This Texas Beach Bloody Mary shrimp cocktail can be yours, all yours, and chef Jason Alley can give it to you. More on his collab with The FareTrade, below. (Photo courtesy: The FareTrade)
Happy Thursday to you! We've got some big restaurant openings on the horizon, not to mention the best new products made here in Virginia. So pull up a chair, maybe tie on a bib, and let's get to it:
- No need to grab your skis, but you may want to put on some eatin' pants: Scott's Addition is getting its own chalet-inspired restaurant that will focus on classic French and Italian cuisine. Brenner Pass, located at 1800 Highpoint Ave. and set to open in December of 2016 or January of 2017, is brought to us by the owners of Metzger Bar & Butchery, and James Kohler, beverage director of Saison. From charcuterie carts to an amaro-heavy cocktail program, this 4,000-square-foot restaurant is bringing the Alps to RVA. Would you like to know more? We've got you covered.
- And in more new-restaurant news, Rocketts Landing is getting its own Urban Farmhouse at 4821 Old Main St. While the local chain's East End outpost will offer its standard sandwich menu, there will be a larger selection of craft beer, and you should be able to find it all by May 1. Further west, Patrick Harris of Boka Tako fame will open Antler & Fin, a meat- and seafood-focused restaurant, in the former space of The Belvedere at Broad. Expect house-cured meat and fresh fish, most of which will be locally sourced, as well as vegetable plates and craft beer. Doors open this summer at 506 W. Broad St., and mark a new direction from Harris' Boka street-food empire. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- RECENTLY OPENED: Speaking of fresh seafood, Carytown's East Coast Provisions launched this week at 3411 W. Cary St., offering sushi, a full raw bar, colorful entrées and playful, seasonal desserts. (Richmond magazine). And downtown, The Extraordinary Café recently launched in the lobby of the Troutman Sanders building at 1001 Haxall Point. Open for breakfast and lunch, this café serves up Paleo-friendly items such as lasagna and chili primarily made from meat and vegetables, as opposed to grains or dairy. It's all a continuation of Nancye Hunter's Paleo meal delivery service, The Extraordinary Caveman. (Richmond BizSense)
- Jackson Ward deli destination Nick's International Foods could be on the move, listing its 400 W. Broad St. building for sale a few weeks ago. Co-owner Manuel Mouris says he'll need more space if he's to launch his wholesale operation, and that he and his brother, co-owner Philip Mourtzakis, are considering a move outside of the city. (Richmond BizSense)
- Yesterday afternoon the Greater Richmond Convention Center filled with hundreds of Virginia-made products and attendees eager to try them all at the annual Virginia Food & Beverage Expo. It was hard for me to pick a favorite (that new Sausage Craft habañero sausage was up there, I'll tell you that right now), but BY GOLLY did the winning list of items nail it: Drinking vinegar Mother Shrub, "a colonial quencher made in Virginia," took home the Best New Product award, while Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix took home Best New Beverage, and Gearharts Fine Chocolates' Virginia Malt Whisky truffles swept the Best Food Product category. All in all, there were some great new Virginia-made options, from whiskey to wine-infused coffee (just trust me on this one), and it was a thrilling reminder that we've got some great makers in this state.
- Want to cook up some of your favorite chefs' favorite dishes? GREAT NEWS! Los Angeles-based subscription service The FareTrade is currently focusing on Richmond chefs, who are curating boxes of small-batch products and providing recipes that you can make at home! The first RVA chef is Pasture and Comfort's Jason Alley, who's got recipes for peanut-crusted catfish and more. Learn all about how to get your hands on his basket, plus who's to come, right this way. (Richmond magazine)
- On the note of your favorite chefs, here's a look at how Carytown restaurateurs and shop owners are bringing global flavor to Richmond. Including: Curry Craft's Mel Oza, Mom's Siam's Sukanya Pala-art, Coriander's Elizabet Bandazian and more! (Richmond magazine)
- Cool Thing Alert: You can help Richmond Public Schools educate students by way of vertical, community gardens! Urban farmer Duron Chavis fired up a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for tower gardens, which children will tend, growing vegetables and learning about food and science in the process. Donate here! (RVANews)
Hey! It's gorgeous outside! Go get you some eats 'n' drinks:
- Sip + taste some of the finer things in life with a La Valentina wine dinner at Pizza Tonight Restaurant & Bar, where you'll find four courses of dishes such as octopus with white beans and green sauce; cacio e pepe; and squid with caponata and arugula, all paired with wine, all for $65 and beginning at 6 p.m. Call 804-477-3355 to secure your seat. (Pizza Tonight Restaurant & Bar)
- If you'd rather sip + taste some of the finer things but from a different continent than Italy, Hutch Bar + Eatery is hosting its Hutch Supper Club tonight, with wine and dishes from South America. 7 p.m., $50 for four courses. (Hutch Bar + Eatery)
- Then on Saturday, get otherworldly at Strangeways Brewing's release of new beer Martian Spring, starting at 11 a.m. BONUS: Life on Mars, the David Bowie tribute band, will perform at 8 p.m. (Tickets required for the show, and you can find 'em here.) (Strangeways)
- Sunday, get springy at Metzger Bar & Butchery's Lamb and Ham Sunday Supper with a family style feast with roasted leg of lamb; honey-and-herb-glazed ham; sweet peas and baby carrots with tarragon butter and more. $35 per person, 5 p.m., call 804-325-3147 to reserve your spot! (Metzger Bar & Butchery)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- Fun fact: International fugitives keep getting caught because... drumroll please... they're ordering delivery. Hey, even El Chapo needs to eat. (Esquire)
- Grab your glasses of the drinking variety (but also optical variety, if you need those to see) because it's time for a lesson in cocktail glassware and how the shape and size of a glass influences what we taste and smell. Coupe, there it is. (Laughing Squid)
- I'll leave you today with my new favorite cooking series, local-TV (and now YouTube) classic "Weber Cooks," with sad music added. Here's an episode where we learn to cook up chili cheese nachos by putting the ingredients in a bowl and microwaving them. But don't miss the Rice-a-Roni tutorial, wherein a plastic knife also gets zapped. Nothing belies the inescapable cloak of ennui like microwaving processed foods to sad music, so have at it, everyone.
'Til next time, please don't microwave plasticware in your food.