For John Van Peppen, the location of his new restaurant, Arcadia, is as important as its concept. The former Café Gutenberg at 1700 E. Main St. is historic and highly visible. “You can see the street or tuck away in the corner,” he says, and catch a skyline view in the upstairs dining room. You won’t be seeing much of the Shockoe Bottom club scene, though. He’ll close by 10 p.m. on weekends and earlier during the week.
Chef Matthew Tlusty returns to the kitchen with a diverse menu defined as contemporary Continental: duck bacon-wrapped sturgeon ($12), rock shrimp mac and cheese ($11), baby kale Caesar salad, deviled eggs with white truffle oil and caviar, and house-aged Braveheart Black Angus beef, from a 7-ounce filet to a 22-ounce cowboy cut. Crab cakes, purple rice-crusted rockfish, and pork osso bucco, along with Tlusty’s signature cream of carrot and dill soup and veggie sides “offer something for everyone to graze on,” Van Peppen says. Wines are grouped into $20 and $30 lists, with by-the-glass options from $5-$9, and reserve bottles all the way to $250.
Arcadia serves lunch Tuesday through Friday, dinner from 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and Sunday brunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 417-4005. arcadiarichmond.com.
Carytown newbie: In its third week of business, C Street at 3325 W. Cary St. refuses to be pigeonholed. Chef Graham Reeves, who’s cooked in Richmond for 14 or so years, says “we’re not a cafe or a restaurant,” but a lunch spot that does private events at night with what he calls a neo-American with French highlights menu. Breakfast can be a large, whole-wheat cinnamon bun with Rostov’s coffee, or an egg of the day ($8) with root vegetable hash. Salads and sandwiches are substantial; the bacon, arugula and pimento cheese on sourdough ($7) “is our take on the usual BLT,” Reeves says, and the 20-some lunch entrees include hanger steak and Asian barbecue pork tenderloin.
As owners of Hazel Ruth Catering, Reeves and Jeffery Ferris worked a private event at the space last spring, and jumped on the opportunity to move their business there after short-lived 3325 Café closed. “It’s not lost on us that Acacia had a really great start in here for years,” Reeves says of the building’s well-known previous tenant. They reconfigured the kitchen, dressed up the interior, added heaters to the street-facing front patio, and changed the pink awnings to brown. “There’s great Carytown people watching out there,” Reeves says, and the adjacent courtyard is a tucked-away gem they’ll use for private events and eventual wine dinners.
Former golf pro Lamone Waller is general manager, chosen for his outgoing, service-oriented personality. C Street is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 355-2200. Cstreetrva.com.
Clip file: Richmond restaurants continue to get grand national media exposure. This month’s issue of Garden & Gun magazine highlights Lemaire, Acacia, the Black Sheep, Can Can, Ronnie’s Ribs, Wings & Other Things, the Village Café, Comfort and Rosie Connolly’s Pub. And a recently shot Travel Channel episode shows diners at Julep’s New Southern Cuisine.