Saturday, April 14, 2012

Smoke It, Cure It, Pickle It: Pasture RVA

House made Tasso, Saucisson and Lomo at Pasture RVA
Ok, Richmond. This is where it's at, and sue me now because I'm about to rave like a blubbering little girl about the house cured and smoked meats, pickled vegetables and fish that's going on at Chef Jason Alley's newest spot Pasture located on an up-and-coming stretch of E. Grace Street in downtown RVA.

I grew up picking at relish trays. There wasn't a Sunday supper at my Granny Boohler's house back in Princeton, West Virginia, which is ironically a hop and a skip across the border from where Jason Alley grew up in Dublin, Virginia, that didn't involve her busting out her very best depression glass and filling it with homemade bread and butter pickles, pimento stuffed olives, mini dill pickles, celery sticks, and if we were really lucky, some homemade pimento cheese-- think this:
It goes without saying that I get real warm and fuzzy when it comes to platters of pickled anything, so when we hit Pasture last night, the house made pickled cauliflowers, beets, green beans and bread and butters were at the top of my list. This piquant combo was eventually drowned in a shot of Virginia Gentleman chased with another shot of said vegetable's pickling juice (a.k.a. a Pickle Back), which any good Southerner needs to try at least once.

As pickle-ly as our first nibbles were (we got pimento cheese served with Ritz crackers as well, which is a whopping $2 during happy hour--more on that later) it was the house-cured and smoked goodies that definitely had me. The charcuterie platter featured a Spanish-style cured Lomo, a French-influenced Saucisson, and a stupid good Cajun Tasso (my personal fav) alongside a lovely savory meets sweet homemade pate, more pickles, and what appeared to be a made-in-house stone ground mustard. Since, Chef Alley and his charcuterie expert compadre and Chef de Cuisine, Joe Sparatta, had just spent the day touring the Edwards Ham facility in Surry, Virginia as evidenced by some drool-worthy tweeting, I'm figuring this is where they're getting their pork, making this a full-on, Granny-approved expression of meats, especially since her version of charcuterie often consisted of bacon, country ham and sausage patties.
Now, onto the fish.

The uber-whimsicle deconstructed house-cured salmon over an "Everything Bagel Cream Cheese" studded with bits of crunchy bagel bits and accented with pickled red onions definitely hit it. Just when you think, how on earth can anyone bring something new to the often overdone smoked salmon app, Pasture does it.

So, about that happy hour. We were there at 6pm, and there were plenty of spots at the bar, which to be honest, totally baffles me, if only for the fact that all of their snacks are half-off (they are normally $4), so you can nosh away at an array of goodies for less than the cost of a Big Mac. They also have $2.00 beer specials and $2.00 off all other drafts and a $5 white and red wine. There's some good mixology going on over there as well with a specially priced cocktail of the day. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 5-7pm, so get thee there stat and stop complaining about your budget.

In other news, word has it there just may be a collaborative dinner party in the works slated for sometime in June to be held at Pasture, which will feature some seriously high-profile chefs including James Beard Award winning Chef's Sean Brock and John Currence as well as several others yet to be announced. Give a "Like" to Pasture's Facebook page for more on this event.

The Basics:
416 East Grace Street  Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 780-0416

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  1. This meal looks amazing! And i bet it tasted even better.
    Thanks for the beautiful photos sharing the experience.

  2. That cured salmon is just beautiful. And the sight of all that charcuterie is making me swoon.

  3. Not sure if you guys live in Richmond, but if you do, you should definitely make it Pasture. Great food, laid back atmosphere, nice little happy hour. Thanks for stopping by!


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