Richmond is gaining a reputation as an emerging “Foodie” destination with many wonderful restaurants. High on our list are:
Pasture: Located in downtown Richmond, this is a casual restaurant known for its cocktails and classic Southern dishes. It features snacks, small plates and entrees. Don’t miss the pimento cheese with Ritz crackers! You can find small plates like fried clams, Frito pie, red beans and rice with smoked chicken, tomato jam and pickled okra and entrees from fish, steaks, chicken pork chops and more. 416 E. Grace St.
The Roosevelt Restaurant: I enjoyed a wonderful meal with friends at this local farm-to-table restaurant. They are known for their craft cocktails, local wines and local ciders. They feature snacks like a tasty cornbread heated in a maple bourbon butter, appetizers from steamed mussels to crispy pork belly and wonderful entrees from seafood to duck, pork chops and steak. My seared scallops served with curried rice, fried broccoli and pickled yellow raisins served in a peanut sauce were beautifully prepared. The peanut butter pie served with a cocoa whipped cream was also great. 623 N. 25th St.
Sub Rosa Wood Fired Bakery, across the street from The Roosevelt, is a casual bakery that serves coffee plus has wonderful croissants, tarts, cookies, breads and pastries. 620 N. 25th St.
The Dog & Pig Show: This is a local’s favorite featuring a fusion of southern and Asian cuisine. Here you can try shrimp and grits, a pulled pork po boy, grilled cheese sandwich or green papaya salad and bibimbap. 314 N. 25th St.
Proper Pie Co.: This casual Church Hill neighborhood spot features both sweet and savory pies, plus other sweets. I had a very good split pea soup and a savory pie of pork and apples. A perfect lunch! 2505 E. Broad St.
Afternoon Tea at the Jefferson Hotel: This traditional high tea is served in the beautiful lobby of this classic hotel under the statue of Thomas Jefferson. Not only did they feature classic sandwiches, breads and scones, as it was the third Saturday of the month, I enjoyed the chocolate tea which included additional chocolate items from small chocolates, chocolate mousse, chocolate covered strawberries and more. Their Lemaire Restaurant also gets excellent reviews. 101 W. Franklin St.
The Heritage Restaurant: At 1627 W. Main, this is one of the best restaurants in town. It is small with a lively vibe. Make sure to book early, as it is very popular. I had a wonderful arugula salad with strawberries, asparagus, radishes and burrata in a ramp vinaigrette. For my entree, the local rockfish served with ramps, mushrooms on polenta was really excellent.
L’Opossum: This small neighborhood restaurant, at 626 China Street, features the French specialties and creativity of Chef and owner David Shannon who was a James Beard Foundation Semifinalist in 2016 for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. It has a warm design with colorful lighting. I enjoyed a cocktail at the bar of bourbon with a touch of sugar, bitters and espresso. Meeting David was a treat. He oversees every plate coming from the kitchen!
Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe: With four locations in town, and one more in planning, this is a fun cafe and coffee bar. Some locations also feature wines. The 1217 E. Cary St. location is a very popular spot particularly on Saturday night and Sunday morning when there is live music. They feature breakfast items, salads, soups, sandwiches and cheese plates, charcuterie plates and more in the evenings. Their location in Scott’s Addition, at 3015 Norfolk St., is another fun location in the middle of the warehouse district which has a distillery and several microbreweries nearby.
Rappahannock: At 320 E. Grace St., this downtown restaurant is known for its Chesapeake Bay oysters and farm-to-table cuisine by Chef Dylan Fultineer. I loved a chilled spring pea soup with crab and tuna entree served with black rice.
Lamplighter Roasting Company: This is a popular local coffee roaster with three locations. I loved the feel of the Addison Street location, just south of Cary St., with both indoor and outdoor seating. They have great coffee drinks as well as food items. 116 S. Addison.
Others recommended by locals include:
Mama J’s Kitchen, 415 N. 1st St.: This local’s favorite features southern cooking from fried chicken, catfish, crab cakes and barbecue ribs to sandwiches, salads, peach cobbler and bread pudding.
Sally Bell’s Kitchen: Don’t miss the potato salad. 708 W. Grace.
Metzger Bar & Butchery, 801 W. 23rd: Known for its German cuisine in the Church Hill neighborhood.
Acacia Mid-Town: Known for fine dining at 2601 W. Cary. St.
The Rogue Gentlemen: Known for its farm-to-table menu at 618 N. 1st. St.
Mama Zu: Not far from L’Opossum is the neighborhood restaurant, Mama Zu at 501 S. Pine, known for Italian specialties.
Shagbark at 4901 Libby Mill E. Blvd which opened in June, 2016 has gotten great reviews as well.