by Brandon Fox
Brown in town: Food Network star Alton Brown was all over Richmond last week, sampling coffee at Lamplighter Roasting Co. and stopping off with an inhuman appetite at Sally Bell's, the Black Sheep, Saison and Proper Pie Co. for consecutive lunches in one day. In his live show that night, he used Rappahannock River Oyster Co.'s oysters as a pizza topping for what he called the "Mega Bake Oven" (inspired by an Easy Bake Oven from his childhood), composed of massive stage lights putting out 1,000 watts, which baked a pizza at 640 degrees in less than four minutes along a conveyor belt.
Food on the move: Starting Thursday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m., Richmond CenterStage Associates Board will hold a progressive dinner, Bubbles and Bites. It will move from Julep's to Lemaire, then on to Rappahannock and end up at Pasture. Tickets are $55 and transportation is provided. richmondcenterstage.com/bubblesandbites.
Cider time: Virginia Cider Week, held Nov. 14- 23, offers opportunities to imbibe all week long. Blue Bee Cider teams up with Burger Bach to kick things off Friday, Nov. 14, with a three-course, paired dinner from 4-6 p.m., while North Side's Once Upon a Vine will hold a tasting starting at 5 that same night. On Saturday, you can get your apple on at the Richmond Cider Celebration at the 17th Street Farmer's Marketplace, then head to Acacia Midtown for a cider dinner at 6 p.m. The next day, Sunday, Nov. 16, Hill & Holler will serve dinner on Libby Hill with the Roosevelt's Lee Gregory, Caleb Shriver and Phillip Perrow of Dutch & Co., Heritage's Joe Sparatta and Owen Lane of the Magpie. The following week, you'll find cider dinners going on at Metzger Bar and Butchery, Shyndigz and Camden's Dogtown Market. More at ciderweekva.com.
Party's over: West Main Street's Martini Kitchen & Bubble Bar closed, as first reported by Richmond.com, and a sign on the door says it's by order of the Virginia Department of Taxation. In Short Pump, chain restaurant Mimi's Cafe at West Broad Village, also closed.
Beer history: Lee Graves, Richmond Times-Dispatch's beer columnist, published his book, "Richmond Beer: A History of Brewing in the River City," this past week. Full of great pictures, the book explains the rise and fall (and rise again) of Richmond's favorite obsession.