We hope you brought your eatin' pants because you're going to need them this weekend. We've got new restaurants, some truly fun and incredible events, Negroni Week and more. If you're hungry and you know it, read ahead:
- Diving in, our May cover story, Best New Restaurants, is now online! Check out our top 12 new restaurants, plus six great new quick 'n' casual spots, each visited multiple times by members from our panel of critics and food writers. From authentic Chinese cuisine to some of the best grab-n-go in town, there's something for everyone. Think of these restaurants à la Pokémon and
catchtry 'em all. (I'm not sorry.) (Richmond magazine)
- And from the ashes of GlobeHopper coffee in Shockoe Bottom comes Whisk bakery, with some of my favorite words in the English language: "croissants, both sweet and savory." You'll also find breakfast, lunch, seasonal fruit pies, cookies, French pastries and catering availability. “I want Whisk to be a place where friends can meet for coffee and a croissant on Saturday morning; where you can grab a gourmet sandwich to go, or sit down and enjoy a leisurely lunch with a glass of sweet tea," owner/baker Morgan Botwinick says in a news release. "We encourage our neighbors to park themselves at a corner table and take advantage of our free wifi, or meet after work for a glass of wine and some delicious cheesy gougeres. In time, we hope to become a neighborhood institution, an extension of people's homes.” You might remember Botwinick's pastries from The Jefferson or from Sugar Baking Co. at the St. Stephen’s market. If you don't, expect some baked goodness from Whisk when it opens toward the end of summer/in early fall.
- Julep's New Southern Cuisine reopens on Saturday at 5 p.m., in its new-to-Julep's location at 420 E. Grace St. Matthew Tlusty, formerly of Arcadia and the Hilton Garden Inn, is the new executive chef. For those who'll miss former executive chef Randall Doetzer's cooking, fear not; we hear he's got some good stuff in the works. (Richmond.com/Richmond Times Dispatch)
- And the new Boathouse, located at Short Pump Town Center, is set to open in the next two weeks with sushi and a whole new look. (Just don't expect pizza or a waterfront view.) (Style Weekly)
- Neil Witte, one of only nine (nine!) Master Cicerones in the world, stopped through Richmond on Tuesday night for a tap takeover at The Answer Brewpub. If you missed it, no sweat; we chatted with Witte about what it takes to become one of the world's preeminent beer authorities, plus which beers you need to try at least once in your life. (Richmond magazine)
- Welcome to Negroni Week! Find a variety of Negroni specials around town (including those of a frozen variety); RVANews has the lowdown on where proceeds go when you order one at specific restaurants because — get this — you'll be drinking for charity. WIN/WIN. (Richmond magazine / RVANews)
- And if you're looking for tips on how to grow your own kitchen garden, please direct your attention to this piece on edible gardening from our current issue of R•Home magazine. Step up your herb/fruit/spice game with tips on growing lemon balm, berries, oregano and more, then reap the literal fruits of your labor. (R•Home magazine/Richmond magazine)
- In a bit of bummer/keep-your-eyes-peeled news, a man has been caught on tape stealing from food trucks in Fulton. Have you seen this man? If so, please contact the number listed; we don't condone going all Batman/vigilante justice, but we totally get it. (Church Hill People's News)
There are So. Many. Great. Events. Ahead. Get into 'em:
- Tomorrow, Friday, marks the very first of ZZQ's summer pop-ups at Ardent Craft Ales. Beginning around 4 p.m., this event/feast-fest will be held every first and third Friday of the month throughout the season. This inaugural pop-up features authentic sliced Texas-style brisket, jalapeno mac 'n' cheese and buttermilk potato salad. You can buy the brisket by the pound, but about a half-pound of meat and one side will run you $8.50, with additional sides available at $1.50. Each week, the ZZQ team plans to introduce varieties of meat in addition to the brisket (think brisket and ribs, brisket and chicken, brisket and pulled pork; you get the idea). (news release)
- Spend your Saturday afternoon drinking and biking, biking and drinking, at the 2nd Annual RVA Bike Brewery Tour. Meet at Legend Brewing Co. at noon, then work off that beer as you make your way to Triple Crossing Brewing Co., Hardywood, Strangeways and more. (RVA Bike Brewery Tour)
- ...Or spend your Saturday in Strawberry fields (forever? no, probably just for the afternoon) at the Ashland Strawberry Faire at Randolph Macon College. Enjoy strawberry-centric fare from local restaurants and vendors, two stages full of live music, kid-friendly events and a pet-friendly atmosphere, rain or shine. (Ashland Strawberry Faire)
- And the Stone Soul festival's got what you need, including Biz Markie, with so much soul food and live music from 1 to 8 p.m. at the Richmond Raceway Complex on Saturday. Seriously, this is a festival dedicated to soul food and live music. What more do you want? (RVANews)
- There are still a handful of tickets left for Saturday evening's annual Off Broad dinner event — seriously, we're talking around 20 tickets left — and if you buy one, you can head to Pasture and expect many plates from many acclaimed chefs lsuch as Bryan Voltaggio, Brad Farmerie and, of course, our own Jason Alley. We also got our hands on a partial menu for the event and it includes blood-sausage-stuffed, rum-cured apricot with roasted cashew and ají dulce béchamel (from José Enrique of Capital and Miel); charcuterie (thanks to Chad Colby of chi SPACCA); Shan-style tofu with crispy catfish, fermented tea leaves, shaved cabbage, lime and herbs (thanks to Rob Newton of Seersucker); and chilled "top neck" clam and crispy pork belly on the half shell in uni-Kewpie mayo, topped with bacon XO sauce (via Stephen Gerike of the National Pork Board). Is your mouth watering yet? (Mine is. It absolutely is.) You'll also find Pasture's specialty Off Broad cocktail involving Bell Isle Craft Spirits' honey habañero moonshine and a mulberry-and-honeysuckle shrub. (What? Yes.)
- And on Sunday, you can catch the main Broad Appétit event from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., on West Broad Street, between Henry and Adams streets, for $3 small plates from so many restaurants, food trucks and pop-ups, it'll make your head spin. Don't forget to vote for your favorite dish, your favorite calorie splurge, etc.
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- First and foremost, here is your ultimate guide to preparing frozen dumplings. Use it eternally. (Food52)
- Next up: the science behind #FoodPorn. (See, every friend I have who makes fun of me for taking photos of my food? I'm feeding your brains.) (The Atlantic)
- Looking for the international food adventure of a lifetime? Saveur has got you covered with its new Global Road Trips Guide. (Saveur)
- R.I.P. Chipotle carnitas, but chorizo is on the horizon. Right now, as you read this, lucky Kansas Citians are eating their way through the chain's new pork-and-chicken sausage blend, and I am increasingly envious. (First We Feast)
- Is a 20-year supply of bacon a thing you want? If so, maybe you should move to Indiana, or at least visit, because that's what one of their lotteries will get you. (We're looking at you, Richmond Bacon Festival.) (Foodbeast)
'Til next time, wear some stretchy pants this weekend in anticipation of all that food you'll be eating.