We are lederhosen-deep in Oktoberfest season, which means beer brats and straight-up beer for all. Read on for events and specials, below. (Photo courtesy Wegmans)
There's a ton of food news and more than a few great events comin' your way, which means you should probably just go ahead and buy those larger jeans now. From new spots to beer brats, this week's got it all:
- Great news for the Fan, and for Southern-food lovers throughout the city: Chef Michael Hall's Spoonbread Bistro is now open at 2526 Floyd Ave. with exposed brick, copper accents and a menu sporting items such as rockfish with butter-poached lobster tail, jumbo lump crab cakes with seasonal vegetables in a pan butter sauce, and seared scallops over corn pudding with bacon. (Also on the menu is a lobster pop-tart, so color me curious.) Find dinner service from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with lunch service beginning on Monday, Sept. 25. (Expect Sunday brunch a bit further down the road, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) And oh, yes, there is private parking. (News release)
- Over in Carver, the corner of Munford and Clay streets is set to get something sweet. Nutty Buttery, most likely opening in November, is a new café and ice cream parlor with beer, wine and live music at 701 W. Clay St. But owner Charleen Baylor hopes it'll serve as more than your breakfast-lunch-and-dinner go-to; she hopes to create a center for the community. Want more? We've got you covered.
- I've said it before, but when the RVAdine gods giveth, they also taketh away: After roughly 10 years in business, Lucille's Bakery is now closed. The pastry, baked goods and wedding cake shop at 719 N. Meadow St. shuttered toward the beginning of the month, with no plans to reopen.
- And toward the beginning of January, The Blue Goat will permanently close at 5710 Grove Ave., with parent group EAT Restaurant Partners opening a new, yet-to-be-named concept in the space the very same month. "This [new] Asian concept will be a fresh, modern and upbeat version of its original antecedent, The Peking on Grove (open from 1977 – 2009 and affiliated with the Tsui family)," Director of Hospitality Christopher Staples says in a news release. "Westhampton and its surrounding neighborhoods will once again have access to authentic and delicious Chinese food while still enjoying the high-energy and chic bar scene that we have all come to love about the Blue Goat. You can also still expect the same stellar service and attention to detail that you have come to rely on during your visits to The Blue Goat."
- In more closures, Shockoe Whiskey & Wine is now shuttered, according to a sign on the door citing the tenants' inability to pay rent. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- And there's no shortage of biscuits in this town, but now there's an option sans butter: Vegan start-up Mind Yr Own Biscuits brings sweet and savory biscuits, and meatless breakfast sandwiches, right to your door from a kitchen in the Museum District. Place your orders via email@example.com and get ready to chow down on vegan takes on the Cuban sandwich, the fried-chicken sandwich, and biscuits 'n' gravy. (RVAmag)
- And oh, hey — our October issue is rolling out to subscribers and newsstands, and with it is our semiannual food publication, Dine. This issue focuses on the permutations of spice in and around Richmond kitchens, including your own. In addition to a history of the Sauer's spice company, a chef's tips on buying sustainably and how to live Your Best Mulled-Wine Life, you'll also find a few ways RVA bars are using spice to kick up cocktails. One web extra is now online: Find the recipe for Lehja's Princess of Kashmir cocktail right over here, and learn a thing or two about the snacks known as chaat while you're at it.
- How do RVA's musicians eat on the road? It depends on whom you ask, but most will tell you there's strategy involved. And snacks. Some will even tell you Europe's dining has nothing on Richmond's food scene. For our September music package, I caught up with Lucy Dacus, Positive No and Reggie Pace of No BS! Brass Band about how they eat on tour, and their favorite RVA dishes to dig into upon return.
- BEEFING UP: Beginning Oct. 8, all Capital Ale House locations will serve only Virginia-raised beef. "Our pasture-raised, antibiotic and hormone-free beef is from over yonder, not overseas," a news release says. Just a li'l meat PSA for ya.
- Heads up: Next week, five Virginia chefs will cook at the world-renowned James Beard House in New York City. The Virginia Heritage Eats dinner takes place Wednesday, Sept. 28, with plates by Rodney Einhorn (Terrapin in Virginia Beach), Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve in Alexandria), Ian Boden (The Shack in Staunton), Travis Milton (Shovel & Pick in Bristol — and formerly of Comfort and Family Meal here in RVA) and Aaron Deal (River and Rail in Roanoke). Find the full menu and ticket info here.
The weekend's so close you can almost taste it:
- Want to learn about the region's farms and eat the goods grown on them? You can have your agricultural cake and eat it, too, because Saturday is the Real Local RVA + Ellwood Thompson's annual farm tour and cookout! Twenty-five bucks gets you tours of Shalom Farms, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Victory Farms and Tricycle Gardens, and for $50 you'll get access to the cookout featuring dinner by Joe Sparatta of Heritage and Southbound; Lee Gregory of The Roosevelt and Southbound; Mike Ledesma of Richmond Restaurant Group; and Todd Johnson of Ellwood Thompson’s. For $65, you get the package deal! Tours run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and dinner's served from 4 to 6 p.m. Get yr tix here. (Richmond Farm Tour & Cookout)
- ALL ABOARD THE BEER TRAIN: Metzger Bar & Butchery is bringin' back its Oktoberfest celebration in a big way. Stop by the Union Hill restaurant Saturday for a free block party complete with oysters, beer, pretzels and schnitzel all available for purchase, plus a soul-music set from NYC's DJ Fine Wine. Noon to 9 p.m. (Metzger Bar & Butchery)
- Another note on Oktoberfest: Both Richmond Wegmans locations are offering special themed menu items in The Pub, the restaurant within both massive grocery stores. Find flights of beer (six samples for $6) plus staples such as pretzels and brats with beer cheese sauce, now through Oct. 1.
- There are so many things happening on Sunday so let's just start chronologically, shall we? Kick off your day at Perk! with coffee bagels. THAT'S RIGHT, YOU HEARD ME. Nate's Bagels is bringing a few cold-brew bagels and a selection of others, and Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co. will be there with a pour-over bar. Nothin' not to love from 9 a.m. to noon. (Perk! Coffee + Lunchbox) BONUS BAGEL NEWS: Find Nate's Bagel's at Union Market in Church Hill every Thursday night from 5 to 7 p.m. BEGINNING TONIGHT. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. (Church Hill People's News)
- How does unlimited, open-pit-prepared meat sound? Throw in the fact that it's via some of the city's best chefs, and it should sound pretty damn amazing. Beast Feast is back, and what's more, it's also in celebration of Belmont Butchery's 10-year anniversary. (CONGRATULATIONS, BB!) Your $75 ticket includes unlimited wine, cider, cocktails and Center of the Universe Brewing Co. beer, plus oysters from Rappahannock Oyster Co. and food from Metzger Bar & Butchery's Brittanny Anderson, Nota Bene's Randy Doetzer, Saison's Adam Hall, Vagabond's Owen Lane, The Rogue Gentlemen's Will Longoria, and more. (Nab your tix here, and I'll see you there?) (Beast Feast)
- Nota Bene's throwing a pizza party on Sunday at 5 p.m., and who among us doesn't love a good pizza party? The Shockoe restaurant's serving up some old Pizza Tonight faves along with Nota Bene's current pizza offerings, plus there's an Ardent Craft Ales tap takeover. (Nota Bene)
- Starting at 5:30 p.m. Sunday is another Jackdaw pop-up, and you can find its eclectic Asian menu at Belle & James downtown until 9:30 p.m. Lookin' to make a res? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. (The Jackdaw)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- This summer, legendary NYC restaurant The Four Seasons closed after nearly 60 years in business. Relive its legacy and final meals with this multimedia reflection, then daydream about all that Midcentury modern furniture that's out there in the world somewhere, just waiting for you to claim it. (Eater)
- Yelp reviews can be both the bane of a restaurateur's existence and a guiding hand for diners looking to try someplace new. But as anyone who's visited the site can tell you, not all Yelp reviews are created equal, and in the age of the Internet, they've become more than a voice for personal experience; they've become political. Here's a look at what happens when Yelpers turn on a restaurant for an owner's stance on gun control, gay marriage and more. (NPR)
Till next time, let's use our collective Internet powers to refrain from attacking people personally. Unless those people don't like food. (Just kidding. OR AM I?)