GOOD EATS RVA 008: The Stables at Belmont opens, metal goes vegan, & Yaki in J. Ward

by | Jun 13, 2017 | GOOD EATS

Hey RVA foodies! is back with a fresh new look and we have a brand new GOOD EATS RVA to go along with it for your rumbling bellies. Now into our eighth installment, we’re filled to the brim with restaurant news, new menus at local eateries, chef series and more. Check out some background for when we first launched the column here.

So, without further ado, make some more room on your plate and pull up a chair and get ready for some GOOD EATS.

Here’s a recap of some stories you may have missed from the last few weeks:

Broad Appetit 2017:

Last weekend, over 60 local chefs lined West Broad Street offering up small plates of their best dishes to hungry festivalgoers for Broad Appetit’s 10th celebration. Restaurants competed for various awards such as “To Dine for” (best signature dish), “To Diet For” (best dessert dish),  and“The Healthy Dish”,and the proceeds went to FeedMore. Here’s a little preview of the food! Check out our full review of the festival here.

Ellwood Thompson’s & Quickness RVA collaborate

Local bike courier, Quickness RVA, is making it easier for Richmond residents to receive locally-sourced, sustainable prepared meals at their doorsteps.

Ellwood Thompson’s has partnered with Quickness RVA by creating a meal menu, which includes a selection of 13 sandwiches and wraps, such as The Drunken Sailor, the Bacon, Spinach and Tomato Wrap, and a wild mushroom and field roast sandwich, as well as a variety of drinks and side dishes.

The menu offers a wide range of options for those with specific dietary needs and restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, organic, carnivore and gluten-free dishes.

“We are excited to be partnering with Quickness to offer our healthy, locally made and sourced when available sandwiches, wraps, bowls and salads to the Richmond community,” said Colin Beirne, Ellwood Thompson’s Marketing Director Colin in a news release. “Not only are we pumped to be able to offer up delivery, but we are equally as pumped to partner with Quickness. It’s awesome to be able to work with a similar mission-minded, environmentally friendly, bike loving, local company.” Read more on that story here.

Bellytimber Tavern closes for summer, will reopen as Beauvine

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On May 31, Fan restaurant Bellytimber Tavern, closed for the summer to undergo some major changes.

Owner Patrick Stamper {Mezzanine/En Su Boca} plans to renovate the entire building and menu and reopen in late August as Beauvine.

“There were a couple big projects that demanded for us to close for a short period of time that started a conversation about what we could do there, and that evolved into maybe Bellytimber had a hell of a run and perhaps we could plug in a new concept there,” said Stamper.

The West Main Street restaurant originally opened in 2010 and became known for its brick oven pizza, vegan options, weekend brunch and extensive Bloody Mary bar. (It is truly a masterpiece.)

Stamper couldn’t reveal many details on menu specifics, but did mention that the restaurant will not be serving pizza. However, fans of a boozy brunch need not worry, the Bloody Mary Bar will remain when Beauvine opens so you can load up on any variety of mixers, hot sauces, pickled veggies and spices as your heart and liver can take.

“We feel like we kind of started that, we did it at Mezzanine and it worked out well,” he said.  “I love the idea. Most people like it and it is fun.”

And Stamper said with summer coming up and VCU being out, it is the perfect time to close down to renovate.

“Summer months are the slowest months down there, summer you lose 30,000 people, if we were going do it, the time was right,” he said.

Beauvine will serve lunch, dinner, and offer delivery and a small brunch menu after they get up and running. The restaurant will also be doing craft beer and cocktails.

Stamper brought in a consultant from Baskervil to help with the design, and once again, teaming up with local muralist Ed Trask for the artwork on the Plum Street side of the building.

“This will be the fourth Trask mural on there,” he said. “Same cozy historic to the fan kind of look,” Stamper said. “Brand new floors, a new back bar, Im not replacing the bar top its beautiful, so theres going to be a lot of different design elements its going to feel like a whole new place.”

Beauvine is slated to open August 15 or 20. Keep your eyes peeled on RVA Mag for updates on the new Beauvine.

Garnetts Café at The Valentine opens

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Garnett‘s at The Valentine, sister restaurant to Garnett’s Cafe in the Fan, opened June 5 in the garden cafe behind The Valentine. The restaurant is serving sandwiches, salads, soups, coffee, cake and pie. Theindoor/outdoor spot has 22 seats in the cafe and more than 50 outside in the 200-plus-year-old garden. Garnett‘s at The Valentine is open for lunch from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. This will be Kendra Feather’s latest venture, and add to her ever expanding restaurant collection including Ipanema Cafe, The Roosevelt and Laura Lee’s. 

Now on to what’s cooking!

RVA teen competes on Food Network show Chopped 

 Local teen Claire Hollingsworth is the youngest Chopped Junior champion in Food Network’s history and tonight at 8 pm she will compete in the Chopped Jr. Champions Tournament. Hollingsworth is working to encourage parents and kids to start cooking real food together by taking the fear out of cooking while having fun according to her website, Clair’s Lab.  The rising culinary star has done cooking videos, provided personal instruction, public appearances and sells kitchen products and seasonings on her website. Follow her journey on instagram here.

New Greek pop-up Buborva

A new pop up restaurant has sprung up in Richmond. Buborva is a Modern Greek concept featuring Virginia ingredients. The pop up recently had their first dinner at Whisk on Monday. Keep up on their Instagram for future summer pop ups and delicious looking food!

The Jackdaw Pulutan Dinner

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Speaking up pop ups, The Jackdaw, will host a new exciting dinner on Mon., June 26. We first gave you the scoop on the Chinese-influenced local pop up in a recent issue of RVA Magazine. Millie’s Diner Executive Chef Ian Merryman is at the helm and he keeps churning out creative ideas and delicious looking food. This time around, it will be a Pulutan dinner. From the Filipino word which literally means “something that is picked up”. Think finger foods. It will be a small plates menu served family style. Expect things pork sisig, kinilaw, crispy pata, and much more. Even if you’re not “in the know,” come out and have a few cocktails, crack open a San Miguel, and enjoy comradery, rad tunes, and great food! Laura Underberg from Flora behind the stick for this event! 7-10 pm. Tickets $50.

Yaki opens In Jackson Ward

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From the owners that brought you The Rogue Gentlemen, comes Yaki, a modern izakaya highlighting traditional yakitori and cocktails that opened June 2 in Jackson Ward on West Broad Street. For those that are in the dark a little about what I just said, let’s explain. Yakitori is skewered chicken cooked over hot charcoal grill. Yaki’s menu is their take on traditional Japanese street food, as well as regionally-inspired small plates such as Japanese curry, rice cakes, and Okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancake). The menu also features house craft cocktails, sake, beer and wine. 506 W. Broad St. 6 pm to 2 am

The Greek Taverna opens in former Crazy Creek spot

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We are a little late, but The Greek Taverna opened its doors May 15 on Staples Mill Road in the former Crazy Greek spot. Not to worry, original owners Kitsa and Greg Panos along with their daughter Toula Panos Suleymanian and her husband Gagik. Check out their menu for delicious Greek classics.

Ellwood Thompson’s Farm Tour & Cookout

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This Saturday, Jun 17, Ellwood Thompson’s will host its 2nd Annual Guided Farm Tour of four local farms with the meetup at Broadfork Farm. From there you will board a shuttle and visit four unique local farms. The first stop will be at Tricycle Urban Ag, an urban non-profit organization. The second stop will be Avery’s Branch Farms, a poultry, pork and cattle farm. The third stop will be Casselmonte Farm, a farm focused on producing safe, nutritious, great-tasting food in a sustainable organic system. The final stop will be back on Broadfork Farm, a thriving Certified Naturally Grown produce farm. Afterward, they will host a cookout featuring Chef Joe Sparatta,(Heritage/Southbound), Corporate Executive Chef Mike Ledesma, of Richmond Restaurant Group and Chef Todd Johnson, of Ellwood Thompson’s. Booze from Belle Isle Craft Spirits, craft beer by Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, and live music by 3rd Wave. Tickets: Tour: $25, Cookout $50, Both: $65.

Fathers Day Events

Toast RVA is hosting a “Daddy Date Night” featuring dinner specials June 16-18 for Father’s Day. Dishes include ribeye, trout, and pork chop. Check out the full menu below.

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Municipal Waste drummer to open vegan food truck


It looks like metal has gone vegan. Or vegan is going metal. However you want to put it this is some killer news. Dave Witte, the drummer behind RVA thrash band Municipal Waste is rolling out GoGoVeganGo, a as you surmised from the title, a vegan food truck. With his wife April behind the recipes and Witte in the kitchen, the two announced two days ago on Dave’s Instagram that they passed their health inspection and would soon be delivering healthy eats around the city. Check out the announcement above, and be on the lookout for a bigger story on RVA Mag on the venture. In the meantime, catch the truck at the upcoming Richmond Vegetarian Festival June 24.

Long read: The Stables at Belmont opens in former Zeus Gallery Café

Zeus Gallery Café’s doors may have shuttered, but a new restaurant has brought the space at 201 N. Belmont back to life with new owners and a new concept.

The Stables at Belmont opened near the end of May with restaurant veterans Evan Campbell and Steve Gooch at the helm.

“Its higher end new American, not fine dining, but higher end,” Campbell said of the new restaurant. “ Southern-inspired food, but with Boston grit.”

The menu is seafood heavy and focuses on small plates, and Campbell said he’s sourcing locally as much as he can.

“’Tis the season for things like fresh pears and English peas, I wanted to incorporate everything that’s really great this season,” he said.

Campbell, a Woodbridge native, honed his culinary chops in Boston for eight years, but he’s been in the industry since he was 13. However, he did spend a small stint of his career doing the 9 to 5 grind before going back to his passion.

“I did the corporate thing for about a year, my background is in linguistics so I worked in corporate for about a year and hated it, so I went to culinary school to hone up my cooking at Le Cordon Bleu,” he said.

He left his corporate job after that and worked his way up the culinary ranks from there. Prior to this venture, Campbell was the Executive Chef for the Café Caturra chain, working at all three locations, but primarily at the Grove Avenue spot.

Three months into working there, Gooch and Campbell started planning for what would become The Stables at Belmont after a chance meeting at The Franklin Inn, which Gooch owns.

“My brother works over there part time and I came in for a beer and he was sitting down, we started talking about restaurants, and my background, his background and that probably happened two or three times before an official meeting, then we decided to open the place up,” Campbell said.

Zeus Callery Café, a popular spot, closed in December 2015 and the space has been vacant since. Gooch took control of the property last August. After owning The Franklin Inn for two years, Gooch said he was looking for another venture to sink his teeth into.

“I looked at it and had a pretty good idea of what it could be, the opportunity was there now, Evan was available now and to have the right space in a highly desirable neighborhood and a fantastic chef all available at the same time, to get those three things to line up together doesn’t happen that often,” Gooch said.

And between the two private schools, the proximity to the VMFA, and tucked away in a bustling Museum District neighborhood, the duo saw it as the perfect spot for their 1,800 square foot restaurant.

The restaurant seats 62 with two dining rooms separated by a big arch and offers a beer and cocktail menu, but the big focus is on wine, 54 kinds to be exact.

“I opened two restaurants up in Boston before I moved down here, both which were very focused on wine and food playing together so the hope was, in addition to having the food menu built up, and a killer wine list, we’re gearing up to a lot of pairing events and wine dinners,” Campbell said.

Campbell cited his “Shrimp and Griscuits” dish on the menu,  as one of his favorites as well as one of the most popular meals since they opened their doors.

“I found that just about every restaurant in town has a Shrimp and Grits somewhere on the menu, I wanted to incorporate it, but to elevate it and combine a couple different southern dishes, ” he said. “I’ve taken the grits and incorporated it into my biscuit recipe, so you get the flavor and a creamier texture but in a biscuit.”

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He’s added a Cajun gravy and a red pepper atchar (a pickled relish) to round out the dish. Scallops, zucchini fritters, steak tartare, and baked brie make up the small plates menu with nothing over $15 and the main entrees include lamp chops with pistachio mint pesto, duck breast with pear risotto and a lemon glaze, halibut and a cioppino dish, a mix of mussels, scallops, shrimp and andouille sausage with onion, and tomato, which is another of Campbell’s favorites.

“I make a really, really rich seafood stock with all of the shells, and scraps from all of the fish from the menu so that’s kind of like a nice seafood stew,” he said.

The name of the restaurant is a little nod to the building’s origins according to Gooch.

“The building was built in the late 1800s as a carriage house, and then it served for a time as the Richmond police stables on this part of town,” he said.

The vibe of the restaurant is intimate and warm with an open kitchen, a big wooden, modern bar, wooden booths, with blue napkins and blue glasses. All that remains from Zeus’ is a stained-glass window.

“It was full of big black dark booths, black and white tile, and for a neighborhood place you really need a bar as a gathering place for folks, and everyone I talked to the first thing they said was we need more bar space,” he said. “I wanted to brighten it up, but still keep a modern element.”

At the time of our chat, the duo were planning to renovate a small back room to open a tasting room.

“We’ll have wines by the bottle in there, nice carpet down, a couple of booster tables,” Campbell said. “The idea is to have a room where people can have a cocktail while they’re waiting for a table or a quick glass of wine while the bar is full.”

The Stables at Belmont is open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner and Sunday for brunch.

Food Porn:

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Fried chicken from The Roosevelt in Church Hill 

Head over to RVA Magazine’s instagram @rvamag to check out more photos of local good eats.

To submit news, ideas, press releases, menus, or other restaurant news, please email Amy David at For advertising or sponsorship opportunities, please email John Reinhold at


Amy David

Amy David

Amy David was the Web Editor for from May 2015 until September 2018. She covered craft beer, food, music, art and more. She's been a journalist since 2010 and attended Radford University. She enjoys dogs, beer, tacos, and Bob's Burgers references.

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