For every new restaurant opening here with some variation on American eclectic cuisine, there's an ethnic restaurant also opening, usually to less fanfare. Witness the veritable explosion of Indian foodstuffs across town. In the past three years, at least a dozen Indian cafes and restaurants have quietly set up shop, giving Carytown old-timer Farouk's a serious run for the money.
The newest, Anokha Unique Cuisine of India at 4015 Lauderdale Drive, shows off an upscale attitude that's especially relevant given its location across from Short Pump Town Center. The bar features single-malt Scotch, trendy cocktails and a lengthy wine list. A menu of “nouveau Indian” food blends international flavor profiles with suburban expectations — there's not a buffet line in sight, and the come hithers pulse handsomely online. Serving lunch and dinner daily. 360-8686. www.anokha.us.
Club Boss: Chef Michael Hall is the new general manager of the Bull and Bear Club downtown. That makes him the first black operator of one of Richmond's most traditional (as in, mostly white) clubs, and the significance doesn't escape him. Hall has risen quickly from executive chef to running operations for the 800-member enterprise. “I had my sight on becoming general manager here but they talked about it before I did,” he says.
Hall plans to add member tasting trips to wineries and a cooking class for novices, and he'll continue to supervise the kitchen's output of dishes such as crispy sea bass, slate potatoes (flat like tile, he says), and corn pudding with molasses-marinated duck. The club, for which memberships run $400-$800 a year, is more accessible to the public — nonmembers may eat on Wednesdays by reservation. The 21st-floor view is a spectacular backdrop to Hall's award-winning cuisine. 901 E. Cary St. www.bullandbearclub.com.
Fight or Flight: New at Stronghill Dining Company, an every-Wednesday event offers red and white wines and a beer linked by style or region, $10, 6-7 p.m. The August theme for the Flight Club is Virginia-made products. 1200 N. Boulevard. 359-0202.
Beer Fare: At Manchester's mod cafAc Savor, a beer dinner is set for Sept. 9. On the menu is Manakintowne salad, pork loin with local peach compote, sauerbraten with spaetzle, a lemony dessert, and of course, the brews: Delirium Nocturnum, Blue Point Blueberry, Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest and Left Hand Polestar pilsner. All-inclusive price is $35. By reservation only. 527-2867 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whole Deal: Hungry foodies line up Fridays at Whole Foods Market in Short Pump for the 5 for $5 deal — five wines and five prepared-food samples for $5, from 5-7 p.m., to benefit local nonprofit organizations such as Tricycle Gardens. A recent tasting included asparagus soup, scallop bruschetta, pork loin sliders, chocolate cake and wines from pinot grigio to framboise. Save your wine glass and bring it back; then, the price of the sampling drops to $4.
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