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Side Dish



Fishing for Business

Carytown Seafood at Innsbrook gets a much-needed boost in the kitchen this week when Chef Matthew Tlusty takes over with a new team and a new menu. The former owner of acclaimed fish restaurant Limani in Carytown has switched gears again, dropping plans for a burger place and a comedy store, and returning to his roots as a seafood purist with a deft touch.

Menu items include sliced octopus salad and grouper seviche, fisherman's broth and a shopping list of fresh fish prepared on Limani's wood-burning grill, newly installed in the Innsbrook location at 4040-B Cox Road.

Meanwhile, the Limani space (and short-lived Duro restaurant) is being built out as a comfort-foods spot called Weezie's Kitchen, set to open next month.

More Positivity in Stratford Hills

Chef Q Derks, recently retired from Avalon in the Fan, takes over kitchen duties at Positive Vibe Café for Sunday brunch. She's bringing creative touches to the menu and helping train employees at the Stratford Hills eatery.

Ed Vasaio of Mamma 'Zu will be guest chef Feb. 4 in the cafe's continuing series of first Sundays chef nights. Jannequin Bennett of TJ's at The Jefferson follows in March.

Owner Garth Larcen says the business is expanding its quarters into adjacent spaces to allow for a private party room, a bigger entrance, more sunlight and visibility from Forest Hill Avenue.

And while patrons may come to the cafe for its training and service mission, many return for its live music, belly-dancing nights on Tummy Tuesdays — the last week of each month — and particularly for the inventive, fresh menu items that raise the culinary standard for the neighborhood.

Jumping into Pool

With the addition of Popkin Tavern to Richmond's pool-table scene, there's renewed interest in shooting a game while tossing back brews and burgers. The folks at The Triple in the Museum District now host an eight-ball tournament Monday nights, ladies' nights on Wednesdays and restaurant employee appreciation nights for local food-service workers, who should bring in check stubs for discounts from 10 p.m. to midnight on Sundays and Mondays.

Banning a Fattener

Ellwood Thompson's Natural Market, always a forerunner in healthy food awareness here, has removed all products containing high-fructose corn syrup from its shelves. The ingredient is often blamed for the nation's obesity epidemic. The store's decision aligns with its goal to sell only minimally processed foods without artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and sweeteners. S

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