Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Magpie - A Sweet Little Birdie

Between the earthquake and Hurricane Irene, we discovered a little birdie called The Magpie. And wow! can this bird sing. I had been following them on Facebook while they were in the midst of construction and now they take advantage of the medium to communicate delectable specials. The special that drew me in was a seared flatiron steak with lobster tempura tail, golden beet gnocchi, green beans, oyster mushrooms in a mushroom broth.

Steak and Lobster

Even though these letters are overused I have to say OMG! It was fantastic.

We had such a great meal that we went back the same week.

The Magpie is located on the corner W. Leigh and Norton streets in the Carver Community. The decor is quirky and eclectic featuring dark wood, red velvet, and vintage items adorning the walls. They sport an ample bar.

Magpie Bar

Magpie Dining

The wine prices are the best I have seen lately for a Richmond restaurant. During our visits we happily consumed 1448 and Impuls 71. Great reds.


Impuls 71 Back

For each visit we were graced with a lovely Amuse Bouche.

Amuse Bouche

To eat, we selected either entrees or small plates depending on their specials and our own whims for the evening. Small plates we tried on various evenings included:

Fried Hearts of Palm with roasted poblano pesto - a great take on the ubiquitous fried zucchini. A good-sized portion. The unique pesto made the dish more delightful.

Hearts of Palm

Flatiron steak with poached quail egg, bok choy in a duck broth - this was a small plate special. When the waitress brought it over, she asked if I also wanted a spoon. My hubby immediately said yes (for me). The steak was lovely. The egg gave the broth an added richness. I cut up the bok choy and scooped the veggie up with the spoon and the broth. It was like I had a soup and an entree. Great flavor all around.

Steak Egg Duck Broth

Arborio Rice-Crusted Tuna with golden beet puree and herb salad - hubby ordered this on a whim. He's not a fan of arborio rice, but really enjoys tuna. He was pleased with the crusty outside and scarfed up the tuna itself. The golden beet puree added an extra dimension.


Duck Paupiette with bacon, roasted poblano, chive cream cheese - we had to ask the waitress to describe this dish. Basically, they take the bacon and top that with a thin strip of duck and spread the rest of the ingredients on the duck; roll up the concoction, skewer it with a rosemary twig, and grill. Yummy, yummy.

Duck Paupiette

Small plates run from $7 (mixed greens salad) to $15 (corn dog lobster tail). Most are ample in size. And everyday there is a new small plate special.

For entrees we had the OMG surf and turf described above and Braised Berkshire Pork with mashed yucca, smoked heirloom tomato, and coconut au jus. The pork did not need a knife. It fell apart into delectable bite-sized portions as soon as the fork touched it. And it was wonderful having mashed yucca instead of potatoes. A bit more starchy with nice soft chunks of yucca. Once again, an outstanding entree.

Braised Berkshire Pork

Entree prices range from $18 (house-made fettuccini with veggies) to $29 (cast iron seared antelope - I have to go back and try at some point).

We also splurged on dessert. Cherry bread pudding with ice cream and tequila caramel sauce and Coffee cake with espresso cream and caramel sauce. Desserts were good, but lacked the wow factor that the small plates and entrees had.

Cherry Bread Pudding

Coffee Cake

I know I have gushed a great deal about The Magpie, but this place was fantastic for both hubby and me. Small and cozy with an interesting decor. Imaginative dishes. A wonderfully-priced wine list. It's very rare that we return to the same place within a week, let alone a month. And there are other dishes we have yet to explore. My only complaint is that they are not within walking distance of my house.

Red Carnations


Midlo Mom said...

Well, if it's true and we eat with our eyes first, then I am SO there!

thebuddinggourmet said...

very nice post :)

Anonymous said...

Did you have any trouble with the virus that attacked Eating Richmond? I had to get my 'puter cleaned and got new antivirus SW which shows Eating Richmond to still be unsafe.

pjpink said...

Hey cfootsoup - Chrome sent me a warning and I have not tried to get back to Eating Richmond, yet. I hope they clean up the stuff and send out email to everyone.