A LITTLE MORE MORE OBX: I just want to take a little bit of space to finish up my report on dining (and wine-sipping) adventures on the Outer Banks. There are so many great restaurants down that way. As the weather warms up, I know that a lot of Richmond area residents will be heading down that way, whether for a weekend getaway, a week-long vacation or for the entire summer. I’ve already covered some of my favorite dining spots, but
let me mention just a few more. I am always impressed with the folks as well as the set up at Trio. Kenny Hyman, a former Richnmonder and the co-owner, has really put together a fantastic wine, craft beer and cheese retail shop. But it’s also the coolest little wine bistro, too, with a menu featuring cheese antipasti plates, gourmet salads, paninis and desserts. They also offer the credit-card operated wine vending machines, which gives you the opportunity to sample such a wide variety.
The place is so bright and cozy, you could just spend the afternoon or evening sampling cheeses, tasting wines and visiting with friends. Trio is always at the top of my must visit list every time I’m down that way.
I also discovered a new favorite spot during my recent visit. It’s Sanctuary Vineyards on
Caratoke Highway. The tasting room experience was made very special by the friendly staff. Elton Singletary, who did the pouring, is quite knowledgeable about wines, but in a very non-stuffy way.
Every wine he poured, I enjoyed. There’s wasn’t a bad wine in the bunch. My favorite white is their Wild Pony, a beautiful blend that makes for a smooth, dry wine.
And although dry reds are my favorite, I especially enjoyed The Plank. It’s a delicious red Muscadine, teeming with ripe and jammy flavors.
We also had the opportunity to meet John Wright and his wife Brooke. John manages the place. He, like Elton, really knows his wines. And Brooke, well, she might be the friendliest person on the Outer Banks. If you enjoy tasting a bit of wine, you’re going to enjoy visiting Sanctuary. It's a beautiful place, with great wines and very cool people. I even felt cool, myself by the time I left there. Or was that the wine talking?
I was very impressed with a new spot on the OBX. It’s the Sand Trap Tavern, adjacent to the
Sea Scape Golf Links at 300 W. Eckner Street in Kitty Hawk. Chef Grant Tate stays close to his Carolina roots with some exceptional Southern home-style dishes. His buttermilk biscuits were melt-in-your-mouth good. I tasted Grant’s biscuits and other treats at the OBX Taste of the Beach Grand Tasting finale. I haven’t been to the tavern,yet, but it’s on my list for my next trip down there.
Now, closer to home:
AIN’T NOTHING BUT A PARTY: It’s still a couple of weeks away from becoming a completed reality, but Rick Lyons is doing some really cool additions to his Lunch. Supper! complex over on Summit Avenue. We told you a little about it in our March/April River City Magazine. Rick is converting a 2,300 square-foot motorcycle shop into a full-service event hall. Between the new banquet space and his current patio, he’s putting in what sounds like a really cool beer garden, with its own bar, a spot for corn hole, even a grill. It really sounds like it’s going to be the fun spot in Scott’s Addition, which is pretty much filled with fun spots.
I’m told the new facility won’t open until the end of the month, but the beer garden may be open for The Big Pig Project, which takes place in front of Lunch. Supper! on April 22. The event, a fund-raiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charities features a BBQ street party, with live music, a craft fair and beer and wine. Hand-painted concrete pigs will be auctioned off for charity.
While entry is free, however, $5 donation is suggested. To skip the beverage and food ticket line, you can purchase a ticket in advance that includes your meal, two beverages, and a donation to RMHC for $40 Just use this link.
DISCOUNT ELEGANCE: If you want to bask in the glow of old Richmond elegance, but on a
Lemaire Restaurant bar
shoestring budget, you need to visit Lemaire, in the Jefferson Hotel, weekdays from 4 ‘til 7 p.m. That’s when this swanky bar offers a rotating $5 Happy Hour cocktail. Throw in the free peanuts and olives and you have the makings for a very happy Happy Hour.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN: Tonight’s the night – opening night at the Diamond. We’ve been telling you about some of the great dishes being offered up at the concession stands. My new favorite is the West Coast Dog. Try one. You’ll love it. Also, for the second year, Richmond Navigator will be sponsoring the Player of the Week promotion. This week’s star player gets a gift certificate to Richmond’s Beer Authority, Capital Ale House Restaurants. Next time you’re there, look around, you might see a squirrel.
COCKTAIL FOR THE CAUSE: Juleps on Grace street has introduced a new and delightful
way of giving back to the community. On the first of each month, their talented bartender, Ty Cataneo will create a featured cocktail. During that month, every time one of those cocktails is purchased, juleps will donate two bucks to the charity of the month. Then, on the second Wednesday of the month, they will have their Cocktail For the Cause Happy Hour from4:30 to 7. Ten percent of all sales during that period will be donated to their featured charity.
JUST DESSERTS: Here’s a heads up. In our June/July magazines we’ll be featuring the best desserts around town. Where do you go for dessert? Who has the best dessert? We’d love for you to share with us. Email your submission to the address below and you’ll be eligible to win four tickets to a future Squirrels game.
That’s all for now. We’d love to hear from you – whether it’s your favorite dessert, a great dining experience, or restaurant news, email us at Tastebudz@RichmondNavigator.com.
Be listening Wednesdays through Friday, throughout the day on 107.3 BBT for TasteBudz Minutes. And join Jason Paige for Wakin’ Up in the 80’s weekday mornings on 107.3 BBT.