What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

Happy last day of November! I’m only excited for December because it means that I can start eating the candy out of my advent calendar.

  • Looking for a cheap and quick dinner idea? Stuck in a dinner rut? Try Fresh Market’s Little Big Meals. Every week there’s a new recipe to try and what I love about it is that Fresh Market does the list making for you. Grab the recipe card and all the ingredients listed and you’re all set to feed a family of four, for $20 or less.
  • Church Hill has been a food lover’s paradise for a while now and now more retail shops are moving in, too. Late last week, Dear Neighbor opened its doors. After you grab a pastry from Sub Rosa you can head next door to shop till you drop for gifts, stationary and more. The shop is open Wednesday through Sunday.
  • And speaking of openings, we’re anxiously awaiting Charm School Social Club’s opening in the old Quirk Gallery space. Charm School will be serving up homemade ice cream (including vegan options) and I cannot wait to try some ice cream topped with toasted marshmallow.
  • I’m kicking myself for using store bought apple butter for all these years because apparently, it’s extremely easy to make at home. Three simple ingredients and you’ve got yourself a delicious spread, perfect for fall. I think I’ve found myself my next weekend project.

What to add to your calendar

  • ALL. OF. THE. HOLIDAY. MARTS. are happening this weekend:
    • On Friday, December 2, The Visual Arts Center of Richmond is hosting its Present Factory from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Kids and kids at heart can make their own gifts, or if you aren’t feeling creative items from the clay studio will also be on sale.
    • Art 180’s ongoing Atlas Holiday Mart also kicks off on Friday and runs through December 15, giving you plenty of time to pick up something from the gallery in Jackson Ward. There will be a variety of gift items priced from $3-300, all made by local artists. Proceeds will benefit Art 180’s youth programs.
    • This weekend, Hardywood is hosting Handmade Holiday with gifts from local, regional and national vendors. You can even drink a beer (or two) while you shop!
    • And on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. Blue Bee will be hosting Christkindlmarkt. Before or after you should you can sip on some cider while you check out Blue Bee’s beautiful new location in Scott’s Addition. There will be jam, jewelry and even baked goods from Däl-kohm.
  • Don’t forget Richmond’s Grand Illumination (aka when they turn on all the Christmas lights on the big buildings downtown) is on Friday. Two great spots to watch from if you want to avoid the crowds: the ChildSavers overlook and Libby Hill Park.
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What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • Today’s the day, friends – it’s Free Juice Day at Ginger Juice! From 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., customers can get one free 8 oz. cold pressed juice while supplies last, no purchase necessary. If you plan to stop by, Ginger Juice is located at 7019 E Three Chopt Road. Sounds like a great healthy snack to get in before we all veg out on turkey day tomorrow!
  • Speaking of Thanksgiving, if you’re still pondering what you’re going to take along to your family dinner, you might want to take a look at these four Thanksgiving healthy side dish recipes from Terra’s Kitchen, a meal delivery service. I don’t know about you, but the crispy haricot verts in a sweet and sour bacon sauce are calling to me!
  • Temperatures are getting colder and hot chocolate season (aka the best season ever) is once again upon us. If you’re looking to really kick things up a notch, The Kitchn has you covered with 17 Boozy Hot Chocolate Recipes You Need to Make Right Now. Regardless of which recipe you choose to make, take a second to look at the marshmallows in all of the pictures. Yum.
  • ICYMI: We got a sneak peek of Secret Sandwich Society before the new to Richmond restaurant opened its doors on East Grace Street to the public last week. We only had good things to say, but no surprise when pimento cheese fries are involved, right?
  • Looking for a great hostess gift this holiday season? Look no further than Whisk. The bakery is offering holiday boxes which will include a variety of treats like house-made marshmallows, signature cookies and specialty items like chocolate caramel popcorn and gingerbread loaves. Small boxes serving 6-8 are $35 and large boxes serving 9-12 are $50. Orders for holiday boxes will be taken Monday and Tuesday every week in December until December 20, and boxes will be available to pick up on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Customers can place orders by email (orders@whiskrva.com), by phone or in person. If you order one, just don’t forget to get one for us, okay?!
  • If you’ve been following along with Let’s Share A Dish for a while, you probably know by now that we’re huge fans of Stroops. Needless to say, we were pysched when we saw that their turporken dog was included in USA Today’s round-up of 150 Thanksgiving Flavors to Savor. Bonus: Turporken dogs are $5 all week long!
  • According to a recent post on Instagram, Mean Bird is working on putting together a New Year’s Day brunch to celebrate their one year anniversary. Chicken and waffles sounds like a great way to kick off 2017 to me!

What to add to your calendar

  • The Massey Alliance is hosting a Giving Tuesday party at Rapp Session on Tuesday, November 29 from 5 – 9 p.m. The event will include drink and food specials as well a special holiday themed cocktail. Rapp Session will donate 10% of food and drink sales from the event to Massey Cancer Center.
  • Kick off the month of December by decking the halls at the Quirk Hotel tree trimming. Taking place on Thursday, December 1 from 5-8 p.m., a portion of the proceeds from the benefit will benefit Childsavers. If you bring a pink ornament or toy, you’ll receive a seasonal drink.
  • Blue Bee Cider is presenting the perfect opportunity to get your shopping done locally this holiday season with the Christkindlmarkt. The event will take place on Sunday, December 4 from 1 – 4 p.m. at Blue Bee’s new Scott’s Addition location located at 1320 Summit Ave. Vendors will include Dal-Kohm, Studio Two Three and Dayum Jam, among others.

Last but not least, happy (early) Thanksgiving to you and yours! We’d love it if you would share your favorite Thanksgiving recipe in the comments below.

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A (Secret Sandwich) Society You’ll Want to Join

Richmonders, get excited: Secret Sandwich Society, a spot known for quality sandwiches, salads and starters, is opening the doors of its first Richmond (and Virginia) location within the next few days, and this new restaurant is one that you’ll definitely want to have on your radar. 

The soon-to-be open location at 501 East Grace Street is the second Secret Sandwich Society location in the United States, the first opened in Fayetteville, WV in 2010. We were lucky to get a sneak peek of the new spot last week where we had the chance to enjoy a few menu items and check out the space.

Speaking of the space, the Richmond location will seat 108 people, with this location being much larger than the original Secret Sandwich Society in Fayetteville. With close proximity to The National and other downtown attractions, it will be a great spot to grab a bite to eat before a show or after work with friends. The bar will be a focus of the Richmond location with options including beer, wine and craft cocktails, all of which you’ll be able to find on special during the daily happy hour.

The Dish

We had a chance to try items from almost every section of the menu, which is only slightly different from the menu at the Fayetteville location. We kicked things off with starters, including fries topped with a melted homemade pimento cheese that has now earned a spot at the top of the list of pimento cheeses I’ve had the chance to try. It was perfectly creamy with just the right kick. Along with the fries, we also had a chance to try the homemade ketchup, just one of the many sauce offerings at Secret Sandwich Society, joining a lineup of sauces like roasted garlic mayo, rosemary mayo and french onion dip.


Next, we tried the chicken wings, an offering specific to the Richmond location. The item’s flavor perfectly matched their menu description – they were perfectly spicy and slightly sweet.

We followed up on the pimento cheese fries and chicken wings with a few different salad selections, the perfect chaser after two more indulgent dishes. We tried the Lucy, a spinach salad with green apples, spiced cashews, red onions and blue cheese in a green goddess dressing, and the Abigail, a mix of chopped kale, parmesan and buttered bread crumbs in a lemon ceaser dressing. At many restaurants, salads are items you might order because you feel like they are an option that’s good for you, but I would come back time and time again for these salads – they were that good.


Last but not least, the sandwich selections. Secret Sandwich Society has sandwiches AND burgers. While we didn’t get to try them all (we were so stuffed) one of our favorite sandwiches was the Taft, with slow roasted pork shoulder, rosemary mayo, braised kale and provolone on a toasted baguette. So. Much. Flavor. Everyone can get excited about kale when it’s served with roasted pork and melty provolone cheese. Overall, the wide selection of sandwiches and burgers are perfect for groups with even the most picky eaters. 

Owners David Bailey and Tashia Bailey hope to partner with as many local companies as possible on their food selections. Their commitment to quality ingredients is evident throughout the menu, from the house salad dressings to the homemade ketchup.

Want to get in on the secret?

Secret Sandwich Society will be open Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Happy hour will be offered daily from 3 – 6 p.m., and specials during happy hour will include $1 off drafts, $2 off select starters and snacks and $5 select wines and featured cocktails.

 

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What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

Last week we took a little hiatus due to some unforeseen events happening in the world. And it just didn’t seem right to do our normal posting during such a tumultuous and emotional time. This week, we’re back in action even though we’re still not sure how or what to feel.

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

What to add to your calendar

  • I mean, what could be better than cider and donuts? Tonight from 5 to 9 p.m. head on over to Buskey Cider for a Virginia Cider Week collaboration event with Sugar Shack. You can expect piping hot gluten-free fritters.
  • Tomorrow at Ardent, thirteen restaurants — including Saison, ZZQ and Lucy’s — will be serving up dishes for a Friendsgiving Feast to benefit Feedmore. The entrance fee is 10 cans or $15. It looks like it will be a chilly evening so be sure to warm something warm or drink lots of beer.
  • Did you know there’s a winery out in Chester? Ashton Creek Vineyard is officially celebrating its opening this weekend and if you’re willing to make the 30-minute drive you’ll be treated to wine, live music and food specials.
  • Before you stuff your face with too much turkey and pie, pick up a free cold-pressed juice from Ginger Juice next Wednesday. If you drink your veggies, maybe you won’t have to feel as bad when you eat seconds (or thirds) during Thanksgiving dinner.
  • P.S. Fire, Flour & Fork is going on all week in Richmond and if you haven’t purchased a ticket to any of the events, check their Facebook page for updates on what tickets are still available.

 

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A meal to remember at L’opossum

In 2014, David Shannon opened L’opossum in the Oregon Hill neighborhood of Richmond, that’s the neighborhood just south of Virginia Commonwealth University before you hit the river. And even after all of the accolades — Style Weekly’s Restaurant of the Year, Southern Living’s 30 Best Restaurants in the South, James Beard Foundation semifinalist for best chef Mid-Atlantic and many more— somehow I still had not found my way to this restaurant.

If I’m being honest two things kept me from visiting, (1) the need to make a reservation on OpenTable (in fact I made my Friday night reservation about a month and a half in advance because it has become that popular) and (2) I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. But believe me, L’opossum did not disappoint.

From the moment we walked into the restaurant (thanks Nicky for indulging me) I was impressed. It isn’t often that I get so lost in the atmosphere and food of a restaurant that I almost forget where I am. That’s exactly what happened at L’opossum, for some reason it didn’t feel like we were in Richmond anymore. I fully expected to walk out of the restaurant to a snow storm and the hustle and bustle of New York City.

After we were seated, we quickly perused the cocktail menu and immediately we both decided on the Pillow Thief — strawberry white balsamic puree, cucumber infused vodka, and grapefruit soda — and it was perfectly refreshing and deceptively strong.

lopossum-cocktail

Deciding on an appetizer was a little more challenging after recommendations from a few folks who had visited recently, and ultimately we decided to be “adventurous” with the Les Escargots a la Ham Biscuit. Neither of us had ever had escargot, but if all escargot tastes like these, I’ll be eating them every chance I get. The dozen or so escargot were served with a buttery biscuit filled with country ham, and the entire dish was coated with a sweet garlic beurre blanc. I think we would have drank the beurre blanc with a straw if we were given one, with no shame.

escargot

Side note: If you haven’t noticed already, L’opossum loves to find interesting and playful names for its menu items. Also the lighting in L’opossum is minimal, hence the less than ideal food photos.

For entrees we decided to share two dishes, both of which were a little less adventurous than our appetizer. The Filet Mignon of Beef “Swellington” which is described on the menu as follows: Totin’ a first class hobo stick packed tight with truffled Duxelles (mushrooms, onion, shallots and herbs) and duck butter in a pink peppercorn and port reduction. Just yes, to all of the things. This was definitely the best steak I’ve ever had.

lopossum-filet-mignon

We also shared the Pave’ de Porc Chasseur de l’Autumn Olive Farms, otherwise known as a pork chop. This boneless pork chop was served with saffron scrapple and collard greens and raspberries. Also amazing.

And we didn’t stop there. After our cocktails, appetizer and entrees wow’ed us, we knew we had to get dessert. We settled on the lemon-lavender creme brûlée and we didn’t want this course to end.

crime-brulee-lopossum

If you couldn’t tell, L’opossum lived up to (and maybe even surpassed) the hype that surrounds it. Everything was just that good. I would highly recommend making a reservation for your next special occasion or if you’re just in a restaurant rut and want to trying something new. Have you ever visited L’opossum, if so let me know what your favorite dish was, I’d love to try it on my next visit!

 

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What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • Exciting news for RVA: Craig Dodson, founder and director of Richmond Cycling Corps, was named this week as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes for 2016. The organization’s purpose is to change the lives of youth who live in Richmond’s public housing projects. Even more exciting news for RVA: The organization can take home $100,000 if Dodson receives enough votes to be named the hero of the year! You can vote every day through December 6 here.
  • If you’re looking for a good deal this week, you’re in luck. Nacho Taco Week is back for 2016 and running through this Sunday, November 6! The week of deals is brought to you by Style Weekly. Participating restaurants include Alamo BBQ, Casa del Barco and Don’t Look Back. You can find a full list of restaurants offering $5 meal specials this week here.
  • Thrillist is on the hunt for the best burger in America. You can take a look at their top picks here, the hardest part is deciding which burger to try first. Rest assured here that we fully agree with the idea of planning a trip centered around a visit to a particular restaurant.
  • ICYMI: BBQ fans, rejoice. ZZQ is opening a brick-and-mortar location this spring in Scott’s Addition, and Richmond Magazine has all of the details. Fans of the Texas barbecue can expect items they’ve come to know and love in addition to a few new options, including different options for sides and weekly specials.
  • Speaking of new developments for Scott’s Addition, Gelati Celesti posted a Facebook update recently on the progress of their upcoming Scott’s Addition location and it sounds like things are moving along quite nicely. If all goes well, the new spot could be open by Christmas. I scream, you scream, we all scream for…Santa Claus and ice cream?!
  • In the kitchen: I stumbled across a Food & Wine recipe earlier this week for a sausage and potato pan roast, and I’m dying to give it a try sometime soon. They call it the perfect cold weather weeknight dinner, and I’m thinking Food & Wine is on to something here.
  • Starting today, Maple & Pine Restaurant is offering a $10 brown bag special at lunchtime with your choice of a sandwich or salad. All lunches include chips and a drink, and the lunch specials will be offered throughout the course of November. 

What to add to your calendar

  • Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Willow Lawn’s third annual craft beer event, the Craft Beer Harvest, is happening this Friday, November 4th from 6 – 9 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit Special Olympics Virginia.
  • It’s officially November, which means we’re in the midst of celebrating Virginia Oyster Month! The month acknowledges the growth in oyster harvesting throughout the state. Oyster lovers can celebrate all things oysters at a number of different events this month, including the Urbanna Oyster Festival and the Oyster Extravaganza at Chatham Vineyards.
  • Cider Week Virginia is quickly approaching, taking place this year from November 11 – 20. You can find details on all of the events taking place throughout the state during the week online. I’m most excited about the Hill and Holler Ploughman’s Feast which is happening on Sunday, November 13th at Blue Bee Cider.
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