Monday we went to Pasture (416 E Grace St)for the send off Richmond Food Blogger, Matt Sadler of The Marinara. I had the pleasure of meeting Matt when I first started working in the Richmond restaurant biz and had the pleasure of attending some of his food events including Richmond’s first ever Barbecue Bus Tour.
Since Matt is moving to Florida, Pasture’s Executive Chef, Jason Alley, prepared special dishes for the evening, so that he could enjoy one last taste of Richmond. On the menu was suckling pig tacos, roast beef sliders and fried full-bellied clams with house made kimchi.
I realize that this is the third time that I have posted about Pasture in my short time writing this blog, so I figured it was appropriate to list my top 11 reasons why I love Pasture. (Because anyone can have a top 10.)
1. Chef Jason Alley. This guy is not only a very talented and passionate chef, he is approachable and genuine with every guest. You can see right in the kitchen on your way to the ladies room. I had to stop and tell the Chef how great my meal was and how this was my first time eating kimchi. He was genuinely gracious and appreciative of the comment. That sealed my place in his fan club.
2. The cocktails. At the Off Broad Appetit dinner, I had their Deltaville cocktail that is pure genius. It is vodka and strawberry jam. Who knew that you could mix jam with booze and have a great drink? They did, that’s who. Did your mother in law send you home with some house made strawberry jam, but you aren’t a peanut butter and jelly kind of gal? Mix it will vodka and that jar will be empty in no time!
3. Beer Selection. They have a ton of taps and a great mix of local and craft beers.
4. Service. I noticed the service staff the very first time I came to Pasture. They are grown-ups. They aren’t your regular college kids working for the summer. These are professional service people. There is a difference.
5. Southern Food like I have never eaten before. I grew up in Annapolis, Maryland where the only thing people eat are crabs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Ok, so maybe sometimes we have crab dip to mix it up.) Southern food is kind of new to me. That being said, the way that Chef Jason serves Southern food everything is a new version of traditional Southern dish.
6. Foodie events. Events like Off Broad Appetit are what I live for. So fun!
7. The space. It feels like a cafeteria with high ceilings and bare floors. The echo of the space has a nice buzz when they are busy, which it has been every time I have been there.
8. Eating Local. I may drag myself to the SOTJ Farmer’s Market in the summer when I’m not too hungover, but other than that most of my meals come from restaurants. It is nice to feel part of the “eat local” movement and Pasture let’s me do that.
9. Small plates. Some people are into this and some aren’t. Some places do this well and some don’t. I personally, like the way that Pasture does small plates. We like to order and eat as many dishes as possible. This may not always be economical, but it is fun.
10. The neighborhood. I really admire the risk that they have taken to open up on this section Grace Street. It is a great thing when a business plants roots in a forgotten area of this town.
11. The Candy Bar. I am not going to elaborate, just get it.