The Slice: Tomatoes, cold noodles, and Austrian wines--It's SUMMER TIME, BABY
There are certain foods in the world (specifically Europe) that are considered PDO, protected designtation of origin, meaning those foods can only come from a specific geographic location. Think Prosciutto de Parma, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, and Stilton. These foods are rooted in place, and people travel to those places year after year to taste them where they live, so to speak. Such should be the case for Hanover Tomatoes, one of the great sources of pride for Virginia, and this Saturday, you can celebrate the summer fruit at the Hanover Tomato Festival at Pole Green Park from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
IT TAKES TWO
It's easy to open one successful restaurant (JK! It is very difficult), but what happens when the chef of a beloved 'cult' favorite spot starts double dipping? Todd Kliman followed Brittanny Anderson and her team as they opened Brenner Pass and unearthed a few poignant truths about what it means to go from chef to bona fide restaurateur.
SIPPIN' ON AUSTRIA
Speaking of Alpine terrain, Millie's is hosting an Austrian wine dinner with experts Klaus Witter of KW Selections and Garry Moore of Siema Wines on Monday, July 10th. A steal at $75 per person (including tax and gratuity!), this five-course dinner will get you up to speed on your Veltliners and Zweigelts.
DAPS AND 'BAPS
On Sunday, July 16th, The Cask Cafe will host a Korean Noodle Pop-Up, and the menu sounds perfectly suited for a summer afternoon--ceviche! cold noodles! chilled soups! The pop-up runs from 12:00 to 9:00 pm, and that screams BRUNCH to me.
We were saddened to hear the news that Don't Look Back succumbed to a kitchen fire and will be closed for the near future. We'll be the first in line for Frito pies when the Carytown taco shop reopens.
IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE...
Carve out some time for the Midtown State Fair, next Sunday, July 16th from 11:00 to 4:00 at Libbie Mill-Midtown. This free, family-friendly, foodie-focused event is chock-full of fun stuff to do, including a human chicken impression contest (last year's was hilarious), a culinary spelling bee, and cook-offs on Kudu grills, plus food, beer & wine!
SIP OF THE WEEK: SHERRY (BABY)
If you think you don't like sherry, maybe you just haven't gotten to know her yet. Saddle up for Nota Bene's Summer Sherry Seminar on Thursday, July 10th to find out why Sherry is a go-to wine for year-round consumption. Tickets are under $40 per person and include a tasting of four sherries, paired with small plates from Nota Bene chef Randall Doetzer, plus a special cocktail, and a brain full of sherry-soaked knowledge.
BITE OF THE WEEK: SOFTSHELL CRABS
As far as seasonal eats go, softshell crabs are among my all-time favorites. Their limited season gives me a feeling of liberty when it comes to eating as many as I can before the blue crabs' molting season comes to an end. For July's ingredient feature for Richmond Magazine, I learned that South Carolina native Charles Leslie innovated the system by which we harvest molting crabs back in the 1880s, and the industry still relies on those methods today. Thanks, Charles Leslie; you're a hero.
(I learned about Mr. Leslie from David Shields' slightly dry but informative book Southern Provisions, and if learning a ton about Southern foodways is your kinda thing, I recommend checking the book out of your local library.)
GRAM OF THE WEEK: @SOFTSHELLCRABSRVA
Want to know where to find the finest softies in RVA? Consider this a pretty solid resource.