Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Food, Art, and Market

My folks came to visit this past weekend. A fairly big deal since they hardly ever come. And we showed them parts of Richmond that they had never experienced before. Somewhat of a risk, but I think they enjoyed it.

We enjoyed Torraine Sauvignon Blanc, Whiskey Smash, and Sunday Paper at Acacia. The tiny bar alcove was free for relaxing and catching up on news of all of my relatives.

We then traveled to ArtWorks for the All Media Show reception. I have a couple of photos on display. It had been quite some time since they had been on that end of Hull St.

We had dinner at Avenue 805. Veal Picccata; Veal Saltimbacco; Ribeye Steak; and Crab, Scallop, and Shrimp Cake with a 2003 Lan Rioja Riserva.

Wonderful veal served with housemade pasta and marinara. My mom raved about the seafood cake. Very good. The ribeye looked overcooked to me and not as appealing as the other dishes. The restaurant was very hot. But prices were reasonable and the wine, divine.

The next morning we visited the South of the James Market. Wonderful as always (but extremely hot!).

Then on to the Virginia Museum to look at stuff - both old and new. We met my sister for lunch at Amuse. The L'Ecole No. 41 Syrah was very tasty as well as the polenta fries, hangar steak, tuna tartar and avocado, and crab cake. And the service seemed to have gone up a notch.

We then went to the special Tiffany exhibit. My favorite part was discovering how the studio made the stained glass pieces so three dimensional though layering and folding glass.

My other favorite part was looking at the favorite art work that my nephews and niece picked out. All different. All intriguing. All contemporary.

It was a good visit.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

South of the James Market for July 17

Hot! Thanks goodness we went early. For today at the South of the James Market we purchased:

Phal's Egg Rolls and Noodles (for breakfast)
Carnitas Taco from Nate's Taco Truck (again, for breakfast)
Blanchard's Iced Coffee
Hot Tea from Koralee
Lisianthus bouquet from Amy's
Fresh whole chickens from Ault's
Red and white potatoes and onions from Pleitez
Peaches and blackberries from Agriberry
Hungarian sweet and yellow peppers from the Chester farmer
Carrots and Hanover tomatoes from Victory Gardens
Garlic from Root Force Collective
Chocolate chip cookies from Countryside Bakers
Cinnamon bread from Montana Gold


Support your local markets! If you have photographs, show off the local bounty here.

Pescados China Street

Despite the downpour last night, Pescados China Street was bright. Of course, you can't miss the building.

But the decor is also eye popping. Bright blue walls, red tables, yellow chairs and booths. Folks gathered in shorts and flip-flops drinking PBRs from a can. Colorful and laid back. A welcome scene after a week of hard work.

We arrived during happy hour and while we did not order any of the happy hour drinks, we did order the $4 appetizer specials. Lobster hushpuppies

and Shrimp Nachos.

Both were extraordinarily good. The puppies did have a bit of lobster in them. They were crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and just a tad sweet. A lime cream and a hot pepper cream were zigzagged on the sides for dipping. We liked the hot pepper one the best. The nachos were blue corn chips, melted cheese, shrimp "bits," shredded cabbage, and pico de gallo. The shrimp "bits" were more like very large grilled shrimp chopped into thirds. I could tell it was shrimp and my mouth kept exclaiming Mmmmm!

While I scarfed up nachos, my hubby ordered the special: Swordfish with Queso Fresco/Scallion Potato Mash and Yellow Gazpacho.

He was quite pleased with his order, too. We washed everything down with a pitcher of red sangria - not too sweet but just enough fruitiness.

We are very happy that Pescados is now north of the river.

Pescados China Street on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Make Your July 14 a Very Happy One!

This announcement was in my email box today from J. Emerson:

Don't forget to stop by on Wednesday, July 14th from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm to raise a toast to our 25th Anniversary. We'll be opening some sparkling wines for tasting including, as tradition dictates, Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne.

Hope to see on Bastille Day.


J. Emerson Inc.

5716 Grove Ave

Richmond, VA 23226


Monday, July 12, 2010

Smoked Boston Butt

A couple of weeks ago we purchased a 4 pound Boston butt from Ault's Family Farm at the SOJ Market. We thawed it out and decided to smoke it.

We made a rub containing salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper, and paprika.

We used an old charcoal smoker and a digital thermometer.

After about 6 hours and a temperature of about 195 degrees, we were ready to consume.

We drank a 2007 Federalist Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley (purchased from The Wine Cellar).

With the delectable pork we also enjoyed roasted white potatoes.

For dessert - cut up fresh peaches and wild blackberries macerated with a thimbleful of Luxardo.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Champagne Possibly Pairs Well With Anything

At least according to my hubby.

We broke open a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Brut. Mighty fine stuff.

He had it with a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

You can decide for yourself.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Today at SOJ

Today at the South of the James Market we purchased:

White corn on the cob
Fresh Cornish hens
Fresh tagliatelle
Cherokee and Brandywine heirloom tomatoes
Hungarian peppers
Chocoalte chip cookies
Chocolate espresso pound cake
Chicken empanada
Blanchard's iced coffee
Koralee Indonesian tea

Here are pictures of the market today:

Support your local farmers. Have fun at one of the many markets in Richmond.

If you ahve any market photos, post them here.

shout out loud at bonvenu

On Thursday we tried going to the Virginia Museum in the evening to listen to jazz and grab a bite at Best Cafe. Crowded. No seats unoccupied. We were hungry, so forget that. We walked over to Stuzzi's. Folks entering and immediately turning around because of the wait. Secco? Not a chance. Wall to wall people. Was it still Thursday? or had we blown over into Friday?

Wait bonvenu had a table or two. We were seated at the two top in the middle and front of the house. And it was LOUD! A couple of 6-8 person parties. High pitched laughter. I had a hard time hearing the waitress and my hubby.

But since we were hungry and running out of choices, we stayed.

bonvenu had a wine special ($27 for Brouilly) and we ordered it.

Decent light red, but it had been stored some place warmer than the restaurant. And while it had not affected this bottle, I would be wary of the wine list and take extra care in tasting when going back in the future.

We ordered Vegetarian Lasagna w/ layers of pasta, fresh vegetables, ricotta, mozzarella, marinara & fresh grated parmesan $17

and Grilled Pork Chops stuffed w/ clove apples & topped w/ sage butter, served w/ thyme roasted red potatoes & haricot-verts $21

Both entrees were very nice. The lasagna contained eggplant, peppers, and onions with a strong fresh tomato sauce. My hubby was a fan. The pork chops were boneless, meaty, grilled (nice charred grill lines) and big (I took one home). The apples had the right amount of spice and were not too sweet. The green beans were very garlicky and the potatoes were perfectly roasted.

Our wonderful nose be-ringed and tattooed waitress took great care of us despite the busy-ness and noisy chaos. She checked on us a couple of times and kept our wine glasses filled. Great service! And helped us to wind down a bit despite the noise.

Great service and good food made our experience enjoyable. But I hope next time we encounter some quieter diners or have the good fortune to be seated in an out-of-the-way corner.

Bonvenu on Urbanspoon