New Year, New SLICE!
Hey, we're back! After taking a much-needed break in January (all snow days and no work days make The Apple Cart something something...), we're back with more fresh food news. We'll be serving up hot slices every other week from now on, so if you've got news to share with RVA's eating public, send your tips to email@example.com!
THE TAX MAN COMETH
The big industry news of the past few weeks was Mayor Stoney's proposal to increase the existing Richmond City Meals Tax to 7.5%, up from the current 6%, in order to provide additional funding for Richmond Public Schools.
Many restaurateurs were already aware of this possibility, having met with Stoney to discuss the proposal last year; but, as would be expected, resistance to the idea by Richmond restaurateurs is notable, with a lobbying group called "Stop the RVA Meals Tax" popping up to give the opposition a voice. It's an incredibly divisive issue with strong points on both sides. Here are three pieces to consider when forming your own opinion:
- GUEST EDITORIAL: READ WHY DOMINIC BARRETT SUPPORTS THE MAYOR’S MEAL TAX PROPOSAL, The Cheats Movement
- My Take on School Facilities Financing by Liz Doerr, Medium
- Editorial: Further thoughts on Richmond's meals-tax hike, Richmond Times-Dispatch
PARADISE, HAWAIIAN STYLE
Little Nickel debuted is contemporary Hawaiianish-Mediterraneanish menu over lunch this week, with dinner service beginning on February 8th (waiting on that ABC license, per usual). Highlights include shoestring fries and a banana split tropicale, topped with all housemade ingredients and served in a picture-perfect retro banana boat. Cue Harry Belafonte. And speaking of picture-perfect, there are lush jade booths, pink flamingo wall paper in the bathroom, neon signage and a drool-worthy tile floor that is practically begging you to Instagram your shoes like the #extrabasic person you are. But seriously, the vibe inside Little Nickel is transporting and prime for close-ups. Plan accordingly.
THE THREE BAR MEN OF CARYTOWN
Meanwhile in Carytown, The Jasper, a bar-forward concept from the brains and cocktail shakers of Mattias Hagglund, T. Leggett and Kevin Liu, opened this week. The menu starts with cocktails, including house specialties, classics, and a Quiot Club Punch--a tribute to Jasper Crouch, for whom the bar is named; but it doesn't stop there. Legally, it can't. So, an assortment of food that plays nicely with booze is also available. That includes the Saigon Sandwich--a riff on a banh mi, plus pretzel bread, a french dip and a thirst-inducing assortment of jerky, cheese and almonds called The Bodega Board. The Jasper is open seven days a week from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am.
BUCK JUMPIN' AND HAVING FUN
Ready your wigs and masks because Stock Provisions and The Veil are teaming up for a Jambalaya and Gumbo pop-up party on February 9th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm (or while supplies last) in celebration of Mardis Gras. And yes, there will be King Cake, thanks to Idle Hands Bread, so chomp with caution!
TAKE MY (ALE)WIFE, PLEASE
Lee Gregory will share a peek at what's in store for Alewife, his newest restaurant, opening soon in Church Hill, at a pop-up dinner at The Veil on Monday, February 12th. Tickets are $69, and each seafood-focused course will be paired with beer from The Veil.
A TWO-PLATE SOLUTION
On Saturday, February 17th, Richmonders for Peace in Israel and Palestine will host an authentic Palestinian dinner with mezze, makloub and more at the First Unitarian Universalist Church. Tickets are $35 per person, inclusive of wine, and the night may or may not end with Debka, a traditional Palestinian line dance.
RVA cotton candy spinners Sugar Soirée are launching their own Cotton Candy Party Kits for our DIY sugar-spinning needs. The kits retail for $29.00 on Etsy and include 2 - 1 lb of bags of Cotton Candy Sugar, 2 packs of sprinkles, and 50 Multi-Colored Paper Straws. The flavors are made with organic cane sugar and include options like pink vanilla, coconut and champagne.
CONNECT THE DOTS
We've got one more workshop on the books with Real Local RVA. On Monday, February 12th from 11:30 to 1:30, we'll explore the many ways in which PR, social media and connecting with local and regional tourism can boost business, with best practices and practical tips because, let's face it, you don't have time to do these marketing activities if they don't result in butts in the seats or butts in the door or just, you know, butts with wallets in them.
SIP OF THE WEEK: BOOZE, IN WHATEVER FORM YOU CHOOSE
I'm so glad Drynuary is over so we don't have to hear anyone else say "Drynuary" again for a year. We should all raise our glasses to that.
BITE OF THE WEEK: BURGS
GRAM OF THE WEEK: @SHAMBLINSHOP
You're going to want to put all kinds of stuff in these gorgeous handcrafted ceramic vessels, made by Samantha Shamblin right here in RVA.