"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Virginia is for Lovers....and Really Delicious Food

I recently went for a long weekend with my good friend for his good friends' wedding. The groom is a food aficionado so I knew that I could expect some delicious cuisine throughout their wedding festivities. The couple had their first date at the upscale restaurant, Acacia, so that is where they held a lovely pre-wedding dinner reception for their family and out of town guests. The menu at Acacia changes every night which is exciting and Andy emailed my friend a copy of the planned menu ahead of time so I was able to get excited and figure out what to order. Just as a little extra shrimp for the barbecue, the Acacia chef, Dale Reitzer, was named America's Best New Chef in 1999 by Food and Wine Magazine. Before the food parade began, there were specialty cocktails being prepared at the bar. I'm no cocktail connoisseur but I've had a few good ones from a couple places in New York. I had a really fresh and creative cocktail made with cucumber, gin, and a bunch of other ingredients I forget. It was very spring-time and tasty and served beautifully in a cocktail glass and a beaker for extra:
The show stoppers were the hors d'oeuvres served with cocktails before dinner. Each bite was amazing but what really stood out was the spoonfuls of tuna ceviche and the crab cakes with maple bacon butter. The tuna ceviche was spectacular. Each ingredient included in the spoonful was exactly the same size, which, while we don't often think of that, really adds to the pleasure of a dish. Here is a picture of the tuna ceviche topped with a small bit of tempura:
Next up were the mini crab cakes with the maple bacon butter. These crab cakes were melt-in-your-mouth good. Addictive, warm, lovely crab flavor with subtle bacon undertones all melded together with maple butter...need I say more?
For appetizers we had a delicious salad of apples, raisins, blue cheese, roasted cashews, mixed greens and a drizzle of celery seed vinaigrette.
For main course I had a sauteed grouper with Parmesan risotto and American caviar sauce. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of this! I may have accidentally deleted it or it may have been so delicious that I never even took a picture....this is impossible actually because I always snap before first bite. The dessert was definitely like the fireworks show you weren't expecting. I had the luxury of trying each dessert listed on the menu because my table was open to sharing and my friend isn't really into desserts so I got to eat his too! The desserts had an excellent variation in flavor and texture. Each one deserves a pedestal of its own. Our first dessert pageant contestant was a rhubarb strawberry crisp with coconut sorbet:
Next up was the sweet potato cheesecake with a caramelized marshmallow on top and candied pecans. This was maybe a little out of season but still really delicious and beautiful!
Last but certainly not least was the chocolate espresso cake with coca nibs and vanilla bean ice cream:
Sorry for the really bad picture....I had a couple cucumber cocktails by this point...
2601 West Carry Street
Richmond, VA

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