Photo by Stephanie Breijo
What's that, there's a new dim sum spot in town? Read on to get your har gao on.
Hi and hello! This week we've got Elby Awards news, new-restaurant news, new-brewery news, new-coffee news — really, just so much new. Dig in:
- In some very big, very exciting news, we proudly present the nominees for the 2016 Elby Awards! This year marks our fifth Elbys ceremony, which celebrates the Richmond region's dining scene and those who make it possible. More than 40 industry professionals, food writers and culinary society members weighed in on the area's best chefs, restaurants, rising stars and beverage programs, and over the next few months, our panel of out-of-town food experts, dining critics and food writers will anonymously visit each nominee and determine the winners. In addition to this year's nominees, we also announced our theme: Elbys en Blanc. For full details and the list of nominees, click here; we'll see you Feb. 21 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts!
- New-brew news: Three Notch'd Brewing Co., originally out of Charlottesville, just leased a space in, wait for it...Scott's Addition. The new space will host the brewery's 3.5 barrel system, plus taps for fresh pours, at 2930 W. Broad St. and open sometime by mid-2016. (Richmond BizSense)
- And in some news on the downtown dining front, Citizen, now at 1203 E. Main St., just secured its ABC license and is now offering wine and beer throughout the day! The restaurant also extended its hours to include happy hour and will launch dinner and brunch service within the next few months. Read more about the new offerings right over here, and dream about eating those calamari tacos all day. (Richmond magazine)
- Looking ahead to next year, two new dining options signed on for the Westhampton Grove space at 5706 Grove Ave. Tazza Kitchen and gourmet grocer TASTE (formerly Taste Unlimited) are slated to become two of the four new tenants in the redevelopment project, which breaks ground in 2016. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- And in closures, Classic Rock Coffee at 1322 W. Broad St. shuttered its doors toward the end of last month. The space will soon become Aroma Cafe, a coffee shop and hookah bar. (I'm at the coffee shop. I'm at the hookah bar. I'm at the combination coffee shop and hookah bar.) The new concept, owned by the team that brought you Carytown Tobacco, will open in the space by the end of this month. (Richmond BizSense)
- The force (of sugary deliciousness) is strong with this news item: Carytown Cupcakes is rolling out some very special Star Ward cupcakes for a limited time. Starting next week, Dec. 17, you can find six new Star Wars-themed flavors such as the “Thai” Coffee Fighter, the Imperial Stout, and the Stormtrooper Sandie. To pre-order your cupcakes, call 355-2253 and say "I'll collect the bounty" (which is so fun, isn't it???) There will also be a Star Wars trivia night (Dec. 18), live musical performances by the Richmond Cello Orchestra of highlights from the films' scores (Dec. 20 and 27) and an X Wing Miniatures Board Game night (Dec. 21). Also, you can take a photo with a carbonite-frozen Han Solo, which is now at the top of my bucket list. (news release)
- We're edging ever closer to the holidays, which means HOLIDAY FOODS. For some, that means picking at a plate of mashed potatoes and mashed potatoes alone. Don't let this be you! If you're sensitive to gluten, there's hope. There's so much hope, in fact, that we rounded-up the best products both made and available locally, from gluten-free fruitcake to GF stuffing and gravy. Find it here, and make sure your holiday feast is a delicious one. (Richmond magazine)
- Speaking of the holidays and food, check out this handy rundown of great local food products you can give as gifts! Food is almost always a safe bet, and if the person you're shopping for doesn't like food gifts, tell them I need to have a word with them. (RVANews)
- More holiday/food news: It's baaaaaack — Shyndigz just began its annual ornament drive, wherein you can trade collectible, theme-specific holiday ornaments for slices of Shyndigs 2go cake. Check out the full set of rules here and get swappin'. (RVANews)
- Do you know of any kitchen-savvy high school juniors or seniors? Are you one yourself? Then (get them to) apply for the Church Hill Heritage Food Cook-Off, where finalists enroll in a six-week cooking class, then face off in a healthy-cooking contest. Winners get cash money, free cooking classes and more, and the whole darn thing promotes healthier options for the youth of today! (God, that makes me sound old.) In any case, apply here! (Church Hill People's News)
- And now for a dumpling PSA: Cheng Du, one of our 2015 Best New Restaurants, now serves dim sum daily, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Find the rolling carts on the weekends, on earlier side.)
Go on and dive into these events. You've earned 'em, champ.
- BEER ME, SANTA. Hardywood's releasing another holiday beer tomorrow, starting at 2 p.m. Head to the Park for Christmas Morning, which is the Gingerbread Stout treated with Black Hand Coffee Co. beans. (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery)
- Then on Monday, head to Metzger for its Christkindl Market offering great locally made gifts, plus the restaurant's full bar, and sandwiches and snacks. If you bring five pounds of canned goods for donation, you'll get a special gift! The fun starts at 5 p.m. (Metzger Bar & Butcher)
- Looking ahead to Wednesday, find the Feast of the Seven Fishes at Deco with two seatings: one at 5:30 and another at 8:30 p.m. Enjoy seven courses, plus wine pairings, at this traditional Italian feast! Find more details and full menu here. (Deco Ristorante)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- Unsurprisingly, wine pairs better with holiday cookies than with those awkward family moments or with forced interactions at the festive office party. Because of this, here's your guide to the best wine and holiday cookie pairings to bring a little more merriment to your month! (Food & Wine)
- Small kitchens are apparently hyper trendy now, and even though I read and comprehend this article, I still don't understand the draw. :/ But you do you, small-kitchen lovers. (The New York Times)
'Til next time, give me all the counter space.