Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Short Order

RVA Food News: A rooftop deck reopens in the Fan, European flair in Chester + more.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge The top floor deck at Postbellum in the Fan is a highlight, with downstairs dining room and retail space giving the former Mulligan’s a new attitude. Chef Jen Mindell’s cuisine has unusual options for carnivores and vegetarians. - ASH DANIEL
  • Ash Daniel
  • The top floor deck at Postbellum in the Fan is a highlight, with downstairs dining room and retail space giving the former Mulligan’s a new attitude. Chef Jen Mindell’s cuisine has unusual options for carnivores and vegetarians.

Postbellum is open in the former Mulligan’s space with a rarity in the Fan — a rooftop deck that’s more captivating than before.

Chef Jen Mindell and team offer a menu that takes the familiar into new territory: duck or tofu banh mi ($9), burgers ($8-12) including a green tomato vegetarian version, small plates ($7-11) such as fried Brussels sprouts, duck and turnip green nachos, peppered cashew cheese and potted meat on sourdough. Frites with sauces, fish, fowl, tofu and meat entrees ($15-24) and salmon belly and watercress clam chowder, five salads and savory side dishes show a range of flavors and ideas well beyond the usual pub menu.

Open for snacks, dinner and bar daily from 3:30 p.m.-2 a.m. 1323 W. Main St. 353-7678. postbellumrichmond.com.

World Food Day: If you’ve been on the fence about how much it matters to support your local farmer, get a copy of Forrest Pritchard’s new book, “Gaining Ground: a Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm” (Lyons Press, $17.95). It’s a treatise wrapped in lively prose that Pritchard hopes will strengthen relationships between consumers and growers.

“If we’re going to celebrate our local heritage,” he tells Style Weekly, “we have to support that with our dollars as well, and there’s no better way than to get to know your local farmers” at the many local markets around town, through subscription to a cooperative or a visit to a farm. “Positive peer pressure is contagious,” he says. “We can talk about values and ethics, but let’s take it to the table. When you put it on your plate, it tastes amazing.”

Pritchard operates Spring Meadows Farm in Berryville and speaks on World Food Day, Oct. 16, at an event in Waterford. His book has gotten acclaim from National Public Radio, Publishers Weekly and leaders in the local-foods movement.

Now serving in Chester: Divine, a creperie and wine bar, is bringing European flair to the River’s Bend Shopping Center. Owners Karin and Willy Rau offer organic foods, seasonal small plates and entrees with fine wines for weekday lunch and dinner nightly except Sunday. 13127 River’s Bend Blvd., Chester. 571-6383. divine-rb.com.

Eat for good: It’s bigger and more necessary than ever. Richmond Restaurant Week returns Oct. 21-27. Meals come in three courses for $25.13. Of that, $2.13 goes to FeedMore, the umbrella organization of the Central Virginia Food Bank and Meals on Wheels. In the 11 years since its inception, with Acacia Mid-Town owner Aline Reitzer at the helm, restaurant weeks have raised $130,000. Reservations are advised. The list of participants and details are online at richmondrestaurantweek.com.

Roll in the mall: Kobe Sushi at Stony Point is now open at the mall. It’s a sibling to the Shockoe business, serving sushi boxes and specialty rolls. Express lunch service is available, along with lunch and dinner specials daily. 9200 Stony Point Parkway. 323-3333. kobesteakandsushi.com.

Meat after class: Students have discovered barbecue on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus now that Big’s BBQ is open at 931 W. Grace St. from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Formerly a Chinese restaurant, the place is about to get larger, with a bar and full-service set up under construction. For now, the 30-seat cafe with counter service is selling six meats and 10 sides. “We smoke meat every day, with dry rub but no sauces,” co-owner Rob Weaver says. “It’s a rustic style of cooking and at the same price point but bigger portions” than nearby chains. The original Big’s location is in Chesterfield County. bigsbbqva.com.

Plant-based dining: At Ipanema Cafe, chef Will Wienckowki’s new fall menu offers homage to the harvest, with buckwheat blini appetizers with pickled beets, cashew cream and smoked peas. Also on the list are millet croquets with peas, vegan ham and artichoke aioli; entrees of pumpkin dumplings with broccoli rabe and white bean stew; chicken-fried tofu with hoppin’ john, greens and smoky tomato gravy; and mushroom bourguignon with vegetables over pasta. Special prices on wines and a solid reputation since 1998 make this little subterranean spot a local favorite for lunch, dinner, bar and some live music. 917 W. Grace St. 213-0190. ipanemaveg.com.

Wine with dinner: Society announces a four-course wine dinner featuring Glenn Workman, general manager of Mondavi Winery, Oct. 21. The $65 fee includes wine pairings for a seafood, steak and chocolate menu with special touches. Reserve at 648-5100. societyrva.com.

Drink to this: The second annual Virginia Wine Summit comes to the Jefferson Hotel on Oct. 28 with discussions, tastings and enthusiasm for the state’s viniculture. Find details about this event, geared toward wine and food professionals, and to register, visit virginiawinesummit.com.

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