Summer lasts longer and tastes better with a little vinegar mixed in. Variations on pickled produce are all over town, including tangy versions of not-your-grandma’s relish at the Black Sheep, Balliceaux and Lemaire, among others. It’s on the menu at Carytown’s Bonvenu as well, where owner Susan Doyle and her mother, Martha Stewart (not that one), also are bringing the goods to market.
Twice a month they sell the restaurant’s house-made soups, desserts and bread, along with pickled beets, radishes, asparagus, apples and jalapenos at the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church farmers’ market on Saturday mornings. And in other market news, doughnut lovers are swooning over Mrs. Yoder’s sourdough doughnuts at the South of the James market. They’re cut, shaped, fried and glazed on site, and even at $2 apiece are flying out of the booth and setting Twitter on fire.
Brunch beautiful: The preacher can’t compete with five kinds of bacon and house-made hot sauce at the Bloody Mary bar during Sunday brunch at Balliceaux, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dishes include the proper fry-up, smoked bluefish-cake Benedict, duck leg and waffle, zucchini bread French toast, and tofu scramble with falafel. Or, if the hangover-helper platters aren’t enough, Sunday supper is a later option at one of Richmond’s best-designed restaurants. 203 N. Lombardy St. 355-3008. balliceauxrva.com.
Morning buzz: If it’s too early for cupcakes, a selection of muffins, scones, frittatas, cinnamon rolls and coffee cake — including vegan and gluten-free options — is now being served at Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe. Breakfast hours are 7:30-10 a.m. or so, Monday through Saturday; then cupcakes in all their variations start to fill the cases about 10:30. Pearl’s is at 5810 Grove Ave. 285-2253. pearlscupcakeshoppe.com.
Patio for people plus: It’s dog friendly outside Great Seasons in the Shoppes at Bellgrade in Midlothian. Chef Reece Roberts (Franco’s, Cabo’s, Fanhouse) is adding basil from his garden in the prosciutto roll with Hanover tomatoes and fresh mozzarella; other dishes include soft-shell crabs, house-ground Angus burgers at lunch, nightly dinner specials and fresh fruit desserts from sous chef Kyle Midgett. A new Sunday brunch menu is on the way as the catering business develops its sit-down options in a suburban center that’s catching renewed interest among diners in the neighborhood. 11400 W. Huguenot Road. 594-7008. seasoningsfinecatering.com.
Family first: A two-course, $14, family-style dinner is now a regular Monday night feature at Europa Italian Café and Tapas Bar. Diners choose a salad or antipasto plate and pick a pasta from a hearty list, with a dessert option for an extra $5 per person. Dinner is served 5-10 p.m. at 1409 E. Cary St. europarichmond.com.