When new Esquire restaurant editor Josh Ozersky was in Richmond this spring for the Mid-Atlantic Food Writers Symposium, he must have been impressed. Last week, East Grace Street's Rappahannock was named one of the magazine's best new restaurants of 2014. Esquire also named Virginia as region of the year and gave Richmond's Sub Rosa Bakery a shout-out.
Rappahannock and chef Dylan Fultineer join such winners as Del Campo in Washington, Chicago's Alinea, and, this year, Sean Brock's Husk in Charleston, S.C. (See our interview with the former Lemaire sous chef on page 76). "It's a huge honor," Fultineer says. "It's a lineup of some of the best chefs in the country, and it's mind-blowing to be put into that company." He was also one of four chefs out of the 12 chefs to be asked to cook for the gala.
Ozersky writes: "Chef Dylan Fultineer has three things at his disposal that all chefs long for: amazing seafood, a big space, and an audience ready to be wowed. And wowed they are, or at least they should be."
Cousins Ryan and Travis Croxton, owners of Rappahannock Oyster Co., opened the restaurant in 2012. They met Fultineer while he was at Chicago's Blackbird and were able to lure him away from a West Coast stint at the Hungry Cat. Fultineer assembled a network of local purveyors when he arrived, and dishes range from a rockfish and oyster bourride to the fall menu's wood-grilled rainbow trout with shell beans, red kuri squash, guanciale and pickled red onions.
"We're really honored of course, but also so thankful for Josh to recognize Dylan's ability and prowess in the kitchen," co-owner Travis Croxton says. "We've got some incredibly talented chefs in this city, but we're not quite sure many folks realize what a coup it was to bring Dylan, with his pedigree, into Richmond, and we're hoping that this award helps us shine that light a little brighter."
Perhaps it's time for Richmonders to order more than oysters and Prosecco?
New love: Chicken Fiesta opened on Broad Street in the old Cameron's Seafood Market space, across from the Department of Motor Vehicles, and there was much rejoicing. Its Peruvian rotisserie chicken and Tex-Mex sides have been a cult favorite since the restaurant opened its first location in Midlothian in 2006, and devotees have only multiplied since another opened in the West End. Will the Fan and environs as easily succumb to its charms? chickenfiesta.com.
Twenty-five and counting: The venerable Chez Foushee celebrates its 25th anniversary with $25 two-course lunch and dinner specials. Feast on things like chargrilled sirloin with beef cheek demi glace or trout almondine over smoked mushroom and white bean ragout, through Oct. 31. chezfoushee.com.
Last call: The Viceroy closed its doors Friday, Oct. 10. "We gave it a good run," co-owner David Bender says. A deal is in the works for another restaurant in the space.
Pumpkin madness: Now that all the dust and ruffled feathers have settled (hopefully), we can enjoy the Scott's Addition Pumpkin Festival with a clear conscience, perhaps with a cup of craft beer in one hand and a pumpkin funnel cake from Buz and Ned's Real Barbecue in the other. Festivities on the Boulevard are Oct. 25, from noon-5 p.m. For more details see page 65. scottsadditionpumpkinfestival.com.