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Soaking up that Carytown air.



Plein Air
It's the third time around for the big front windows at Can Can Brasserie. As soon as the big, opening windows were installed, they had to be removed to meet historic tax credit standards. Now that the tax credits have expired, the stationary windows are gone and the ones that open have returned, much to the delight of diners soaking up the Carytown air. 3120 W. Cary St.

Fare increase: Belmont Food Shop at 27 N. Belmont Ave. is selling boxed lunches and catering while waiting for a special-use permit to develop a restaurant next door. Owners Mike Yavorsky and Steven Ruscitti are grads of the Culinary Institute of America with years of high-end food experience; they hope to bring simply prepared, local foods to neighbors in a casual dining room. Polyface Farm meats and eggs, Fruit 66 beverages, house-made pickles, cream pops and truffles, and a concise list of sandwiches and sides are on the current take-out menu. Weekdays and occasional Saturday walk-in hours. 358-7467.

Same name, different place: Now serving at 9681 W. Broad St., Bistro R is back under new ownership, Steve King and Jerry Fletcher, with chef Ed Hall in the kitchen. The 56-seat dining room in the former Mamma Felicia's pizza shop has a changing menu of dinner specials, most for $20 or less. Closed Sundays. 747-9484.

Desserts at Boathouse: Elusive, admired chef David Shannon has returned to the kitchen after closing Dogwood Grille in the Fan a few years back. Now he's chef de cuisine at the Rocketts Landing location of the Boathouse, working again with chef Todd Richardson. On Shannon's dessert list are pineapple pound cake in rum sauce and rosemary lemoncello crA"me brA¯lAce.

Boxed in: The very Richmond Sally Bell's Bakery makes its debut this week at the Valentine Richmond History Center downtown, serving its familiar sandwiches and cupcakes in the garden. Soups and salads are also available for dine-there or take-away, weekdays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 1015 E. Clay St. 649-9550.

New to Metro Grill: Former Bonvenu chef Shaun Watts is running the kitchen at Metro Grill in the Fan, returning to a comfort-food menu. For fall he has Cajun chicken, shrimp and grits Randolph, pulled pork sliders, chipotle mac and cheese and nightly specials, plus Sunday brunch. 301 N. Robinson St. 353-4453.

Sensi and Slow Food: A week-long event starting Oct. 11 promotes the new book “Cooking with Italian Grandmothers” by Jessica Theroux. Sensi in Shockoe Bottom joins a simultaneous event coordinated in 20 other U.S. cities. A fixed-price three- or five-course meal with available wine will include the book and a donation to a slow-food nonprofit. See the website for details.
Autumn cometh: An all-new menu at Carytown's Bonvenu announces the arrival of chef Chas Robinson and “an introduction to complete change,” server favorite Charmagne Doyle says. More appetizers, larger salads, fall flavors and the addition of Sunday brunch mark the restaurant's ninth month. Look for braised bourbon pork belly bruschetta, butternut squash dumplings, apple arugula salad, vegetarian shepherd's pie, Rostov coffee-crusted strip sirloin and Grand Marnier duck breast with corn griddle cakes. Dinner and bar Tuesday through Sunday, brunch Sundays starting Oct. 10. 2915 W. Cary St., 342-1003.

More tastes: Chef Ryan Baldwin and the team at North Side's little delicacy Tastebuds are enhancing their fixed-price menu by offering more entree choices. This is one of the area's best dining values on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: $18 for three courses, with the first glass of house wine for $3.50. 4019 MacArthur Ave., 261-6544.

Music at Urban Farmhouse: New to this Shockoe Slip cafe are pastries and breads from Uptown Bakers, hand-rolled bagels from Bethesda Bagels, and a line-up of acoustic music acts from around town. 1217 E. Cary St. 325-3988.

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