Sunny Fridays call for lunch plans and luckily my friend Nicholas, he of the Richmond Symphony and a consummate musician, here, invited me to join him at his new favorite place, the Urban Farmhouse. He said he was cooking up a performance idea and he wanted my input since I like music and going out so much.
Like so many places of late, UF has a gluten-free bread option for people like Nicholas and the half dozen other friends I have who are gluten-intolerant. They offer a gluten-free flatbread on which Nicholas got his Q with Blue Chicken, which the server described as "like eating hot wings without the grease," although the kitchen made it clear that the combination was a first for them. Apparently they succeeded beautifully because Nicholas said it was delicious and ate every bite.
I ordered the asparagus, white bean and feta salad over mixed greens and it was by far the best thing I've had at the UF and this was my third visit. The asparagus was perfectly cooked as were the beans, both a bit toothsome, which is to say to my liking. The salad was not overdressed, a frequent pet peeve of mine, but perhaps a tad over-cheesed. Still, it was good enough for me to say something to the kitchen staff who thanked me profusely for my kind words.
Nicholas' stroke of genius is a chamber music performance to be held at UF on an upcoming Sunday afternoon, in the tradition of "house" shows of previous centuries where new music was played for the enjoyment of friends and family. Those enormous windows that front Cary Street will be thrown wide open so as to entice passers-by to come in and listen. The five musicians will be sipping wine in between movements and the vibe will be comfortably relaxed.
I told him that I absolutely love this idea. Let's see, it's free, it's creative, it's music and I can't imagine anyone who shows up won't be thrilled to experience it. Hell, if I was transported hearing him play in a wine shop under construction, this will be almost like a ribbon-wrapped gift.
After all, my birthday is coming up this month...