May 23, 2010
They call their seven scoops for $5.50, "The Seven Hills."
When you think of gelato in Richmond, what comes to mind? West Broad’s Gelati Celesti, right? A lot of people say it’s the city’s best ice cream. I think DeLuca Gelato on Gaskins Road would be happy to concede that superlative to Celesti, because DeLuca’s is out to establish itself as Richmond’s best gelato, not ice cream. In fact, DeLuca Gelato is so focused on gelato that it’s all they make. No sandwiches on ciabatta rolls. No fancy espresso drinks (but they do have Italian coffee). Mostly, DeLuca’s is just a spread of 36 different Italian named flavors and a window into their kitchen so you can watch the gelato getting whipped up by the owners.
Each flavor has an item (like that coconut) to help translate the Italian name.
After a Mothers’ Day trip to DeLuca Gelato where we had seven little scoops of the most delicious Italian flavors, I became a fan and wanted to figure out how best to heap praise on the place. Living within walking distance of Bev’s in Carytown, I cheered them on to victory over the invading Ben and Jerry’s. I’ve heard other Bev’s loyalists swear by their one flavor of gelato available each week. Of all Bev’s flavors of ice cream, the gelato is often one of the best (not counting the espresso oreo, which reigns supreme over nearly everyone). But, like Gelati Celesti’s rich and creamy product, it might not be technically or appreciably gelato. (more…)
May 19, 2010
Today, the wildly popular satirical outpost, Jeff Kelley’s Tobacco Avenue, used me (and food bloggers in general, but mostly me) for some good laughs. It’s fun. You should read it. I’ve got lots to say, but can’t get verbose just now (except on Twitter). I’ll jump back in with comments on this post when I’ve got a minute and when I’ve digested Kelley’s fuckin awesome homage.* Seriously, food blogging just got a lot more fun (sorry, if that’s not the reaction you were hoping for from me).
*obligatory F-bomb. had to make my quota.
May 17, 2010
On a recent visit to Olio to pick up some odds and ends, my attendant, Danielle, let me try a pasta salad they’d just whipped up. Great. I hate pasta salad. It’s the most consistently flavorless vegetarian side dish there ever was. She went on to describe some special ingredient, called preserved lemon, that they’d just gotten in and how a foodie like me would probably be interested. I think Danielle mentioned the name for the dish, but it was fancy sounding and I didn’t know what she was talking about. In my head, I’m going, “Yeah, right. Pasta salad.” I stuck a spoonful of cold rotini (or whatever noodle) in my mouth and just as I started chewing, my eyelids peeled back, and my nostrils flared as the intense flavor of concentrated lemoniness filled my whole whole head. Whoa.
Brown rice with toasted pecans, veggies, and white wine preserved lemon sauce.
To be honest, the flavor of the preserved lemon was a really floral and aromatic, almost soapy, reminiscent of lemon scented Pledge. Whatever the characteristics of this pizazz, it worked with the cheese and artichoke hearts, making this pasta salad something I would savor instead of scrape into the trash bin. (more…)
May 12, 2010
With one click, you can give $5,000 to the group that’s trying to make vegetarianism-promoting license plates available to Virginians. Even if you’re just friends with a couple people who don’t eat meat, do them a favor and click for their cause. The splash of color will look really great with our 10-15 leftwing license plates. If you are vegetarian, go the extra mile and put your order in for one of the license plates. They’re cute, and only $10. Here’s a word from Leslie Sanford, the group’s tireless cheerleader.*
We would like to celebrate the growing popularity of vegetarianism and veganism. People are choosing these lifestyles for many reasons – they care about animals; they care about their health; they care about the environment. We would like to have a license plate to show our support for vegetarianism.We have a license plate designed by a local, but nationally known, graphic artist, Noah Scalin. We have a state delegate who is willing to sponsor our plate through the approval process.
Our problem is getting the word out. We need to advertise, and reach all the vegetarians and vegans in the state. We hope to have enough applications (350 are required) by the end of the year. “We” are three non-profit organizations: Richmond Vegetarian Festival (www.veggiefest.org) Vegan Action (www.vegan.org), and the Vegetarian Society of Richmond (www.vegetarianrichmond.org) and do not have the funding to do mass advertising or travel to areas about the state to promote the plate.
*Click here to pay for pom poms for that cheerleader.
May 7, 2010
I wanna talk to you about Capriccio’s Pizza. Why? Because Richmond’s pizza paradigm is on the verge of a major shift with the arrival of some new offerings. And if we don’t recognize a good thing when we’ve got it, do we really deserve authentic artisan pizza? Without a baseline of understanding of our best pizzas, our appreciation of the new stuff will ring hollow like the hype that tends to go along with any foodie fad.* Also, I feel like I’ve neglected to blog about Capriccio’s, and now I worry that pizza enthusiasts will overlook the place in our search for the next great pie. The links in this post will clarify how much people love this place, and we’ll also make an example of the one or two who don’t. So, before looking forward, let’s look back and make sense of that West Broad anomaly that is Frank Scruli’s Ristorante.
half plain cheese, the other garlic and onion
From Outta Nowhere
When I first stood in the parking lot outside TJ Maxx, alerting Twitter that I’d be checking to see if this new Capriccio’s Pizza place served slices, I had no idea that I was about to discover my favorite pizza that Greater Richmond has to offer. I even looked skeptically at the rapid responses on Twitter saying “Capriccio’s is a 10″ and “you’re gonna love that place.” Chill, yall. I’m just trying to pass the time while Karen ransacks some clearance sections (okay, I was there to shop too).
Fast forward a year or so. I’ve been back to Capriccio’s maybe a dozen times, eating, observing, and figuring out which of their pizzas I like best (don’t get the white and you’re good). However, for some reason, I didn’t ever feel compelled to write a blog entry about the place. In fact, few people have. A search of RVAblogs.com shows only a handful of posts about Capriccio’s Pizzeria, starting with 10 year vet of NYC, Marianne Matera, crowing about it back in January 2009 (although, Googling showed me that Ploafmaster General also got it right in Dec 2008). Searching EatingRichmond.com shows 5 posts, but some are just brief mentions.
For a while there, it seemed like Capriccio’s wasn’t getting a real foothold. (more…)