So if case you missed RVA Magazine’s announcement on Feb. 7, we recently launched a new restaurant/food column called Good Eats RVA. Every other week we will bring you the latest in local restaurant news, trends, mouth-watering food photos, and other little tasty tidbits we think you know about. You can check out the first edition here.
We’ve got a big helping this go around, so make some room on your plate and pull up a chair and get ready for some GOOD EATS.
Gold Cart Pop-Up at Comfort
Gold Cart, a locally-sourced, globally-inspired pop up restaurant series in Richmond, will make an appearance at Comfort this Sunday. They will serve up Quebecois cuisine, cocktails, and $1 beers. 6-9 pm. 200 W. Broad St. Check out the menu below.
Elbys award winners
Local restaurants and chefs won big at Richmond Magazine’s annual restaurant awards show The Elbys over the weekend. Top honors went to David Shannon, chef/owner of L’Opossum for Chef of the Year, and his restaurant at 626 China St., was took home the Restaurant of the Year award.
Check out the rest of the winners:
Best New Restaurant: Nota Bene
Brewery of the Year: Triple Crossing
Best Everyday and Casual: Perly’s Restaurant and Delicatessen
Wine Program of the Year: Secco Wine Bar
Cocktail Program of the Year: The Roosevelt
Local Food Purveyor: Tomten Farms
Local Food/Bverage Product of the Year: Reservoir Distillery Rye Whiskey
RVA Dine Philanthropist of the Year: Aline Reitzer
Rising Star: Trevor Knotts of East Coast Provisions
Richmond Black Restaurant Week
From March 6-12, a number of local Black-owned restaurants, coffee shops and other establishments will celebrate Richmond Black Restaurant Week to offer dining deals to bring in new customers and raise awareness. Accordiing to the Facebook page, 20 restaurants are participating including Croaker’s Spot, Mama J’s, Sugar’s Crab Shach, Charlie’s Kitchen and more. Stay tuned to a more in-depth interview on this new event. Enjoy $15.00 two course lunches and $25.00 three course dinners.
Richmond restaurants named semi-finalists for James Beard Awards
Two Richmond restaurants have been named semifinalists by The James Beard Foundation for its 27th annual James Beard Foundation Awards. Selected from a list of over 24,000 online entries, the prestigious group of semifinalists in 21 categories represents a wide range of culinary talent, from exceptional chefs and dining destinations in ten different regions across the U.S., to the nation’s top wine and spirits professionals, best new restaurants, rising star chefs, pastry chefs, and bakers
Evrim Dogu, of Sub Rosa Bakery is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Baker category and Brittanny Anderson of Metzger Bar and Butchery is named a semifinalist for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic.
Winners of the 2017 James Beard Media Awards will be announced on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at an exclusive event honoring the nation’s top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
Julep’s New Southern Cuisine Now Serving Brunch
Julep’s New Southern Cuisine began serving brunch on Sunday, Feb. 12. Brunch will be served on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bottomless “Mint Julep’s” Champagne. House made fruit purees of the day. House made sausage.
Beer, Bourbon Burger Tuesdays at Postbellum
So if you need a reason to go out on a Tuesday, head to Postbellum. The restaurant at 1323 W. Main St. is offering their classic burger, a shot of bourbon, and a 12 oz VA draft beer for $15 on Tuesdays. 5-9 pm.
February Pizza Club: Stephanie Ganz of The Apple Cart
If you haven’t heard about RVA’s monthly Pizza Club by now, then you need to get with it. Here is our story on it with creator Victoria DeRoche of Nota Bene to catch you up. This month’s Club will feature Stephanie Ganz of The Apple Cart and her Hungarian Mushroom Soup-inspired Pizza and signature cocktail. Sun. Feb. 26. 5-9 pm.
American Taproom at Willow Lawn has closed. It was announced on their Facebook page today, but officially closed its doors earlier this month. Pheast Food Group will introduce Hattie Mae’s Southern Cuisine and Oyster Bar in its place.
On Feb. 8, Neapolitan pizza restaurant Pie Hole Pizza opened at 412 England St. in Ashland. The features 24 taps of craft beer and brick oven pizzas fired at 900 degrees. Check out the menu below:
Anchor Bar opens in Stony Point
Buffalo wing chain Anchor Bar opened in the Stony Point Shopping Center over the weekend. In addition to several kinds of wings, the menu boasts fried pickles, nachos, chicken, pasta and more. Check out their full menu here. The New York-based chain has eight other locations.
Charm School opens on West Broad Street
So we’re a little late to the game with this one, but its ice cream so we think you’ll still be pretty excited. Charm School opened up back in December serving up homemade ice cream, milkshakes and baked goods at 311 W Broad St. Flavors run the gamut and change frequently but here’s a few to get your mouth watering: Cereal Milk, Madagascar Vanilla, Peanut Butter Fudge, Mint Chocolate Crisp, Ginger, Peppermint Stick, Earl Grey, Cinnadoodle. Vegan flavors also served. Hours: Thursday 12pm – 9pm, Friday/Saturday 12pm – 11pm, Sunday 12pm – 9pm.
Capital Ale House partners with Seven Hills Food Company
Back in the fall, Capital Ale House announced their partnership with Seven Hills Food Company and on Oct. 8, the restaurant changed its burgers and steak selection to local, healthier, and better quality meat through the Lynchburg-based company.
“We have been dedicated to supporting local Virginia craft beer, local businesses and organizations, but have yet to show our dedication to Virginia agriculture. We can’t wait to serve local, pasture-raised, antibiotic and hormone free beef,” said Matt Simmons, President of Capital Ale House in a news release.
Main story: Don’t Look Back owner to open new rotating-theme restaurant concept in Richmond, Eleven Months
Never one for sitting back on his haunches, RVA restaurateur Hamooda Shami is always looking for the next exciting move to make when it comes to his businesses.
Since 2006, he’s continued to shake up the local restaurant scene with unique ventures like New York Deli, Portrait House, and Don’t Look Back, and now Shami will tackle his next challenge with Eleven Months, a restaurant with temporary themes that will rotate every year.
Shami opened the first Eleven Months in Charlottesville, where he’s currently based, Feb. 8, and a Richmond spot will follow sometime in the spring.
Eleven months is the permanent name of the restaurant, but each year it will open with an entirely new theme, coordinating interior, menu and cocktails.
“The idea of Eleven months…every year we’ll shut down for a month for a remodel and it will open with a new concept,” said Shami. “The idea essentially is every year, it’s mostly cosmetic changes, but also the food and beverage menus.”
Shami said the signage out front will indicate Eleven Months, but as soon as patrons walk through the door, they will walk into an entirely new concept each year.
“From the day we open there will be a large clock at Eleven months and when that hits zero, that concept is done,” he said.
The Richmond spot will go in Carytown in the former Curry Craft space at 2915 W. Cary St. next to Chop Suey Books, which closed in August. Shami has planned for “Best Friends Forever” to be the restaurant’s opening theme.
“Friendship and everything wonderful that comes with it,” Shami said of the theme. “But there’s also a strong kitsch element, whether it be old photos of kids frolicking in a park or the more recent (and unnecessary) phenomenon of duck face selfies.”
The restaurateur said the menu is still in the works and although he’s not revealing a name, he’s tapped a local chef to serve at the helm. As for the interior, Shami said there will be seating for about 50 and the opening theme will have a retro modern camp feel.
“Think Moonrise Kingdom meets Freaks and Geeks, if that makes any sense,” he said. “There’s also an understated irony to the name, as it seems when you’re at the age when you’d actually use the term Best Friends Forever with complete sincerity… well, those friendships tend to rarely last.”
The Best Friends Forever theme is a nod to the Charlottesville location’s theme, “Sorry It’s Over.”
“It’s going to be all breakup based,” he said. “I have breakup letters from my bartender, I got her and her husband’s old breakup letters that will be up there, think The Smiths. It’s completely camp, but there’s some substance there. This won’t work if we take ourselves too seriously. “
His new restaurant is in the same spot as his former restaurant Yearbook Taco, a popular taco joint in the Downtown Mall area, which he closed at the end of December.
The current menu boasts comfort dishes such as mac and cheese, a burger, steak and cheese, fries, but also has small plates from $5-$9. The Charlottesville location’s cocktail menu features some fun breakup-themed drinks such as “Head Over Heels”, “When You Were Mine”, and “Owner of Lonely Heart”.
Richmond’s Eleven Months will also feature eight or so cocktails along with a few craft beers according to Shami.
Shami worked extensively with Campfire Brands Co. on the concept, design and layout of Eleven Months.
“They have been instrumental in the process, leading the branding , logo and interior design at both locations. What’s been lost in some of the initial buzz is that we’ve been compared to places that change their menu themes over different time intervals. When what we’re actually doing is creating an entirely new brand and restaurant experience every year.”
Shami said Campfire will develop the new (sub) brand and interior design on each iteration at both locations.
“There will be some places that will be anchored, the bar will be the same, but I want you to walk into a place and parts are familiar, but mostly it’s a new thing altogether.”
Be on the lookout for an in-depth interview with Shami on both these restaurants and more in RVA Magazine’s upcoming print issue in late March. In the meantime, follow updates on both Eleven Months restaurants here.
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 [email protected]. For advertising or sponsorship opportunities, please email John Reinhold at [email protected].
Words by Amy David