Amy Roman, a teacher married to a restaurateur, combines her worlds in a series of new ventures at Pie, Mo Roman’s pizza place in the Fan. She’s launching a mother-and-kids cafe at Pie on weekday afternoons, where she leads the little ones in stories, crafts and snacks downstairs while moms gather in the upstairs lounge for appetizers and beverages. Groups can reserve the space, or customers can walk in from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at 214 N. Lombardy Ave.
Roman says she’s especially proud of the cafe’s kid-friendly bath station and the courtyard garden for community crafts displays. “We worked really hard to convert it, and to make the space unique and fun for this, and we do new themes and books for the kids every week,” she says. “I call it the happiest hour.”
Pie also operates a morning coffee counter with breakfast sandwiches, Black Hand java, pastries from Pearl’s and Cupertino bagels; dogs get treats and water outside. It opens at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, later on weekends, and Roman has been known to run coffee to a customer’s car when asked. Dinner and bar hours start at 5 nightly and include “Glee” night, acoustic jam sessions and other promotions aimed at moving the cafe’s identity to simply 214 during the next few months. 257-7940. pie214cafe.com.
UPDATE: Roman learned last week that Pie has lost its ABC license until Oct. 12 for selling alcohol illegally to an undercover agent.
Fall Flavored: The architectural delight that is downtown’s Chez Foushee has a new menu from chef Joshua Wood, with seared, roasted and herbed ingredients to summon an earthy season. These include butternut bisque, chicken fricassee with gnocchi, grouper with smoked salmon, toffee pudding and molten chocolate cake in port sauce, among a number of new dishes to augment the classics.
Chez, known for genteel service, offers lunch Monday through Saturday, highlighting burgers on Thursdays and Saturdays. Dinner and bar hours begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; Sunday brunch runs 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 203 N. Foushee St. 648-3225. chezfoushee.com.
Coming soon: Chef Jimmy Sneed’s newest project is BlowToad, a restaurant in the former Double T’s space in Carytown. Sneed says the business will serve pizza from a Nabil Attie-designed oven, and he’ll cook prime rib and other meats on his Labesse Giraudon rotisserie, an equipment holdover from his days operating the Frog and the Redneck.
Designer Helen Reed is making some changes to the 3,200-square-foot space, primarily reworking the back bar and exterior, where patio dining and a walk-up pizza window will be added attractions. Sneed expects to open shortly after Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, his project with daughter Jenna Sneed, Fresca on Addison, continues serving vegetarian and vegan fare Monday through Saturday in the Fan.
Carytown Bistro: New ownership for former Betsy’s and Bin 22; house-baked pastries, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, panini, coffees, lemonade. Local art and live music, craft beers, wine. Outdoor patio, friendly service. Open daily. 26 S. Auburn Ave. 340-0272.
La Parisienne: Crepes, cassoulet, soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts in quick-service bistro with Euro finesse from chef Cedric Payne; breakfast and lunch until 6:30 p.m. weekdays, live jazz and wines Thursdays until 9 p.m. 200 S. 10th St. in Williams Mullen building. 225-0225.
Station 2: Big burger menu, local sourcing for casual pub grub in renovated firehouse. Craft beer, patio. Monday-Thursday 3:30 p.m.-2 a.m.; Friday-Sunday 11 a.m.-2 a.m. 2016 E. Main St. 249-4702. station2richmond.com.
Stella’s: Greek cuisine in boisterous neighborhood newcomer, family tables, longtime Richmond chef Stella Dikos, family-run. Beer and wine. Monday through Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 5-10 p.m., brunch hours coming in September. 1012 Lafayette St. 358-2011. stellasrichmond.com.
The Magpie: Vintage-style gastro-pub with game, fish, pasta, specials. Select wines, beers, cocktails in charming Carver corner cafe. Chef Owen Lane, top service. Dinner and drinks Tuesday through Saturday, 4-11 p.m. 1301 W. Leigh St. 269-0023. themagpierva.com.
The Roosevelt: Casual reincarnation of Church Hill beauty with seafood, meats, desserts, adventurous and familiar foods, chef Lee Gregory, expert service, full bar, local wines. Dinner and drinks Tuesday-Saturday. 623 N. 25th St. 658-1935. rooseveltrva.com.
The Blue Goat: Relaxed Euro-inspired dining, charcuterie, pâté, seafood, nose-to-tail cooking; cocktails, patio in new Westhampton landmark from chef Kevin LaCivita. Dinner and bar Monday-Saturday. 5710 Grove Ave. 288-8875. bluegoatva.com.
M Bistro & Wine Bar: French-meets-Southern cuisine from chef Michael Hall; breakfast to dinner specialties; seafood and sides; lamb burgers for lunch; wines and gourmet items, house-baked breads and pastries, coffee. Summer hours: Tuesday-Friday 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 652-2300. mbistro-rocketts.com.
Ejay Rin: Casual noodle bar with steamed buns, rice bowls, ramen and seafood. Lunch, dinner and bar Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Patio dining, chefs Bill Foster and Andy Howell. 201 W. Seventh St. in the Corrugated Box Building. 745-6488. ejayrin.com.
Benny’s BBQ: Ribs, brisket, burgers, salads, onion rings, platters and Southern sides. Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday. Full bar, friendly service. 3044 Stony Point Road. 320-7447. bennysbbqonline.com.
Jerusalem Restaurant: Extensive Middle Eastern menu in Arabic and English; lunch and dinner. 106 N. Seventh St. 771-1665.
Ironfish: Seafood, chicken, steaks, salads; comfy neighborhood spot with local foods, cocktails, full bar, veg and family options. Dinner Tuesday-Saturday. 3061 Lauderdale Drive. 249-4515. ironfishrva.com.