Not too confident in your painterly skills? Never fear — a full wine menu can help with that, and there's a new Muse Paintbar opening this week that'll make it all happen. This, plus other fun ways to be active while also drinking, below. (Photo courtesy of Muse Paintbar)
This week saw news of nanobreweries, nanomeals (that's my new nickname for small plates, hope you like it), and some events and openings of very large proportions. Big and small, we've got 'em all. Take a look-see:
- Big, exciting news out West: Walter Bundy, former executive chef of Lemaire in the historic Jefferson Hotel, just announced the opening date for his highly anticipated Libbie Mill restaurant, Shagbark. Next Wednesday, June 29, doors will open at 4901 Libbie Mill E. Blvd., Suite 175, and Bundy and his team will offer an array of Southern-inspired, locally sourced entrees and small plates including chicken-fried Chesapeake oysters with grits, pea shoots and sprouts, dill pickle remoulade and Tabasco butter; scallop ceviche with mango, ginger, basil, serrano chile, lime and coconut water; rabbit hand pies with spring lettuces, honey whipped goat cheese, and green tomato chutney; and a rosemary- and honey-glazed chicken breast with potatoes, ramps, roasted garlic cloves and buttermilk-dill dressing, all between $8 and $30. Take a peek inside with our First Look and a bit of information about the space. For even more on the concept and what to expect, we've got you covered. For more on chef Bundy and his past, present and future, we're got that, too.
- If you like to dabble in art and wine — and especially if you like to dabble in both at the same time — rejoice! Muse Paintbar is opening its 17th Richmond-area location tomorrow night at 1601 Willow Lawn Drive. The chain's new 3,000-square-foot space will offer Muse's signature painting classes, which are open to all skill levels, plus a full wine menu and tapas selection. “Muse allows local artists to share our passion and create art in a fun, relaxed atmosphere,” co-founder and lead artist Vanessa Leigh says in a release. “Art can be intimidating, but we break down barriers by providing simple directions that allow people to gain confidence. By the end of the session, they’ve had fun and can take home an original work of art.” Book date nights, kids' parties, fundraisers and more, with classes that average $35 a pop.
- In more expansion news, Lemon Cuisine of India is pushing north to D.C., hoping to open a District branch in the city's Dupont Circle neighborhood by early August. The family owned Richmond location, stationed at 3215 W. Broad St., won't be affected by the growth, according to owner Gurjeet Singh. (Richmond BizSense)
- Midlothian-ways, Spring Rock Green is getting a new Tropical Smoothie at 7102 Midlothian Turnpike on Monday, July 18, just in time for peak smoothie weather. (news release)
- In Reopen News: Carytown's Pomegranate restaurant is back after its construction hiatus. For more on the changes, click right over here. (Don't worry, that doughnut burger is still on the menu.) (Richmond magazine)
- Speaking of produce: Richmond's annual vegetarian festival has been postponed to Saturday, July 9. Mark it on your calendars and then spend the next two weeks mentally and physically preparing for a full afternoon of tasty vegetarian fare, a speaker series, live music and all that jazz, all for a good cause: Proceeds from this year's festival benefit the Change Rocks Foundation, which helps at-risk youth via the arts. (The Richmond Vegetarian Festival)
- In Trend News, female-staffed kitchens are on the rise — an exciting turn of events in a male-dominated industry. We spoke to a few of Richmond's restaurateurs and chefs, both male and female, to learn just why this could be. (See also: supertasters.)
- In Brew-Trend News, sure, we've all heard of Hardywood, Stone Brewing Co., et al., but what about the little guys? No, I don't just mean "independent" breweries. I mean breweries that often brew one batch at a time and/or intentionally keep their business small. Richmond's got a handful of nanobreweries that do just that, and here's a peek at the business models and creativity that keep them afloat. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- Looking to spice things up? We recommend Kampot, the Indochinese restaurant within Balliceaux, and if you're in need of a few suggestions on what to order, well, you're in luck: Our review just went online.
It's time to put on your eatin' pants, Richmond, because this weekend is packed to the brim with great food events:
- 'Tis the season for t'matoes, so head to Hanover Vegetable Farm for the family friendly Maters, Music and Wine Festival, where you'll nosh your way through fresh produce, bites and full meals (including Hanover tomato BLTs), dance to an entire afternoon of live music, get in your arm workout by throwing things at a dunk tank, and sip your way through local wineries' vintages, all for $5 per person, with eats and drinks available for purchase. 13580 Ashland Road, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Hanover Vegetable Farm)
- Saturday afternoon, help Ardent Craft Ales ring in two years of great local beer with an anniversary block party from 1 to 8 p.m. You'll find limited releases of Ardent's own brews, including an anniversary-exclusive schwartzbier, plus 15+ guest beers, live music, food trucks and more. The 21+ event is free to attend, with food and drink available for purchase. (Not to sound like your mom but DON'T FORGET TO HYDRATE.) (Ardent Craft Ales)
- Then help Metzger Bar & Butchery celebrate its second anniversary with a three-course meal all Saturday night, all for $22, and then raise a can of $2 beer, another anniversary special, after 10 p.m. once the evening gets started with DJing and dancing and general merriment. Cool? Cool. (Metzger Bar & Butchery)
- There's nothing selfish about craving shellfish, so if that's your bag, hit up Isley Brewing Co. and The Savory Grain's Southern Seafood Boil event on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. at the brewery. A cool $35 gets you all you can eat and a beer ticket, so get ready to hit some communal tables and dig into some shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn. (Isley Brewing Co.)
- BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: Buddy's Place is hosting its annual Crab Pickin' party on Sunday starting at 5 p.m. Thirty bucks includes crab and fresh sides. Reserve your spot by calling 355-3701 or stopping by in person to sign up ahead of time. (Buddy's Place)
- ALSO ON SUNDAY: Hardywood's hosting Love On Tap, a blowout in celebration of last year's Obergefell v. Hodges case, in which the Supreme Court declared marriage equal in The Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, etc. This event is free and open to all ages, and features live performances, food trucks, beer, a photo booth and, last but certainly not least, LGBTQ pride. Doors open at noon. BRING YOUR PARTY HAT. (Hardywood Park Craft Brewery)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- Hi yes hello, quelling your cravings in one fell swoop is Ben & Jerry's BEER. The formidable ice cream company teamed up with New Belgium Brewing Co. to create a Salted Caramel Brownie Ale and it's hitting shelves this fall. The curiosity countdown begins. (Food & Wine)
- Here is a chef who puts an entire roast chicken on his pizza. He puts six-packs of beer on his pizza. He puts the pizza on a surfboard and then takes videos of it. This is a chef not to be trifled with, and he's a crazy man I'd personally like to high-five: Meet Roberto Dos Santos. (Munchies)
'Til next time, I don't even know what to say except that I really want pizza, with or without an extra meal stacked on top.