Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Weekly Food Notes: Kids Eat Free, Richbrau is Back + More

Posted By on Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 12:08 PM

Sad news: According to its Instagram account, the Black Sheep has closed. There are rumors that owner Kevin Roberts may move it into the Betty on Davis space off of Broad Street. Roberts is also a co-owner of Perly’s Restaurant & Delicatessen, along with Johnny Giavos. Giavos, according to the Times-Dispatch, also owns the building at 805 N. Davis Ave.

News parents can use: Laura Lee’s is now offering a kid’s happy hour. This genius idea means that children 14 and younger eat for free before 6 p.m. from Mondays to Thursday. One caveat: Parents need to eat, too: You’ll receive one free item from the kid's menu with any adult entree or sandwich, spokesman John Murden says.

It’s almost back — Richmond’s original craft brewery, Richbrau, is about to be revived by real estate broker Matthew Mullett, reports Richmond BizSense. Although Mullett and his group of investors haven’t decided on a location yet, they obtained the trademark to the name last year. An opening in the fall is planned.

James Beard Award semifinalist Lee Gregory, owner of the Roosevelt and Southbound, will open a new spot in Church Hill, Alewife, that specializes in fish, the Times Dispatch reports. Gregory plans to open in February in the old Blue Wheeler Market & Deli space at at 3120 E. Marshall St. Where does the name come from, you ask? Although it’s an invasive species of fish that originated in Lake Ontario, Virginia has seen a dramatic decline in its population in the Chesapeake Bay and forbids its fishing.

Garden Grove's Historic Beer Collaboration with Wilton House

Posted By on Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM

In a town as steeped in both history and craft beer as Richmond, it’s no surprise that yet another historic beer recipe has been resurrected by a contemporary brewery. This time, Garden Grove Brewing and Urban Winery has connected with Wilton House Museum for a new twist on an old recipe. The beer will be released at the brewery on Saturday, Dec. 2.

The Beer

The Wilton House Spruce Porter is based on two historic recipes: a spruce beer recipe from a 19th-century cookbook, “The Virginia House-Wife,” by Virginian Mary Randolph and George Washington’s recipe for a molasses porter from the Smithsonian archives. Mary Randolph’s recipe calls for young spruce tips — in this case, harvested from Garden Grove co-owner Mike Brandt’s yard — molasses, allspice and ginger. “We let these recipes guide our process as much as possible, including fermenting the beer entirely in oak casks,” says Chris Sarnoski, assistant director of marketing and events at Garden Grove.

Though it may seem that the use of eccentric ingredients is an invention of the craft beer movement, early Virginia brewers found creativity to be a necessity. The New World wasn’t planted with fields of barley and hops awaiting the settlers, so they made beer — that necessary beverage — from a variety of ingredients.

“Spruce was widely available, and red or black spruce shoots — or, more often, essence of spruce — were often used in place of hops, contributing bitterness and preservative qualities,” says science librarian and culinary specialist Alison Kelly. “Other substitute flavorants included ground ivy, a common weed, and ginger — not native to this country, but a very popular import through trade. Persimmons, pumpkin and molasses were all used as alternative sources of sugars where they were available.”

Mary Randolph was born in 1762 in Chesterfield County at Ampthill Plantation, now DuPont property and ended up in the Moldavia house in Richmond. The house, at the southeast corner of Main and Fifth streets, was later purchased by John Allan, Edgar Allan Poe’s foster dad, and is says to appear in Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

Though the Randolph families were quite influential and moneyed, Mary Randolph’s husband, David Randolph — also her first cousin once removed — was cast from his political position by President Thomas Jefferson and the couple’s fortunes fell. To help make ends meet, Randolph opened a boarding house on Cary Street in Shockoe Bottom “for the accommodation of Ladies and Gentlemen.” The couple later moved to Washington and Molly published her cookbook, which became immediately popular.

Like many American colonists, George Washington was fond of beer, which was bought and brewed at Mount Vernon. Porter is generally accepted as his favorite style.

The Partner and the Event

A Georgian colonial manor, Wilton House was erected on the banks of the James River east of Richmond in about 1753 by William Randolph III. In its heyday, it hosted colonial leaders such as George Washington — not sure that he ever slept here, though — Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette. Nearly two centuries later, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America rescued the house from being razed because of the property’s new industrial zoning and moved it to its current location off Cary Street Road between the Huguenot Bridge and Carytown. The organization still owns Wilton House and opens it to the public as a museum, showcasing the 18th-century plantation home and a decorative arts collection of 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century silver, ceramics, textiles, paintings, documents and furniture.

“The idea behind the collaboration is to help increase visibility for the Wilton House as well as a fundraiser,” says Sarnoski. Garden Grove will contribute one dollar to the museum for each Spruce Porter sold.

Root Stock Provisions will offer food at the event, pairing classic Southern ingredients with the historically inspired Virginia beer: cheddar, apple grilled cheese sandwiches with butternut squash soup, a ham biscuit with house-made brown sugar ham, pimento cheese, pickles, and a sausage plate with house-made sausage, spruce porter mustard, sauerkraut, brown bread and sweet tea-braised greens.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Havana '59 Launches a Second Location in December

Posted By on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 10:56 AM

Havana '59 announced that it was opening a second location in the West End — at 8902 West Broad Street Suite D, to be specific. In a news release, the restaurant's representative Jessica Halasz said that in addition to the classic dishes that you find on its downtown menu, the new spot's chef, Bryan Rubey, will also offer things such as lamb albondingas and house smoked beef short ribs.

“The West End location will also be hosting salsa dancing on Wednesday nights starting in 2018,” said Halasz. “There will be a cigar bar upstairs, and, unique to this location, there will be outdoor patios on both floors.”

The original location opened in 1995 and the grand opening of the new one will take place Friday, Dec. 8.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Five Years of Beer from the Center of the Universe

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 12:15 PM

Who’d have thought a former professional baseball player and his engineering-nerd brother could move to little ole Ashland and make a success of a craft brewery?

Florida natives Chris Ray and Phil Ray, two of Style's 2015 Top 40 Under 40, moved to Virginia, thanks in part to the new-at-the-time Virginia law that allows breweries to serve beer on site. They opened Center of the Universe Brewing Co. in Hanover County, where Chris’s wife, Alice, is from.

Although the Rays had home-brewed, they didn’t trust their amateur experience to transfer to large-scale brewing, so they brought in an experienced production brewer. Mike Killelea came from Richmond’s Legend Brewing Co. as the Ashland operation's first head brewer. Phil also brought an accomplished social media marketer to the game — his wife, Ashley. After all, even the best business benefits from a good storyteller.

A beer that has been on the roster since the first day, Ray-Ray’s Pale Ale, reminds customers who the owners are while telling their tale pictorially. Another first-day tap, the Richard, was really a brewing mistake, but one that turned out so well that it makes an annual reappearance on anniversaries, including this one.

Pocahoptas IPA, which has also been part of the lineup since the beginning, is among Richmond’s best-selling beers. The brew team includes approachable crowd-pleasing beers such as Slingshot Kölsch and geek-pleasing beers like Shut Up, an imperial stout aged in bourbon and red wine barrels, as well as Chic Saison, a French farmhouse saison brewed with Asian mangosteens that won silver for the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup.

Beer-loving Richmond baseball fans can also be grateful. The Rays kicked off a collaboration with the Richmond Flying Squirrels in the form of Chin Music, an easy-drinking, crisp, amber lager. The beer is available year-round, but you can also find it on tap at the Diamond, joined by a variety of other craft beers.

Community-minded spirit has infused the brewery, known as COTU, five years of business, starting most notably with Homefront IPA, a nationally brewed collaboration beer that supports Soldiers’ Angels.

Other charitable contributions — $21,578 this past year— went to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to support children with cancer, Virginia Commonwealth University's Institute for Contemporary Art, the Richmond Fisher House Foundation and CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation.

El Duderino has swaggered into the annals of the brewery's history, too. Besides being a bold stout with shades of White Russian cocktails inspired by “The Big Lebowski,” the Dude has persuaded hundreds of adults to wander Carytown in bathrobes, to contribute a total of thousands of dollars to the Byrd Theatre Foundation and to yell their favorite movie lines to a packed audience.

Having home-brew roots themselves, the Rays are also happy to support the local home-brew community. One way they’ve accomplished this is through the annual Wort Share Competition: Home-brewers take home a measure of the same brewery wort and finish the brewing process at home, adding hops and other ingredients. The winning beer is brewed on the big system and becomes the year’s RVAle beer. Macon Mint Milkshake, the 2017 winner, is a chocolate peppermint milk stout that will make appearances around downtown Ashland for the Dec. 9 Jolly Jaunt.

In early 2017, the Rays held a grand opening for a second brewery, Origin Beer Lab, in downtown Ashland. The small brewery and tasting room operates as a pilot system for the larger operation. The brewing system is in proportion to the large-scale system, so any worthy Origin beer can be scaled up for more production.

In the five years since opening, the brewery also has added a comfortable beer-garden patio, expanded its brewing system, redecorated and enlarged the tasting room, added arcade games and expanded distribution. This year saw its beer in Roanoke, and 2018 will see the brewery’s products in the Washington market.

Upgrades on the way include a canning line modification to accommodate both 12- and 16-ounce cans, and a new silo. Monthly seasonals will soon be packaged in 16-ounce 4-packs rather than 750-milliliter bottles. And March will see the brewery’s first new year-round beer in four years, Chameleon IPA, changing up regularly in ingredients and in label color.

Last weekend, the brewery threw a birthday party for itself. “We tapped old brews, new brews, and saw lots of friendly faces throughout the weekend!” says Ashley Ray. “It was pretty awesome.”

CORRECTION: This article originally said that Hops for Heroes benefits the Wounded Warrior Project. Instead, it benefits Soldiers' Angels.

Weekly Food Notes: Groceries, Cheese + More

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 10:15 AM

Turkey’s what’s on most people’s minds today — and driving. Last week was the big news week, but still a couple of things happened around here, food-wise.

Wondering about the delay with the former Martin’s locations and soon-to-be Publix stores in Carytown and the Village Shopping Center? I got in touch with Publix representative Kimberly Reynolds. “These two locations require more work,” she says, “whereas our previous openings were remodels. We are still working through the plans with the landlord and opening timeframes are still to be determined.” The Times-Dispatch reports that the Village Shopping Center spot will be demolished. Interestingly, the site sits astride the Richmond and Henrico border, so Publix is still waiting for the go ahead from the city, although Henrico has already approved the plan.

With grocery delivery services like Instacart, Shipt and Amazon Prime getting into the game, it almost seems the inevitable that a meal-planning app would pop up. PlateJoy works with Instacart and offers six-month and yearly subscriptions, reports Richmond BizSense.  You enter your likes, dislikes, cooking skills and any food allergies and the app will spit out a weekly menu, including recipes, and a grocery list.

And BizSense also reports on what the heck is going on a Zzaam in Carytown. Owner Derek Cha is planning a mini food court out front. “The project will convert Zzaam’s building at 3300 W. Cary St. to allow it to share the property with a barbecue joint, bubble tea concept, self-serve bar and itinerant oyster bar,” writes J. Elias O'Neal. And we all need to give many props to O’Neal for using “itinerant.” I so love your word choice, Elias!

Are you a guest, not a host, this year? Before you hit the road, decide on a designated driver and treat yourself to the Last Minute Holiday Survival Party at coffee shop Chairlift at Brenner Pass at 3200 Rockbridge St., right next door to its sibling, Brenner Pass, in Scott’s Addition. From noon to 8 p.m., you can grab wine, cheese, charcuterie and bakery items to impress your hosts, all the while sipping cocktails and nibbling on cheese.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Recommendations: Bring Beer to the Holiday Table

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 2:36 PM

Now that Virginians have established that our early settlers were the first to celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s time for us to claim our just heritage. And beer is a proud part of that, even here at the fall line of the James River.

In 1607, when Christopher Newport and a band of explorers sailed upriver from Jamestown, they carried food, weapons, goods for trade, brandy, wine and beer — or “beere,” as they called it. They shared that beer with the Powhatans that they happened to meet — then as now, a little alcohol can act as a handy social lubricant. The English and the natives feasted, drank and danced.

As Lee Graves explains in “Richmond Beer: a History of Brewing’s in the River City”: “They partied a little too hard,” for Chief Powhatan’s son, Parahunt, who became quite ill. “Newport assured him that he would feel better after sleeping it off. When this proved true, Newport achieved status as a medicine man.”

Though the Europeans’ conquest of the people who preceded them may not be cause for celebration, most Virginians will nonetheless be celebrating this early American holiday, whether feasting with family and friends, or simply enjoying a day off.

To share some early “beere” traditions at your holiday meal, consider the following pairing and giftsuggestions, available locally. And have a couple of growlers in your trunk, in case the beers are only available on tap.

Pairs with turkey
Choose a subtle beer that still possesses some character, like a witbier or amber ale. The subtlety won’t overwhelm the bird, while the character will bring out the best in the preparation. Try Strangeways Brewing’s’s Albino Monkey, Isley Brewing’s Co.’s Plain Jane, Port City Brewing’s Optimal Wit or Midnight Brewery’s Rockville Red.

Pairs with glazed ham
The slightly sweet and savory glazed ham calls for a beer that’s strong but balanced, like a German doppelbock or Belgian dubbel. Such beers highlight malty, earthy, dark fruit flavors. Look for Ayinger’s Celebrator or Corsendonk Pater’s dubbel. Still dark but lighter, look for Midnight Brewery’s Not My Job brown or Köstritzer’s Schwarzbier.

Pairs with stuffing
Let the flavors or herbs and grains do a happy dance on your palate by pairing the stuffing with a farmhouse ale or saison, like Ardent Craft Ales’ Saison, Pale Fire Brewing’s Salad Days or Flying Dog Brewery’s Raging Bitch Belgian IPA.

Pairs with sweet potatoes
If you top your potatoes with marshmallows, let the darker malts in a brown ale or porter pull out the flavors in the lightly toasted topping. Look for Legend Brewing Co.’s Brown or Alewerks’ BBP bourbon-barrel-aged porter with Haitian sugar.

If you have nuts in the casserole, complement them with a nut brown ale from St. George Brewing’s Co. or Samuel Smith.

If your sweet potatoes, like my family’s, are sparse on the spices — merely a touch of sugar and cinnamon — find an unexpected complement in a balanced pale ale or IPA, like Center of the Universe Brewing Co.’s Ray Ray’s pale ale or Kindred Spirit Brewing’s Headspace. You know how tropical ingredients sometimes find their way into sweet potatoes? Grab a Stone Brewing’s Tangerine Express IPA.

Pairs with pound cake and shortbread cookies
Let a mild-flavored dessert play second fiddle to the beer: a dark, rich stout like Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s Gingerbread Stout or Väsen Brewing’s Co.’s Crimson Walrus, Well’s Banana Bread Beer or a pumpkin beer — yes, I went there — like Strangeways Brewing’s Gingerbread Gourd of Thunder.

Pairs with pumpkin pie
Does anyone really know what pumpkin tastes like, or do we just know the spices that signal the holidays? Celebrate this pairing with a spiced holiday ale, such as Midnight Brewery’s Christmas at Midnight.

Makes a safe host/hostess gift
No single category of beers pairs with everything as well as Belgian beers. Unless you know your hosts’ and guests’ beer preferences, a Belgian pale ale can play well at the party without coming on too strong, like Palm or Duvel Belgian Ale. Push the envelope just a bit with a Belgian blond — the ale, not the one you’re bringing home to meet the family — like Leffe Blond or Unibroue Blanche de Chambly. Locally, consider Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s Singel or Strangeways Brewing’s Albino Monkey.

If you’re visiting avowed beer haters, a holiday dinner is not the time to educate them on the error of their ways. Instead, remember that Richmond’s cideries, wineries and distilleries — and its meadery — offer the buzz without the barley and hops.

So, enjoy a little of the social lubricant this holiday — but avoid having to re-create Christopher Newport’s alleged powers of healing.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Recipe: the Best Pumpkin Pie Ever

Yes, Thanksgiving is almost here.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 3:10 PM

This lightly edited version originally published on my blog, Brandon Eats, way back in 2006. I’m not hosting Thanksgiving this year, but I am attending one with 38 other family members. I plan on bringing pumpkin pie, and I think all of you should, too. In fact, I would go so far to say that it’s mandatory.

I don't have time for this. I can't write because the 27 members of my husband's immediate family (no aunts, cousins, grandparents, no, no, just the nuclear family with parents, wives, husbands and offspring) will arrive Thursday and that's only three days away.

So, in between finally finishing the kitchen, cleaning out a jam-packed trunk room so I can fit other, equally unnecessary stuff from all over the house into it, the Salvation Army has seen a spike in donations, and my curtains met water for the very first time. This is serious cleaning, my little poults and writing is a luxury.

However, I would be seriously remiss if I didn't share a few Thanksgiving secrets — you know, things like brine your turkey — a bucket on the back porch works great this time of year as temperatures plunge nightly, but make sure that you weight the lid so the urban wildlife doesn't help themselves to a midnight snack — I kept that particular secret to myself last year, make your own cranberry sauce, etc., etc.

Except that every other food magazine/cookbook/blog tells you to do all of those things, too — except for the animal part — that's gleaned exclusively from my particular experience. They don't, however, give you the perfect, the only, the ultimate pumpkin pie recipe to cherish and share.

It's not my recipe — no, no, no, I could never match the sheer subtlety of cookbook author Marion Cunningham's pie. Her recipe both lightens and intensifies the pumpkin-ness of the pie, enhancing it with just a feather-light sprinkle of traditional spices. I don't bake and puree my own pumpkins, never fear, my testy pilgrims — or Jamestown colonists who really had the first Thanksgiving thirteen years before those religious fanatics in Massachusetts — you Virginians know who you are.

I use Libby's, or actually, an organic canned pumpkin instead. Cunningham's genius is to add just a mere cup and a half of that canned pumpkin as opposed to the full 15 ounces the recipe on the back of the 15-ounce can calls for (hmmm . . . ). You have about half of a cup leftover, and so far I've found no use at all for it so you just throw it away. What! Yes, I still shudder and do it every Thanksgiving anyway.

Buy a pie from the store and compare this year, and you'll convert, like me, forever:

Marion Cunningham's Pumpkin Pie
(Invaluable tip: buy fresh spices every year for this pie and throw the old ones out, dammit, right this minute, before you even contemplate turning your oven on)

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon table salt

For the pie crust: Everyone has their favorite. I’m partial to the one by “Cooks Illustrated” that uses vodka to moisten the dough. If you don’t have a subscription to its site, the Kitchn has detailed instructions about how to make one. And, of course, there is no shame in buying one frozen. This pie is all about the filling.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make the dough according to instructions of your chosen recipe.

When that's done, roll it into a 12-inch round on a floured surface and then transfer (ha!) it to a 9-inch pie pan — don't use a not deep-dish one. Trim the edges, allowing a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold and crimp.

Fill the pie crust, carefully place it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until the filling is just set — as Cunningham reminds us, pumpkin pie is a custard — 30 to 40 minutes. Cool completely and top with real whipped cream before serving.

Excerpted from “Lost Recipes” by Marion Cunningham. Copyright © 2003 by Random House. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Weekly Food Notes: Prix Fixe, Handles + More

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 12:16 PM

Fest, the latest offshoot of Capital Ale House, is opening at 7044 Woodlake Commons in Midlothian on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m. The biergarten and Oktoberfest concept strips down the menu to sausages, cheese, charcuterie, sandwiches and big pretzels — simple fare that marries well with beer. You'll find German, other European and local brews on tap and in bottles. facebook.com/festmidlothian.

The windows have been dark since Amour Wine Bistro closed in Carytown at the end of the summer, but on Friday, Nov. 17, the Broken Tulip Social Eatery will turn the lights back on. Owners David Crabtree-Logan and Sariann Lehrer will offer a prix fixe dinner menu Thursday to Saturday and another for brunch on Sundays. Reservations are required. thebrokentulip.com.

Tazza Kitchen’s latest outpost is currently under construction in Scott’s Addition and the opening is planned for December. The company has also moved its headquarters there and has an enormous new central kitchen for prep work and events. tazzakitchen.com.

After the death of Camden’s Dogtown Market’s front of the house manager and the departure of its sous chef, owner Andy Howell decided to suspend dinner hours. Right now, he’s gearing them back up with an evening prix fixe menu — lunch will stay the same — with more adventurous choices. “For the last month, we have been offering a constantly changing, three-course dinner menu for $20. We’ve fine-tuned the selections, gone through a couple of false starts on staff, but seem to be leveling off with a tasty and tight-knit plan,” Howell says. cdmrva.com.

Pik Nik, the former Fan Noodle Bar and the latest spot from Joe and Sonny Kiaturson, has added brunch hours starting on Saturday, Nov. 18, and also will remain open on Thanksgiving. facebook.com/piknikrva.

Today is the last day to take advantage of Virginia ABC stores’ deal on those big, 1.75 liter bottles of liquor, some have handles. They're offering 20 percent off until close tonight. On Black Friday, Nov. 24, you can get 15 percent off if you buy more than $75 of its products and 20 percent off purchases above $100. The ABC is even getting into Cyber Monday on Nov. 27. You can check out its 20-percent-off deals that day online at abc.virginia.gov.

And this might be helpful — the Times-Dispatch reports that the cost of a typical Thanksgiving meal is up by almost 15 percent.

Bistro 27 is under repair after flooding, reports Richmond magazine. The restaurant is closed until Tuesday, Nov. 20, because of flooding. “Owner William Wright says the European bistro will shift to a menu that focuses heavily on coastal seafood — all with lighter sauces.” bistrotwentyseven.com.

Metro Grill is launching a new menu on Tuesday, Nov. 27. It’s part of the restaurant’s new direction, and owner Joey McCullough will have drink representatives on hand that night to offer samples, plus the new menu will be 30 percent off that evening. metrogrillrva.com.

Coal Mine Coffee will hold its grand opening at 117 Brown's Way Road in Midlothian on Friday, Nov. 24. You can find out a little bit more about the history of coal mining in the area while sipping on a coffee drink, nibbling on breakfast, lunch or dessert, plus homemade fudge. facebook.com/coalminecoffeerva.

And don’t forget, it’s still Cider Week in Virginia. You can check out the events right here and puts some apples back into your life.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

New Carytown Restaurant Announces Its Opening

The Broken Tulip Society Eatery will launch a nightly prix fixe menu.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 5:54 PM

UPDATE: The new opening date for the Broken Tulip Social Eatery will be Friday, Nov. 17.

Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 11:51 a.m.: The Broken Tulip Social Eatery will open in Carytown on Thursday, Nov. 16, in the old Amour Wine Bistro space at 3129 W. Cary St.

Co-owner David Crabtree-Logan worked in Michelin-starred the Plumed Horse and the Kitchin in Edinburgh, Scotland, and his wife and co-owner Sariann Lehrer co-authored “A Feast of Ice and Fire: the Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook.”

“After several years and a couple of successful (if illegal) supper club operations in Oregon and Scotland, we settled in Richmond excited by the thriving food scene, long growing season and abundance of dedicated and talented farmers and artisans in the region,” its website says.

The couple promises a farm-to-table, prix-fixe menu that will be served to diners seated at three large communal tables. “We want it to be more than a place to eat,” Crabtree-Logan said in a news release. “We want people to interact with each other, and we know that the best way for that to happen is over good food.”

The Broken Tulip will be open for dinner from Thursday to Saturday with seatings at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and for brunch on Sunday with seatings at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Reservations are required. thebrokentulip.com

Friday, November 10, 2017

Changes at Camden’s Dogtown Market

Posted By on Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 3:30 PM

It’s been a tough year for the folks at Camden’s Dogtown Market in Manchester. A much-loved front of the house manager died unexpectedly this past September, and then owner and chef Andy Howell lost his sous chef when she felt that it was too hard to keep working in the place that reminded her of her friend and colleague.

Howell has decided to move ahead by making a few changes. For the last two months, he suspended dinner hours. “During that dinnerless month” he said in an email, “I had time to reconsider the mission of Camden’s, which has always been in regular flux, having been born from a failed noodle bar and reworked to meet what seemed to be the needs of the changing neighborhood — I wanted to call it Lemonade, but I didn’t have a dog named Lemonade.”

The solution? Camden’s will now offer a full-time prix fixe dinner menu. But prix fixe doesn’t mean lack of choice — there will still be options for diners within each course. And for anyone who may have sampled him at full flower when he owned Cafe Rustica, it’s an exciting change: Dishes such as veal saltimbocca with wilted spinach and fingerling potatoes, skillet-roasted shrimp, scallop and crab cakes, and lavender crème brulée will dot the menu.

“For the last month, we have been offering a constantly changing, three-course dinner menu for $20. We’ve fine-tuned the selections, gone through a couple of false starts on staff, but seem to be leveling off with a tasty and tight-knit plan,” Howell says.

Once the other market — The Butterbean Market & Cafe — opens, Howell says the market side of Camden’s will focus on wine and beer. Lunch and brunch menus will continue to be the same — “Though the special offerings are getting a bit more adventurous,” he says. The new hours are now 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays-Saturdays. cdmrva.com.

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