Photo by Stephanie Breijo
Origins Farm, as seen on last year's Richmond Farm Tour. Will there still be a Farm Tour this weekend? Read on!
Ready for this week's Food News to rock you like a hurricane? We've got new restaurants, new food clubs, the Fire, Flour & Fork class schedule, all of the updates on (and cancellations of) this weekend's great events, plus more. Go on and get swept up in it:
- Go west! The Short Pump and Innsbrook areas are getting a handful of new restaurants, one of which is already open. Ray's Other Place, the sit-down comfort food restaurant from the family behind Ray's Italian Water Ice, is now open at 3061 Lauderdale Drive. Coming soon to Short Pump is a Carolina Ale House in the former Mimi's Cafe location, which will serve from-scratch bar fare, and in Innsbrook, Tahoes California Grill is set to open this month in the Shoppes at Twin Oaks. (Richmond.com/Richmond Times Dispatch)
- Who's down for a pickle party? Artisan Pickle, a new local pickle club and monthly subscription service, is ready for all of your pickled-good needs. Join the club at Shoryuken Ramen and bring a jar of your favorite artisanal pickles or $10 to partake, or sign up for the new subscription service online. We hear there's also a pickle festival in the works for next year. All the details on that and more, right over here. Pucker up, RVA. (Richmond magazine)
- At the end of this month, Fire, Flour & Fork hits the city for year two of food seminars, demos, dinners and more. Last year's classes and demos saw some great appearances by Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tossi and celebrated author and food historian Ronni Lundy. The full 2015 class schedule is now available and it looks like this year, among other classes, we can expect Curate's Katie Button teaching a course on Spanish peppers; an "Oysters 101" class with Rappahannock; a discussion on successfully incorporating and involving the cuisine of immigrant cultures, led by Bill Smith (of North Carolina's Crook's Corner), Michele Jones (of Pasture) and Greg Johnson (of Citizen); and a demo on breaking down a whole pig with Belmont Butchery's Tanya Cauthen and Autumn Olive Farms' Clay Trainum. Knowledge is power. A one-day class pass is $70, a two-day pass is $125 (and you can find tickets here). Isn't fall the greatest? (news release)
- Speaking of seasonal treats, we've got a roundup of our favorite pumpkin beers, both local and national, plus a few alternatives if you just can't bring yourself to embrace the pumpkin movement. Gourd for the soul. (Richmond magazine)
- In a bit of sad closures news, Tastebuds American Bistro in North Side is now shuttered after more than a decade of business. The restaurant's owners are currently negotiating a business deal, in which another Richmond restaurateur will take over the space. (Richmond.com/Richmond Times Dispatch)
- Did you miss National Coffee Day on Tuesday? Never fear; at Rmag we treat every day like National Coffee Day, healthy pulse rate be damned, so we compiled some of our favorite coffee shops in the city to enjoy a good cup, 24/7, 365. (Richmond magazine)
- What goes perfectly with coffee? Pie! So here's a pie PSA: Proper Pie Co. is now taking Thanksgiving orders. It may seem like jumping the gun, but trust me: You'll want to reserve that pumpkin and salted caramel pie before someone else does. See this year's list of available goods right here, and give thanks for perfect pie. (Proper Pie Co.)
- And speaking of coffee and baked goods, you can find a preview of Whisk — the new bakery opening soon in the former GlobeHopper coffee shop space in Shockoe Bottom — at The Lab by Alchemy Coffee for the next few weeks! While you're waiting for Whisk to open, sample some treats like savory croissants five days a week for at least the next two weeks. (Alchemy Coffee)
- Here's a food-birthday PSA: Heritage is turning three! Celebrate with $3 food and drink specials available at dinner service throughout October! Fan favorites for three bucks. Nothing not to love. (news release)
- And last but not least, here's a thoughtful piece on the art of Greenleaf's Pool Room. Owner Jim Gottier commissioned roughly 100 portraits in order to visually tell the story of the game and pay homage to its greatest players, resulting in an eclectic portrait gallery downtown. (Style Weekly)
Ready for some weekend events? We've got the latest happening/not-happening/maybe-happening food festivals and dinners:
- First off, a note on some event cancellations and postponements thanks to Hurricane Joaquin. (*Eye roll* Thanks, Joaquin.) Style Weekly's Hogtober is canceled completely, which is a bummer, but, you know, safety first. The outdoor event will hopefully return next year. (Style Weekly)
- In additional sad, no-meat-for-you news, tomorrow there will be no ZZQ at Ardent Craft Ales, though you can still catch the 'cue duo there for an industry night pop-up on Oct. 12, starting at 5 p.m. (ZZQ)
- In no-fun news, The State Fair of Virginia will close tonight at 7 p.m. and remain closed for the season. (Again, safety first.) Guests who purchased tickets and had not yet used them can exchange their tickets or wristbands for 2016 vouchers. (Contact information and full statement can be found here.) Pour some out for all the funnel cake we won't be eating this weekend. (State Fair of Virginia)
- The 2nd Street Festival is also canceled this weekend due to the inclement weather, though Venture Richmond will offer a FREE concert at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3, at The Hippodrome, featuring Con Funk Shun. (news release)
- And the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program's Shell-Raiser's Shindig is now postponed until Oct. 18, but you'll still find oysters from all seven of the state's oyster regions (provided by Shooting Point Oyster Co., Grand Pearl Oysters of Shore Seafood, Ruby Salts Oyster Co., Windmill Point Oyster Co., W.E. Kellum Oyster Co., Big Island Aquaculture/ Vogt Oyster Co. and Joyner Brothers Oyster Co.), plus oyster-centric fare prepared by some of the city's best chefs (Joe Sparatta, Walter Bundy, Mike Ledesma and the Executive Mansion's own Ed Gross, to name a few). 2 to 6 p.m. at Seven Springs in Manquin. You can find your tickets here! (news release)
- "We're going to be making a game day decision," says Colin Beirne, the marketing director of Ellwood Thompson's Local Market. While it's possible that the self-guided 2nd Annual Richmond Farm Tour will proceed as scheduled this weekend, Beirne says it's probable that it won't, due to the inclement weather. If it is rescheduled, it will most likely occur next weekend, provided there are enough farmers able to participate; if not, it will be canceled and return next fall. Visit the Virginia Association of Biological Farming or Ellwood Thompson's websites and their corresponding social media accounts for updates over the next two days.
- HURRICANE BONUS: Get $5 off all growler fills from Capital Ale House all weekend long. Fortify thyself! (Thanks, Joaquin, and this time it's not sarcastic.) (Capital Ale House)
- OK, now to the events that are so on, at least as of now! The Visual Arts Center of Richmond is hosting its 2nd Annual Chili Cookoff tomorrow from 5 to 8 p.m., rain or shine. A $15 ticket gets you a handmade ceramic bowl full of chili or a handmade ceramic mug full of beer (and an additional beer), and there will be live music, plus chili available for purchase from Alamo BBQ, Amuse, Belle & James, Bombolini Pasta, Cary St. Café, Ellwood Thompson’s, Mosaic, Plant Zero, Supper, The Betty on Davis, The Dog and Pig Show, The Savory Grain and Urban Tavern. Proceeds from the $15 tickets will buy a new kiln for VisArts! (VisArts)
- On Saturday and/or Sunday, head to the Gallmeyer Farms pumpkin patch for a two-day Fall Festival, which is still on for the time being! It's a free, family-friendly event with live music, fresh fall produce for sale, local food vendors to feed you to your belly's content, and hay rides and pony rides. 4506 Millers Lane, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Gallmeyer Farms)
- Welcome fall with not one but two pumpkin beer releases (hey, again, did you read this guide to pumpkin beer?). Stop by Ardent Craft Ales from noon to 10 p.m. for its "The One" Pumpkin Ale taproom release, complemented by fall foods from Kava Kava food truck, and then by Hardywood from 2 to 9 p.m. for its Rum Pumpkin release. Hurricane or no, Hardywood will be serving beer, though it can't promise the live music or food vendors; as it stands, Cheezilla's Grilled Cheese and Shamasuki are still on the docket and set to serve.
- Then on Monday, make your way to Saison for the trippiest dining experience of the season: Club Saison's Southeast Asian Acid Trip, a five-course wine dinner offering Southeast Asian street fare and acidic Rieslings. "For this dinner, we venture to Southeast Asia with a healthy dose of Cambodian, Thai and Vietnamese influence to pair with Rieslings of varying acidity and stillness all set to an Asian Psych Rock soundtrack," co-owner Jay Bayer says in a news release. "You're gonna freak out!" Just $60 gets you dishes such as peanut-braised pork belly steamed bun with fresh herbs, Hub's Virginia Peanuts and sticky sauce, and rib-eye satay with broken rice, smoked Shiitake and preserved yolk, plus wine pairings with each course. There are only 37 seats total, so nab 'em online or by calling (804) 269-3689. 6:30 to 9 p.m.
- If you think that sounds great but maybe you're not so into meat, can I interest you in a vegan feast at Millie's Diner? Monday night you can find a five-course vegan meal prepared by the Millie's team and Joshua Ploeg, The Touring Vegan Chef. Expect dishes such as cauliflower-chickpea schnitzel with seared mushroom, pomegranate-cabbage slaw and creamy dilled Cannellini mash, and roasted pumpkin croquettes with pumpkin seed and sage pesto, pickled turnip and cranberry-masala chutney. Seating begins at 6 p.m., and the meal will only set you back $45 plus tax, gratuity and alcohol. Call (804) 643-5512 for reservations. (Millie's)
And now in (inter)national links:
- What happens when you set out to modernize a classic cookbook? Here's a fun and fascinating look at the trials and tribulations of Clotilde Dusoulier, who recently updated "Preserving." (Food 52)
- Some food for thought: Whole Foods recently announced it will no longer sell products, namely its goat cheese and tilapia, made and prepared by prisoners in a labor program. On one side of the coin, there are no federal regulations for these prison-labor operations and many feel the prisoners are exploited with hard work and incredibly low wages. On the other, Whole Foods felt the partnership was originally the correct business decision because it supported organizations that provide work experience and give back to the community. (Pencils down, everyone. There is no right answer here.) (NPR)
- And on a slightly tangential note, DMX chose IHOP as the spot for his first post-prison meal, but he didn't just order an omelet; he jumped on the line and cooked it himself. That's absolutely not how I pictured Rough Riders roll, but I totally respect it. (First We Feast)
'Til next time, stop, drop, open up some menus this weekend and order all the things.