Fair game: Forget the old-school asphalt, the new State Fair of Virginia has a grassy, parklike setting with rolling hills and covered pavilions. It was a farm in a former life, and debuted last week as a focal point for good, kinda-clean fun and food with that bad-for-you edge. Vendors are hawking hot cheddar nuggets and jalapeno poppers, eight flavors of chicken wings, fresh cinnamon rolls, scallop-cake sandwiches, crab and corn chowder and stuffed crepes along with the usual fair fare and agricultural exhibits. Find details at www.statefairva.org.
Prettiest party: The 1920s-era Mediterranean Revival building is one of downtown's poshest, more so now that Chez Foushee celebrates 20 years in business by redecorating for a month-long party. Owners Andrew Hardie and Dennis Spurgeon have strategically mined the restaurant's niche — weekday lunches for a crowd of regulars, weekend private catering on- and off-site. A year ago they added bar and dinner hours on First Fridays and third Saturdays, capturing the art-walk crowd and diners who admire the restaurant's dedication to good service and a well-executed seasonal menu. In October Chez Foushee gives out door prizes, offers specials and serves classic cocktails and dishes tweaked for modern tastes. A reservation-only dinner Oct. 17 presents anniversary-themed cuisine for $20 a person. 203 N. Foushee St. 648-3225. www.chezfoushee.com.
Five dishes, five wines and Frits: Maisons Marques and Domaines wines will be paired and poured in an Oct. 7 dinner at 1 N. Belmont. Chef Frits Huntjens promises a fabulous five-course meal to complement the vino for the $85-per-person tariff, which includes tax and gratuity. Reserve at 358-0050. www.1northbelmont.com.
Film for food lovers: At the Edible Garden in Goochland, a new fall menu is augmented by screenings of “Fresh the Movie,” a film about the future of food and the planet, produced and directed by Ana Sofia Joanes. Screenings are Oct. 14 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. by reservation at 784-2011. A donation of $10 is suggested to benefit the Center for Rural Culture. See the cafe's new lunch, dinner and brunch menus and a list of food-aware events at www.ediblegarden.org. 12506 River Road.
Flavors of an affordable fall: New at Shockoe Slip's long-running Taphouse Grill, an autumn menu from chefs Mark Henry and David Shamblin: pan-fried oysters, roasted rack of lamb and flatbread pizza are highlights. Appetizers are priced less than $10, entrees from $17-$24. After dinner there's a bar, game room and dancing upstairs, and occasional live music. Locally brewed beers and root beer are classics. Richbrau, 1214 E. Cary St. 644-3018. www.richbrau.com.
More pits and masters: Tuffy Stone takes his Cool Smoke barbecue team back on the road in October for the American Royal Barbecue competition in Kansas City, Mo., and the Jack Daniel's world invitational championship in Lynchburg, Tenn. — the most prestigious (and lucrative) events in the barbecue galaxy. “We're just trying to get better,” Stone says, though his team has won three state championships this year and a slew of top prizes in the past. It will prepare the chicken, ribs, pork and brisket that make his local outpost, Q Barbeque in Midlothian, a hit as it celebrates its first year this month. Another Q location is set to open in Hampton next spring, and a second Richmond location is in the works. 2077 Wal-Mart Way. 897-9007. www.qbarbeque.com.