Weekly Food News: Zagat’s top 10 picks, a sudden closure, pollo rostizada, a biscuit and donut duo, and more

Weekly Food News: Zagat’s top 10 picks, a sudden closure, pollo rostizada, a biscuit and donut duo, and more

Hattie Mae’s closes without warning, a new biscuit and donut chain is coming to Short Pump, Boathouse owners eye two new spots in Chesterfield, and a look at Richmond’s delicious rotisserie chicken joints.

All the news that’s fit to eat

Boathouse, Casa Del Barco owners set sail for Chesterfield Towne Center – HOUSEpitality Group, a team lead by father-daughter team Kevin Healy and Paige Healy, will drop anchor at Chesterfield Towne Center with two new restaurants in 2018, it was announced last week. The company, which operates four Boathouse seafood restaurants around Richmond along with and two sister Casa Del Barco upscale Mexican concepts, will open a third Casa location at the mall, along with an all-new concept, Shrimp Shack. Opening dates haven’t yet been determined. Find out more here.

In the battle of rotisserie chicken joints, everyone wins – There have been many (unsettled) debates on who has the best fried chicken in town (cough, cough Mean Bird), but what about the slow roasted rotisserie chicken joints? Local Peruvian charcoal-roasted chicken restaurant Chicken Fiesta was the first to serve its unique style of rotisserie chicken, known as pollo rostizada, in 2005. And now, recently-opened regional chain Super Rico provides a second option for the delicious, slow-roasted, marinated bird. So who reigns victorious in this #rvadine cock fight? Genevelyn Steele, writing for Richmond Magazine, says it all comes down to the sauce. But in these highly polarized times, why choose when you can have it all? Read on here.

Spin the wheel, save on a meal with a new app – Restaurant apps and daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial are a dime a dozen nowadays, but a new concept that just launched in Richmond last week is doing things a little differently and caught my eye. Spotluck, a Maryland-based startup, is an app that allows you to spin a virtual wheel and save up to 35% at one locally-owned restaurant each day. Discounts are based on the time of day, how busy the restaurant is, and even the weather. All of these factors play into the company’s proprietary algorithm. It’s a neat concept, and might even save you the “what’s for dinner” conversation, if you’re willing to try something new or unexpected. I caught up with the founders of the app and found out what it’s all about. Read about it here.

New chef at Kabana Rooftop means the sky’s the limit – Kabana Rooftop is launching an all-new menu, and bringing on a noted Richmond chef to help usher in the changes and upgrades. Mike Ledesma helped launch Max’s On Broad, turned around Patina Grill, and has served as Richmond Restaurant Group’s Corporate Executive Chef where he oversaw the menu development and operations for all six restaurants including The Daily, East Coast Provisions, Pearl Raw Bar, The Hill Café and two Hard Shell locations. He’s now taking things to a new level–literally–cooking at the rooftop restaurant downtown. More here.

Travel guide Zagat names 10 must-try Richmond restaurants – The folks behind the famous Zagat guide visited Richmond, recommending 10 must-try restaurants and bars in town, saying:

Richmond, Virginia, is carving out a culinary niche all its own. Uniquely positioned in the part of the country where the Northeast meets the South, the city has the opportunity to take a “best of both worlds” approach to its food, fusing Southern comfort with pristine seafood, farm-fresh produce with timeworn butchery and inspired mixology with seasoned brewing. The restaurant landscape is indicative of a city meshing the old with the new, and as evidenced by the routine queues for classic-inspired pastries like kolache as well as contemporary Alpine cuisine, this is a city that’s all about balance.

Among the recommended restaurants are Rappahannock Restaurant, Maple & Pine, and The Rogue Gentlemen. Check out the full list here.

Savory and sweet: Rise Biscuits & Donuts opening August 19th – A fast-growing chain specializing in sweet donuts and savory biscuits is making its debut in the Richmond market August 19th with a location in Short Pump. Rise Biscuits & Donuts will occupy a storefront in the Corner at Short Pump shopping center across from Short Pump Town Center, and the opening weekend will benefit youth nonprofit Comfort Zone Camp. Get all the delicious details here.

Hattie Mae’s shutters Willow Lawn restaurant without warning – It seems like just yesterday that American Taproom closed its restaurant and bar at Willow Lawn in the Near West End. The restaurant was one of the first major new tenants to come in following the rebranding and repositioning of the mall–the oldest in Richmond–and a return to its outdoor roots after owners demolished the once-ailing center’s indoor mall portion. Owners of American Taproom repositioned their space as Hattie Mae’s, a southern comfort food concept, a mere five months ago. Late last week, employees showed up only to find the restaurant shuttered and no answers as to what happened. Now many of them are searching for work. Paul Whelan with the Richmond Times-Dispatch has the details.

The lowdown on fresh veggies at Richmond’s farmers markets – It’s prime vegetable season right now, and if your backyard garden isn’t absolutely bursting with fresh tomatoes and other veggies like mine is right now, you best get yourself to one of the local farmers markets this weekend, because Hanover tomatoes, local corn, and other summer favorites are at their peak right about now. Colby Rogers with Style Weekly has a roundup of the best local farmers markets and a look at a few hand-picked upcoming food events as well. Check it all out here.

This week’s restaurant reviews

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About Trevor Dickerson 1018 Articles
Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.