This past year we have seen a deluge of new restaurants open in the Richmond metro area. As Richmond’s Restaurant Week approaches, and we have to decide where to spend valuable time and resources, the sheer number of options can seem overwhelming. But fear not! Here are five recommendations to get you started.
This past year we have seen a deluge of new restaurants open in the Richmond metro area. These new establishments have garnered the majority of my attention when I do find time to dine out on the town. As Richmond’s Restaurant Week approaches, and we have to decide where to spend valuable time and resources, the sheer number of options can seem overwhelming. Because these new places sometimes participate in Restaurant Week, we have a chance to rediscover some of the Richmond classics.
1. Six Burner
Phillip Denny has shown no fear in presenting creative cuisine since taking over the kitchen a few years ago. It is no surprise that Six Burner has one of the more interesting menus for this event. The appetizers are highlighted by a smoked pork barbecue country terrine. From the entrees, I would likely choose the German sausage plate or the sous vide skirt steak. For dessert, you cannot go wrong with the Moroccan saffron cheesecake.
I know that at one point I had said that one should avoid Acacia because they already do a similar deal during their normal schedule. I’m telling you now that I was wrong. Dale Reitzer is likely the best chef in this town, and so you should take every opportunity to enjoy his food. His fall lineup is spectacular and features nice rustic flavors. I am immediately attracted to the sweet potato gnocchi with duck confit, sage brown butter sauce, and pomegranate reduction for my first course. The second course could be the cider braised lamb shanks, but it would more likely be the beef cheek ravioli. I would finish with poached pear and goat cheese clafoutis.
It is hard not be a fan of Tim Bereika. He is a fantastic cook, knows his stuff, and is extremely accessible in both his kitchen and online. At Secco, $25 will take you a long way, as their menu offers four courses rather than the standard three course option. The first course is a meat and/or cheese plate, while the second and third courses are from the same list. Here I would try the Italian egg drop soup with ricotta and spinach gnudi. I would also opt for fresh cod in garlic and olive oil sauce. For dessert, I would stick with the Italian theme and try the olive oil and rosemary gelato.
Joe Sparatta took over kitchen at Lulu’s earlier this year, and the menu looks great. For starters, I am going to pick the pimento cheese and country ham croquette. The entrée will be a conservative choice of hanger steak with potato puree and tomato molasses. The real winner looks to be the tres leches cake with salted caramel for dessert.
5. La Grotta
The years go by and landscape of Shockoe Slip continues to change, yet Chef Tony Capece’s La Grotta remains steadfast. Tony is one of a few chefs in Richmond that I will regularly visit for Italian cuisine. So for this Restaurant Week, I’m sticking to some of my favorites. The first course will be the heavenly beef carpaccio. The second course is the filet of sole cooked in a white wine sauce with tomato, pine nuts, mushroom, and basil. For dessert, I’m reluctantly passing on the Tiramisu for their amaretto cake, known as Torta all’Amaretto.
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Feel overwhelmed yet? Fear not–Restaurant Week happens multiple times each year, and there are several smaller events as well, giving us plenty of opportunities to explore. This autumn Restaurant Week is designed for you to have fun, try new things, and give back to our favorite spots with a little money. Enjoy and eat well!
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- Neil Smith was originally listed as chef of Lulu’s. He actually left LuLu’s earlier this year and has been replaced by Joe Sparatta. You can read more over here.