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In the Media: Food & Drink

Filtering by Tag: restaurants

The RVA Pizza Guide: I Was Made for Oven You, Baby | Richmond Magazine

Kristel Poole

Take a peek inside the kiln to learn how pizza gets made

by Jason Tesauro, January 23, 2017

“I call her my fire-breathing dragon,” says Jenna Sneed, chef and owner of Fresca on Addison. “She has a personality and you have to talk to her sweetly.” Sneed keeps her gas-powered dome humming at 800 degrees all day; it can’t run below 500 overnight, “or else it takes too long to heat back up.”

At its heart, an oven is about two things: temperature and heat distribution. While most any oven will make good pizza, strict certifications, precise ratios and refraction dictate a great oven’s floor runs at 750 to 800 degrees, while the dome nears 1,000. At these temps, dough cooks in 90 seconds. And when a pizza is lifted to the dome, toppings are blistered in even fewer. “But it’s not easy to use,” says Randall Doetzer, executive chef of Nota Bene. He spins pizzas around the deck to work his Neapolitan oven’s hot and cold spots. “With so many variables, I can do a hundred pizzas just fine and then wreck the next one. It’s humbling.”

Then there’s the fuel. Wood is sexy, but it’s also dirty, full of oils and tough to control. Coal is cleaner but it’s hard to get the fire started, and more difficult to master. Lots of pizzerias keep oven-side piles of cordwood or coal, but don’t get burned by marketing; if that wood or coal isn’t the primary heat source, it’s just a fancified gas oven.

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The Critics Ate Crudo, Caribbean-Mediterranean Fare, and Pizza This Week | Eater Boston

Kristel Poole

By Dana Hatic, December 22, 2016

Harvard Square’s Waypoint receives a visit from the New York Times’s Jason Tesauro, who dives into the wood-fired pizza, snacks, and pasta. Tesauro writes that the fried smelts are crispy, the tallow fried peanuts are a clever snack, and the Royal Osetra caviar becomes fun alongside doughnut holes and blinis. The roast lamb shoulder is “umami-rich,” Tesauro writes, and the daily crudo is worth hogging for “its balance of salt, acid and buttery olive oil.”

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Nile Flows Uphill | Richmond Magazine

Kristel Poole

One of Richmond's favorite Ethiopian restaurants reemerges in Church Hill

By Jason Tesauro, August 19, 2016

Ten years after founding the original Nile on Laurel Street, the Teklemariam family is bringing its Ethiopian restaurant to Church Hill.

Brothers Yoseph and Benyam Teklemariam first laid eyes on the 96-year-old commercial building  at 306 N. 29th St. years ago but settled into the VCU district instead. Now, after eight years near the college, a continuing hot-bar arrangement at Ellwood Thompson's, and a brief collaboration with Portrait House in Carytown, they've reemerged with a new space of their own, which soft-opened Tuesday in the former Str8 Out of Philly location. While the brothers Teklemariam get a feel for their new business, you can stop by for dinner...

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North Heads South | Richmond Magazine

Kristel Poole

1 North Belmont's Frits Huntjens takes to Petersburg for a new restaurant and farmers market concept

By Jason Tesauro, May 13, 2016

Six years ago, one of Richmond’s most elegant restaurants closed its doors. 1 North Belmont, where Stuzzi currently resides, was a victim of both an economic downturn and an untenable spot on the sophisticated fringe of RVA’s dining scene in those hungry years before The Roosevelt, Secco Wine Bar, Pasture, The Magpie and Heritage energized our city.   

Soon after the closure, chef and owner Frits Huntjens packed up his knives, clogs and Dutch accent and traded the turbulent life of an independent toque for a sweet corporate gig in North Side as the executive chef of Westminster Canterbury, a top-tier retirement community. And now, he’s unveiling an ambitious master plan to take his talents south. South to Petersburg. “Two investors are putting their money – well north of a million dollars – where their mouth is," says Huntjens, "and where everyone else’s mouth will be.”

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