Food News: A folksy feast, an oystery fall, a restauranty week, and bakedy pasta

You know what they say, “Summer has its perks (such as blackberries) but fall is the time for better perks like oysters and comfort food YEAH SUCK IT SUMMER.” They say that!


The 11th annual Richmond Folk Festival started warming up this past Tuesday night with Folk Feast, a lovely evening of Richmond chefs cooking beneath the rose-colored clouds at Tredegar. If you missed it, you’ll have to find another opportunity to try Lee Gregory’s grandma’s recipe for catfish stew; or a baby octopus, charred lemon, and potato salad from the open-any-day-now Pizza Tonight; or the life-altering revelation of Southbound’s carrot and reuben pasta. But I’m sure you can do it if you put your mind to it!

As for the big show itself, the Folk Festival gets going Friday night and wraps on Sunday. During that time, you’ll probably need to feed on something other than tunes and vibes. My suggestions: Caribbean Pot’s Conch and/or oxtails, Aloha Cafe’s shoyu baked chicken wings, La Milpa’s tacos, and any dang thing from Chef MaMusu’s Africanne on Main.


You’re going to want to clear some time next weekend to EAT ALL THE OYSTERS. Start your oysterquest at Oystoberfest, Saturday from 12:00 to 6:00 PM at St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church in Ginter Park. There you’ll find Rappahannock River Oysters’ Olde Salts and Rappahannocks steamed, fried, and raw with all of the appropriate accoutrements, plus wine and beer, a bike valet, and an entire ZONE for your kids.

Then make sure you save some room for Sunday and the re-scheduled and re-awesomed Shell-Raiser’s Shindig, which added Owen Lane and his Autumn Olive Farm crispy pig head torchon to the mix. Check out the hunger-inducing menu, and snag a ticket if you missed the first go-round.

Oh you’re out of town next weekend? Don’t worry, this is like a de facto oyster month! (I just checked, Virginia Oyster Month is actually NEXT MONTH! How could a month get any oysterier!?) On Saturday, October 24th, Join Anderson’s Neck Oyster Company and Devil’s Backbone at Union Market for the aptly named Eat Oysters! Drink Beer! event, featuring tunes by Marty Violence and, of course, raw oysters and beer. Union Market will close down N. 23rd Street between Leigh and Jefferson (so, heads up, motorists!) to accommodate large oyster-loving crowds.


There aren’t many weeks during the year when it’s practically a moral imperative to eat dinner at a fabulous restaurant every night, but Richmond Restaurant Week is one of them (actually, it’s two of them–there’s one in the spring!). For this special week, October 19th – 25th, you’ll find a three-course prix fixe meal for $29.15 at any of 36 Richmond restaurants. $4.15 of every meal will go directly to FeedMore, and if we do it right, that adds up fast and ends up looking like a lot of meals for people who need them. So, check out’s very impressive list of menus to start making the tough decision of which five restaurants you’ll try this year, and don’t forget to tip kindly and appropriately on your reduced food cost–servers are still giving you the same high-dollar service you’re used to!


According to, Chef MaMusu’s African-Caribbean Cuisine on Semmes is closed, and the space is for rent. This after Southside had just lost a Five Guys! Want to open a restaurant in Southside? Maybe this is your chance.


I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that Ina Garten isn’t actually my mom, as I’m sure we all have.

Finally, both the Pumpkin Spice phenomenon and Jean Baudrillard make sense to me. It’s a big day.


October is Virginia Wine Month, and Virginia wine sales are at an all-time high, not surprising as this stuff is pretty great! The Virginia Tourism Corporation wants us all to explore the field (or vineyard?) and “Discover your local crush.” Thanks to a whirl around the wine list at the Roosevelt, which is exclusively comprised of Virginia wines, I’ve developed a healthy crush on Gabriele Rausse Nebbiolo, which comes from Carter’s Mountain, just outside of Charlottesville. It’s got a blackberry thing going on with hints of soil and spice, and it’s just the right sip to pair with the Roosevelt’s braised pork cheeks over cheesy grits, or maybe just a mound of baked pasta. You do you.


Oh, did I just say baked pasta?! YEAH, I DID.


Follow Richmond chef Devin Setnar all the way to hungertown.

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Stephanie Ganz

Stephanie Ganz thought there would be pizza.

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