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Weekly Food News: Jackson’s Beer Garden, Richmond’s Best New Restaurants, and Sunday Dinner at Nota Bene

Details on a new spot coming to Jackson Ward, a longtime Short Pump restaurant gets new owners, and both local and national publications list their favorite new spots in town.

Trevor Dickerson

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Nota Bene begins new rotating Sunday dinner service

As one door closes, another delicious one opens at Nota Bene Restaurant & Bar in Shockoe Bottom. The Italian-inspired restaurant, which served its last brunch patrons last Sunday, is creating a new rotating Sunday dinner menu beginning this weekend. Switching service hours from Sunday brunch to dinner was inspired by owner Victoria DeRoche’s recent trip to Italy to visit her parents, she says.

“Nota Bene has always been inspired by my Italian heritage. Having a big family dinner and gathering with friends on Sunday nights is an Italian custom and I wanted to create that family style hospitality where our regulars can come every Sunday and still enjoy something different.”

Executive Chef Randall Doetzer embraces that idea and says this should allow him additional room for creativity. “Our menu already changes frequently, but my entire team has to learn every dish. On Sundays I will cook everything out of the open kitchen and customize the menu each week, essentially taking a day off from the current menu.”

Diners can expect similar fare to Nota Bene’s current offerings–with a twist–including wood-fired small plates, homemade pastas, Neapolitan-style pizzas as well as salads that are not on the regular dinner menu on Sunday nights. Special wine pairings will also be available.

Sunday dinners at Nota Bene will start on August 7th, from 5:00 – 9:00 PM.

Former Croaker’s Spot location getting a new lease on life with Jackson’s Beer Garden & Smokehouse

The former Croaker’s Spot restaurant in Jackson Ward will soon come alive again with a new concept to be known as Jackson’s Beer Garden & Smokehouse. Expect a “smoked-meats heavy menu (think smoked salmon, chicken, ribs), plus sandwiches and nachos featuring smoked meats,” according to Karri Peifer with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, who has all the meaty details here. The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner, and brunch service.

Bon Appétit names Church Hill pop-up series among best in America

A two-year-old Church Hill pop-up is getting some national attention. Longoven, the twice-weekly popup hosted out of Sub Rosa Bakery, earned accolades from Bon Appétit Magazine as one of “America’s Best New Restaurants 2016.” Editors chose their 50 favorite restaurants after visiting over 400 noteworthy new restaurants across the nation. From their review:

“Much of the menu is filled with dishes whose ingredients are as fleeting as the pop-up itself, like the earthy fava leaves adorning a bowl of sweet, plump shrimp and morel mushrooms. Other combinations, like crabmeat dressed in sunchoke-almond purée, feel so natural, you forget you’ve never had anything like them before. Pop-ups are often a risk; in the case of Longoven, that gamble pays off. We can’t wait to see what’s next.Bon Appétit today released its 50 nominees for “the Hot 10: America’s Best New Restaurants 2016″ and a recurring dining pop-up in Richmond was named to the list.”

Check out the full list of nationwide winners here.

Richmond Magazine releases Best New Restaurants list

Locally, Richmond Magazine has released its annual Best New Restaurants list, and as usual, its editors and contributors had plenty of new candidates to consider. Nota Bene, Sabai, Family Meal, Vagabond, and Maple & Pine are just a few of the 20 new Richmond area restaurants given a nod by the magazine’s team of seasoned pros. Check out the full list and the team’s take on each here.

Midtown State Fair takes over Libbie Mill Sunday

The intersection of local food and craft beer will be Libbie Mill in the Near West End this Sunday. A free kickoff event to the annual culinary celebration that is Fire, Flour & Fork, the Midtown State Fair will feature old-fashioned cake and kale walks, farmer cook-offs, heirloom tomato tastings, music from The Featles, salsa and square dancing, culinary spelling bees, and much more. Local craft beer and food from Rappahannock River Oysters, Boka Tako, Mean Bird, Mama J’s, Gelati Celesti, and Sugar Soiree will be available for purchase. The fun kicks off at 11:00 AM. Attendees will also receive a special discount on tickets to Fire, Flour & Fork talks and demonstrations. Get all the details here.

Longtime Short Pump restaurant sold to new owner

After three years under the ownership of the Bernstein family, one of Short Pump’s longest running restaurants has a new owner. Patina Restaurant & Bar has been sold to first-time restaurant owner Joel Hagman. Once a patron himself, the former traveling salesman got the keys to the place earlier this week. The restaurant is currently closed but will reopen next Tuesday, August 9th and retain its farm to table concept, chef, as well as front and back of house staff, according to an email to patrons from the former owner. The sellers were represented by Nathan Hughes of Sperity Real Estate Ventures, who shared the news.

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