The view from here: Acclaimed chef Frits Huntjens opens his gorgeous Farmers Market Restaurant & Bar in Petersburg next week. Want to know when? We've got more on this and other delicious news items, below. (Photo by Susan Winiecki)
Welcome to the weekend! We've got pour-it-yourself wine, "Mad Max"-themed cocktails, pizza clubs, pizza guides, ice cream and awards all comin' our way:
- Big, exciting news: Do you remember that impressive Petersburg restaurant and farmers market concept we told you about last spring? The one from 1 North Belmont's Frits Huntjens? Get ready, because the 7,500-square-foot Farmers Market Restaurant & Bar opens on Tuesday at 11 a.m., beginning with lunch service. Regular hours are Sunday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight. Go forth and dine, shop and enjoy. (Richmond magazine)
- IT'S HERE! Our January cover story is now online in all its cheesy, goopy, crisped-edge, savory glory: The Pizza Guide is full of the best spots for a late-night slice, local products for making pizza at home, where to find Neapolitan- or Sicilian- or New York-style pies, late-night people watching at The Pizza Place, some of the city's best house-made toppings AND MORE. (See also: We've got gluten-free and vegan picks in there, too!) Check out the guide, and keep your eyes peeled next week for a related video, to live your best pizza-pie-in-the-sky life.
- In some sweet news, Gelati Celesti's finally got an opening date for its new Scott's Addition ice cream shop, and it's the local chain's largest location yet. When it opens on Feb. 9 at 1400 N. Boulevard, expect an industrial vibe, plus a number of collaborations with other RVA businesses, in the new 2,100-square-foot space. “We selected this location partly because of the incredible craft scene that is quickly defining the area,” owner Steve Rosser says in a news release. “In addition to our 24 house favorites and hundreds of rotating favorites, we’re partnering with many of the neighboring breweries, distilleries and coffee roasters to create locally inspired flavors." Check it out Sunday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m.
- "Pour me another, bartender. Oh, wait, I'm responsible for that?" That's how I'm guessing multiple conversations will go at Richmond Wine Station, Scott's Addition's forthcoming wine bar, where guests load money onto a card and pour themselves wine from automated pouring stations. Situated at 2930 W. Broad St., the new spot is set to open in March. (Richmond BizSense)
- And in some sadder news, Church Hill's The Dog & Pig Show will close next month after service on Feb. 12. James and Isabel Eckrosh, the husband-and-wife team behind the restaurant, felt that despite their success — which included widespread critical acclaim and an Elby Award — that it's time to close up shop, but not completely. Though The Dog & Pig Show will shutter, the pair hopes to launch a small-batch line of jarred goods as early as this spring. Be sure to stop by 314 N. 25th St. in the next few weeks to grab some delicious pastries, Laotian hot salad, shrimp and grits, and a biscuit sandwich or two before it's gone. For more on what's in D&P's future, step right this way. (Richmond magazine)
- This week saw more news of a closure, and sadly, the restaurant is already gone. Short Pump Town Center's Tara Thai shut its doors permanently on New Year's Eve, though its other locations (four in Maryland, one in D.C., one in Charlottesville, one in Falls Church and one in Herndon) all remain open. (Richmond BizSense)
- Look, ma! We're on TV! Food Network's new show "Ginormous Food" swung through Richmond recently, and tonight, you can see a handful of beloved Richmond restaurants and their enormous, towering, stacked-high dishes when the "Richmond's Monumental Dishes" airs. To prep you, I caught up with host Josh Denny about his trip, the show and his favorite dish in our dear city.
- A new bill just passed the Virginia General Assembly proposing more regulations on restaurants' food and beverage service hours. It's a measure intended to safeguard against alcohol service extending far beyond the food options made available to patrons, and proposes kitchen hours remain open as long/late as the restaurant is serving alcohol. I'm honestly not sure where regulators would or could even draw the line here; after all, French fries are technically an item that could be available at all hours, and late-night menus most likely already suffice; forcing full kitchen operation late in the evening seems a bit unrealistic (and unfair) to restaurant staff, but then again, it seems unrealistic that the state could enforce full-on entrée service at every single restaurant in the state of Virginia. Perhaps we'll all see more chips, crackers, fries and other nosh available at our favorite late-night spots until closing hours. We'll see what happens next month when the bill reaches the House of Delegates. (Style Weekly)
- Shout out to the many, many Virginia makers who won big at this year's Good Food Awards, including JM Stock Provisions for beef tongue pastrami, Blue Bee Cider for its Harvest Ration cider and Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix for, well, its Texas Beach bloody mary mix. See also: Please look at this adorable photo of Team RVA hard styling at the awards. Find the full list of this year's winners here.
- And a shout-out to Proper Pie Co., which Garden & Gun picked as one of its "Southern Pie Shops We Love." (Church Hill People's News)
Hey! Go and check out some of these events all about eatin' and drinkin' why don't ya:
- HEAR YE, HEAR YE: Nota Bene is launching its new semi-monthly Pizza Club on Sunday, wherein special guests create a pizza and cocktail for the evening. This month's special comes by way of Secco Wine Bar's Julia Battaglini and Dave Martin, and, of course, you can find Nota Bene's regular pizza and cocktail menu there, too! The fun starts at 5. (Nota Bene)
- Also on Sunday is an evening of MAD MAX COCKTAILS at Metzger Bar & Butchery. Again, "Mad Max"-themed cocktails and snacks, in addition to the restaurant's full menu. As is wonderfully customary with this restaurant's Sunday cocktail series, five percent of all cocktail proceeds will be donated to the Blue Sky Fund in honor of Kurt Moon. May you drink eternal, shiny and chrome. (Metzger Bar & Butchery)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- You know the old adage: When life/Kellyanne Conway gives you alternative facts, make pizza. National pizzeria franchise Villa Italian Pizza now offers the Alternate Facts Pizza, a six-slice, zero-calorie pizza topped with bacon, sausage, pepperoni and ham. Regardless of where we all stand politically, I'm sure we can all believe in alternative facts when it comes to calorie counts. (Mashable)
- Ah, cool: A recent study found that those who eat seafood regularly ingest roughly 11,000 pieces of plastic annually. Many of these are the microplastics — think those little beads in your facial wash — that float through our oceans and find their way into our fish. While most of these plastics pass through the human body with ease, scientists estimate about 1 percent don't, and can cause health issues. So there's that. (Munchies)
Till next time, I'll be passing on the fish course. (Just kidding, we all know that's a lie.)