Monday, December 28, 2009

Restaurants Not the Usual Suspects

Sunday's Washington Post Travel section had not one, but two articles about eating in RVA.

While I'm always happy to see word of our fair city in the larger press, I'm beginning to wonder about the sources for their destinations.

The first, "In Richmond, fine dining is in the details" was written by Post food critic Tom Sietsema, a man whose writing I read often and always enjoy, and chronicled his eating journey through our little town. Go ahead, I bet you can guess at least three, if not four, of the places where he chowed down.

Duh. Millie's, Can Can, Acacia and Mezzanine (because of its relative newness and Style's Restaurant of the Year award apparently) made the cut.

His only other stop was Buzz and Ned's Real Barbecue where he was underwhelmed. He also found Millie's lacking, despite having had a good lunch there several years ago. The others he enjoyed.

The second article, "For food shops, it's a capital city" was mainly about Belmont Butchery, but also gave a nod to 821, Comfort, Sally Belle's, Kuba Kuba, Yellow Umbrella Seafood and the brand new Spoonfed (formerly Stonewall Market).

The writer raved about Belmont Butchery with good reason, although Tanya Cauthen is quoted as saying that when she needs additonal counter help, she calls on local chefs from Balliceaux and Pomegranate. I question how a place as new as Balliceaux got lumped in with the defunct Pomegranate.

My question is this: can a piece about eating in RVA be written without mention of Can Can, Acacia, Millie's, Comfort, or Kuba Kuba? And, let's be real here, even 821 and Sally Belle's are semi-regulars when the topic is our restaurant scene. I'm not saying these aren't good places to eat, but who doesn't know that by now?

Clearly even the out-of-towners are aware of these places, so why can't we see an article about eating through Richmond mention some of the less obvious eateries we have to offer?

Yellow Umbrella was an unexpected surprise to see given a nod, as was the barely opened Spoonfed, but it was an article about markets after all. But a truly good story about what's worth checking out during a visit to RVA should inform the reader about the places not mentioned over and over in the travel press.

Or, at the very least, whomever is supplying the suggestions to these out-of-town writers should give them the scoop on the places the locals know are our best -kept secrets.

If anyone should need a good source in the future, I'm happy to provide a list of less obvious places worth a bite or sip, as, I'm sure, would any regular diner in Richmond.

Or are we trying to keep these places to ourselves?

1 comment:

  1. Yes there are many. Buz and Ned's is good and all but Alamo BBQ in Union Hill is slanging some killer smoked meats.

    I am a big fan of European Market and recommend it but nothing in the world beat's a sandwich from Nick's.

    Fine dining: Bouchon Bistro and Zeus Gallery.