Which new downtown spot is this? WE'RE NEVER TELLING! (Just kidding, it's Potbelly Sandwich Shop in the new new Gateway Plaza building, and you can find more info on it, below.) (Photo courtesy: Potbelly Sandwich Shop)
This week's Food News is massive, so let's get down to it. And oh yeah, don't forget to save room for all those new restaurants and beers:
- Perhaps you swung by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for the 5th Annual Elby Awards last Sunday, or maybe you saw the glorious en blanc merriment unfold on social media. Perhaps you have no idea what I'm even talking about, and that's fine, too! No matter the circumstance, the results are in and our team of judges has spoken: This year's Richmond dining awards, presented by Richmond magazine, went to some incredibly deserving chefs, restaurants, staff and servers who make the Richmond dining scene shine, as all the nominees do. You can find the full list of winners here, but I'll share a few quick nods while we're on the subject: Dutch & Co. won Restaurant of the Year; Vagabond's Owen Lane took home Chef of the Year; Comfort and Pasture's Jason Alley won the Lifetime Achievement Award; and The Rogue Gentlemen's Will Longoria was crowned Rising Culinary Star. Thanks to all who came out, to all who support Richmond's growing food and beverage scene, and to all who make it a very special community.Miss the action? Want to relive the magic? Check out our video recap, courtesy of Doubletake. Until next year, here's my co-host Jason Tesauro's slam-poem year in review. May it fill you with laughter and awe and inspiration to get out and eat and drink your way through this city. (Richmond magazine)
- Last week ended with some huge brew news. (Say that five times fast.) Stone Brewing Co. soft-opened its Stone Company Store on Friday afternoon for all your sudsy needs; because the East End brewery isn't yet up and running, you can only find the company's California-brewed beers on tap until production begins this summer. So go on and get yourself a beer, and maybe some sweet merch, just not today; according to the store's Faebook page it's closed today, but should reopen tomorrow. Go forth. (Richmond magazine)
- Speaking of beer, Ashland's Center of the Universe Brewing Co. is expanding to Northern Virginia this spring, with a redesign of the Ashland facility in the works, too, including the brewery's very own canning line. #MovinOnUp (Richmond BizSense)
- Over in the wine sector, at the 34th annual Governor's Cup Gala, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced this year's best Virginia wine: Keswick Vineyards' 2014 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve. Find out how the judges chose, plus what else scored highly in this year's competition, right over here. (Richmond magazine)
- We've finally got some information about Shagbark, the new restaurant from Walter Bundy, Lemaire's former executive chef of 15 years: This May, Libbie Mill - Midtown is getting a Southern, Virginia-inspired restaurant that's full of local produce, oysters, game and heritage, all from one of Richmond's preeminent chefs. Read up on the new restaurant here, and pick up a copy of our March issue for my full profile on Bundy. (See also: Walter Bundy goes fishing in a deep fog; Walter Bundy hunts geese from a blind; Walter Bundy thinks he's going to die in a creek as a child.) We should also have some fun video web extras hitting our site soon, so stay tuned for that as well. (See also: Walter Bundy teaches you how to break down rockfish.) (Richmond magazine)
- Speaking of that new new, the Museum District's Franklin Inn just tapped Kristin Knight, formerly of the Salisbury Country Club and head cook at Capital One, as its new executive chef. (RVANews)
- And a Potbelly Sandwich Shop just opened this Tuesday at 800 E. Canal St. in the Gateway Plaza building. “Our Short Pump location was such a success that Richmond has an even greater craving for Potbelly, and we are here to satisfy that hunger,” franchise owner David Duke says in a news release. “We’re as committed as ever to making this ‘The Best Place for Lunch.’” Hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Let's take a peek at some of our February content that just hit the web: Food and religion tend to go hand in hand, and each creed's sacred snacks are delicious and open to all. Read up on where to find some of the best and most intriguing faith-based foods around town, from torrejas to pongal and back again. Then, jump over to our profiles on some of the Richmond restaurateurs who brought a taste of their homelands to RVA. (Did you know that An Bui's ship was boarded by pirates when he was escaping Vietnam? No? Click here.)
- Get waited on by a pro athlete, and it's all for a good cause? Don't mind if I do. Former Seattle Seahawks football star and current sports analyst Michael Robinson will help you choose your best meal and deliver it with what I'm assuming is agility and speed at the upcoming May 20 Celebrity Waiter event at Quirk Hotel's Maple & Pine. The evening is presented by nonprofit Excel to Excellence, and supports Team Excel: Robinson's program that helps high school students graduate through an academics-based fantasy football program. Neat! Good cause! Tickets aren't yet available, though VIP packages are. Step right this way for more information. (news release)
- In brunch news, Pizza Tonight Restaurant & Bar is now open on weekend mornings for your egg/pizza/egg-on-pizza cravings. Check out the full menu here.
- And launching in just over a week's time is Terra's Kitchen, a West Coast meal delivery service that's hitting Richmond to make your cooking at home easier, more enjoyable and way more organized. Check out some of the offerings (ooh hey, tomato-scallion rice with cheesy grilled squash) right this way. (Richmond magazine)
- Get to know Metzger Bar & Butchery's chef and co-owner Brittanny Anderson with this fun, quick-hit Q&A. (See also: great advice and where she eats in RVA.) (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- Speaking of Anderson, a tip of the hat on her recent mention in Elle magazine, which named Metzger one of the top female-led restaurants in the country. Another e-high-five goes out to Kuba Kuba, whose huevos rancheros just topped Virginia's breakfasts in a recent Food Network roundup of the best breakfasts in each state. (Style Weekly)
Ready for the weekend? COOL. Here's some fun stuff to do/taste/see:
- There's another Feast RVA community happy hour tomorrow, where you can mingle with local (food) startups and enjoy some drinks at Sub Rosa from 6 to 8 p.m. (Feast RVA)
- Then on Sunday, head to Strangeways Brewing for its 2nd Annual Sideshow Expo, where you'll find locally made food and drinks available for purchase from noon to 4 p.m. (Strangeways Brewing)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- Point: A High percentage of shredded Parmesan cheese has been found to contain higher-than-accepted levels of cellulose, or wood pulp. Counterpoint: Cellulose really isn't bad for you. Either way, I think I'll just stick to blocks and shred it myself from now on. (Chicago Tribune / Bon Appetit)
- Ever been to a Medieval sausage party? Would you like to? (FoodBeast)
'Til next time, please don't make me carry the sausage all the way in the back, and tell that guy's brother to stop being so creepy.