Happy Halloween, RVA! We've got some fun news, spooky soirées, new restaurants and more. Let's dive right in; the water's fine.
—Starting with a BANG, let's all collectively cheer for Church Hill, which placed this week in Zagat's "10 Hot Food Neighborhoods in the U.S." The piece praises Dutch & Co., The Roosevelt, WPA Bakery, Urban Farmhouse, Alamo BBQ, Sub Rosa Bakery and Proper Pie Co., as well as the James River, because scenery. Throw another well-deserved accolade on the pile, ladies and gentlemen. (Zagat)
—The Richmond food scene made national news again this week, this time in the James Beard Foundation and Food Tank's first Good Food Org Guide. The compendium lists the best food organizations in the country and not one but two hail from Richmond. Let's hear it for Tricycle Gardens and BusFarm (Farm to Family) and then gorge ourselves on fresh, local produce, shall we? (Richmond magazine)
—West Broad Street's Pane e Vino closed, handing over the location's keys to Mario Contreras and Eduardo “Lalo” Macia via 10-year lease. Contreras and Macia plan to open Lalo’s Cocina Bar & Grill in the space sometime next month. (Richmond BizSense)
—In some bummer news for doughnut enthusiasts, Dixie Donuts is closing its Glen Allen location this Saturday, Nov. 1. We'll always have Carytown, Dixie. (Style Weekly)
—But dry your eyes because there's some great food news on the horizon: the Giavos family is opening Stella's Grocery, a neighborhood market, just across the street from their beloved Stella's Restaurant. (Richmond.com)
—Speaking of more great market news, Little House Green Grocery reopens Nov. 1 despite the mid-September fire that damaged its building. It's good to see you back in fighting form, guys. (RVAnews)
—And in Richmond magazine news, our November issue hit stands this week with a food-filled cover story on the 25 best restaurants in Richmond! (For this, we considered places that have been open for at least a year. New restaurants will get their turn later.) This week's web extras are all about Patina, where we spent some time in the kitchen making malasadas. (Richmond magazine)
And now, the events!
—Stew on this: the 17th Street Farmers' Market hosts another food-filled festival this weekend, and it's just what the doctor ordered for Saturday's brisk fall weather. Head to the Bottom for the 15th annual Brunswick Stew Festival for samples, stew by the quart, live music, craft beer and more. (17th Street Farmers Market)
—If you're more of a spooky somm, head to the Poe Museum on Nov. 1 for the release party for — and tasting of — the Vincent Price Signature Wine Collection. Wines will be paired with recipes from the master of horror's own 1965 cookbook. Creepy times will be had. (Poe Museum)
—And let's keep that's spooky vibe going on Saturday with the first annual Lady N'awlins Voodoo Fest. Expect music, dancing, jambalaya, gumbo, Abita beer and po' boys. BYOVoodooDoll. (Lady N'awlins Voodoo Fest)
—Saturday also marks the beginning of Richmond Beer Week, which The Answer Brewpub is celebrating with half-priced beer all day. Just remember that it's a marathon, not a sprint. (The Answer Brewpub)
And now for a smattering of (inter)national food links:
—Raising livestock doesn't have to be impersonal. Photographer Toshiteru Yamaji spent 10 years documenting the relationship between a happy pig farmer and his incredibly happy pigs, and the photos are so cute you might squeal with joy. (Feature Shoot)
—Competition for consumers is fierce; restaurants constantly reinvent business models to stay afloat, so how has New York's famous Katz's Deli maintained its old-school business practices for over a century? The short answer: It's a struggle. (Slate)
—An oldie but a goodie: What it's like to eat with one of the Michelin Guide's top-secret dining inspectors. (The New Yorker)
—Are you a fan of Fireball Whisky? Are you a fan of antifreeze? If the answer is "yes" to both those questions, you're in luck! Entire countries are recalling Fireball in Europe due to extra antifreeze, which the United States is generally ignoring. (Foodbeast)
—The Singularity's about to get a whole lot sweeter now that Nestlé's hiring robots to sell coffee in Japan. I, for one, welcome our new caffeinated overlords. (Grub Street)
—And closing out the week's weird news, 40 chefs in central China chipped in to bring the world a 14-foot pumpkin pie weighing 1,894 pounds. Happy Halloween, indeed. (Thrillist)
'Til next week, stay spooky and don't forget to hit up those post-Halloween candy sales.