The Empress has a new chef, Bonvenu has a new menu, and the State of the Plate

A couple of restaurants in town pick up new chefs, while others picks up some local awards. And, of course, restaurants continue to open. Food News!

The Empress has a new chef, Aaron Hoskins, and RVANews had the pleasure of tasting their menu, and boy is it on point. We started the evening with a sake martini made with pineapple, habanero, and cilantro–drink this on their patio and love your life! Some of the stand outs from dinner included the house made ricotta over arugula pesto, smoked salmon paired with deviled quail eggs and topped with soy infused tapioca pearls, pork cheek with sauerkraut and roasted potatoes, and baby duck breast with bok choy and carrots. The Empress is located at 2043 W. Broad Street and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has some fantastic gluten-free items available.

Bonvenu also has a new chef, Jeremy Coleman. According to Richmond Magazine, the menu includes sandwiches, burgers, small plates, and full entrees that are around $15. Bonvenu is open for dinner Tuesday-Sunday, 5-10pm and lunch/brunch on Saturday and Sunday, 11am-3pm. You can peruse their new menus here.

According to Shockoe News, Tio Pablo is officially open for lunch. Paul Keevil, owner of both LuLu’s and Millies has brought us his third restaurant that is pure Mexican food. He wanted the restaurant to really highlight traditional Mexican food with zero American influence, and so far, we hear he’s sticking to that and people are coming back for more. Plus, their ABC license is in so you can sample their slew of tequilas. Tio Pablo is located in the former Boom Boom Burgers location at 1703 East Franklin Street in the Bottom. I guess when you own multiple restaurants, walking distance between them is a plus.

Style Weekly released its annual State of Plate this week highlighting some of Richmond’s best in dining. You can see the full list of winners here, but some of the prominent takeaways include: The Roosevelt (Restaurant of the Year), Stella’s (Critic’s Hot Spot), Bacchus (Old Flame), and Mamma Zu, Acacia, as well as Lemaire were named the 2012 Permanent Fixations. If you haven’t had the pleasure of dining at some of these establishments, get your phone out and make some reservations.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this week consists of two major topics. 1) The Rams are in the NCAA Tournament and they face Witchita State tonight at 7:15pm. If you need a place to eat, drink, and cheer on the Rams refer to this. 2) The weather is gorgeous and perfect for porch sitting. It’s Thursday which means you need to go to happy hour so refer to this for some of the City’s best options.

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