For their first meet-up this month, eatingrichmond.com food bloggers chose Olio, the newish retake on the former European Market at 2001 1/2 W. Main St. Owner Jason Savedoff says he enjoyed talking product esoterica with the bloggers. “We're all enamored with food and had a great time,” he says, recalling a dissection of the finer points of black Berkshire pork and midpriced burgundies while the group grazed on small plates and compared local food finds.
Olio is a market-bistro caterer serving take-out or dine-in food from a menu that changes quarterly. Last week that meant caramelized balsamic duck breast and ginger-rhubarb compote over greens with truffle-roasted potatoes for an astonishing $11.95, and a beet salad with goat cheese and fresh bread for $10.95.
Savedoff intends “to bring higher-end cuisine of a fusion style” to Richmond from his New York food-industry roots. Shoppers will find a knowledgeable staff, select European cheeses, imported and domestic meats, pA›tAcs and caviar, olives, soup and other comestibles along with wine and beer in a casual, neorustic atmosphere. Olio is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. 355-5182. oliorichmond.com.
The Grill at Libbie and Patterson: Even before getting its ABC license last week, this sibling to Karen's City Diner was slammed. Owners Michael Joseph and Herb and Bev Rueger (City Diner, Village, Star-lite) know the comfort-food and diner menus well. Here, in the former Freckles space, they've gutted and redesigned a 50-seat neighborhood hang-out with covered patio and roll-up windows. Specials are $7.95 and change nightly, plus a dozen sandwiches, meatloaf, steak and seafood entrees that top out at $14 for crab cakes. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Monday-Saturday, weekend brunch. 5724 Patterson Ave. 285-0002. No smoking.
Nuevo Mexico: Coming to Stony Point shopping center in the former Casas Grandes and O'Charley's space, a branch of Staples Mill Road's Nuevo Mexico Restaurante. Once its ABC license is in hand, look for a big menu of fajitas, tacos and the usuals, served for lunch and dinner daily. Children's menu, veg and seafood options, modest prices. 3088 Stony Point Road. 320-1385. nuevomexicorestaurante.com.
Easter Brunch at the Berkeley Hotel: Sumptuous menu of updated Southern delicacies, from Edwards ham crisp to Colorado rack of lamb, rockfish, seafood pasta and beef tenderloin. Desserts include a chocolate waffle or coconut cake. April 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., $49 per person. 225-5105 for reservations. Complimentary valet parking. 1200 E. Cary St. berkeleyhotel.com.
Lunch at Avenue 805: Now that baby Ruthie has arrived, owners Sarah and Jeff Baird have resumed luncheon service weekdays at 805 N. Davis Ave. Highlights are the State Fair spiedie, a sandwich of pork or chicken marinated in New York spiedie sauce, served on focaccia with chips for $6. Pastas, a third-pound burger and other specials come with house-made pickles and bread; most lunches are in the $6 range. Dinner continues Monday-Saturday, with Sunday brunch. 353-2505. avenue805.net.
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