Friday, August 15, 2008


Popped into Zuppa for lunch and they were hopping this week! If you are planning on dropping by anytime soon, be forewarned that Main St. is closed between 14th and 17th, so you're going to have to do some fancy footwork to get over the 18th Street. (maybe just stick to Broad St. for that stretch)

Just wanted to share that I think Zuppa is a great value for the money. And that I had the best french dip I've eaten so far in Richmond. Sorry, Starlite! You've been replaced! This sandwich was SERIOUS. The roast beef had been dipped in au jus and you could tell the swiss was of top shelf quality. It didn't just blend into the meat like gooey melted plastic. The flavor stood up on it's own as a perfect counterpart to the beef. The bread was akin to Texas toast and had a nice buttery crunch.

My friend had the fried tilapia/fish sandwich special w/a side of their tomato soup. She said the sandwich was ok, she expected more kick, but that the tomato soup was the best part of her meal. Better be at a place named Zuppa!

Service was great, esp. considering how busy it was. My only complaint is that the guy never took a drink order and didn't offer us dessert. I must've had a "I really shouldn't be eating here b/c I'm supposed to be on a diet" vibe hardcore all over me. Oh well, saved me money! And calories! But, I will def. be back for more calories in the future! ;)

101 N 18th St
Richmond, VA 23223
Phone: (804) 249-8831

Thursday, August 14, 2008

As if she could get any cooler.....

......information comes out today that proves Julia Child served as a spy for the OSS during World War II!

I knew that she had served the gov't and her artist husband Paul designed US propaganda posters from reading her book My Life in France. But, I had not realized the extent of her service stretched as far as being part of an international spy ring!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cafe Rustica

A newer addition to the Richmond local dining scene, Cafe Rustica is a true gem. Tucked in an out of the way section of Main Street, this restaurant is easily missed b/c of it's unassuming storefront.

But, this is definitely one not to be missed! I had done a little research prior to my Friday nite's visit and found a lot of complaints about service. These complaints seemed unfounded to our party as we had attentive and helpful service from the hostess all evening. From beginning to end, my entourage enjoyed a perfectly delightful experience.

We were informed that most veggies were fresh out of "their" garden. And the grape/cherry tomatos were ripe & flavorful as well as leaps and bounds ahead of anything I've bought at a farmer's market this year.

The guys in our party opted for the steak and veggies. We didn't hear a peep out of them until their plates were cleaned. So, I'm assuming that means it was good?! lol As for the ladies-- I had the gemelli pasta w/roast chicken & veggies in a broth w/lemon & rosemary, my friend had the salmon (our only complaint being the salmon was a tad 'fishy') .

I really have to comment specifically on my gemelli dish b/c rosemary and particularly lemon are so often overdone and become overpowering. Restaurants have practically ruined my hubs from ever eating a rosemary infused dish ever again. And, I too was hesitant in ordering this dish. But, I am ever so grateful that I did. Everything was perfectly balanced and flavorful. Just a hint of herb. The texture of the al dente gemelli, tender chicken and crisp vegetables alone was palate pleasing. Add in the tasty broth and this is a lovely summer pasta dish that delighted the senses. I can not recommend it enough!

My friend and I washed our main courses down with the house offered Reisling. Which was a bit too sweet for my taste. We started our meal with a cheese course. I will offer one complaint- not enough cheese! It was $10 for 3 cheeses(pecorino romano, a bleu and a goat). There was hardly a teaspoon's worth of each cheese on the plate. However, the grilled bread was chewy and pleasantly charred which was a nice compliment to all of the cheeses. My favorite was the goat cheese w/lingonberry preserves. The creamy sweetness of goat contrasting with the tart sweetness of the preserves was a definite palate pleaser. I think next time I'll just order that (you can order just one cheese for $5).

Dessert found me having the chocolate mousse. The waterfall of saliva in my mouth started the moment I saw the mousse heading toward the table, served in a vintage brass champagne glass. And it did not disappoint! Rich & velvety goodness coated my mouth and tongue in all it's chocolatey glory. It made me sad to swallow.......

So, in all, I'm going to have to give Rustica two thumbs up! Service was great, quality was great, flavor and freshness, outstanding! Not to mention, the prices are very fair, particularly for the quality. Keep up the good work guys!

Cafe Rustica
414 E Main St
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 225-8811


You may have noticed there are not alot of recipe posts lately. That's b/c of two reasons- 1. I'm trying to eat "clean" 2. That makes for a boring, uninspired menu (at least from me, LOL!)

But, I have indulged in a few nites of whatever my palate desires over the last month. One particular evening being at one of my fav restaurants in Richmond, Can Can for some friends' birthday.

After a few weeks of deprivation, gougeres, grilled hangar steak, potatoes gratinee topped off w/a crisp white wine [2005 Vouvray (demi-sec) Les Girardieres ] left my mouth happy indeed. This place never disappoints for me. Service and quality are always top notch.

Can Can Brasserie
3120 W Cary St
Richmond, VA 23221
(804) 358-7274