Friday, March 11, 2011

acacia mid-town

acadia - midtown
2601 west cary street, richmond, VA 23220
tel: 804) 562-0138
hours: monday-thursday 5:30pm-9pm, friday-saturday 5:30pm-10pm

what was consumed: price fixe dinner! butternut squash soup with bacon, mixed greens salad, pan roasted duck breast (with fois gras lentils and greens), pan roasted beef rib-eye (with roasted fingerling potatoes), 3-cheese plate, moulton chocolate cake

m and i planned a day trip to the capital of virginina - richmond. i'd never been there and he'd attended school there, so it was high time a trip was planned (woohoo!). so, after a bit of touring (i love hearing people's stories about where they grew up, where they went to school, etc.) and walking up and down the cary street area (so cute!), we were off to dinner. finally!

i got the name of acacia off the list of "critics' favorites" list in the local richmond magazine. the critics can't be too wrong, but they can select restaurants out of my price range. additionally, the james beard award nominations? awards? anyway, the james beard award list had just come and and what was on the list? acacia - midtown. we had to try it. provided the prices were reasonable and the food looked good, that is ... and they were! on both fronts. BUT, when we checked, they were not yet open (what?) because we were too early. we figured we'd check out some other places and if they were better, we'd go to those other places. but in the end, we both were in agreement to stick it out until 5:30 to try to fare at acacia.

right as we walk in, we're greeted by the hostess who asks us if we had a reservation (we didn't), but sat us right away (the restaurant was empty) after asking for our names. weird, but we didn't question it. despite what we were each thinking of ordering (which wasn't available anyway. apparently, acacia changes their menu every day), we both resolved to get the price fixe menu (that was only available that first hour). yay for early dining!

we were first greeted by some rolls that were de-licious. and super buttery (maybe that's what made them so delicious!). they served us 2 and i wondered if we would get more if we asked (though not necessary). our server mentioned that there was something special about the butter, but i have since forgotten. honey butter? something like that.

appetizers: m opted for the mixed green salad. the addition of other veggies (i forget which. i think endives, among others) as well as dried fruit gave this otherwise common salad what felt like a acacia twist. fresh and dressed just right, it was a fresh way to begin a meal. because he got the salad, i opted for the soup - a creamy and thick butternut squash soup. unlike many butternut squash soups i've had, this one wasn't overly sweet. instead, it was squash-y (is that even an adjective?) and creamy. and about every other spoonful had a bit of bacon. bacon! you can't go wrong with bacon.

entrees: i was having a hard time deciding between the pan-fried duck and the fish. our server mentioned that the chef was sort of known for fish, but that the duck came with lentils in fois gras. duck it was! and it was delicious. the pan-fried duck was nice and juicy, offering more juice to mix with the lentils for increased flavor. it wasn't too tough or stinky (as something poultry can be) and it was a pretty hefty serving (in fact, both of our meals were. i mean, they seemed comparable in size to the things that others were ordering ... we think. in the end, it didn't matter as it was still a lot of food. that we ate all of). m ordered the steak which came with this amazing green sauce. his steak was cooked more than he wanted, but that didn't prevent him from eating the entire plate (though i did suggest that he say something about it - he didn't). i think it was my duck that came out rare (look how red it is!), but i like it that way, so ...

dessert! we were afraid that dessert would be totally overwhelming. after all, we were already filled with all sorts of goodies. i had selected the cheese plate. when it came out, i was pleasantly surprised. bits of cheese just enough to let me taste, and then some. they told me which each one was, but what do i know of the names of cheese? all i know is that each had a slightly different cheesy flavor, and one was really creamy and had the consistency of a spreadable cheese. yum. m got the molten chocolate cake with ice cream. with just the right amount of chocolate and just the right size (small), the cake oozed richness and deliciousness. a great way to end the meal!

a quick comment about one of their drinks. i forget what it's called, but it comes with ginger beer. apparently, acacia makes their own ginger beer. and even m, who says he doesn't particularly enjoy ginger, enjoyed the ginger drink. it was ginger-spicy-y, but delicious.

the next time you're in richmond and thinking of going somewhere with delicious food and a sort of modern/chic ambiance, be sure to put acacia on your list!


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