Weekly Food Notes

Mint Gastropub Kickstarter, the Cultured Swine + More

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Bring it back? There’s a Kickstarter campaign to open the doors of “Food Network Star” contestant Malcolm Mitchell’s Mint Gastropub. Originally at Davis and Main streets, Mitchell briefly planned to open the restaurant within Haxall Point by F.W. Sullivan’s. That project fell through and Mitchell announced his restaurant instead would open in Petersburg in August. It closed after two weeks. Apparently this newest project has hit a few snags too. According to the restaurant’s Kickstarter page, “Chef Malcolm is raising funds for simple interior design and kitchen wares.” No word on a new opening date.

Barbecue, too: Michael Ng had a very busy weekend. In addition to helping open JKogi, a few doors down from there, the Cultured Swine served its first plate on Saturday. Owner Corey Johnson started a food cart in October that became a barbecue cult favorite; before smoking his first pork butt, he approached Ng about commissary space. That evolved into Johnson taking over the old Slideways space that never really got off the ground. You can expect things as varied as North Carolina pulled pork barbecue and Mexican-style tamales.

Cup runneth over: The big winner at the 2015 Governor’s Cup Wine Competition was Muse Vineyard’s 2009 Clio, a smooth, bold bourdeaux-style blend. All wines had to be 100-percent Virginia grown, and as in years past, red blends dominated the 30 gold medal winners.

Noodle mania: Spiral Noodle, an Asian fusion noodle bar, will open this spring in the old Yapple space in Carytown. Owner Jenny Lin will bring family recipes from Hong Kong to create a menu of rice, noodles, a variety of different broths, meat and vegetables.

Tough year: Restaurant owner Mo Roman has had his hands full lately. Last year, two business entities he owned were put into bankruptcy to stop foreclosure on two properties, the Pie building on Lombardy Street and another restaurant space up in Stafford. Last week, a third property evaded foreclosure in the same manner. Richmond BizSense reports that Roman was able to put a stop to a scheduled sale at auction of the building that held the former Bank restaurant and Vault nightclub on East Main Street by putting the LLC that owned the property into bankruptcy. Roman has not declared personal bankruptcy.

New life: Off the Hookah and Southern Railway Taphouse owner Hani Atallah, along with Roland West, plan to renovate the old Martini Kitchen and Bubble Bar space on West Main Street. The restaurant, not yet named, will focus on craft beer and open in the late spring or early summer.

Closed and opened: Brace yourself for the echo, but according to the Times-Dispatch, downtown’s Alcove Indian Restaurant closed and reopened as a different restaurant with American fare — also named Alcove.

Drink news: Powdered alcohol is out, at least in Virginia. Palcohol, a powder that can be mixed with water to create a cocktail, isn’t on the market, but the company plans to offer six different flavors. The General Assembly unanimously voted last week to make it illegal.

Correction: Food Notes originally implied that Mint Gastropub in Petersburg never opened. It was actually open for two weeks. It also wasn't clear in the original wording that restaurateur Mo Roman has not declared personal bankruptcy, although three LLC entities that he owned have been put into bankruptcy.

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