Richmond's delirious march toward status food, and food-town status, continues with a case in point in Westhampton. There's fresh local lard for sale at the Yellow Umbrella, and orange-fennel bouillon, and pork stock, and pantry items unheard of when the business began 34 years ago. A house-made charcuterie case stands where street-side coolers of fish used to be. There's house-butchered heritage pork and beef, and international wines and cheeses next to locally-sewn bottle cozies and Billy Bread. And unsurprisingly there's seafood from near and far.
At the new Yellow Umbrella, "there's nothing we can't do," says chef Jed Garvey, who's turning out prepared foods such as Moroccan stewed chicken, Spanish kale, squash and sausage bread pudding, and offering a changing array of meat- and seafood-based entrees, soups, quiches and appetizers. When market produce arrives from local farms, the week's menus take shape. Garvey appreciates the options presented by the shop's whole hogs and whole sides of beef, he says, and customers can watch the action through the open kitchen window.
Home cooks can find shellfish stock, clarified butter, uncommon pantry staples and spices. The shop's expanded range includes pies from 4 & 20 Bake Shop in Maidens, maple caramels from Nana's Homemades in Richmond, Wade's Mill grits, and local breads and honey. Kate Haydon, of partner business Cellar to Table, will introduce customers to wine and cheese through tastings and store events.
Mottos on the walls drive the local-foods mission home, with sayings such as "Sustainable: Take some for you, leave some for me, put some back for them," and "Dining: eating real food on a real plate, not by yourself, not standing up." After years of ersatz nautical motifs in the previous digs, now there's an interior design by Kristi Lane that mixes stainless simplicity with a few rustic touches. Somehow there's barely an aroma of fish.
Business has been brisk since the shop opened Feb. 8, says co-owner David Whitby — yet another indicator that Richmond's desire for fine, local foods is finding fulfillment. Customers won't see a sign out front — that awaits city approval — but aluminum letters eventually will be mounted to cap the project, which, Whitby says, may always be a work in progress. The shop is open Monday through Saturday. 5603 Patterson Ave. 282-9591.
Monday supper: Mama J's, one of the city's quintessential soul and Southern food attractions, and with no trace of hipster trendiness, is in its second month of serving Monday dinner. Style Weekly food writer Karen Newton lauds the frosted cakes and fried chicken among other revelations at this friendly, down-home restaurant with a dedicated following. 415 N. First St. 225-7449.
The Savory Grain: Cozy upscale draft house, 24 craft beers, wines, and a farm-to-table, changing menu from chef Sean Murphy. Dinner and bar nightly except Mondays. 2043 W. Broad St. 592-4000.
Dutch & Co.: Intimate retro dining room in Church Hill serves meaty entrees, cocktails and more from chefs Caleb Shriver and Philip Perrow. Dinner Monday through Saturday, 5-10 p.m., at 400 N. 27th St. 643-8824.
Casa del Barco: Tequilas and a wide range of Mexican fare in renovated factory beside the Canal Walk. Dinner and bar nightly, lunch Monday-Saturday, Sunday brunch. 320 S. 12th St. 775-2628. casadelbarco.com.
Boo's Brown Bag: American menu of deli sandwiches, burgers, vegan options and breakfast, lunch and late-night for takeout and delivery. 1201 W. Main St. 358-2667. boosbrownbag.com.
SubRosa Wood Fired Bakery: Artisan breads, coffee and pastry in cozy storefront. Tuesday-Sunday. 620 N. 25th St. 788-7672. subrosabakery.com.