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RVA Food News: Gourmet candy apples, doughnut wars, FeastRVA + more.

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While others dream of candy corn, chocolatier Tim Gearhart does the seasonal sweets thing one better. His chocolate caramel apple, a local Golden Delicious, is dipped in dark chocolate caramel, and then in dark Venezuelan chocolate and spiced pecans. The nationally acclaimed Gearharts Fine Chocolates is trying out a limited run on the confections Oct. 29-31 by pre-order, for pick up at the Richmond and Charlottesville stores at $8.95 each. 282-1822. gearhartschocolates.com.

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Now serving: Heritage, a new and much-anticipated restaurant and bar from Joe and Emilia Sparatta and Mattias Hagglund, is open at 1627 W. Main St. for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and brunch on Sunday. 353-4060.

Cue the meat: Paul Hubbard, one of the founders of Church Hill's barbecue destination Alamo, is moving west. He's sold the business and is about to open Deep Run Roadhouse on Lauderdale Drive in his childhood stomping grounds. Hubbard just returned from Missouri to pick up a giant smoker for the roadhouse's array of pork and beef barbecue, ribs and brisket. Watch this space for details on an opening date.

Doughnut wars: Dixie Donuts in Carytown continues to sell out most of its flavors every day, and is making space for potential seating. A time to add Korean chicken and frites to the menu is still to be determined. A few blocks west, Dunkin Donuts is converting a former 7-Eleven store into a doughnut shop, bringing another franchise to the neighborhood along with the recently opened and quite busy Panera Bread and Fresh Market.

Dinner with democracy: The fourth FeastRVA dinner, this time with an environmental theme, is Sunday, Oct. 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Page Bond Gallery in the Fan. Lamplighter Roasting Co. is catering; diners contribute $25 for a meal with drinks and hear pitches from people with green ideas. Feast RVA's mantra is "identifying and rewarding the variety of creative projects coming out of Richmond. Through recurring public dinners we democratically fund new and emerging art makers." At the end of the evening, diners vote and one winner emerges with the loot. feastrva.com.

Tapas felices: Maximo's Spanish and Italian Bistro in Shockoe Bottom offers new lunch and happy-hour menus and has expanded its happy hours. Tapas of bruschetta, catfish fingers, fried eggplant and ham bocata (sandwiches) are $5 and less; some wines are $4 and beer is $3. maximosbistro.com.

Closed: Bistro R, which changed menus, owners and location a year ago, has closed at 9681 W. Broad St.

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