The Wegmans-es are coming! Sure, our installments may be a little more modern than their 1930s counterparts, but we're keeping our fingers crossed for some quaintness in both locations hitting Richmond soon. (Photo courtesy: Wegmans)
Well hello there! The snow is slowly melting and with the warmer days ahead, we're seeing news of new restaurants, new art, new ways to get involved in the community and also maybe a dog in a kitchen. What? Yep:
- Get ready for international oysters aplenty because Rapp Session, Rappahannock Restaurant's new oyster bar / cocktail bar / fish market and small-plates annex, is set to open within the next two weeks at 318 E. Grace St. We caught up with the brothers Croxton about what to expect when this spot opens in mid-February, and more. (Richmond magazine)
- In more new-restaurant news, the first of four Richmond-area Zaxby's will open on Feb. 8 at 5816 W. Broad St., serving up chicken strips, wings, sandwiches, salads and shakes. The other locations — in Chesterfield County, Henrico County and Staples Mill — have not yet announced opening dates. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- In restaurant legislation news, there's a lot of talk amongst restaurateurs about HB 219, a bill that proposes a change in the state's ratio of liquor-to-food sales, which could theoretically allow restaurant and bar owners more menu freedom and reduce the likelihood of harsh penalties such as ABC license suspension. Here's a quick primer on how the current ratio (45 percent of sales from food and non-alcoholic drinks compared to liquor) can both help and hurt business. (Richmond BizSense)
- Brace yourselves, Wegmans is coming. And now we know when: Wegmans Midlothian in Stonehenge Village Shopping Center is set to open on Sunday, May 22, and the Short Pump location of the grocery store is slated to open in West Broad Marketplace on Sunday, Aug. 7. According to a news release, the company expects to hire roughly 500 new, local employees at each outpost, and is now accepting applications for positions at both locations.
- By the end of the weekend, our temps will hit the mid-60s, but that's still cold enough for bowls and bowls of ramen. (In fact, I'm here to tell you that ramen is an always food.) Looking for a bowl? Check out our recent review for Shoryuken Ramen and get slurpin'. (Richmond magazine)
- In brunch news, Pomegranate's brunch is coming back this spring! Keep your eyes on the restaurant's social media for an exact date, but it should be returning in a few weeks' time. Ready thine arteries now; just looking at this Humpty Dumpty Stack with bacon and foie gras drizzled with Mornay and brown sugar is enough to send me into a food coma. (Pomegranate)
- In more brunch news, just down the road, Can Can has stopped serving brunch. Hat tip to reader and bruncher Mary Helen Hackney, who sent in the news item: "We went by today and were told that as of Jan. 1, they are only doing coffee and pastries on Sunday morning. It was always crowded and in my opinion the best meal they served ... Sad to see. We need more places that serve breakfast/brunch at 8 or 9 a.m." Hear that, #RVAdine? More early breakfast and brunch (if it's doable for you and your staff), please.
- What the cluck? Dive into our evolving relationship with food sources, and the resurgent practice of keeping backyard chickens, at local photographer Alyssa C. Salomon’s exhibition “A Chicken in Every Plot,” which opened last night at The Valentine. Salomon’s work is paired with the museum’s archival photos of historic urban farming in Richmond, plus homage to a uniquely Southern and iconic dish: deviled eggs. Check it out through Sept. 5. Want more info? We've got you covered. (Richmond magazine)
- If you're thinking of staying in and cooking this weekend, why not try your hand at The Naked Onion's recipe for smoky poblano-tomato jam? Also, learn more about peppers while you're at it. (Richmond magazine)
- A Very Important Community PSA: Kaitlin Hunt, a server at Uptown Alley, tragically lost five family members and all of her belongings in a Chesterfield County fire on Jan. 17. Tomorrow, Saturday afternoon, you can help by attending Uptown Alley's benefit concert from noon to 3 p.m. Donations of money, household items and clothing will be accepted on Hunt's behalf, and silent auctions will also be held to raise funds. Should you feel extra generous or unable to attend, you can donate here, online.
Ready for those events? Good / great / let's do this:
- Ever wanted to be a pinball wizard? Head to Hardywood tomorrow from 2 to 9 p.m. for ARCADE NIGHT, an afternoon and evening of pinball and other games, with beer, high-score contests and, of course, food trucks. MAY THE BEST PLAYER WIN. (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery)
- Then on Tuesday, put on your drinking pants for the Snow Thaw Bar Crawl: a way to help out some of your favorite Church Hill and downtown restaurants and bars, all while enjoying food and drink specials. The fun starts at Metzger at 6 p.m., then moves to The Roosevelt, Saison and Comfort. Call 804-325-3147 to book your place for this crawl, because only participants get hooked up with specials at each spot. (Metzger Bar & Butchery)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- Looking to expand your cooking skills? Do it from home and do it with a talking dog. Here's a great roundup of some of the best YouTube cooking channels, including one of my personal favorites, Cooking with Dog. (Tasting Table)
- Do you guys think that all Doctor Faustus really wanted was unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks? One Million Moms, a conservative advocacy group against the "indecency" and "trash in today's media," believes that Olive Garden is pro-Satan due to the restaurant franchise's ads that air during a new supernatural TV comedy called "Lucifer" that's based off a Neil Gaiman comic. This argument is about as cohesive as a pentagram made only out of breadsticks, which is, sadly, not cohesive at all. (Maybe it's doable, I don't know. Who wants to try? Meet me out back at midnight, I'll be the one in the cloak. No, the other one.) (Grub Street)
- And last but certainly not least, last night's "Top Chef" unveiling of the all-caps, Insta-infamous Chef Jacques La Merde proved to be not only funny, but pretty great: BROS, IT'S A LADY. The tweezer-crazy ruse duped us all. Here's a great First We Feast chat with Canada's chef Christine Flynn on keeping up with the persona and what she's doing next (spoiler: working and probably continuing to be hilarious). Also, here's a great pre-reveal chat Flynn had with RVANews last year. Check them both out! KNOWLEDGE IS COOL LIL BROS.
'Til next time, stay soigné AF.