Cake Theater

RVA Food News: Shyndigz' new space, seasonal menus bloom + more.

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Now that the dessert emporium Shyndigz has moved into a twice-the-size space — formerly Bogart's in the Fan — the level of its theatrics is growing.

Owners Bryon and Nicole Jessee are front and center with their team, icing cakes in the glass-walled Cake Cave, viewable in the dining room as well as from Cary Street. They'll plate slices of elaborate Shyndigz cakes and pies at the long bar, which is anchored by an espresso machine for the cafe's new coffee menu.

The Jessees brought the hand-painted and antique-door tables, the whimsical lighting and a thousand hand-folded pinwheels to attach to the walls — all signatures of the Patterson Avenue location that started three and a half years ago and quickly outgrew its digs.

"We turned away more business than we took," Bryon says. Now there's room to seat 75 inside and another 60 on the patio, with live music, wine and beer coming soon, and potentially brunch hours to show off the chefs' savory skills.

Online catering and pick-up service offer dozens of cake and pie options, from fresh berries to peanut butter to old fashioned fudge, with a rotating menu and a range of sizes. The cafe is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 4-11 p.m. 1903 W. Cary St. 938-3449. shyndigz.com.

Fare play: A rite of spring that helps keep Feedmore's pantry stocked is Richmond Restaurant Week, April 21-27. Three-course dinners at 33 of the city's most noted restaurants cost $25.14 each, a portion of which funds the local nonprofit. Reservations are suggested, because this is a growing and popular event among food and restaurant lovers. richmondrestaurantweek.com.

Spring flavors: New, seasonal menus are in place at Helen's, 2527 W. Main St., Chez Foushee, 203 N. Foushee St., Havana '59, 16 N. 17th St., and Morton's, 111 Virginia St.

More campus cuisine: A second local branch of Christian's Pizza is in the works next door to the Village Café on Harrison Street. A block away, a new coffeehouse from Alchemy Coffee is about to begin its build-out in the Depot student art exhibition space at 814 W. Broad St. (See Edwin Slipek's architecture feature on page 17 for more on that building).

Cookbook for RVAdine: See 804ork.com for details about a new collection of 68 recipes from popular local chefs, and photographs of some of the city's favorite restaurants, compiled by Susan Howson and available for preorder.

Girl power: A dinner to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is set for April 21 at 525 at the Berry Burk, and features Richmond's cadre of female chefs, bartenders and servers, including this writer serving as hostesss. Tickets are $75 for a multi-course meal, and alcohol is additional. See mwoy.org under Jessica Bufford's fundraising page for man or woman of the year.

Now Serving

Chef MaMusu's African-Caribbean Cuisine: Local legend prepares healthy and hearty vegetarian, meat and seafood dishes with traditional spices and techniques. Lunch and dinner Tues. – Sun. 912-2812. 3514 Forest Hill Ave.

Dash Kitchen and Carry: Sandwiches, burgers, salads in casual counter-service cafe. 11 a.m. - midnight daily. 900 W. Franklin St. 912-2689.

Carena's Jamaican Grille: Jerk chicken, oxtails, rum cocktails, colorful island décor. Patio and takeout. 7102 Midlothian Turnpike. 422-5375. carenasrva.com.

Foo Dog: Asian street food, ramen bowls, snacks and meals, full bar. Covered patio, loud and lively, casual. Open at 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. 1537 W. Main St. 342-1800. foodogrva.com.

Omega Grecian Restaurant: Chef Themie Xyderis offers lamb shanks, stuffed salmon, gyros, grilled pork chops, moussaka and traditional Greek dishes. Dinner Tuesday-Sunday. 4017 MacArthur Ave. 262-1081.

Monument City Coffee & Records: Work in progress with light fare, coffee. Beer and wine coming soon. Open daily. 306-A E. Grace St. 698-5489.

Mom's Siam 2: Shockoe location of popular Thai food spot. Sushi, desserts, full bar. Daily. 1309 E. Cary St. 225-8801.

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