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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Weekly Food Notes

Bello's Lounge, Sally Bell's Award + More

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 1:00 AM

Grocery fanfare: National media keeps poking around Richmond’s food scene. Last week it was The Wall Street Journal. In an article about small grocery stores — micro grocers — opening across the country, the Fan’s Harvest Grocery & Supply made a guest appearance at the end. WSJ writes: “[Harvest] staffers know most regulars by name and try to speak to everyone who comes in. Hunter Hopcroft encourages them to share recipes and suggest substitutions. ‘Our standard [greeting] is, ‘What are you making?’ Mr. Hopcroft says.”

Lounge act: A May opening is planned for Bello’s Lounge on East Franklin Street, Richmond BizSense reports. Ralph Dadzie, a native of Ghana, will offer African and Caribbean cuisine, with a relaxed, upscale vibe.

Award season: Sally Bell’s Kitchen has received one of only five James Beard Foundation 2015 America’s Classics Awards. The purveyor of much-loved potato salad and a Richmond cult favorite, the upside-down cupcake, opened in 1924 as Sarah Lee Kitchen, but was forced to change its name when the bigger Sara Lee Corp. came along in 1939. In 1985, Scott Jones, whose great-aunt, Sarah Cabell Jones, started the business with Elizabeth Lee Milton, took over daily operations along with his wife, Martha. The award is given annually by the James Beard Foundation to restaurants that are “distinguished by their timeless appeal,” and that “serve quality food that reflects the character of their communities.” Another much bigger entity, Virginia Commonwealth University, has asked Sally Bell’s to relocate from its West Grace Street spot by 2017.

Restaurant week: Henrico County has decided to get in on the act and will hold its own restaurant week April 11-19 to benefit the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls. Participating restaurants include American Tap Room, Tarrant’s West, Deep Run Roadhouse and the Wine Loft. The pricing is a little more complicated than the city’s restaurant week, so for details and the other restaurants taking part, click here.

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