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Richmond restaurant Hot List: These are the places to try in July

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RICHMOND, Va. — As we move closer to a long, hot, Richmond summer, it’s now time release the Richmond restaurant HOT LIST for July. The column in which Eat It, Virginia! podcast co-host Robey Martin (former Richmond restaurant critic) answers her most-asked question: “Where should I be eating now in Richmond?”
Well, here you go. These are the spots that are on fire for the month of July.

BAM. Yep, had to. A former co-worker of Emeril Lagasse has stepped into the kitchen at the old Flora/Balliceaux. Poor Boys, owned by Clayton Navarre and Dillon Altizer, pays homage to the original New Orleans’ Po-boy. Chef Robert Holmes is in the kitchen and he knows his way around Creole food. Holmes worked in NOLA at Leidenheimer, the original New Orleans French Bread balery and at Emeril Lagasse’s NOLA restaurant.

Poor Boys
203 N. Lombardy Sreet
Richmond, Va. 23220

Rest easy, the bath tub is still around. You can even touch it. The old Strawberry Street Cafe is now Scuffletown Garden, a quasi-meat and three with whole animal butchery and cocktail roulette. Owner’s Derek Salerno and Octavio Camacho Andrade have spruced up the place (read: ripped up that god-forsaken carpet). Scuffletown (the name refers to the pocket park nearby) is your neighborhood bar ($6 happy hour drinks) with just a but more panache.

Scuffletown Garden
421 Strawberry Street
Richmond, Va. 23220

What do you get when you add chia seeds to a triathlete? I don’t know but you can find both at the new Pulp Fiction in Lakeside. The delicious “smoothie” food truck has found a home and is kinda packed serving bagels (there’s a rainbow bagel, yall) from New York and local coffee from Hopewell. The real question: Will someone meet me there? I’d like a French Press for the table (but really, just me) and a rainbow bagel with chive cream.

Pulp Fiction
5411 Lakeside Avenue
Richmond, Va. 23228

The people behind Belmont Pizzeria have landed downtown in the old Halligan’s Bar with a gas-fired Forno Classico pizza oven (The oven is gorgeous – get a good look when you go). Carmela’s has all the stars of Sicilian cuisine including panelle, a light and crisp chickpea fritter. Pizza comes build your own or in classic and familiar Italian iterations like Margherita or Bianca. If I were you, I’d order a Proscuitto and Arugula pie to share and save room for the tiramisu. It’s a family recipe made in-house.

Carmela’s
3 N. 17th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

The opening was so low key, you might question if it really happened. It did and those who know — know that Sheep Hill Bistro is plugging along in the old Magpie location in Carver. The spot is serving easy-going pub fare that includes fried ribs and a bougie chicken sandwich. Chef Leslie Cox, formerly of the Commonwealth Club and 2020, is behind the oven. The Carver area was formerly known as Sheep Hill (hence the name) in the 1840s and home to sheep slaughterhouses. Head on Saturday when breakfast is served till 2 p.m. Get the crab cakes. Then get a nap.

Sheep Hill Bistro
1301 West Leigh Street
Richmond, Va. 23220

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Grilled Lamb Chops

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Some places are just too hot to take off the list.

Manchu Food Truck is now Manchu, a brick and mortar, and all the better for it. The food, described as Viet-Creole, hails from the original New Orleans Manchu (if you haven’t seen that No Passport Required episode with them, get on it). The little spot nails the chicken wing. Sure, the po’ boy and other menu items are good, but the wings are incredible. Get more than you think — you’ll consume a couple in your car. eater.com asked if they were going to serve yakamein (a hangover cure). I’m here to tell you Eater. Yes, they are.

Manchu
2914 North Avenue
Richmond, Va. 23222

You have probably been asking yourself — what does the Richmond Canal Walk need? Bateau is your answer. The little wine and coffee bar is beautifully appointed, set a bit back from the canal with muted metal and gray interior. The name honors the boats of the free and enslaved black bateaumen who transported goods on the James River. Tip: Headed on a first date? Make a reservation for one of the two tops in front of “fireplace”. Smoke show.

Bateau
301 Virginia Street
Richmond, Va. 23219

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