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The new Shackleford's. … Plus, a Vegetarian Society potluck, a reader recommendation and more. 

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Theory of Relatives
 The newest Shackleford's looks nothing like its siblings. Diners have loved the traditionally styled Henrico and Williamsburg locations of this American-fare restaurant for years, but they'll do a double-take at the design and menu of the third link in this local chain, serving near Chesterfield Towne Center. It has an open kitchen, a Euro feel and flavors, wide-screened windows looking out to a covered patio and a bistro sensibility with full bar that stands out amid the nearby corporate-chain eateries.

Executive chef Philip Barradell runs the kitchen, and the family of its general manager, Ross Poore, has operated the business since its inception in 1993. Fish will be a priority, flown in from Honolulu Fish Co.; other features include a raw bar, seafood dishes, from-scratch sauces and vegetarian items along with a full complement of American selections. The business is open daily for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch at 11500 Busy St. 794-4900. www.shacklefords.com.

Trough Luck

The Curry House: Newly renovated lounge for Innsbrook-area revelers. Indo-Chinese cuisine. 4032-B Cox Road. 762-4411.

The Triple: Summer fun in the form of wing eating and name-that-beer games, plus other fun activities in this midtown, pool-table and finer pub grub spot, Aug 1, 7 p.m. 3306 W. Broad St. 359-7777. www.richmondbilliards.com.

Vegetarian Society of Richmond: Backyard Farmer demonstrates how to grow a garden in all seasons, using cold frames, hoop houses, cloches and indoor food-growing techniques. Potluck dinner beforehand, Aug. 8, Friends Meeting House, 4500 Kensington Ave. Bring your place setting, beverage and a dish, preferably vegan with ingredients labeled, that can feed at least twice the number in your party. Dinner at 6 p.m., program at 7 p.m. Members free, nonmembers $3. Information and reservations at 344-4356. 

Tricycle Gardens: Potluck dinner July 26, 6-8 p.m. at Libby Hill Park overlook (south end of 29th Street in Church Hill). Also, learn simple food preservation techniques at a seminar Aug 1, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at 211 W. Seventh St. $25 fee. See www.tricyclegardens.org for details and other events.

From a reader: Lotus Restaurant, 912 N. Boulevard, “best Chinese ever, promise!” or at least the Szechuan beef and broccoli. “I'll be honest, the interior isn't much to write home about. Whenever I eat there, we're usually the only people there (quick service!). The owner is as nice as she can be. I'll recommend getting take-out.” This is the spot next to the cheap-to-New-York bus.

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