Feeling lucky? You should. Highroller Lobster Co. drives down from Maine this weekend for its second pop-up at The Veil Brewing Co., and I think you should go. Then again, there are a lot of things you should eat and drink this weekend, and you can find 'em all below. (Photo by Stephanie Breijo)
You made it to the weekend! Your reward? Lobster rolls, so much brunch, pizza praise, new restaurants and a foodie kind of love. Heartwarming, for sure:
- Valentine's Day is nearly upon us, but whether love is in the air next week, always, or you're generally just looking for some great food specials, you're in luck: A ton of Richmond restaurants offer "date-night" menus, no romance required. Simply show up with a "date" (read: friend, significant other, that rando down the street, your landlord, the USPS guy who always promptly picks up the mail at your office, etc.) and dig into dinners and bottles of wine at a fraction of the cost. We're here to help with a guide to some of the city's best date-night specials. (Richmond magazine)
- Over in the Fan, local pasta maker, market and restaurant Bombolini hopes to add one more aspect to its business: distilling spirits. Pending approval, the outfit will begin distilling and selling unaged liquors out of its shop at 1606 W. Main St., and also distributing to Virginia ABC stores. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- New event alert: At The Brunch Market, get a taste of the good life and also many biscuits this Sunday and once a month from here on out. The recurring shopping and dining event combines two activities tailored to Sunday mornings and afternoons: eating brunch and perusing locally made goods, and you can catch the first installment this weekend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the lovely new Lunch/Supper event space in Scott's Addition. Enjoy chicken biscuits, ham biscuits, mimosas, flatbreads and more from the Lunch and Supper crew while you stroll past tables of Richmond-based clothing, jewelry, soaps, lotions and more. Neat! (Richmond magazine)
- In reopening news, The Hard Shell Downtown opens its doors tonight for dinner service after a brief closure to completely renovate the restaurant's space, and relaunches lunch service next Monday. In a few weeks the second phase will begin, launching an entirely new menu but with continued focus on seafood, steaks and sides.
- Nearly here: We've now got an opening date for the first of three Richmond-area Cava Grills, where you can build your own Mediterranean-inspired bowl using locally farmed ingredients. Stop by 810 W. Grace St. next Thursday, Feb. 16, for its opening! (Midlothian and Short Pump locations are set to open sometime this summer.) What's more, get free lunch when you check it out on Thursday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Would you like to know more? Step right this way. (Richmond magazine)
- Our current issue of the magazine is now on newsstands, and it's all about love. Specifically, it's about a very kind of Richmond love: the people, places, events — you know, common and proper nouns — that make this city's heart beat. Almost no dish is as beloved as pimento cheese, and to dive into this love story, I chatted with three notable chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, whathaveyou, to learn a bit about how they first fell in love with this spreadable snack, and how they make theirs. And now I am craving pimento cheese again.
- In expansions news, it appears that Sugar Shack Donuts is opening up shop in Charlottesville, though the details beyond that are nebulous. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- Also, here is your reminder that The Dog & Pig Show closes after a full day of service on Sunday, so you've got around three days left to eat one of these stellar pimento grilled cheese sandwiches before the restaurant shutters for good. But, another reminder: The husband-and-wife team behind the venture is launching a small-batch product line in the next few months, so at least we'll have that. For more on their post-resto plans, we've got you covered. (Richmond magazine)
- More bummer news: This year's GWAR B-Q is canceled, or as the theatrical, fake-blood-spewing band phrases it, it's been postponed until next year. While that means you'll have to wait another year for the annual food and music blowout at Hadad's Lake, it also means you'll be getting a new GWAR album and tour, which is what the band is currently working on in lieu of throwing this year's fest. (RVA Mag)
- Shout out to our entire city for ranking as Travel + Leisure's number-13 city with the best pizza in the country, and an especial shout out to Nota Bene, Belmont Pizzeria and Bottoms Up, which all got some praise. (And once more, with feeling, here's our recent pizza guide to help you navigate all the River City's slices.)
It's going to be a cold one, so warm up with these here events:
- Hey! Warm yourself from the inside out by heading to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia for the 3rd annual The Exclusive Black List. Starting at 7 p.m., celebrate the African-American wine community and taste 26 wines, meet the vintners, and enjoy some heavy hors d'oeuvres and live jazz, and maybe get to dancing. (See also: This museum is stunning. Go.) (The Vine Wine Club)
- Journalism is at its core a public service, thus it is my duty to inform you of this event even though I know it may very well make the lines even longer than they were last time, but I want you to be informed and have nice things, even if it increases my own wait times, so here we go: On Saturday morning, get thee to The Veil Brewing Co. for another visit by Maine-based The Highroller Lobster Co., which is driving down to Virginia with coolers of fresh seafood that will help you live your best lobster-roll life. There will also be grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with fresh crab, lobster ghee and, really, all things good because not only will there be some of the best lobster rolls I have ever tasted; you can wash it down with beer by The Veil and beer by Trillium Brewing Co. AND DJ sets AND a live performance by Chance Fischer. What more do you want??? The fun runs from noon to midnight, see ya there. (The Veil Brewing Co.)
- And if that aforementioned Brunch Market at Lunch and Supper didn't sound like your thing (who are you?), or if you want to double brunch (that's more like it), just walk a couple blocks down the road to Blue Bee Cider for a Nate's Bagel pop-up from 1 to 3 p.m., where you'll find breakfast sandwiches, sangria, and dessert-cider and rosé tasting flights. (Blue Bee Cider)
- Apparently Scott's Addition is the place to be this weekend, especially for brunch (maybe even triple brunch?), because you can also shuffle on over to Isley Brewing Co. for another Mean Bird brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find fried (vegan) chicken biscuits, hot Ironclad coffee, mimosas, beer and beer-based Bloody Marys. Hot dang. (Mean Bird)
- And a happy birthday to Perk! Coffee + Lunchbox, now two years old! Celebrate in Bon Air on Sunday with pour-over coffee from Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co., plus tastings of the always effervescent Mother Shrub, plus bites from Craft Brew Bread and Vegtabowl Foods, in addition to Perk's usual goods. And oh, hey, drip coffee is $1 all day! And also oh, hey, there's a raffle and storytelling! Stop by from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and wear your best party hat, even if only in your heart. (Perk! Coffee + Lunchbox)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- First it hit D.C., then it hit Philly: #Pizzagate is back, and this time the conspiracy theory alleges both Pizza Brain and Little Baby's in Philadelphia are part of the Clinton sex-ring fake news scandal. Cool. (Eater)
- "African-American cooking techniques, to me, are American cooking techniques," says Executive Chef Jerome Grant, who oversees Sweet Home Café in D.C.'s new National Museum of African American History and Culture. "Whether we were slaves or indentured servants, a lot of the meals were done by African-Americans throughout the United States." This is a great interview with the chef about how he's crafted his menu to represent a number of regional and historical cuisines, and how to keep them authentic. (NPR/WBUR)
Till next time, I'll be over here, still trying to book tickets to that museum and drooling over its café's menu.