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Side Dish

Downtown Lands Another Big One


Hanover Adds Tavern

Also coming early in the new year is Cedar Creek Tavern, Hanover County's newest restaurant, up Route 301 at Shady Grove Road. Joe and Margaret Jones, who operate seven area Breakers Sports Grills and the Mechanicsville Mulligan's, are owners of this venture, located in the former Ray's Texas Grill.

Joe Jones says the tavern will be an upscale steak, chops and seafood house — "a new concept that I'm really excited about. We're redoing everything, putting in a fireplace and new light fixtures, a mirror-back bar and a tin tile ceiling." And, he adds, it will be a lot quieter than the couple's sports bars, which are doing particularly good business (football, everyone?) this time of year.

A Lighted Dinner Awaits

Dinner is served for the holidays at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, when the Robins Tea House opens nightly through Jan. 8, except on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year's Eve.

On the menu are stuffed trout, osso buco, Black Angus filet, smoked duck breast and herb fettuccine, along with soups, salads, desserts and three children's options. Out the windows are views of the GardenFest of Lights, where more than a half-million bulbs decorate the ponds, trees and pathways. Garden admission is required, and reservations are encouraged, with parties limited to 10 people or fewer.

It's All About the Paper-Thin Cookies

Not everyone knows about the traditional Moravian Candlelight Lovefeast, but members of the Grace Baptist Church in Windsor Farms want to raise Richmonders' awareness of the Protestant cultural and spiritual celebration.

For the first year the Lovefeast is open to the public. It attempts to break down social barriers and strengthen unity and goodwill among people with Christmas carols and baked goods like crisp ultra-thin cookies, cinnamon cakes and sweets.

The event is Dec. 11 at 5 p.m., and while no admission is charged, donations are accepted for the nonprofit organization Daughters of Zelophehad, a transitional housing program for women and children in crisis.

Trick Dog rolls over

Irvington's chic eatery Trick Dog Cafe is pulling the plug at the end of this month. Chef Matt Turner confirms that the restaurant, finishing its fifth year, will serve its last customers Dec. 30, and then the place goes on the market. Seems Bill Westbrook, creator and owner of the business, is shifting his focus to his White Fences vineyards down the road and is applying for a manufacturer's license to sell the wines and eventually open a food-service component there. Trick Dog's appeal to Rivah people has been a mix of delight at the fusion cuisine and annoyance at the big-town pricing. But they kept coming back for more.

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