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selba: richmond

a
AMFM Aug 27, 2011 08:54 AM

so i got a chance to try out this new place on cary in the fan last week. official grand opening was thursday in the middle of the storm.
complaints: service was slow enough that it would've been a complaint had it not been their first week. but it was friendly. and i'll cut them some slack. but you've been warned to either give them a bit of time or plan accordingly.
now to the good (which is much much more): space is gorgeous. really elegant and hip in front. garden room in back is absolutely beautiful. and will only be more so as the plants grow. was a bit cold however. jazz piano is also lovely and they were adjusting volume as we were there so they definitely want to make it a great experience.
bar: well stocked, good wine list (i loved the french rose at $7 a glass) and some interesting cocktails. i have multiple friends already really into the ginger mojito. it's a bit sweet for me. but good. that's my bias.
food: their whole focus is fresh, local, organic, and really tasting the ingredients. while i liked some things better than others i think they are well on their way.
heirloom tomato panzanella. had it twice. ordered it neither time. i don't like panzanella salads. this has a great dressing and is well done. i don't like panzanella salads so i wouldn't have ordered it. i didn't hate it though so that's something. i just don't like chunks and bread in a salad. not the restaurant's fault.
summer corn soup: topped with chive oil and fresh lump crab. i really liked it but it is NOT highly seasoned. tastes exactly like pureed corn. so if you want seasoning it won't be for you. if you want to taste summer in VA in a bowl... as i said, i really liked it.
tri tip appetizer: rare tritip with pickled horseradish, capers, bibb lettuce and gorganzola toast. sounds like too much but it wasn't. i really enjoyed this one too. messy. not pretty first date food. :)
scallop app: i thought this was amazing. cumin crusted with micro cilantro and an ancho chile (i think i remember) sauce. yum. perfectly executed.
panseared rockfish over parmesan quinoa (i think. unfortunately the menu isn't online to remind me yet): also really really good. perfectly balanced and cooked.

at a preview night i tried a lemon mousse that will apparently be on their regular dessert menu. divine.
at the grand opening they were offering a selection of housemade sorbets and icecreams. tried the duckrabbit stout chocolate (i really liked it, but my friend did not because it was very icy) and a salted caramel (fabulous). they also had cinnamon carrot ice cream and crazy sorbets like a mango (i think) jalapeno. i remember i wanted to try them all.

the whole menu looks great and they have a sunday brunch as well. oh and they actually have some parking. anyway... about 2 blocks down from acacia and i'm really happy to have them as another addition to the richmond scene.

and i have NO affiliation or connection to the restaurant. just lucky to have heard about them early through a friend.

  1. b
    BostonCharles Sep 12, 2011 07:13 AM

    My wife had a great meal there. She and I then went and had a mediocre meal. Hopefully it will end up more like the first than the second....

    Nice bar and garden room, it'll be great for brunch

    1 Reply
    1. re: BostonCharles
      a
      AMFM Nov 5, 2011 08:43 AM

      I have found that it's hit or miss within the items... so i've had meals that are partly good and those that are all great and some dishes that are awful. the place is nice, the menu interesting. and their drinks fabulous and amazing. if nothing else go for the drinks and apps. the flatbreads are usually great and the smoked salmon dip. i could eat the scallop small plate any day.
      and the current carribean harvest drink and the socialite martini are about the best i have ever had. :)

    2. a
      AMFM Sep 11, 2011 09:00 AM

      so i've been back and will report more....
      loved the chicken confit flatbread. the carrot/cinnamon ice cream is yummy. avoid the tempura shrimp. awful. :)

      1. j
        Janet from Richmond Aug 29, 2011 07:02 AM

        Where in the Fan is it? Is it where Dogwood Grill and Cirrus used to be?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Janet from Richmond
          a
          AMFM Aug 30, 2011 01:06 PM

          it's in the old honda dealership. not a pretty part. but parking. :) more info below that i just googled. and seriously the space is gorgeous. easy walk from acacia.

          http://selbarichmond.com/
          website is pretty useless still. wish it had a menu. 2416 w. cary

          http://www.yelp.com/biz/selba-richmond

          http://rvanews.com/etc/restaurant-sel...

          1. re: AMFM
            j
            Janet from Richmond Aug 31, 2011 05:49 AM

            Thanks! I know exactly where that is.

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