Asparagus and burrata and pickled onion, oh my! Rancho T's got a new chef, but that's not all we've got for you in Food News. Read on, readers, below. (Photo by Stephanie Breijo)
Burgers, beer, biscuits — honestly, what more do you need? We thought so. That's why we also brought new-restaurant news and great events. There, are you happy? You should be. We've got a lot of great stuff on our plate this week:
- HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND! If you're firing up the grill for some burgers, have we got the guide for you. We caught up with Saison's Adam Hall for tips on how to get the most from your patty, and Belmont Butchery's Tanya Cauthen weighs in on the definition of a perfect burger. Go forth and grill, and make sure you use some of these tips from Richmond's meat masters. (See also: maybe don't even use a grill? Flip that burger script this weekend.)
- South Side received some rather large — I'm talking 115,000-square-foot large — news last weekend: Wegmans at 12501 Stone Village Way is finally open and it offers a full-service restaurant, hot-food bars, a wine cellar, climate-controlled cheese and so much more. Take a peek inside, why don't ya.
- More big, exciting news: Downtown's getting another rooftop bar, and it's getting it on June 1. Get a look at Kabana, perched atop Hilton’s Hampton Inn and Suites and Homewood Suites tower at 700 E. Main St. It offers 9,000 square feet and 400 seats total. Neoilth stone, weathered teakwood and a pool all await you, as does a restaurant and a tiki-inspired cocktail program. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- Over in the Fan, big changes are afoot at Rancho T. The restaurant just tapped a new executive chef, Danielle Goodreau, who returns to the Richmond area by way of kitchens in San Francisco, Sonoma and Chicago. Shifting the focus away from Latin American and more toward New American, Goodreau is introducing a number of exciting new dishes and you can get a glimpse of them here. (Richmond magazine)
- Rancho T isn't the only spot that's getting a makeover. Carytown's Pomegranate restaurant is currently closed, set to reopen next month with new items, an interior revamp, a dog-friendly patio and more. We spoke to chef/owner Kevin LaCivita about what we can all expect next month, and you can hear the words from his mouth to our ears to our keyboards to your eyes right over here.
- Coming soon is more from Croaker's Spot, the seafood and soul-food restaurants in Richmond and Petersburg. The team plans to unveil three more Croaker's Spot locations, including one here in Richmond, in Jackson Ward. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- What else is new and fresh? ONE OF RICHMOND'S FAVORITE FARMERS MARKETS, THAT'S WHAT. Birdhouse Farmers Market, formerly The Byrd House Market, is back and better than ever. Our May-issue story on the popular community event is now online, where you can read up on all of the fun changes. Library! Swimming pool! Farmers and local industry heads leading the charge! Learn about the weekly event, then be sure to check it out for yourself. (Richmond magazine)
- Speaking of fresh, have you checked out Lavender Fields Herb Farm yet? No? Well let us introduce you to this Glen Allen farm and garden that grows more than 200 types of herbs and veggies, and sells you freshly squeezed lavender lemonade.
- Wait, you'd rather have a recipe? Try this arugula and pickled fennel salad on for size, then be sure to send a thank-you letter to East Coast Provisions chef Trevor Knotts for sharing. (Richmond magazine)
- Looking to get grilling but don't know where to score the best deals? RVANews has a quick roundup of Memorial Day specials around town, including sales on burger bundles, sausages and pounds of potato salad, and really, what's not to love there? BONUS: If you're looking for tips on how to become the ultimate grillmaster, we've got a few tips (with a recipe!) on how to char your way to the perfect vegetables via Jenna Sneed of Fresca on Addison. Get to it.
- BREW NEWS: Scott's Addition's newest brewery opens this weekend and I have honestly lost count of the number of breweries opening or already open in that neighborhood, but regardless am very much looking forward to trying this one, too! Castleburg Brewery and Taproom opens its doors at 1626 Ownby Lane at 11 a.m. this Saturday, and will immediately offer three brews: Castleburg Cream Ale, Bishop's Brown Ale and The Black Knight IPA. (RVA Mag)
- MORE BREW NEWS: Stone Brewing Co. is now crafting its first Virginia-made beer, and the brewery's East End team will be updating all of us with photos and info via Facebook throughout the day. (Stone Brewing Co.)
- And just in time for swimsuit season, it's a guide to BISCUITS! (Honestly, if you're turning down biscuits at any point of the year, you're doing it wrong. All of it so, depressingly wrong.) (RVANews)
Hey! Get on out and enjoy some sunshine with these great events:
- Head to that historic Hofheimer Building rooftop for a happy hour with gorgeous views of the city! Remember that time we went up there? Now you can go, too! Go do it! Fun starts at 6 p.m. tonight and there will be drinks and art and music. (Hofheimer Building)
- On Saturday in Ashland, you'll find the Hanover Tomatoes, Corks and Kegs event, which promises a tomato pie contest, beer, wine, live music, vendors and more, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Hanover Vegetable Farm)
- Also on Saturday (and on Sunday and Monday) is the 12th annual Strawberry Fields Festival at Gallmeyer Farms. Expect hay rides, pony rides, strawberries, picking your own strawberries, live music, food vendors, shopping and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Gallmeyer Farms)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- So we're indeed going international with this one: Eater just published its "The Eater Guide to the Whole Entire World," which is pretty impressive. There'll be more to come, but for now, check out these food guides to cities including Cape Town, Melbourne, Tokyo, Mumbai and Paris. Start your dream food vacation now.
- I'll take my burritos with extra meth, please. (Just kidding!) But someone clearly thought this was a good idea, and that woman, caught smuggling burritos filled with more than 1 pound of meth, is now in a lot of trouble. (First We Feast)
'Til next time, don't do drugs, just eat burritos.