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Weekly Food Notes

Rancho T's Famous Chef, Blue Bee's First Smoked Cider + More.



Future chef: The sign is up, but there’s still paper on the windows at Rancho T, the long-awaited project from Tuffy Stone and Ed Vasaio. The first hint and preview of what’s to come is provided by an ongoing Charlottesville farm dinner event. Hill & Holler invited Aaron Cross, formerly of Keswick Hall, to cook a pop-up dinner at the Batesville Market on March 18 as chef of Rancho T. On the menu will be empanadas, pork shoulder tamales and the intriguing criolla rice, a Puerto Rican specialty.

Manchester rising: Urban Farmhouse is replicating again. After recently opening a Scott’s Addition spot, there are plans for another on Semmes Avenue. Obviously, owner Kathleen Richardson heard about all the hungry folks around the Style Weekly newsroom, just a few blocks away from its future location in Manchester. An opening is planned for the summer.

Eat your vegetables: Welcome in spring with a beer dinner at Ipanema Cafe on March 22 at 6:30 p.m. Ardent Craft Ales and chef Will Wienckowski will pair six varieties of Ardent beer with five vegetarian courses. Tickets are $50. Call 213-0190 for details.

Smell you later: Shyndigz, a dessert-only cafe, has been wildly successful. Owners Bryon and Nicole Jessee promised a take-out spot for their products (read: proper bakery) and, as reported by the Times-Dispatch, it will open April 1. The Jessees also are planning another outlet, the Fancy Biscuit, at 1833 W. Main St. near Shyndigz, which will specialize in, well, biscuits, fancied up with ham and sriracha hollandaise, or ham and apple-butter barbecue sauce, among other permutations. They’ll be available for brunch and lunch. Look for the biscuits to roll out of the oven May 1.

Smokin’: Manchester’s Blue Bee Cider released its — and possibly the world’s — first smoked cider on Saturday. Camden’s Dogtown Market provided the smoker, and after all 800 pounds of Winesap apples were smoked in hickory and apple wood for 90 minutes, they were pressed into juice and fermented. Bottles are available in limited numbers at the cidery.

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