Dine Another Day
It may be a wonky economy, but you'd never guess it from the number of restaurant openings set for the next several months in the Richmond area. From Carytown to Shockoe Slip, Chesterfield County to Rocketts, there's plenty of activity on the horizon. Here are some fresh takes in addition to those we've already reported:
Coming to Shockoe Slip: The former Slip Salon next to SinAc will turn into a 100-seat churrascaria, Dora's Brazilian Grill, at 1331 E. Cary St. The space is under construction, but the restaurant's effervescent financial manager, Freya Goins, is already making an impression on her neighbors at City Dogs, SinAc, Havana '59 and elsewhere. “This is the friendliest city, and it's not about competition,” she says. “The more business we get down here, the better for everybody.” Goins grew up in a restaurant family in Charlotte, N.C., and will bring her expertise to a team that includes Rolf Laubach and his Brazilian wife, Dora. Goins says they'll offer a full, table-service array of grilled meats and sides with fried pineapple for dessert, for $26.99. Watch for gauchos to populate the Slip in July.
Coming to Carytown: Karsen's, which closed last year at 3411 W. Cary St., is the latest conquest for Richmond Restaurant Group, whose holdings the Hard Shell, the Hill CafAc, Europa and DeLux are some of the city's most consistent performers. Now it will bring seafood and a raw bar to the project, called Water Grill, opening as soon as June. “We'll be vegetarian- friendly, with lots of organic and local foods,” says group co-owner Michelle Williams, who also has developed close farm connections through her other restaurant, Michelle's at Hanover Tavern.
At Water Grill, Williams and business partner Jared Golden will add an interior water feature, an upstairs bar and lounge, and a banquet room seating as many as 50 guests. “We're not making a ton of changes to the space,” Williams says, because its still-new kitchen and layout work well, “but we're definitely personalizing it.” With about 150 employees and 14 years developing its business, the group expects longevity at the highly visible, patio-centric location.
Coming to Chesterfield: Shackleford's Restaurant, serving consistently popular American fare at its Far West End and Williamsburg locations, adds a third dining room at Courthouse and Midlothian, with a modified version of the giant menu. Owner Kirk Poore says he's expecting to open in June, and hiring is in progress. www.shacklefords.com.
Richbrau Brewing Company: New chef Mark Henry, from Baltimore, offers an American menu with Texas-style beef brisket, chili spaghetti, spicy steamed mussels and shepherd's pie. Extensive renovations of the large Shockoe Slip establishment include a second-floor game room, club, live music, space for large and small group functions and an eager-to-please staff led by owner Michael Byrne. House-made beer. Open daily from 11:30 a.m. till past midnight. 1214 E. Cary St. 644-3018. www.richbrau.com.
Six Burner Restaurant: Off the Cut dinner features “secondary cuts of meat that are usually inexpensive but delicious and unique.” May 28, 5:30-9 p.m. The three-course meal is $35 per person; paired with wines $20 additional. 1627 W. Main St. 353-4060. www.sixburner.net.
Zed CafAc: Brunch is now served Saturdays and Sundays at this locavore-oriented Lakeside business. New executive chef Jeff Mosca and sous-chef Yuri Rocha whip up acclaimed gnocchi, halibut, scallops and other dishes on a seasonal menu that's keeping the house busy and co-owner Lisa Granger very happy. Lunch Tuesday-Friday, dinner Tuesday-Saturday, weekend brunch. 5109 Lakeside Ave. 261-5656. www.zedcafeonline.com.