Are you feeling lucky, bourbon fans?
It’s Pappy Van Winkle season in Virginia and the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is hosting online lotteries for drinkers interested in buying a bottle.
Released state by state in small batches, the elusive aged liquor made by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky has garnered a passionate following. Now it’s Virginia’s turn.
Virginia ABC, which has no control over how many bottles it gets annually from the distillery, launched its first of three lotteries for Pappy products on Thursday morning at abc.virginia.gov.
Before 4:30 p.m., the lottery had already attracted 9,404 Virginians entering for the chance to buy 96 bottles of $99 Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15-year-old bourbon. The lucky few will be notified Dec. 12 if the software program that picks entries at random chose theirs. Winners are chosen at random.
It’s the first time the agency has offered the bottles in a lottery versus sending them to the state’s retail stores.
Two more are scheduled for Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. Virginia ABC will host a lottery for the $69.99 Van Winkle Special Reserve 12-year-old bourbon and the $59.99 Old Rip Van Winkle 10-year-old bourbon, respectively.
The agency’s waiting list for the Pappy Van Winkle 20-year-old bourbon is also dwindling. There are 612 people waiting for up to three bottles each since the list was capped in 2015, and ABC spokeswoman Jennifer Guild said the agency received 402 bottles this year priced at $169.99 each.
“It will still be several years before everyone on the list receives a bottle,” she said.
Looking for Pappy's 23-year-old bourbon? You won't find it in Virginia. The state didn't get any this time.
The entire city is dragging around, stuffed with leftovers after too many toasts to the season. Restaurant owners and their staffs are exhausted from last Thursday’s exertions, and all of this has left the food news more or less in limbo. A few things happened other than presidential tweets and turkey day -- but not a whole lot more.
The owners of Rappahannock Oyster Co., Ryan and Travis Croxton will open a small raw bar in Norfolk’s Waterside District. The development is undergoing a complete renovation and the oyster company will have a portable raw bar for events as well. rroysters.com.
The late, lamented Pomegranate closed its doors in Carytown this past fall, but the space will soon start buzzing with the sound of blenders and juicers when the Pit and the Peel opens its second location at 3321 W. Cary St., the Times-Dispatch reports. thepitandthepeel.com.
An electrical fire broke out on Thanksgiving at Bev’s Homemade Ice Cream. Owner Beverly Mazursky says she'll repair and clean up the damage from the fire this winter and reopen when ice-cream season starts in the spring, reports Richmond magazine. bevsicecream.com.
Garden Grove Brewing Co. is sharing its love for our faithful friends on Sunday, Dec. 4 from noon- 8 p.m. with the Iron Dog Fest, a benefit for Gracie's Guardians, a program sponsored by the Richmond Animal League that rescues and fosters pit bulls. You can expect all the trimmings at this event: food, live music, a silent auction, even dog adoption opportunities, plus plenty of beer. gardengrovebrewing.com.
It’s the Grand Illumination — in Scott’s Addition. On Saturday, Dec. 3, Blue Bee Cider will light up Summit Stables at 1320 Summit Ave. at 6 p.m. while guests sip its ciders or warm, mulled apple juice while having a bite from vegan food truck Mean Bird. And the next day, Sunday, Dec. 4, you can swing by the cidery again and pick up locally made, artisan gifts at its Christkindlmarkt, which takes place from 1-4 p.m. bluebeecider.com.
Waterside District will have raw oysters to go with that craft beer and riverfront view when it reopens next year.Baltimore-based developer The Cordish Companies announced Monday that Rappahannock Oyster Co. will be part of the revamped property, scheduled to open in April.
Rappahannock Oyster Co., based in Topping, is a family-operated business. About 15 years ago, cousins Travis and Ryan Croxton “revived” a lease on oyster beds signed by their great-grandfather in 1899, according to a news release. The partners have since expanded into the restaurant business.
Along with serving raw oysters in the central two-level market area of the Waterside building, the restaurant also will have a portable raw bar that can be used for events and festivals “at and around Waterside District.”
The tenant will join Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse, PBR, Blue Moon TapHouse, The Fudgery, Cogan’s Pizza, Carolina Cupcakery and Starr Hill Brewery. Other tenants have yet to be disclosed.
The developer has committed to a $40 million overhaul of the Norfolk property.
Openings: Secret Sandwich Society is officially open at 501 E. Grace St. secretsandwichsociety.com.
Future Openings: Kitsa Panos, the daughter of the Crazy Greek’s original owner, George Spanos, will open the Greek Taverna at the Crazy Greek’s former spot at 1903 Staples Mill Road, reports the Times-Dispatch. And Belmont Pizzeria is planning to open at second location in the Towne Center West shopping center in Short Pump at the end of the year. belmontpizzeria.com. Richmond BizSense reports that the international chain restaurant, BBQ Premium Chicken, which offers Korean fried chicken, will take over the empty space at 900 W. Franklin St. formerly occupied by Shoryuken Ramen. bbdotqusa.com.
Chocolate Love: It’s time to celebrate — Chocolates by Kelly has moved into its own storefront at 414 W. Broad St. That’s only a block away from Quirk Hotel and a prime spot for First Fridays chocolate sampling. chocolatesbykelly.com.
Free Feasting: Kroger is providing free Thanksgiving meals for 900 of FeedMore’s Meals on Wheels clients. And Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers will receive Kroger gift cards during the week of Thanksgiving to be redeemed at Kroger Fuel Centers. feedmore.org.
Happenings: We’re a little light on happenings because the big daddy of them all, Thanksgiving, is hogging the spotlight. Here are a just a few you might want to check out when your family isn’t looking.
The Giving Heart is gearing up for its annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Doors open Thanksgiving morning at 9:30 a.m., with food coming out from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Parking is free at the deck at Third and Marshall streets. thegivingheart.org.
I would rather drink beer than shop on Black Friday. Amiright, friends? Center of the Universe Brewing Co. gets this and will be open on Friday, starting at noon, for the release of Shut Up, its annual Black Friday beer. Shut Up is an imperial stout that’s been aged in both bourbon and merlot barrels. cotubrewing.com.
Historical interpreters at Henricus Historical Park will explain the history of the first Thanksgiving in 1619 in this autumn harvest feast that includes cooking, games, songs and dances from 17th century Virginia on Saturday, Nov. 26 from 10 a.m.– 5 p.m. henricus.org.
What do you get when two James Beard Foundation Award semi-finalists convene to conjure a seven-course meal?
Well, to start with, at six o’clock, a before dinner cocktail of chicory-dandelion tea spiked with Reservoir Distillery bourbon, followed by a dainty teacup of hearty white bean-corn soup with a pillow tender brisket hiding in the bottom the bottom of the cup and a sprinkle of shaved truffles on top.
When the teacups were cleared, plates of escargot appeared, paired with a biscuit stuffed with house-cured ham.
For five hours, the courses kept coming, each paired with a Virginia wine. It was like one of those ancient Roman banquets or a scene from the movie, “Big Night.”
The event – that night likely the hottest dinner ticket in the commonwealth – took place this past weekend at L’Opossum in Richmond where Chef/Owner David Shannon welcomed Chef Sydney Meers of Stove, the Restaurant, in Portsmouth. It was a signature event in Richmond’s third annual Fire, Flour & Fork epicurean extravaganza, and it sold out in three minutes flat, leaving lucky ticket holders feeling as if they’d won a gourmet lottery.
Which they had. Courses started with back story from the chefs and vintners.
“I’ve always been fascinated and horrified by the whole turducken thing,” Shannon said, while introducing the fourth course. His solution: turducken Rangoon, a crisp wonton purse filled with chicken liver mousse on a shallow pool of foie gras gravy, paired with cranberry relish spiked with Chinese five spice.
A plate of impossibly-creamy shrimp and grits followed, then lamb, chicken, pork, collards, persimmon and finally, at 10:18 p.m., Shannon announced, “Congratulations! You made it to dessert!”
Of which there were two. And finally, a standing ovation for the chefs and the staff at L’Opossum, and memories of a singular meal that no one in that dining room could ever forget. Bravo!
This story originally appeared on Pilotonline.com.
Closings: Kinsfolk on Forest Hill Avenue is now closed after less than a year in business. However, owners Tiffany and Danny Ingram’s other restaurant, Mechanicsville’s Bell Cafe, is remains open for business. bellcafe.net. The across-the-street take-out version of Sticky Rice, Sticky to Go-Go, is no longer serving, and the Crazy Greek at 1903 Staples Mill Road has shut its doors, but, reports the Times-Dispatch, it will reopen at another location in Henrico County. The two South Side Crazy Greek outposts remain open. ilovestickyrice.com and crazygreekwoodlake.com. C-Street Restaurant & Wine Bar, which opened in the original Acacia space five years ago, will close on Sunday, reports the Times-Dispatch. The owners are throwing a closing party on Friday at 6 p.m. And the saddest news of all: The Streetcar Cafe in Brookland Park is no longer open daily and will soon have a new concept, Richmond BizSense reports.
Openings: We’re talking chains here, but a couple of notable ones are gearing up. Blaze Pizza, another business based on Chipotle’s model, opened its doors at 2701 Stone Village Way in Chesterfield, and the seventh location of Mezeh Mediterranean landed at 11710 W. Broad St. It offers pan-Mediterranean wraps, pita pockets, rice bowls and salads. blazepizza.com and mezeh.com. Saadia’s Juicebox and Yoga Bar is set to start squeezing fruit in Jackson Ward and downtown, Richmond Biz Sense reports. Search for Saadia’s Juicebox on Facebook.
Evolution: The Kendra Feather-owned Laura Lee’s has a new chef on board. Scott Lewis, most recently at Southbound after stints at the Roosevelt and late, great Six Burner, now has a transitional menu in place. Chef Lee Gregory is also helping with the changeover. lauraleesrva.com.
Happenings: Virginia Cider Week has started and doesn’t end until Sunday, and there’s a whole lot to do. A few highlights: Acacia Mid-Town is holding a mini cider and wine dinner with Potter’s Craft Cider and winery 20 Paces tonight, Nov. 16, starting at 5:30 p.m. On Thursday, Shyndigz will join with Blue Bee Cider for Steal the Glass night from 7-10 p.m. Fat Dragon will serve Buskey Cider cocktails and both locations of Once Upon a Vine will offer Potter’s Craft Cider tastings. For details about other events, visit ciderweekva.com.
Fire, Flour & Fork, that whirlwind of famous chefs, great food and local purveyors, begins on Thursday, Nov.17, and wraps up Sunday, Nov. 20. Events and dinners fill up quickly, so visit fireflourandfork.com to see if spots at your favorite chef’s table are still available.
The Virginia Moonshine Festival brings its legal white lightning to the Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 2-7 p.m. Plenty of food will be on offer and along with Uber, Provide-a-Ride can get you home. vamoonshinefestival.com.
Max’s Postive Vibe Café’s Souper Bowl III rolls out on Saturday, Nov. 19, as well, at the Stratford Hills Shopping Center from 12:30-4:30 p.m. positiveviberva.com.
This article has been updated to reflect the closure of C-Street Restaurant & Wine Bar.
The irresistible smell of a new bakery’s goods is now wafting over Sycamore Square Shopping Village in Midlothian. Once only available by special order, owner Alicia Darnell is now serving her desserts at A Peach in a Pear Tree Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10 a.m.-6p.m. apeachinapeartree.com.
I really miss Lucille’s Bakery, but Richmond BizSense tells me that another bakery, plus a commissary kitchen, is going into the space. The plan is to open Red Cap Kitchen in early 2017. And that makes me pretty happy for the new year.
The Mom’s Siam family, Sukanya Palaartis and sons Joe and Sonny Kiatsuranon, are readying the old Osaka Sushi & Steak space in the Downtown Short Pump shopping center on March 27. YaYa’s Cookbook, Richmond BizSense reports, will serve upscale Thai cuisine.
The Bellgrade location of Brew American Gastropub is now closed, according to a post on its Facebook page, but never fear, its spot at 6525 Centralia Road in Chesterfield is still going strong. brewgastropub.com.
Happenings: Virginia Cider Week starts on Friday folks, and there’s a whole lot to do. On that day there will be a Potter’s Craft tap takeover at Station 2 from 6-9 p.m. and Foggy Ridge owner Diane Flynt will speak at Shagbark at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, Nov. 12, 17th Street Farmers' Market will hold a cider celebration, there will be a Foggy Ridge tasting at Saison, a Potter’s Craft tasting at Growlers to Go, and Buskey Cider will release its Pink Lady cider to support the VCU Massey Cancer Center. Sunday, Nov. 13 will mark Hill & Holler’s big extravaganza, Ploughman’s Feast, at Blue Bee Cider. Visit the Virginia Cider Week page for the rest of the apple-icious events. ciderweekva.com.
It was so much fun last year that the folks at Henricus Historical Park, along with Capital Ale House, decided to do it again. Hops in the Park Fall Festival takes place at 251 Henricus Park Road in Chester on Saturday from noon-6 p.m. Taking its inspiration from the culture of 17th century America, the festival’s re-enactors will roam the grounds while you slurp oysters or nibble on smoked turkey legs and other Virginia treats, all washed down with beverages from 21 local breweries, cideries and meaderies. hopsinthepark.com.
Nota Bene wants to transport you to Italy on Sunday. Writer Katie Parla will play host to a dinner inspired by recipes from her book, “Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City.” Street food, and both classic and little-known dishes will make up six courses, with wine pairing specials and cocktails from the book. Tickets cost $65, excluding drinks and gratuity. Call 477-3355 for reservations. notabenerva.com.
UPDATE: This article has been updated to include hours for A Peach in a Pear Tree.
Editor's note: We have removed the initial figures on Richmond Restaurant Week results posted earlier because they included only partial information, and not the full totals that will be reported later. Style regrets the error.
This past summer, Lecker Baking Co. bought Billy Bread from owner Billy Fallen. Although the company is focusing on its wholesale customers right now, it plans to open the spot at 1 S. Allen Ave. where Fallen originally baked his famous bread as a retail bakery in November.
It's not the first time Fallen has sold his company. Twelve years ago, Karen Gibbons and David Achkio bought Billy Bread from him. The couple closed Billy Bread in 2010, and shortly thereafter, Fallen took back the business and restarted production.
“One of the appealing aspects of purchasing Billy Bread was the potential for expansion,” co-owner Alex Miller said in a news release. Along with wife Greta Phillips, the two plan to bake both in the morning and afternoon, doubling production.
Miller trained at the King Arthur Flour’s Baking Education Center in Norwich, Vermont, and began selling Lecker’s products in early 2016 to coffee shops, cafes, specialty markets and breweries, he says, as well as to Shagbark, which serves its sesame semolina bread.
“We have enjoyed Billy Bread for years, but there is a whole world of bread out there,” Miller says.
Chipotle started the movement and now a Richmonder is getting in on the build-it-your-way action. At Bottom Burger, customers will choose the type of patty, toppings and bun, or they can pick from an array of signature burgers such as the Texas or Greek burger, reports Richmond BizSense. Aisha Farooque will open her new restaurant at 1719 E. Main St. facebook.com/bottomburger.
Tazza Kitchen also plans to open its seventh location at 1500 Roseneath Road in Scott’s Addition -- and let’s hope this becomes a trend. Residents and visitors alike need more food in this neighborhood bubbling over with alcohol. tazzakitchen.com.
We may have a Brooklyn restaurant owner and chef, Rob Newton, setting up at the Central National Bank Building at 219 E. Broad St., Richmond magazine reports. No comment yet from Newton, but I’ll keep you posted.
The old Village Café building at Grace and Harrison Streets is back in the hands of the original family that owned it, reports the Times-Dispatch. Johnny and Katrina Giavos bought the property and plan to completely renovate it, although they have no plans yet for the future restaurant that will occupy the space.
Billy Bread was bought by Lecker Baking Co. It plans to open the spot at 1 S. Allen Ave. where Billy Fallen originally baked his famous bread as a retail bakery in November.
The Manchester location of the Urban Farmhouse is now closed after less than a year, reports the Times-Dispatch.
Happenings: The Craft Harvest is back and takes place at Willow Lawn from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4. You can expect 15 craft brewers, plenty of food, contests and music from the Jangling Reinhardts. Festival mugs are $15 and come with one drink ticket, plus $2 off your next beer. willowlawn.com/wlevents/craft-beer-harvest.
Looking for even more beer? You can head to Carytown on on Friday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. for the wildly popular Big LeByrdski. Center of the Universe holds a bathrobe bar crawl that makes it way from Citizen Burger Bar, New York Deli, Mellow Mushroom to Weezies Kitchen before ending up at the Byrd Theatre for a showing of “The Big Lebowski.” COTU will be on hand to pour its special release, El Duderino White Russian Stout, and all of the proceeds will go to The Byrd Theatre Foundation. cotubrewing.com.
Although other states claim Brunswick stew, we all know it’s a Virginia dish. And we can celebrate that fact on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market’s annual Brunswick Stew and Stout Festival. Local breweries will provide the stout and samples of stew will be $1. Judges will determine which stewmaster will remain supreme at the end of the event. enrichmond.org.
You can get your seafood on at Slow Food RVA’s Slow Fish Festival at Ardent Craft Ales on Sunday, Nov. 6 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Lehja, Sugar's Crab Shack, East Coast Provisions, Blue Goat, and Mean Bird food truck will provide the food, plus you can taste samples from each of Virginia’s eight oyster regions. slowfoodrva.org.
And don’t forget! Style’s Nacho Week is happening right now and doesn’t end until Nov. 6. You can find $5 meal deals from 20 local restaurants all over town. nachotacoweek.com.Correction: All dates have been updated for the events listed.
Sally Bell’s Kitchen is open in its brand new home at 2337 W. Broad St. And it’s bigger and better. Go stand in line for a caramel upside down cupcake immediately — trust me, it’s worth it.
Welcome to the neighborhood! The downtown location of the critically acclaimed Maya Mexican Grill and Tequila Lounge unlocked its doors this week in the newly renovated Lucca Enoteca space at 525 E. Grace St. The new restaurant will be open for lunch Monday-Friday and dinner Monday-Saturday.
And EAT Restaurant Partners threw out this tidbit this week: The new Chinese restaurant set to open in the Blue Goat space at 5710 Grove Ave. in about a month will be called Beijing on Grove.
The Oyster Company of Virginia has found itself in a jam, Richmond BizSense reports. The company runs a program that it calls Oysters for Life. Members sponsor seed oysters and an aquaculture cage, and in return, receive two dozen oysters a year. The idea is to help Virginia watermen, as well as clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Investors are now trying to force the company into Chapter 7 liquidation. The company wants it converted to Chapter 11 bankruptcy so that it can keep operating.
Halloween Happenings: If you want to get an early start, you can stop by Nightmare on Plum Street at Bellytimber Tavern on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 1 p.m. for a bunch of live music, vendors, a costume contest and mysterious carnival activities. A raffle will benefit the nonprofit, I Am RVA. This thing is scheduled till midnight, so pace yourself.
If you're a creature of the night, the Rogue Gentlemen will hold the Devil's Cut, a fundraiser for Diversity Richmond, on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. You'll be greeted with a welcome punch and snacks to sustain you through apple bobbing, tarot readings and a costume contest with prizes from the Rogue Gentlemen, Ardent Craft Ales and Diversity Richmond. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at the restaurant or by calling 477-3456.
Buskey Cider is hosting the Scott's Addition Halloween Booz Crawl starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday. You can taste your way -- -- responsibly, people! --through Ardent Craft Ales, Blue Bee Cider, Buskey, Isley Brewing Co., Reservoir Distillery, Three Notch'd Brewing Co. RVA Collab House and the Veil Brewing Co. You can win prizes, too — grab a Booz Crawl card and after you receive three stamps, you'll have a chance at a $25 gift card.