Shell's bells, sweet nothings, and yurts so good

SHELLBOUND: SHELLRAISER II

One of the absolute best (head-scratchingly sparsely-attended) events of 2015 was the Shellraiser Shindig, benefitting the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program, at Seven Springs Farm. The setting was gorgeous, the chefs were serving dishes they prepared on-site, and the oysters were EVERYWHERE. One of my major regerts (sic.) of 2015 was not putting away more of them that day. 

Well, now I've got a second chance! Tickets are on sale now for Shellraiser Shindig 2016 on October 16th at Libbie Mill-Midtown, and this year they'll be representing oysters from all 8 regions, and I'm prepared to tackle them appropriately. The Shindig will get a little help from Chef Walter Bundy of Shagbark, Rodney Einhorn of Terrapin, John Hoffman of Fossett's at the Keswick, Mike Ledesma of the Richmond Restaurant Group, and Kevin Church of Postbellum. 

STEAK EXPECTATIONS

Clear your calendar on Sunday, October 9th for Nota Bene's Steak Florentine Night, for which chef Randy Doetzer has secured some gorgeous, marbeled 40 oz steaks. (Now that's the kind of 40 I want to tape to both hands until I'm able to finish them!) Keep your eyes glued to NB's FB for details.

WHO'S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD BREAKFAST?

Not me. I embrace a breakfast-centric lifestyle, which is why you'll find me at the Big Bad Breakfast with author John Currence at Southbound on October 24th for a three-course breakfast for dinner and a copy of Currence's new book. Southbound promises a special cocktail menu because no BFD is complete without drinkipoos. 

ICYMI: GET YOUR (SWEET) FIX

Retail hours have returned at Sweet Fix (Thursday/Friday 12-6 and Saturday 12-5), and it's even cuter and sweeter than I remembered. 

 Stella's, not Stella's Grocery, is opening in Charleston, but still: LOOK AT THIS COOKIE.

Stella's, not Stella's Grocery, is opening in Charleston, but still: LOOK AT THIS COOKIE.

STELLA'S GOES SOUTH

The Giavos family announced this week that they plan to open a Stella's in Charleston's Upper King neighborhood in 2017! I'm just that kind of person that will probably eat at Stella's the next time I go to Charleston even though I'm about to live a block away from Stella's and, very likely, eat there every day. What can I say? I know what I like. Congrats to the Giavos family on their southerly expansion!

LIKE SAND THROUGH THE HOURGLASS

So, Spoonbread opened last week (yay!), Secco opens to the public tomorrow (yay!), but Lucille's Bakery, Omega Grecian Restaurant, and Curry Craft closed, (boo!). 

IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE...

It's an outdoor beer garden event with yurts and good vibes at Tricycle Gardens TONIGHT (9/29). 100% of the ticket sales benefit Tricycle Gardens, and tickets are a mere $12 for food, live music, yurts, and campfires. So, basically, EVERYONE WINS HERE. (As of this morning, this event is on, despite the rain. So keep yr wellies on and head for the cozy shelter of THE YURTS.)

SIP: RISE AND SHINE COFFEE TONIC

It's that happy moment where Virginia Distillery Month intersects with National Coffee Day! This seems like a pretty choice way to start any day. 

So what's up with Belle Isle's Cold Brew Coffee Moonshine? Belle Isle's director of marketing credits the genius collab to Director of Production Gregg Brooks and Seth Bauserman of Blanchard's. Here's how Baldwin describes the brew:

"Cold Brew Coffee Moonshine is our first collaborative infusion. We worked closely with the folks at Blanchard's to identify the right beans and cold brew to give the final spirit the flavor profile and nose we were going for. End the end, we used a blend of fair-trade Colombian and Honduran beans and just a hint of Virginia honey for sweetness. Belle Isle's Cold Brew Coffee Moonshine blends the slightly bitter, roasted flavor and aroma of coffee with the slight sweetness of honey for a balanced, versatile spirit. You'll detect notes of caramel and chocolate." 

BITE: CAROMONT FARM'S RED ROW CHEESE

According to Amy Worrell, the cheesemonger at Cavalier Produce, Caromont Farm has ceased production of their red row cheese, one of my all-time favorites. But don't cry just yet. Cheesemaster Joshua Franklin at Stock Provisions (who used to make cheese at Caromont!) says they've still got a wheel of the good stuff, and he offered this description:

"It's a washed-rind, cow's milk wheel that's been washed with local cider, so you have this semi-firm, delicious and flavorful cheese that sits for sixty days and soaks in all the tart aciditiy of its wash while aging. It's creamy, a little tart, for sure some apple flavors." 

GRAM: @Lamplightercoffee

It's #nationalcoffeeday after all.