Thursday, April 24, 2014

Monument City Coffee & Records

The 300 block of Grace Street has a hip new place to check out. Monument City Coffee & Records opened a few weeks ago and couples two of my favorite things, coffee and music.  They are open most days from 8-5 and serve a variety of breakfast things like fresh baked biscuits, bagels, and doughnuts.  Coffee is guaranteed to please through a partnership with Lamplighter Coffee Roasting Company.

Lunch items include their take on the Vietnamese classic bahn mi ( Bomb Mi), as well as other sandwiches, soups and salads. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan items to choose from as well.

Dining is downstairs and records on the 2nd floor. 
Before you head upstairs to browse , perhaps have  One more cup of coffee.....

Monument City Coffee and Records
306 E. Grace Street

Monday, April 14, 2014

What's for Dinner ? It's Pizza Tonight.

There are three main elements to any pizza: dough, toppings and heat. Pizza Tonight nails all three of them.

The dough is magical. The secret is in the flour. The mobile pizzeria uses an Italian, finely milled 00 Caputo flour, and a 24-hour proofing process that allows the dough to rest. It imparts the perfect chew to the crust and makes for dough that’s easy to work with.

Pizza Tonight’s toppings go beyond the traditional options. The RVA Pepperoni includes local Calabrese-style salami from Olli Salumeria; The Fig & Pig trades red sauce for fig preserves and prosciutto topped with Gorgonzola cheese; The Bacon and Spinach is topped with, well, garlicky spinach and smoky bacon. An olive-oil base is the foundation for The Vegan Potato, which is then layered with thin slices of potato and sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary. 

Pizza Tonight tows a one-of-a-kind wood-burning oven to farmers’ markets and events. It cooks pizzas in minutes, transforming the dough into a crispy, crunchy crust, topped with bubbling cheese, meat and veggies to make my favorite pizza in Richmond. I feel lucky to have it in my backyard.
Originally published in the April issue of Richmond Magazine.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Zagat names Rappahannock's Dylan Fultineer as one of the 10 Southern Chefs to watch

Congratulations to Dylan Fultineer for the accolades and for the company he's keeping---- to read the whole article chow down.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Governor's Cup Results

This is late.... not late breaking news.  Meant to post this on Friday but it got stuck in my outbox

From the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office:  "Governor Terry McAuliffe awarded the 2014 Virginia Wineries Association's (VWA) Governor's Cup to The Williamsburg Winery's 2010 Adagio, a blended red wine.  The Williamsburg Winery's Adagio is a blend of 42% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 28% Petit Verdot. Aged in French, American and Hungarian Oak, the ratio is 43% new oak, 14% one year old oak; 29% two year old oak; and 14% three year old oak. The winemaker's tasting notes are as follows: The 2010 Adagio is a very bold upfront wine with loads of jammy fruit. The blackberries and blueberry notes are accentuated with some elegant mature darker fruit such as figs, dates and prunes. There is a hint of spice (warm cinnamon) with molasses and soy. The earthy notes come across with a touch of nuttiness. The oak is very integrated into the weight of the wine and the tannins are smooth and graceful. The wine has a wonderful finish that lasts for quite awhile.

 In addition to The Williamsburg Winery's 2010 Adagio, the other 11 wines in the Governor's Cup Case are:
  • Barboursville Vineyard - 2008 Malvaxia Passito
  • Barboursville Vineyard - 2010 Nebbiolo Reserve
  • Barboursville Vineyard - 2010 Octagon
  • Barren Ridge Vineyard - 2009 Meritage
  • Fabbioli Cellars - 2011 Tannat
  • Horton Vineyards - 2010 Tannat
  • King Family Vineyards - 2011 Meritage
  • North Gate Vineyard - 2011 Meritage
  • Rockbridge Vineyard - 2008 Meritage, DeChiel Reserve, unfiltered
  • Sunset Hills Vineyard - 2010 Mosaic
  • Two Twisted Post Winery - 2012 Chardonnay

  • For a complete list of previous Governor's Cup winners and information about the Virginia wine industry, please visit the Virginia Wine Marketing Office

    Pasture and Rappahannock   both hosted post gala parties, complete with paired food and wine stations curated by Jason Alley and Dylan Fultineer, fire breathers, body contortionists, and lots of lovely folks.

    We were also treated to a new jam by Jason Tesauro, rivaling his Elby prose

    The Modern Gent Rap

    Stinson 2012 Chardonnay, paired with  Braised clams, tomato, preserved lemon, house-cured Tasso ham

    Breaux 2012  Marquis de Lafayette, paired with Shredded duck/duck pastrami salad, winter greens, tangerine, tallegio

    Gabriele Rausse 2011 Nebbiolo, paired with House-made sausage balls, pepper jelly

    Potter's Craft Barrel Fermented Cider, paired with Roasted pumpkin rice grits, pecorino, pickled chard stems

    Williamsburg Winery 2010 Adagio, paired with Braised beef shank with red wine jus, shaved collard slaw, and hickory king cornmeal porridge

    Thibaut-Janisson  Blanc de Chardonnay, paired with oysters on the 1/2 shell

    Boxwood 2011 Trellis, paired with fried shad roe

    Blue Bee Mill Race Bramble, paired with a VA cheese platter, pickles, jams, crackers

    Barboursville 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve, paired with Braised Barboursville goat, smoked faro, chimichurri

    Blenheim 2012 Painted White, paired with Dulce de Leche crepe, VA pink lady apples

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    James Beard Foundation names semi-finalists

    It's great to see Lee Gregory from The Roosevelt on the JBF semifinalist list !

    Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

    Scott Anderson, Elements, Princeton, NJ
    Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA
    Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, NJ
    Pierre Calmels, Bibou, Philadelphia
    Anthony Chittum, Iron Gate, Washington, D.C.
    Joe Cicala, Le Virtù, Philadelphia
    Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen, Baltimore
    Lee Gregory, The Roosevelt, Richmond, VA
    Haidar Karoum, Proof, Washington, D.C.
    Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Lovettsville, VA
    Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
    Lucas Manteca, The Red Store, Cape May Point, NJ
    Cedric Maupillier, Mintwood Place, Washington, D.C.
    Justin Severino, Cure, Pittsburgh
    Bryan Sikora, La Fia, Wilmington, DE
    Brad Spence, Amis, Philadelphia
    Lee Styer, Fond, Philadelphia
    Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C.
    Angelo Vangelopoulos, The Ivy Inn Restaurant, Charlottesville, VA
    Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    Richard McCarthy of Slow Food USA on the recently passed Farm Bill

    Well, The Farm Bill Happened

    Feb. 10, 2014
    By Richard McCarthy, Executive Director of Slow Food USA
    After too many years of uncertainty, with a stroke of a pen on Friday, President Barack Obama signaled the USDA can get back to the business of supporting our nation’s farmers and making sure Americans can put food on their tables.
    Farmer with SunThat’s the good news.
    The bad news is that, with the $8.7 billion cut in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, nearly two million Americans will have a tougher time paying for that food. Additionally, when it comes to reforming our seriously flawed industrial food system, it's pretty much business as usual… with a few important exceptions.
    Let us turn our attention to those exceptions, those golden seeds of change.
    It is important to recognize the tireless advocacy of those who pined over this important piece of legislation for a long tumultuous three years. (Had the process dragged on longer, it certainly would have earned the moniker of the Five-Year Farm Bill!)
    Akin to making sausage: It is not a pretty business. Cobbling together bipartisan support yields winners and losers on all sides. While we have not yet “won the war” (replacing an industrial paradigm for one that is good, clean and fair), the many programmatic victories in the new law of the land point to cracks in the conventional wisdom about industrial agriculture.
    Don’t forget, that when the Farm Bill was born, industrial agriculture was the new kid on the block. In 2014, the kid has grown into a bloated and wasteful giant whose luster is fading, even among fervent supporters. After all, if consensus were present, passage would have been far swifter.
    While I could be accused of seeking out silver linings, the passage of several progressive healthy food and sustainable agriculture programs — Organic and Specialty Crop Research, Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, Community Food Projects, and a new Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program, for starters — will strengthen our voices on Capitol Hill.
    The post-mortem on the Farm Bill and its exercise in civic engagement will and should continue. There is so much to learn and still much to do.
    • Consider how the delay placed pressure on fragile coalitions and disadvantaged farmers. Meanwhile, get going. Competitive programs at USDA await applicants.
    • Risk-taking on the margins awaits allies from the center – and dinner tables await invitations to join in shaping plans for the future. Reach out far and wide and to those who are often overlooked and also treasure community, biodiversity, and traditional knowledge.
    Ring the dinner bell; serve up change; balance joy with justice; and store up enough nuts for the next Farm Bill.
    That’s our plan.

    Saturday, January 25, 2014

    Slow Food Stories

    Butter makes everything better, including strategy.  Spending the weekend in the Queen City to meet with fellow Slow Food colleagues in the southern region. Spent a fascinating morning hearing "Ark of Taste" stories from luminary David Shields, acclaimed pommologist Lee Calhoun, and the heir to the famous Bradford Watermelon, Nat Bradford.  Shields spun tales of  benne seeds and the palmetto asparagus, black birch syrup ( who he is working with RVA chef Travis Milton to acquire),and Hayman sweet potatoes.  How can we as an organization empower communities to save heirloom varietals that are disappearing ? Some varietals go away because tastes change, others because of Big Ag.   Heard stories of farmers with 100 varieties of collard greens, and veggies like the "Tanya", the bulb of the elephant ear, and arrowroot, a starchy root that has fallen out of favor.

    What memories do you have of foods that no longer are part of our food culture ?