Tag Archives: Pasture

CHANGE IS HARD, AND DELICIOUS

A good drink, is a homing device.
At different times during my drinking life I have been loyal and true to various concoctions; the long lost Gin Gimlet of my own roaring twenties, the more recent Boulevardier, my on again off again sweetheart, the Manhattan.
As a serial regular, I peruse the menu but ultimately never stray. Once I find my drink to adore, I continually return to it.

That’s what happened with me and the Lincoln at Pasture,
for the last 8 months, it was my only. A stimulating and yet soothing mix of bourbon, sambuca, angostura, and orange liquor.
Like an embrace from your grandfather, post cigar and Sen-Sen, the Lincoln was comforting and masculine. It was my leather easy chair.

But change was in the air.

Jeff and Beth, Pasture’s lovely bartenders had braced me for its eventual departure from the cocktail list, to make room for new exciting drinks, giving me ample time to get used to the idea of moving on. I smiled politely at them and imagined my future self simply continuing to order my beloved Lincoln, off menu.
I hardly expected that their recent revamp of their cocktail list, would lead me to my new flame!
Meet the Remington.

The Remington at Pasture

The Remington at Pasture (glam photo by Beth Dixon)

Similar to the Lincoln, though decidedly less grandpa, the Remington feels like an old friend that I need to catch up with. It’s served neat and serious and has a “let’s get this thing started” quality (the Cocchi di Torino, perhaps?).

Among the 5 new additions to the menu, the tart and vibrant tequila based Palmer also pitched some definite woo. You can acquaint yourself with the Remington and all of Pasture’s new cocktails here, and then mosey down to Pasture and taste for yourself.

DON’T MISS OFF BROAD APPETIT, HERE IS WHY!

offBroadAppetit

Do you remember last year’s event at Pasture with all the great chefs and wonderful regional food and VA wines and of course all of the money that was raised for Feed More? WELL, IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN! Tickets are on sale now and the line up features even more wonderful chefs from all over the country. I’m most excited about one chef in particular and I felt the need to explain why.

While last year’s chefs mostly hailed from the South, this year features culinary masters from Oregon, Colorado, DC, NYC and my personal favorite BROOKLYN! Rob Newton of Seersucker and his partner Kerry Diamond opened their Southern restaurant (Ok, ok, he’s from Arkansas) the very week I left Brooklyn in Carroll Gardens mere steps from my old apartment. I still have yet to eat there-BUT- I was able to partake of Chef Newton’s Southern delicacies at Big Apple BBQ last summer and his food was phenomenal! I believe there was sorghum laced fried chicken and gumbo and deviled eggs. I may have that wrong, as I was in a food fueled stupor of glory. I tell you, you need to put your appetite in front of this gent.
Those of you who attended the Virginia Wine Summit in Oct of 2012 may have sat in on the Uncommon Wine Pairings panel, where Rob was a featured panelist. And if you can believe this, all the way back in 2011 Seersucker was featured in our movie Pimento Cheese, Please as one of the many NYC spots singing the praises of Southern food. Now that is a Brooklyn/RVA connection that cannot be denied.

I’m really looking forward to having these chefs in Richmond. Some you may be familiar with, some I’m sure you are not, all of whom I enjoyed reading about for this post. Heck, I looked them all up so you don’t have to! Read on:

Adam Sappington of The Country Cat
Justin Brunson of Old Major in Denver.
Ruben Garcia of Think Food Group/Jose Andres/Gilt City/ Rogue 24 in DC.
Andre Hueston Mack of Mouton Noir of NYC

And we mustn’t forget our own Jason-mother-effin Ally! The hardest working man in RVA food! Jason has been hustling to put RVA on the map for years and I’d like to thank he and Richmond magazine and all of the sponsors for bringing this event to us again. See you there Richmond!!!

BETH DIXON: BEHIND THE BAR

beth&ellie

photo by Sam Dixon

I’ve mentioned Beth on the blog before, but while interviewing her for the guest posts I’m doing for the Southern Foodways Alliance,
I learned so many interesting things about my fave female drink slinger that I wanted to share.

Are you originally from Richmond, where did you grow up?

I grew up in Hanover County on a historic 550-acre plantation owned by my father’s family. I spent most of my childhood helping to restore the house and then we would garden in the spring. The house had a gorgeous traditional English Garden that my great-grandmother was famous for on the local garden tours. I have lived in Richmond for almost 12 years now, 8 of them in my home in the city’s Northside.

Where do you work?

I have been working at Pasture since they opened and feel very attached to the restaurant. Working with Jason and Michele has only helped me hone my skills and grow confidence in my craft. The opening of Pasture has helped immensely in helping bring back a beautiful, but vacant area downtown. My friends Owen and Tiffany Lane own a fantastic little Gastropub- The Magpie, in another community that has been experiencing a revitalization recently, Carver. I work there as a cocktail consultant and I tend bar there once a week.

How long have you been working in the food and beverage industry?

12 loooooooonnnnngggg years! I have often fought it as a long-term source of employment. I even sold real estate for 4 years but could never let go of bartending.

Can you tell me a bit about how you started homesteading?

I did have some experience with aspects of homesteading in my childhood and I had a small garden with my roommates, while living the life of a 20 something with no real responsibilities. Then I got pregnant at 26. This led to researching nutrition and birth options, which led to a healthier diet. My daughter Ellie’s father was already obsessed with gardening and had built an intense edible garden in his previous home. Cindy Conner, mentored him. Anyhow, our daughter is the big inspiration to turn the house into a homestead. We don’t trust the food industry as it stands. The only way we can afford to feed our family quality, delicious, organic food is to grow it ourselves. Whatever is left over, I can it or gift it to our neighbors. I have a shelf in my kitchen, just to display all the things I make, next to all my canning and preserving books. They are my trophies.

bethgarden1

photo by Sam Dixon

Artichoke

photo by Sam Dixon



Can you talk about the RVA swappers and how that came to be?

RVA Swappers is a food-swapping group that meets once a month. Basically, you bring 6 of whatever you make: jam, pickles, baked goods, infused syrups, homegrown greens, etc. Five are for swapping and 1 for everyone to taste. We have done about 7 swaps now and have new people come every time. It’s a great way to meet other people who are into homesteading. We always try to meet at places that support the community, especially the food community. This woman was having drinks at Pasture one night and we started to talk about canning. She had been a member of BK Swappers in NYC and wanted to start one here in Richmond. That’s how I met the co-founder of RVA Swappers, Andrea Buono. We are 7 events in and it keeps growing.

What inspires your beverage creations?

Often my drinks are inspired by whatever I have on hand and what is in season. I definitely use a lot of fresh herbs and fruit, but I am a frugal person by nature so I try to use things that may otherwise go wasted first. At the Magpie, I was very inspired by the Victorian look and feel of the place. I researched Victorian era cocktails and created the menu based on classic cocktails with my own little twists. At home when we entertain, my friends are always at my will! I make rounds of cocktails using- parsley, lemon and gin or tequila, chipotle, lime & cilantro…

The Madison by Beth Dixon

This is Beth’s recipe for a Madison, named for Madison County, VA.
1 ½ oz.bourbon
1 oz fresh strawberry syrup*
½ oz lemon juice
couple dashes Fee Bros. Walnut bitters

Put all ingredients into a shaker, shake and pour over ice. Top with a splash of soda, garnish with a lemon twist.

*strawberry simple syrup recipe
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1/2 pound strawberries, washed,hulled and sliced
Bring sugar and water to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce
the heat and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved 5
minutes. Add strawberries and simmer 10 minutes
Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain syrup and discard solids.
Transfer to a lidded container and keep in the fridge for up to two
weeks.

WINTER COCKTAIL CRAWL: PASTURE (RVA)

Though I heard Andrew Frieden this morning talking about temperatures in the 70s for this weekend- I am vigilant in continuing to bring you our city’s cocktail goings on!

(This is my 2nd to last post on the subject and if I am to come clean- I need to admit one of my absolute top, favorite restaurants in the city. The food and staff are near and dear to me, but for our purposes here today, we are sticking to the bar, which I happen to LOVE.)

Pasture calls itself a Southern restaurant, but I am a full fledged Yankee and I feel so very at home there. The bar itself is beautiful, long and roomy, with a wall of restored wood, hiding drawers in which are tucked the bottles normally displayed. The wall also sports a sleek and anonymous row of taps flush against it. Both of these aspects prompt immediate engagement with the bartenders and discussion of the drink menus, which I adore.

The folks who work behind the bar are some of the nicest and sincere I’ve ever met, in or out of town. The atmosphere, a large open space with high ceilings (criticized early on for being too noisy) has always been for me, a perfect backdrop for enjoying oneself at the bar, almost creating a separate bar feel, while still amidst the bustling dining room. I could go on, but it’s time to get down to business, the reason we are all here, Good thirsty ladies and gents may I present to you: The pickle back.IMG_1867

I kid!! While I love a pickle back and I am pretty positive Marty would step over me to get at one, its but a teaser for the real libations that await you at Pasture.

Meet Beth, here she is fixing me a bitters and (house made) ginger after a long evening of insobriety last summer.

BethatPasture.

She also made this, The Ringold, a peach, brandy, ginger beer and champagne fairy nectar for the holidays: IMG_1866

and this IMG_1873 which is currently one of my current obsessions, a curious and satisfying mix of bourbon, citrus liqueur, Sambuca, and bitters named for a certain President we all went gaga for last year and tasting of, as Beth aptly put it, “an old man”.
No, no, no she actually referred to it as an old man’s drink, but I tell people it tastes like old man, just to see the scowl on their face (hey, to each his, own).

Beth is also known to make her own bitters, and syrups such as the pickled pear syrup in a flirty Gin, rhubarb bitters and red grapefruit fizz whose name now escapes me.
IMG_1880
I would be remiss to not mention Jeff, whose gracious manner and Tennessee drawl are quite the draw to the bar at Pasture. I like to say “We come for the Beth, but we stay for the Jeff”. (That’s the first time I’ve said that.)
The cocktails (and beers and wines) change more than seasonally, giving you good reason to drink early and drink often. Please go visit the gang at Pasture, have a seat at the bar, order something to sip on, some Pimento Cheese and tell them Nicole sent you.

THE 5 DAYS OF DRINKMAS

Hey! Long time no see! I still exist doing the whole working/baking/eating/drinking/thinking thing. Mostly working/baking/sleping as of late.
With so little time left between now and THE BIG DAY, I decided to latch onto the holiday frivolity the best way I know how- COCKTAILS! In the next days leading up to Christmas, I will drink at least 5, if not more cocktails around town and picture them here and on my twitter.
After a long day working/baking Marty and I decided to pop into Pasture, where the cocktail list has recently been revealed. I really appreciate how Pasture is blending modern and sleek with traditional and the bar is gorgeous.
Marty went with a Roanoke Rail lager and I decided on The SURRY: smoked ginger syrup, bourbon, lemon juice and peel, and a splash of ginger ale. The drink is listed on ice, but I requested it NEAT and do not regret it. I also asked for Old Overholt, a straight Rye Whiskey.
This is a complex little drink. The smokiness, while not for everyone I imagine, completely made the drink for me. Those other ingredients, (obviously no strangers to Whiskey) gained depth from that muskiness and made for a subtle but different treatment.
I highly recommend it.
CHEER FACTOR: 4 out of 5

The SURRY at Pasture

Stay tuned for more drinks from around town and elsewhere!