Monday, May 07, 2012

Richmond Restaurant Week Highlights

We managed to hit up three places during the last week in April. Two spots have been participating in RRW for a while and we had yet to experience the places. The third place we frequent regularly, but this was their inaugural stint with RRW.

Since so many RRW patrons have blogged, tweeted, and FB'd about the event, I'll stick to some brief highlights.

First up was The Hill Cafe. No, we had never been. Yes, they were busy, even on a Monday. We liked the short two-seater booths (very cute) and we liked the neighborhood feel. If we lived in the area, we would probably be regulars. I need to go back to try some of the Blue Plate Specials.

I enjoyed the Crab and Artichoke Dip with the chips. Yummy, rich, and a very generous portion.

Crab Dip
Crab Meat and Artichoke Hearts with Fried Flour Tortilla Chips
Hubby went for the fried oysters and you know he liked them.

Fried Oysters
Crispy Fried Oysters with Red Skin Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Spinach, and Lemon Dill Creme Fraiche
The Apple Crisp Pie was a bit disappointing. Nothing crisp about it and the pie should have been heated.

On Wednesday, we tried Helen's (since 1935!). Can you believe this was our very first Helen's experience?? We did not have reservations and they were not as busy as we were expecting. We had our choice of a table in the back or eating at the copper bar. We chose the bar. I had no idea the chefs cooked  at the lower end of the bar. Way cool.

The Mussels were The Bomb. The broth was so flavorful, they offered to box it up so I could have it later in the week with some crusty bread (yes, that was good, too).

Steamed Mussels with Pernod Broth, Herbs de Provence, Matchstick Potatoes, and Lemon Aioli
The Grilled NY Strip was also tasty. The Pave Potatoes with cheese were so rich, I had to take them home (used them in a frittata later in the week).

Grilled New York Strip
Grilled New York Strip with Potato Pave, Rainbow Swiss Chard, Wild Mushroom and Green Peppercorn Sauce
Our last place was Tastebuds American Bistro. I was pleased to see them on the list (as well as some other newcomers).

Hubby enjoyed the Flounder. Tastebuds always offer either salmon or flounder. While I'm not a fan of either, hubby is and he's happy about the consistent quality of the fish.

Paneed Flounder with Asparagus and Fennel Saute, Lemon Cous Cous, and Roasted Fennel Nage
I devoured the Sirloin. The arugula added a nice touch of Spring to the dish.

Pan Seared Sirloin
Pan Seared Sirloin with Grilled Polenta, Mushroom Ragout, Arugula and Caramelized Leek Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
After dinner we splurged on Irish Coffee. Tastebuds does it up right.

Irish Coffee
A Perfect Ending to Richmond Restaurant Week
After a few disappointing years of attending RRW, this round made up for it. We explored places new and old and were well pleased.

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