Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Little House Green Grocery

Little House Green Grocery has opened and is packed with all manner of goods. I visited right before Christmas. I am so happy that this adorable storefront is within walking distance! While fresh items will vary depending on the season, dry goods are also offered as well as cheese and other dairy products, meats including pork from Polyface Farm and chicken from Harmony Hills, and natural skin-care items.They even carry food for dogs and cats.

I ended up with pork loin from Polyface Farm for a dinner party I am hosting soon.

Check out Little House Green Grocery soon and often. While there if you have suggestions or a wish list, let them know. They truly want to serve the community.

Little House Green Grocery 1

Little House Green Grocery 2

Little House Green Grocery 3

Little House Green Grocery 4

Little House Green Grocery 5

Little House Green Grocery 6

Little House Green Grocery 7

Little House Green Grocery 8

Best of luck to the new business in the area!

A Well-deserved Elby Nod for Tastebuds American Bistro

Yes, I am biased. Tastebuds American Bistro is still my favorite Richmond Restaurant. I am very, very happy they have garnered an Elby nomination for Best Neighborhood Restaurant by Richmond Magazine.

Here are some reasons why it should be your neighborhood restaurant if you are a Northsider and why it should be your go-to restaurant if you live elsewhere in RVA.
  • If you live in or around Bellevue, you can walk!
  • And you may want to walk if you enjoying imbibing beer, wine, or cocktails. There are always a few independent draft beers. While the wine list is small, no bottle is over $40 and the selection is very good. Most cocktails are $8 or under and Andrew continually comes up with weekly specials that delight. The latest was Santa's Helper with Belevedere Intense Vodka, Rhuby, muddled blackberries, and a splash of lemon. For dessert, try the Irish Coffee. It comes deconstructed so you can combine according to your preferences.
  • Great Salmon! At least my hubby can attest to this. I am not a salmon fan, so I respect his opinion. While the sauce and accompaniments change up with the seasons, there is always salmon on the menu. Since we eat here at least once a month, you might think hubby would tire of the fish, but he always has the dilemma of whether to order the salmon (because it is so good) or something else.
  • Duck Spring Rolls with a Pear Dipping Sauce. This is my favorite app. Yummy!
  • Specials. Tastebuds features a special starter and a number of entree specials every week. Both of us are fans of the Wiener Schnitzel. Sign up for their email list or follow them on Facebook or Tumblr.
  • Everyone who has eaten here with me has enjoyed it. My parents, my boss, friends, etc. Because of the consistency of the food and the variety of the food, it offers something for all tastes (even my friend who wants two desserts instead of an entree!).
  • Make reservations via Open Table.
  • Brunch. Earlier this year Tastebuds American Bistro began serving brunch. The Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple, Caramelized Onion, and Bacon Crepe with Ancho-Maple Syrup is freakin' awesome!
  • And finally, the hospitality of Andrew and Valentina really transform this eating establishment into an inviting place to be. They know the neighborhood and greet regulars warmly. For newcomers, the gracious reception and the wonderful food have folks gushing by the end of the evening.
If you haven't given this neighborhood gem a try, start the New Year off right with a trip to the Northside.

As usual I have a variety of photos that I hope you enjoy.

Duck Spring Rolls
Duck Spring Rolls
Prosciutto Shrimp
Prosciutto-wrapped Shrimp - Appetizer Special
Irish Coffee
Irish Coffee
Butter Almond Cookies and Pear Sorbet
Butter Almond Cookies and Pear Sorbet
Vesper Martini
Trefethen Merlot
Trefethen Merlot
Wiener Schnitzel
Wiener Schnitzel
Tin Barn Cab
Tin Barn Cab
Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad
Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with Pickled Onions
Santa's Helper
Santa's Helper
Butternut Squash Apple Bacon Onion Crepe
Roasted Butternut Squash Crepe
Bar Couple
A lovely place to dine.
Congrats to Tastebuds American Bistro!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas by pjpink

Merry Christmas a photo by pjpink on Flickr.
Have a wonderful holiday! May you enjoy good friendships and family, good times, good food, and good drink!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Congrats to Deco Ristorante

Deco Ristorante earned an Elby nod for best new restaurant yesterday. (See the entire list here.) We dined at Deco a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed the following:

Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar to enjoy with bread
Montepulciano D'Abruzzo
An inexpensive fruity red for dinner
Fried Fresh Mozzarella
A favorite! Fried Fresh Mozzarella with sauce. We have to order this every time. So yummy!
Penne a la Vodka
The special of the evening: Penne a la Vodka with Grilled Chicken Breast. The chicken was a bit dry, but the pasta was divine. Enough to take home for leftovers and add a bit of Sausage Craft sausage to the mix. 
Kudos to Deco! Thanks for providing us with a taste of Sicily.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Duck at Heritage

Lots have been written about Heritage with all kinds of deserving praise. Dana Craig at RTD awarded the place a very rare 4 stars.

I want to focus on one dish that wowed me: Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Duck Confit, Pear, Scallion, and Pumpkin Seed Oil. A most awesome fall-into-winter dish. A bit spicy, a slight sweetness, and a whole heap of flavor. While the soup is a small portion, the complex flavors completely satisfy.

Heritage has other dishes that are lovely, too, along with an enticing cocktail list; but this soup is the dish for me.

Another Proper Pie Fan

I actually visited Proper Pie Co. within two weeks of their opening. It's been a while since I jumped on the newest trend. And I chose wisely. Cute place, a line out the door a tad after noon on a Sunday, and a growing dilemma on what to order as I approached the counter.

I decided to try a variety of items, staring with the Sausage Roll made with Sausage Craft goods. Loved the dough. Nice, light, flaky -  dare I say, dreamy. The sausage filling seemed a bit dense and  slightly dry. Both hubby and I craved some kind of sauce. We finally hit upon a bit of Dijon mustard.

We also tried the Chicken and Kumara pie. This pie was unbelievably wonderful. The crust had the right amount of stiffness and flakiness. The chicken and gravy reminded us of a perfect pot pie. The kumara is akin to a sweet potato, but does not have a sweet potato taste, more like a regular potato which added substance and intrigue to this most proper of savory pies. Yummy!

We rounded out our experience with a slice of Lemon Meringue pie. The pie was exceedingly tall with stiff meringue that sported a crunchy top. Not like my Mom's version that was more like spongy foam. I liked the crunchy stuff much better. The filling was interesting. If consumed with the meringue, there was no citrus tartness that I really enjoy in a pie. Very mild. If consumed without the topping, the tartness was just right for me. I liked that I could eat each section together or alone and have differing taste sensations.

All in all. Well done. I'm a fan.

I snapped a number of photos.

Proper Pie Co

Proper Pie counter


Pie Case

Sausage Roll and Chicken and Kumara Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

While you are out and about, stop by and experience a Proper Pie for yourself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Last Regular SOJ Market for 2012

Even though it was the 1st of December plenty of vendors still showed up for the South of the James Market. Produce was plentiful as well as unique and colorful. And two new food trucks appeared: The Dog Wagon and Monique's Crepes. Hubby headed straight for a couple of dogs with the usual fixin's and I tried the Sasquatch savory crepe with acorn squash and sausage, drizzled with maple syrup. Yummy.

Once again my sincere appreciation goes out to all of the vendors. Hubby and I love going to the market every week.

Enjoy the photos. If you have photos of any of the local markets, post them here.

Romanesco Cauliflower

Pepper String

The Dog Wagon Dog

Sausage and Acorn Squash Crepe Topped with Maple Syrup

Orange Cauliflower

I'm all eyes

And never fear, the winter market has already started.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Shameless Plug

The December 2012 edition of Richmond Magazine is now available. Check out page 166. I have a brief take on soups from Brunswick Stew to Gumbo!

Check it out!