Your Next Southern Food Destination
When you think of Virginia's capital, you likely envision yesteryear—perhaps Patrick Henry's famed "Give me liberty or give me death" speech at St. John's Church—but modern Richmond is no relic. The city's roots may be colonial, but its current restaurants and bars bring a whole new level of diversity. There's even a burgeoning spirits scene (we're looking at you, Belle Isle Craft Spirits and James River Distillery). From the nouveau Southern fare and local wines at The Roosevelt to the European-inspired menu at Brenner Pass, there's plenty to enjoy in Richmond.
The Roosevelt—a collaboration between owner Kendra Feather and James Beard-nominated chef Lee Gregory that opened in July 2011 in the historic Church Hill neighborhood—is credited with starting the city's turn into a bona fide food destination. This hot spot continues to delight diners and drinkers with fried chicken, craft cocktails and Virginia wines.
Guided by a locally inspired culinary approach, Dutch & Company, which is open for dinner Monday through Saturday only, is known for its ever-changing seasonal selection. Stop in for seared bavette steak with stewed sweet peppers, peaches, fried mozzarella and chimichurri, or the "perfect egg" accompanied by rye-crusted and cured salmon, herbs, sprouted quinoa, braised cabbage and cumin yogurt.
Since opening in 2012, Sub Rosa Bakery has regaled Richmondites with its artisanal bread and pastries. What sets this Church Hill shop apart is its use of organic, regional and heirloom grains; wood-fired masonry oven; and on-site stone mill.
Chef Brittanny Anderson of Metzger fame recently opened Brenner Pass. The acclaimed resto brings a taste of the Alps to the Scott's Addition neighborhood of Richmond with seasonal, European-influenced eats. Cocktail connoisseurs will love the creative libations, like the Return to Wasenhorn (Woodford Reserve bourbon, Amaro Montenegro, lemon verbena syrup and chamomile bitters).
Peter Chang, known for his award-winning Sichuan cuisine and proclivity to make a restaurant great and then disappear, set down permanent roots in June 2016 when he opened this 3,000-square-foot space in Scott's Addition.
This isn't your standard, chichi French spot. Helmed by chef David Shannon, this dining destination serves French fare with Southern flair in a space that's as whimsical as the dishes themselves; think Filet Mignon of Beef Swellington, which, according to the menu, is "totin' a first class hobo stick packed tight with truffled duxelles and duck butter, in a pink peppercorn and port reduction."
For a post-dinner nosh and drink, head over to Heritage. Chef/owner Joe Sparatta's esteemed Fan district establishment now offers late-night eats on Fridays and Saturdays, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Try the house-made charcuterie and a Turn You Back to a Stranger cocktail, starring Belle Isle honey habanero moonshine (made with Shenandoah Valley honey and organic Virginia-grown habaneros), quinine-laced aperitif wine, amaro, Branca Menta and a duo of bitters.
Lindsay Cohn is a freelance lifestyle and travel writer. She believes omakase is always the right choice and that rosé season should be all year long. Follow her on Twitter at @Lindsay_Cohn.
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