Flavors of Casa del Barco, Bistro Bobette expands, and details on The Savory Grain

RVA has a new Mexican restaurant on the canal walk (it’s delicious!), a head chef takes the helm at The Savory Grain, and a new sandwich shop called The Naked Onion gets ready to open.

Bistro Bobette sign

Tuesday, we had the pleasure of touring the recently opened Casa del Barco and tasting a variety of menu items and margaritas. This is owner Kevin’s Healy’s third restaurant, and he’s staying true to the waterfront theme with this upscale Mexican restaurant located in the historic Reynolds Italianate Building facing the canal walk.

One of the biggest aesthetic features of the interior is the ceiling: it houses 3,500 holes to hang empty tequila bottles signed by the person who polishes off the last drop (if you’re interested in leaving your mark on Casa del Barco, feel free to ask the bartender for whichever tequila bottle is nearing its end and get to work). There are over 100 types of tequila available, which according to the ABC, is more than any other restaurant in Central Virginia. They also have a variety of beers on draft and 50 types of wine–all from South America.

Executive Chef Todd Richardson has incorporated his own Mexican heritage into the menu with old family recipes that bring an authentic taste with some modern attributes. We tasted three types of guacamole (original, bacon tomato, and crab), all of which were flavorful, but, at $10-12 per bowl, could be a bit on the pricey side. The different types of salsa were also delicious. The tacos and empanadas are excellent, and dessert was a real crowd pleaser with an incredible vanilla flan and Mexican wedding cookies.

Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3:00 – 7:00 PM and offers half-off tacos and empanadas, half-off draft beers and wine, half-off house margaritas, and $3.50 rail drinks. Casa del Barco is open for dinner Monday through Sunday, for lunch Monday through Saturday, with Sunday brunch beginning on January 27th.

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According to Richmond Magazine, The Savory Grain is set to open February 1st. Owner Jami Bohdan has hired Sean Murphy (F.W. Sullivan’s and Lady Nawlins) as the executive chef. The transformed space will offer a family atmosphere in an effort to be more restaurant than bar. However, there will be 24 beers on tap with an American menu that’ll change seasonally.

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According to Richmond Bizsense, a new sandwich shop is coming to the Fan. Lauren Jurk and Greg Comstock have purchased the former Ingrid’s Bakery at 2118 W. Cary Street to open The Naked Onion sandwich shop and create a workspace for their food cart, Skewtopia. The pair are both from Richmond, with kitchen experience at Patina Grill and The Hard Shell. They also spent quite some time in Las Vegas working for chefs like Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck. They hope to open with a seasonal menu by the end of the month.

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Bistro Bobette is expanding. Owners Wendy Kalif and Francis Devilliers have purchased the basement level of their E. Cary Street restaurant space to be used as a wine cellar and private event space. The new spot will have a separate entrance that will allow customers to purchase wine bottles to go. The pair consistently get requests for engagement parties, business dinners, and rehearsal dinners, so the basement level will alleviate space concerns while keeping their restaurant clientele happy.

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1 comment on Flavors of Casa del Barco, Bistro Bobette expands, and details on The Savory Grain

  1. Liz Shield on said:

    Went to casa del barco last night. Incredibly disappointed. Guac was the only thing we had that was any good. Shrimp empanadas were doughy and flavorless. Chicken empanadas had a bit more flavor, but still doughy. Tacos – ugh. Even our friend who always cleans everyone’s plate refused food, which is a first. I’m Texas born and bred and know good Mexican food and this isn’t it.

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