Food News: The big food fest, Negroni Week, Doughnut Day, and more

Things move around, things open…you’ll figure it out, as long as you keep one hand free for a Negroni and one for a delicious doughnut.

Bring your broadest appetite

It’s enormous! It’s packed! It’s packed with enormous flavor, y’all! Broad Appétit returns yet again this Sunday, with generators pumpin’ and portable stoves blazin’. From Henry to Adams, chefs turn around small plates for $3 (bring cash for best results) while you try to figure out how much room you have left in your stomach.

Again this year, the good folks at Broad Appétit are offering a $5 sample cup for Virginia beers, which comes with four $1 tickets for sample-size tastings! You can still get a full-size beer whenever you want, so quit your sputtering. The only sputtering you should be worried about is those of your arteries after you’ve consumed so much cuisine.

Richmond magazine brings us some judgy categories for Best Dish Awards, including “To Dine For” (best signature dish), “To Diet For” (best dessert dish), a healthy dish award, a best booth award, and a people’s choice award, which you can vote for using a QR code (a throwback to ancient times!) that you can, supposedly, find around the site. Or, bring a megaphone and bellow “I AM A PEOPLE AND THIS IS MY CHOICE” over and over as you point to a booth.

Do not fast the night before

Instead, consider attending Off Broad, where for $125, you get unlimited food and beverage (even the drank kind of beverage). And both options are fantastic: a bunch of chefs come to Richmond from other food-oriented towns such as “New York City” and work with regional fare to bring you a bunch of amazing food to try while you’re milling about, hobnobbing with all sorts of people from #RVAdineland.

Don’t be bitter

People all over the world! Join in for Negroni Week, which hopefully you have been celebrating since Monday, when it began. (Thanks, Karri Peifer, for alerting us). It ends Sunday, so head to any of the five restaurants below, and order a Negroni. Not only will you feel the sweet satisfaction of knowing that you are going to remember quite a bit less about how hard life can be after a few of these apéritifs1, but you’ll also savor the satisfaction of benefiting the charity of the restaurant’s choice.

  • Comfort – Feedmore
  • Graffiato – Fit to Fight by MIC
  • Lemaire – Southern Foodways Alliance
  • Nightingales Lounge inside the Berkeley Hotel – Feedmore
  • The Rogue Gentleman – Diversity Thrift

A week of vice

It’s also National Doughnut Day this Friday, which means various deals from various local doughnut peddlers. Richmond reaches out and embraces doughnuts with both hands (and mouth that’s practically got an unhinged jaw, so as to accommodate more doughnuts), so be sure to get to these places early. It is highly likely that your fave flave could run out. (Mine is lemon, jelly, raised chocolate, old-fashioned, Boston cream, or basically any yeast one from Country Style, if you’re feeling generous and you enjoy watching me gain weight on the spot).

The following are the specific deals. Don’t bother them about using the lesser spelling of “doughnut.” I’m sure it takes up more space on the sign or something. Just let them keep baking, and they could call it “Mayor Jones’s BIg Huge Pillowy Cheerios” for all I care.

  • Duck Donuts – Free doughnut with purchase of any beverage
  • Dunkin’ Donuts – Ditto!
  • Dixie Donuts – Free doughnut with any purchase
  • Country Style Donuts – Free 12 oz. coffee with any doughnut purchase

The newest addition to the Addition

As Richard Hayes reported earlier this week, Blanchard’s will be moving to Scott’s Addition. You can find them by following the trail of crazed addicts to the new location, which will focus on training in the coffee industry. Training people to make more addicts! Addict us all, Blanchard’s! We don’t even care! It tastes so good!

A new Boathouse in the land of boat shoes

Sunday Park too far away? Rocketts Landing not near enough to an Apple Store for you? All legit complaints! The Boathouse folks are opening their third location in the ‘Pump. I enjoy that owner Kevin Healy jokes about this one being “dry-docked.” If you’re familiar, both Rocketts Landing and Sunday Park are both riiiiiight up against bodies of water. Despite its clever name, there is no significant water flowing in Short Pump. That doesn’t mean you can’t get your upscale casual night on–you just won’t quite enjoy the same views. And you won’t enjoy pizza (it’s not on the menu at this location–sushi, however, is!). But hey, you went to Short Pump for your evening out, so you must be tops at finding something to enjoy in every experience!

They better not paint over Nina Simone

Karri Peifer announced that Whisk Bakery (by Morgan Botwinick, former assistant pastry chef at the Jefferson and current owner of Sugar Baking Co.) is slated to come out of the oven in the old Globehopper space by the end of the summer. Sweet and savory pastries are on the menu, including fruit pies. Sub Rosa and Proper Pie narrow their eyes, the former adding extra wood to its oven and the latter smacking a rolling pin into one hand (the universal gesture of a brewing bakefight). I, for one, think that the more bakeries in Church Hill, the better. At a certain point, the air will just smell like cookies, and…citizens of Richmond…that’s how we’ll know we have truly overcome all of our hurdles.

They better not stop putting weird shoe displays in the window

Julep’s will open this weekend at its new location, next to Pasture!. Here’s hoping no one gets too drunk on delicious cocktails at Off Broad (see above) and takes a sharpie and writes “BUT I WANTED THIS TO COME BACK AS THE SHOE STORE IT USED TO BE” all over the windows, the day before it opens. Frowny emoji.

Streetwise Thai food

Long-awaited supercool Thai restaurant and Tiki bar, Sabai is now open!. A wonderfully made tiki drink is a transcendental experience, and for too long it has been relegated to the level of wasteyfaced giggler’s drink. Let us all march to this hip and happening place and settle in for a long night of eating and drinking.

Bite of the Week: Sub Rosa’s Sour Cherry & Pistachio

A croissant of sorts, with some soaked pockets of cherry and frequent crunches of pistachio, this enormous pastry made my Saturday last all week–in my mind, anyway. This time of year already has me fruit-crazy, but when the stone fruits start hitting, that’s when I really go nuts and have funn. Only available on weekends, the sour cherry and pistachio must be sampled or else.

Sip of the Week: The Negroni

Don’t feel like beating the Campari-loving crowds? Throw a Camparti and have all your best buds over for Negronis on your porch. You can’t just ignore Negroni Week. Here’s how they’re made (via this Esquire article, which taught me much about Italian cocktail culture (there really isn’t one!).


  • 1 1/2 ounces gin — pref. London dry gin
  • 3/4 ounce Campari
  • 3/4 ounce vermouth — pref. Italian vermouth


Shake well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of orange peel.

‘Gram: @sweetfixrva
That is a CAKE. A CAKE! Sweet Fix is run by wizards.

Photo by: franzconde

  1. In honor of Negroni Week, we’ll remind all of you that “apéritif” has four syllables with the accent on the second. 
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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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