Every project that Richmond chef Mike Ledesma touches lately has transformed into a success. From reviving the Kabana Rooftop menu, to his Passport Pop-Ups at Belle & James, to local beer dinners, his innovative and creative menus, fusing together multiple cuisines, has earned him a superior place in the local restaurant scene. I’ve enjoyed seeing what he brings to the table (literally), and he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite chefs in the city, so when the opportunity popped up to try his dishes at a local cidery, I jumped at the chance.
Ledesma recently premiered a little preview of what’s to come at his forthcoming Scott’s Addition restaurant, Perch, at a cider dinner at Blue Bee, which was nothing short of excellent. Since I usually immerse myself so heavily in the craft beer scene here, I hadn’t the chance to venture over to the Summit Avenue cidery before, and it was a visit I won’t forget.
From the rustic stables-converted taproom with bistro lighting and votives, and their delicious variety of ciders, I definitely will be making a followup trip. Anyway, let’s get down to the dinner. It was the perfect mix of rustic and fine dining. A five-course (with one surprise) fall feast of Ledesma’s French-country/ take on seasonal dishes paired with Blue Bee’s light and refreshing ciders made for a warm cure for my chilly winter blues.
For the first course, Ledesma served up potato leek soup with Virginia oysters, paired with Charred Ordinary, a crisp and clean cider made with wine sap apples. It