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Side Dish: Food news, events and whispers.

New life for an old hangout, top chefs and open doors.

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WEST VILLAGE: Coming to the space formerly occupied by Potter's Pub is a new restaurant from a familiar operator. Work is in progress at City Limit, co-owned by Bob Cox, the lawyer-turned-restaurateur whose holdings include Curbside Café, Metro Grill and The Corner Cafe, each place known for its loyal following and consistent fare. Andy Dondero and Getty Rothenberg are partners.

The restaurant, in the Village Shopping Center at Three Chopt and Patterson, is getting a major overhaul now, its ceilings lifted to 14 feet to set off dark wood booths and a 40-foot bar. Cox says head chef Robert Loker will offer a casual, regional American menu with mid-range pricing and will serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Cox won't hazard a guess as to when the place will open, but he hopes it will be before the winter holidays.



LOCAL TALENT: Some of this city's most distinguished chefs will put together a five-course meal on Oct. 19 to celebrate Virginia Wine Month. Kevin LaCivita, Mark Herndon, Jay Frank, Tuffy Stone and Michael Hall will present a collaborative fall menu in The Dining Room at the Berkeley and will pair their dishes with Virginia wines from Rappahannock Cellars, White Hall Vineyards and Rockbridge Winery.

Don't expect basic lamb on the menu. In this case, it's Jay Frank's "Roasted Rack of Lamb, Braised Belgium Endive, Celery and Fennel Gratin with Bohemian Noodles and Sauce Nature Reduction." Four additional courses contain a similarly au courant litany of seasonal ingredients. The Celebrity Chef Wine Dinner is $95 per person plus tax and gratuity, and reservations are required. 225-5105.



NOW SERVING: If you've developed a craving for Dublin coddle and colcannon, a new Powhatan restaurant wants your business. O'Hare's Tavernhouse is part Irish pub, with darts, live music and smoking, and part family dining spot, with smoke-free tables and a wearing-o'-the-green menu. Irish sushi is peat-smoked corned beef in a Dijon cream sauce, served with colcannon (seasoned mashed potatoes and cabbage). Even better, consider the Irish seven-course meal: an overstuffed baked potato and a tasting of six beers.

Executive Chef Kevin O'Hare, formerly of the Capital Club, serves lunch and dinner daily. The restaurant is six miles west of Route 288 on Route 60, at 1795 South Creek. 378-8600.



ALSO OPEN: In Shockoe Bottom, the New Orleans-inspired restaurant Jacqueomo's is introducing a grill menu of seafood and Creole dishes. Look for blackened redfish and dirty rice, herb-crusted chicken in garlic sauce, oyster po'boys and changing specials.

"We've actually hired three staff members who have relocated from the New Orleans area after Katrina," says Jacqueomo's co-owner David Malone. "They know what we're trying to do — give people a chance to enjoy the cuisine and hospitality of that area." Chefs are co-owner Jimmy News, formerly of Mr. Patrick Henry's Inn, and Adam Ginsberg, who worked at The Farm of Beverly Hills and most recently at The Hard Shell here. Dominating the restaurant's lively, multicolored decor are jester masks and a Happy the Artist mural that blends imagery from Old New Orleans and Old Richmond in a Victorian-era dining scene. A portion of this month's profits will go toward relief efforts in the Gulf region, says Malone. 101 N. 18th St. 344-5181.



Have a tip about the Richmond restaurant scene? Send it to sidedish@styleweekly.com

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