Special/Signature Issues » 2013 State of the Plate

Wish List

What else could we possibly want in Richmond restaurants?

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A Greek or Italian bakery, especially one that is open for breakfast and serves good coffee. It would also stay open until 8 p.m. for dessert and ice cream in the summer. Ideally, it would be located on Westover Hills Boulevard.

We could use more comfortable service in restaurants, the kind of service where you feel like you're a guest in a friend's home. Most servers are either awkwardly formal or ill informed, with not a clue about the food and drink they're offering.

More thought-out wine lists. Short wines lists in Richmond often are organized by price instead of flavor profiles and so focused on the major varietals or being esoteric that they limit their scope and offer little I want to try with dinner.

A yakitori restaurant would be nice. I enjoy visiting Decibel in the East Village for its fresh sake selection. Japanese guests know that sake isn't a cheap buzz. Sake is like beer — it has an expiration date and the better sakes should be served cold, not hot from a box. I don't think a sake bar would fly here, but one part of sake culture would — a yakitori bar.

Yakitori is like a Japanese version of tapas. Simply prepared tidbits, like fried silverfish or tuna liver paste, are served alongside a jumbo selection of grilled skewers of meats. In Manhattan, I love Yakitori Totto's chicken skewers, dipped in the house marinade. New York has dozens of yakitori bars, each with its own specialties. Each bar will have a secret jar of oils and spices that are topped off and served alongside the meats. It's simple beer food, the kind of place to go to after work for a quick bite. — Genevelyn Steele

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A rooftop bar. I love Havana '59's roof bar, I just want more options with three-season stamina — and that means heat lamps!

More successful restaurants vertically integrating with farms instead of opening second locations.

A dive bar or sports bar with food you actually want to eat.

We have a lot of Thai and Vietnamese. Why not Cambodian? Khmer red curry is stellar.

Richmond is embracing a curated drink culture. Why not add an izakaya to this mix? I think we would wrap our arms around a sake house as enthusiastically.

We have local late-night tacos, late-night pizza and open-all-night diners. How about Asian late-night as well? Twenty-four-hour Korean? Three a.m. banchan could be a thing. — Robey Martin

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With the revival of Southern cooking, isn't it about time for spoon bread to be reinvented by local chefs? Move over, pimento cheese fritters! Hello spoon bread brûlée! — Ellie Basch

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