Love is in the air, and in windows and on plates. Read on for Valentine's Day menus, specials and more. (Photo by: Stephanie Breijo)
Valentine's Day is fast approaching, but so are new restaurants, more beer, some great events, plates and plates of pasta and so much more. Come along with us:
- Whether or not you ascribe to Valentine's Day and go big with Champagne, roses and a "Say Anything" boombox moment, or you believe it's a Hallmark-driven conspiracy theory of a holiday designed to boost consumerism, it's a great time to paint the town red, so to speak, and treat yourself, your significant other or your friends to a good meal. We compiled some of the Richmond area's best Valentine's Day menus, with a few ideas for activities and gifts, to boot. So go on. Try the chocolate-dipped strawberry macarons and tell us you still hate Valentine's Day. (It's OK if you do. Just know there's some great food out there this weekend.)
- Remember Union Table & Tap, the restaurant built from the bones of The Urban Tavern? It's now open! Read all about the new Henrico County neighborhood restaurant, then check out some photos of opening night. (Richmond magazine / Union Table & Tap)
- In brew news, downtown's Triple Crossing Brewing Co. is expanding with a 30,000-square-foot space at 5203 Hatcher St. in the Greater Fulton Community. For those keeping score at home, the Triple Crossing team is going from a 2,900-square-foot-space to a 30,000-square-foot facility, which includes a canning operation. Oh, and Triple Crossing will still keep that Foushee Street tasting room and brewery open. You can read up on the expansion right over here. (Richmond magazine)
- More immediately, Fuddruckers is returning to the Richmond area on March 30 for all your family friendly, burger needs; it's set to open in Ashland's TA Travel Center truck stop. (Richmond BizSense)
- For all your fried-chicken needs, you'll (hopefully) soon have another RVA Bonchon Chicken location at the ready. The Korean chicken spot will add its second Richmond-area location to Chesterfield County, in the Towne Crossings Shopping Center. There's no word on an opening date, so until then, stop by the other Richmond Bonchon, at 8026 W. Broad St. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- Meanwhile, with multiple major grocery chains moving into the Richmond area — Wegmans, Publix and Aldi, to name a few — Kroger is changing things up: Starting next month, you'll be able to order your groceries online from Kroger's Chester location at 10800 Iron Bridge Road, then stop by for curbside pickup at your convenience. From there it'll spread to the rest of the region's Kroger locations. Would you like to know more? We've got your back. (Richmond magazine)
- Start saving up carb calories now; Dutch & Co. just launched its new, weekly pasta menu available only on Mondays. Each week you'll find a trio of pasta and/or risotto plates in addition to the regular menu. The new offering is the brainchild of the restaurant's new chef de cuisine, Paul Winston. For more on Winston and what he's bringing to the/your table, click this. (Richmond magazine)
- Speaking of new chefs, Patina Restaurant & Bar just announced the hiring of Chef Todd, a Johnson & Wales University graduate who has worked under the James Beard Award-winning chef Frederic Faveau. You can peruse Chef Todd's new menu, here. (RVANews)
- A hearty congratulations to Rappahannock, Rapp Session and the Virginia Oyster Trail, which were just named some of the best spots for oysters in the South. (Southern Living)
- And last but certainly not least, I implore you to read this week's e-newsletter from Susan Winiecki, the magazine's editorial director and a founder of the Elby Awards, our regional restaurant awards ceremony. In the piece she outlines some of our practices, and what we'll be changing in order to increase diversity, nominee reach and so much more. The current Elbys process is far from perfect, but each year, it gets better. Next year and beyond, we really do look forward to growing and bringing both readers and the restaurant community an even fairer, more inclusive event.
Hey! In addition to all those Valentine's-themed events, here are some cool things to do/see/eat/drink this weekend:
- Carytown's Garden Grove Brewing Co. is one year old! It seems like only yesterday that the scrappy operation launched with just a handful of beers, one of them inspired by "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." This weekend you can celebrate with the GG team, taking in live music tonight and tomorrow, a Belgian tap takeover on Saturday (which should pair nicely with the Stroops hot dogs that'll also be there), and on Sunday, the first 100 customers will receive free chocolates! Head to 3345 W. Cary St. now through Sunday for the fun. (Garden Grove Brewing Co.)
- On Sunday, celebrate love and craft beer and women in craft beer and also barbecue at Strangeways Brewing's A Celebration of Women in Craft Beer event, where you'll find live music, beer, awesome ladies presenting on the industry, and, *drumroll* the first ZZQ pop-up of 2016. (Brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, jalapeño mac 'n' cheese, cowboy beans, blackstrap collard greens, and red slaw are all on the menu, for those wondering.) The event is free, with food and beer available for purchase. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
And now for the week's (inter)national links:
- Trigger warning: This is what happens to your food when it's confiscated in the airport security line. (Foodbeast)
- Here is a handy guide to banchan, those wonderful bowls of custards, pickled vegetables, and tiny pancakes that arrive at your table all set to pep up your Korean barbecue. Dig in. (Lucky Peach.)
'Til next time, pass us that little dish of marinated eggplant.