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Food

Once again local restaurants rake in the Elby nominations

Our local favorites keep shining! Dutch & Co., The Roosevelt, Metzger Bar and Butchery and Union Market are all 2018 Elbys awards nominees, Richmond Magazine’s annual recognition of “excellence in the Richmond region’s restaurant community”. The Seventh Annual Elby Awards will recognize a winner from every category, each with four nominees, all chosen by more than 40 industry professionals, Richmond region food writers, culinary instructors and food society members. (A tie in nominations resulted in five nominees within a given category.) Elby winners will be selected by judges who were not involved with the nomination process and are from outside the Richmond region. The Roosevelt, Dutch & Co., and Metzger Bar & Butchery have been nominated for “Restaurant of the Year”, along with Dinamo, Heritage, and Lehja. The Roosevelt has also been nominated for best “Beverage Program of the Year” alongside Brenner Pass, Secco Wine Bar, The Rogue Gentlemen, and Saison. Lee Gregory (The Roosevelt / Southbound), Brittany Anderson (Metzger Bar & Butchery / Brenner Pass), and Church Hill’s own Jason Alley (Comfort / Pasture / Flora) are up for “Chef of the Year”, as are Walter Bundy of Shagbark and Joe Sparatta of Heritage. Jason Alley (Comfort, Pasture / Flora) & Michelle Jones and Kendra Feather (The Roosevelt / Ipanema / Garnett’s Cafe / Laura Lee’s) are also nominees for Restaurateur of the Year. Union Market has been nominated for “Grab-and-go Food” alongside 8 1/2, Mean Bird, The Naked Onion and Sugar’s Crab Shack. The awards ceremony for the Richmond’s restaurant scene will be Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, at the Train Shed at Main Street Station. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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144 comments

Eric S. Huffstutler 01/09/2018 at 4:03 PM

And once again, the senior restaurant in Church Hill, the Hill Café, is not on the list. Does anyone want to weigh in as to why when they use to win one award after another, has none under their belt for several years now yet, still is a cornerstone of our community?

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Martha McConnell Looney 01/09/2018 at 7:35 PM

That’s right!

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Stokes McCune 01/10/2018 at 10:12 AM

Hill Cafe is so consistently good!

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Mike 1 01/10/2018 at 12:13 PM

Sorry, but I agree with the places that have been nominated. They have interesting and often cutting-edge menu and drink choices. Yes, the Hill is always good, as are a number of places (Anthony’s, Millie’s, Nota Bene, etc.). I suspect if the Hill (and others) offered unique menu and drink choices perhaps at the expense of what they currently have, all the folks who frequent them might not be so happy. At one time, some places like the Hill were the only game in town. Not anymore.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 01/10/2018 at 12:16 PM

I hope they are not being deliberately overlooked because they are an older business? I asked Richmond Magazine how they nominate restaurants for the Elby Awards and why the Hill did not make the cut but have yet to get a response.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 01/10/2018 at 1:48 PM

@4 Mike1… I hear you and also understand that my generation is dying off and being replaced with Millineals who follow the pack for Trendy food. Not us.

We still appreciate comfort food and old standards over Haute couture cuisine or dishes “minus” various additives or ingredients just to please the psyche.

But, if you look, there are categories for “Classically Richmond” and “Richmond Regular(s)” in which the Hill Café could have easily been nominated for.

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January Gem Paraan Windrow 01/10/2018 at 2:41 PM

All the places I want to go to this weekend Mea Nenn

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Jaron Clay 01/10/2018 at 3:01 PM

It is literally ridiculous that I was not nominated for best regular for my humanitarian work at Patrick Henrys. Who got rid of smoking? Who flooded the bar with free pizzas time and again to force ownership to serve food past 10pm? Who started the trend of making pitchers of mimosas a solo beverage and drinking them straight from the pitcher? By jove, I am the one who freed us from the nacho desert we existed in! This oversight just proves the Elbys to be a joke. #FakeAwards #Sad

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Jes Gray 01/10/2018 at 3:18 PM

Eric says the best thing about the smoking was that you left before ten pm.

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Jaron Clay 01/10/2018 at 3:20 PM

Jes Gray Thanks for the reminder! I ousted one of the owners as well!

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Jes Gray 01/10/2018 at 3:22 PM

And the others basically your adopted uncle

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Jaron Clay 01/10/2018 at 3:23 PM

Jes James Menefee is very much an uncle to me.

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Damn Teenager 01/10/2018 at 3:54 PM

@1 I respectfully disagree that The Hill should be included in the Elby’s. It’s a fun and friendly place that gets my business 10x over the “fine-casual” places listed. But putting them in the same category as Dutch & Co. is like saying a Ford pickup should compete against a Porsche (even though you can spend $100k+ on the former).

@6 Why do you think Millennials follow food trends? I go to these restaurants frequently and can tell you the average age of the patrons is not young. Plus, there’s nothing trendy about food being prepared in unique ways. These are not even true “fine dining” establishments.

For both of these statements about truly casual, neighborhood spots, why would they deserve to be on the list? No unique atmosphere, no standout service, very predictable menu, etc. This is why I love going to them for most dinners out. However, there are dozens of great neighborhood spots all over the city, but that doesn’t mean they all have to be considered part of “the best”.

This all said, congrats to those spots listed – I can’t wait to come sit at your tables soon. However, I’m sure I’ll still end up at The Hill most nights.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 01/11/2018 at 2:15 PM

@13 Damn Teenager… when your menu consists of things like some mini portion of unusual cut of meat with prune whip on yogurt and cost 2-3x more than it is worth due to portion size (appetizer size to me)… I don’t consider that usual fare but trendy food. Ten years ago you did not even have that available except in large cities at formal dining establishments.

But you still missed the point about it being able to fit into those two categories I mentioned… which could consist of old standards people visit. This also means predictable menus because that is what being a “classic” or “regular” is about.

If you have a burger place on the list you expect to have burgers or a pizza place you have pizza. All predictable. It is the consistency and quality as well as the expectation of knowing what you want even before you visit. And yes, the atmosphere. The Hill has its own which is a great part of why they have remained a Church Hill staple for the past 30 years. I am sure all reasons you return to the Hill. If you have an issue with service, voice your concern to the management. We never have problems and even make friends of the staff as well as tip at least 20% or more, which the wait staff remembers.
Most all on the Elby list are relative newcomers.

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On the hill 01/17/2018 at 2:29 PM

i recently ate at The Roosevelt and was sorely disappointed. The chief ingredient seemed to be salt. I could not eat it after 4 bites and sent it back. It wasn’t overcooked (chicken), but having lived for three years in France and in many major cities here in the US, I can only assume many diners are uneducated. I can see no reason for a dependence on salt, especially in the cooked greens.My partner’s pork chop plate would have been edible without the excess fat and the overly salted greens. The deserts were nothing to rave about. Any cook in a bistro could give a lesson to this establishment. Maybe the awards are political.

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