Tuesday, February 28, 2012

RFC Field trip! Garnett's, Bombolini, Hardywood Park and Enoteca Sogno

Last Saturday the RFC decided we'd had enough of cabin fever, and got out for a foodie field trip around our town. Casey and I started off with lunch at Garnett's, the sweetest little lunch spot- and  neither of us had ever been. Now we know better!

We had also heard that the RVA patronage mob was going to be at the Bombolini Pasta shop on Main Street, which seemed like the perfect excuse to check it out. Rachel met us there, and we all got pasta to take home. We already knew that we loved their pasta as it has been available at farmers markets and stores for years. In their shop they are able to have frozen lasagnas and raviolis and sauces, along with takeout, wine and house made spice mixes. Yum.

Mushroom Ravioli!

Bombolini even has olive oil and local vinegar in bulk.

John Kreckman, owner of Bombolini, in front of their pasta making machine.

Lovely, no?
From there, we traveled up to Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.  Located on Overbrook Road, this industrial area has gotten a fantastic new neighbor. Not only do they make the best beer, but they are supernice guys! We talked with the head brewer Brain Nelson and several volunteers as well as the president and co- founder, Eric McKay. We learned about their history and brewing practices and was impressed to learn about their greening efforts. Did you know 100% of the brewery's electricity comes from sustainable sources, most from wind power?

Annie D. talking with Eric
And the beer! The Singel is available in several restaurants in town, including Can Can and the Mill.  Well balanced, and easy to drink, this full flavored Belgian is Hardywood's take on the ale Trappist monks would brew for their own consumption. The Singel is grand on its own, and would be the perfect accompaniment to any southern meal.

Casey, Rachel and the boys at the bar

We also tried the Mocha Belgique, which is brewed with beans from Black Hand Coffee Co. A gorgeous and flavorful dark beer, Brian Nelson ran it through a Randall full of more dark coffee beans and cocoa nibs before he poured it for us. It smelled like coffee and tasted like chocolate.  Beer for dessert, anyone?
And then, we had to take some home...

One of the other ideas that makes me love Hardywood park even more is their RVA IPA.  Soon, the brewery will be giving away hops rhizomes to RVA gardeners. The gardeners will grow them on, to be harvested and added to the RVA IPA in the fall.  Got room for a 20 foot perennial vine in your garden?  Check the Hardywood website in the next month for details if you would like to participate.  Some of the RFC houses just might!

After a lovely dinner with Shannon and Rachel and Rob at Enoteca Sogno, I felt like I had been on vacation!  Sometimes, you just gotta play tourist in your own town.

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