year lease on a Scott's Addition building. We've got the full story here, and yes, we are already dreaming about what we'll be eating for lunch next year. (Richmond magazine)
- In some sweeter news, Shyndigz 2go just opened, complete with retail market. All Shyndigz take-out orders can be picked up at the new 2go spot, right next door to Shyndigz, where you'll find familiar weekly specials (ladies' night buy two to-go desserts, get one free, for instance). (Richmond.com/Richmond Times Dispatch)
- Double that sweetness serving because Gelati Celesti just launched its annual flavor competition. It pits each location against the others to create incredible limited-time-only flavors that you (yes, you!) can judge. You've got between May 13 and 19 to eat your way through all four flavors. We know you're up to the challenge. (Richmond magazine)
- In the West End, the family behind Ray's Italian Water Ice & Frozen Custard is set to open a family-friendly restaurant next month, offering comfort food at dinnertime and weekend brunch. You can find the new Ray’s Other Place at 3061 Lauderdale Drive — the old Ironfish location. (Richmond BizSense)
- And according to a news release, there's a new Italian restaurant from the team that previously ran Little Venice and Accanto, and it's opening in the former Accanto space at 10478 Ridgefield Parkway in Henrico. Expect Ciao Capri to serve up filet mignon, pesce puttanesca, grilled veal, Pecorino-and-marjoram-filled ravioli and more items ranging from $9 to $24. Owners could not be reached for comment on an opening date, but according to the release, it's "opening soon!!!!!!!"
- Midlothian might be just the place to do all your international grocery shopping in one (massive) spot; tomorrow, May 8, New Grand Mart international supermarket is opening its first Richmond location. The 30,000-square-foot grocery store will offer meat, produce, dairy, housewares and, well, just about everything else you can imagine. According to a news release, there will be an additional West End location this fall.
- Though Virginia is home to acres of gorgeous, sprawling farmland, a new study from Richmond's Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth reports that 28 percent of Virginians can't find fresh produce, and that many of the youth surveyed can't remember if their local corner store even offers produce. This is terrible news, but even more terrible than the finding is the fact that it isn't all too surprising, considering Richmond is one of the worst food deserts in the country. We have a feature on this in our May issue of Richmond magazine, and it's not online yet, so unfortunately I can't link it for you, but believe me when I say there are groups like Tricycle Gardens and the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth that are trying to solve these difficult problems and that, at least, should give us all a little bit of hope. (RVANews)
- On a happier note, eat some rainbow cookies to congratulate Ukrop's Homestyle Foods, which turns 5 this year. The Ukrop's baked goods line is celebrating by expanding its reach to 29 Virginia Krogers that now sell its trademark White House Rolls, cookies, danishes, crumb cakes and more. "Our family business has been part of the Richmond community since 1937, so we're excited to share our passion for food and our expanded baked goods line with more neighbors," Scott Aronson, executive vice president of Ukrop's Homestyle Foods, says in a news release.
- In R-mag food news, our May issue is now on newsstands with a cover story dedicated to Richmond's Best New Restaurants; flip through and then be sure to visit each and every one of those spots! Restaurants were chosen by a team of food writers and dining critics on the merits of skill, innovation, service, ambiance, consistency and value, and each absolutely deserves your time. From the 12 full-service restaurants to our six favorite quick-and-casual newbies, there's something for everyone.
- In our magazine's May dining section, you'll find five local chefs dishing on their favorite spring produce and how they cook it. Check out our 5 Faves web extra here for The Savory Grain chef Sean Murphy's recipe for stuffed squash blossoms. (Warning: seriously spring-y lemon and fresh crab ahead.) (Richmond magazine)
- Also in our May dining section: reviews of the latest (and sometimes greatest) restaurants in town. This month's Quick Take was a stop at Estilo — which also serves brunch, by the by — in light of chef Owen Lane's new partnership and chefdom there. Might we interest you in some fresh pig-head tamales? (Richmond magazine)
- Speaking of brunch, The Dog & Pig Show now serves Saturday breakfast/brunch items like chorizo biscuits, bacon-and-Nutella brioche, pork belly brioche and rhubarb-and-rosemary scones from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (news release)
- And while you can jump into weekend brunch without a Bloody Mary, we highly advise against it. From our May issue, here's our guide to the best locally made Bloody Mary mixes in town, because there are a surprising amount of them. Do not go ignorant into that delicious drink. (Richmond magazine)
- On the burger front, Metzger Bar & Butchery is now serving late-night burgers on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 9 p.m. until those burgers are gone. Twelve bucks gets you house-ground chuck that's grilled and topped with Liptauer cheese, fried speck, pickles, pickled onions, dijon aioli and Manakintowne lettuce, served with duck fat fries and curried ketchup. (Do not underestimate the brilliance of that curried ketchup.) (Metzger Bar & Butchery)
Do you have some food news you'd like to share? Send it on over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now for some great events to kick off (and fill) your weekend:
- Tonight, national treasure and cookbook author Nancie McDermott leads a vegetarian Thai cooking class at Southern Season; believe me, it's getting hot and you want to learn how to make your own Thai iced tea. (Southern Season)
- Head to Innsbrook on Saturday for the Central Virginia Wine Festival for tastings from Virginia wineries, plus goods from craft vendors and live music. I'm getting notes of fun, am I right? (Central Virginia Wine Festival)
- Also on Saturday, Hardywood joins film collective Good Day RVA to bring you A Good Day in RVA II, a joyous event with 14 bands, local vendors and a slew of food trucks. Stop by between 2 and 10 p.m., y'hear? (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery)
- Not sure about your Sunday plans? You did remember Mother's Day, right? (Oh, you didn't? You're welcome.) There is, of course, a variety of brunch options, but might we also plant the seed for Mother's Day tea at Maymont? (Richmond.com/Richmond Times Dispatch and Maymont)
- Sunday afternoon you'll also find Science on Tap at the Science Museum of Virginia, where craft beer and event proceeds benefit the museum. If learning makes you thirsty, there could be no better way to spend your day. (Science Museum of Virginia)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- The food world lost one of its loudest, proudest voices this week; Josh Ozersky of Esquire, Grub Street and Time magazine fame passed away at the age of 47. One of the best ways you can honor the man is to read some of his work, be it his posthumously published speech on his love of Virginia, the beautifully written story of his father at the intersection of food and art, or his cry for the death of M.F.K. Fisher's food writing legacy. (Style Weekly)
- Another must-read this week: "The Invisible Chefs" by Michael Twitty. Where are all the African-American chefs in the spotlight? (First We Feast)
- Chipotle released its guacamole recipe. You know what we'll be making this weekend. (Chipotle)
- And here's some incentive to cook pizza at home this weekend: 200 scientists studied pizza boxes and found what they believe to be dangerous chemicals in there. (The Daily Beast)
'Til next time, enjoy a burger in the name of Ozersky.