Weekly Food Notes: Shockoe Slip's New Restaurant, Virginia's New Oysters + More.

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La Grotta made its move to Broad Street last year and now Mijas Cantina has opened in its old space at 1218 E. Cary St. in Shockoe Slip. The upscale Latin American restaurant that serves things such as Mexican style egg rolls, duck tacos and an 18-ingredient mole enchilada, along with a full craft cocktail menu. Smoked margaritas, anyone? mijascantinarva.com.

Bombolini Pasta on West Main Street is branching out — but in a way you might not expect. It has plans to start a distillery on its premises. As the Times-Dispatch points out, however, the permit to do so has yet to be approved and goes to the Planning Commission on Feb. 21. bombolinipasta.com.

Last week we heard that restaurant dream team Michele Jones, Jason Alley and Jay Bayer were opening a brewery/restaurant/arcade in Scott’s Addition. Now, it seems, another one in the neighborhood is in the planning process. Robert Lupica, who was one of the first franchisee owners of SweetFrog Premium Yogurt, will open his version in April, reports Richmond BizSense. It’ll use a similar model to Richmond Wine Station, also coming to Scott’s Addition in spring. Customers can pour 60 craft beers, ciders and wine through an automated system that uses iPads and pre-loaded swipe cards.

White Stone Oyster Co. is producing a new kind of oyster, Jane Black of the Washington Post writes. Well, an oyster that’s physically a little different from most raised in Virginia — all Atlantic-grown oysters are Crassostrea virginica. What makes this deep-shelled variety different is the way it’s grown — instead of cages that rest on the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay, the company uses a floating variety that exposes them to the vicissitudes of weather and its effect on the water’s movement. This creates a thicker, deeper shell and a meatier oyster that resembles those from the West Coast. whitestoneoysters.com.

Happenings

Tonight you can begin gearing up for Valentine’s Day at Amour Wine Bistro in Carytown. Starting at 6:30 p.m., the French restaurant is offering a champagne tasting for $45. amourwinebistro.com.

Perk Coffee and Lunchbox will celebrate its second anniversary in Bon Air with tastings from Mother Shrub, Vegtabowl Foods and Craft Brew Bread, along with coffee from Blanchard’s Roasting Co. — plus, the Backpack Storyteller will be on hand with a few tales starting at noon. perkbonair.com.

There are a million things going on at restaurants for Valentine’s Day, such as dessert and rosé at Blue Bee Cider from Feb. 10-14, a prix fixe special at Maple & Pine Restaurant and Camden’s Dogtown Market’s sixth annual Romance in the Market event with braised coffee-rub lamb, smoky coq au vin and cedar-planked salmon on offer. I suggest planning ahead and getting on the phone now for reservations. bluebeecider.com, destinationhotels.com/maple-and-pine-restaurant, cdmrva.com.

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