Archive for Dine
Alrighty, rent check is in the mail, bills have been paid AND I got $28 left to blow. Let’s check the ol’ internet to see what that’ll get me!
(Ed Note: these are all real things that really cost $28.)
Three “giant” gummy bears in handsome carrying case.
This SUPER COOL t-shirt.
An autographed photo of actress Tyne Daly.
(The perfect gift for any Cagney and Lacey fan/person named Michail in your life.)
Five pounds of dehydrated bacon-horseradish dip.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Secco’s new Chef’s Tasting Menu, aka the best $28 you’ve ever spent (no offense, Tyne Daly)!
Put yourself in the hands of one of Richmond’s most acclaimed chefs, Tim Bereika, as he guides you through an incredible five-course feast. Menus change daily, but will always include two antipasti, two small plates and a dessert; vegetarian and gluten-free options available. Those seeking the full Secco experience can call on one of our friendly wine-geeks to suggest the perfect pairings for your meal.
Secco’s Chef’s Tasting Menu is available from 5-9:00PM, every Sunday through Wednesday. Reservations are strongly recommended for parties of five or more. Call 804-353-0670 for further information or to book a large party reservation.
Have you heard the news? Secco Wine Bar is expanding!
Now, we’re not exactly talking about a Secco in every city; no Secco Express at Short Pump; no line of frozen small plate dinners complete with dehydrated wine pairings (just add wine). What I refer to is a more internal expansion.
Secco’s lounge now houses this nifty new communal table! Not only does it look cool and boast panoramic views of Carytown, but it allows us, quite simply, to provide more seats for more butts…and we’d love your butt to be one of them (that was weird). This extra seating will help alleviate the wait on busy nights and, most importantly, finally allow us to accommodate large parties for group dining.
For inquiries and more information on group dining at Secco, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 804.353.0670.
See you soon!
Just the other day Julia, Tim and myself got the first time to sit down together since the onset of Holiday mayhem. In one epic, three-hour-long pow-wow, interrupted only by the requisite distractions that come with working in Carytown (seriously, what kind of monster dyes their dog purple?) we hatched, in very skeletel form, Secco’s agenda for 2012.
For starters, FLIGHT NIGHT will continue but will be limited to Monday nights only. Not because we’re jerks but because we want to free Tuesday nights up for special events, classes (cheese, wine, beer, etc) and the occasional private party. As we speak, Tim is putting the final touches on his Valentines Day menu; masterminding a pop-up restaurant in Church Hill; hammering out the logistics for an event with brewery-in-the-making, Ardent Craft Ales; and brainstorming a multi-chef “Street Food” themed dinner. All the while he’s testing out new salads and sandwiches for a revamp of Secco’s lunch menu later this month.
Secco will greet every season in the only way we know how: with high spirits, a sense of humor and plenty of booze. We’ll take the edge off Old Man Winter at this weekend’s Beer Breakfast, and paint the town pink on our second-annual Rosé Crawl this summer. And, since 2012 is sure to be a renaissance for ridiculous end-of-the-world theories, we may even work in a second-annual Post-Apocalypse After-Party as well.
Finally, fellow Carytowners will be happy to know that we’re hatching a plan to offer lunch delivery up and down the main drag.
Details on that and all of the above will be posted here and on our facebook and twitter feeds as soon as they’re available. For further information on renting Secco out for a private party, email us at email@example.com.
Here’s to a great 2012!
UPDATE: As of 2:30PM on Monday, 11/7, there are four seats still available. Call us at 804.353.0670 to reserve yours!
BEER DINNER W/ 12 PERCENT IMPORTS
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Stillwater American Saison Pin
Rappahannok river stingray oysters, pickled plum mignonette, house creme fraiche with fresh ginger & peppercress
seared beef cheek terrine, roasted pioppini mushrooms & celery root with arugula coulis
Brasserie Cazeau Saison
“chicken and waffles”
ice cream sandwich with maple-brown butter gelato & fried chicken-infused cookies
Emelisse Russian Imperial Stout
Tickets are $50 per person, ALL INCLUSIVE. Reception at 6:30PM; Dinner at 7:00PM.
The moment we got the news that our favorite beer saleslady landed a gig as a manager for one of our favorite beer importers, we knew a celebration was in order.
Now, before you write this off as some boring, inter-industry minutae, there are a couple things you should know: The sales rep in question is Bridget Smith. Cute as a button, funny as hell and possessing an encyclopedic knowledge about beer, Bridget is the total package. Had the guys in Weird Science been beer nerds instead of, you know, just regular nerds, they would have created Bridget instead of Kelly LeBrock.
And the importer in question is 12 Percent, an awesome boutique company that specializes in wrangling rare and obscure ales from the most rare and obscure corners of Belgium and beyond. Basically, they’re what would have resulted if the guys in Weird Science had sought to create a beer importer instead of a…my god, I really need to stop watching Weird Science.
This coming Monday, Secco is celebrating Richmond Beer Week with a 12 Percent Tap Takeover and Beer Dinner. Bridget is rolling up with three kegs and a cask of some of 12 Percent’s finest, for which Chef Tim and Sous Chef Mike have designed a beautiful pairing menu. Reservations are still available, but they’re going faster than the Porche 928 that Anthony Michael Hall drove in Weird Science…
Secco may be your go-to spot for wining and dining, but what about for a 45-minute lunch break?
Truth be told, LUNCH at SECCO just may be one of the best kept secrets in Richmond, and undoubtedly one of its best values. For little more than the cost of a gas station hoagie, you can score an amazing sandwich made with REAL artisanal ingredients (like Billy Bread, naturally raised meats, local veggies and farmstead cheeses) all served with fried chickpeas and a mixed field greens salad.
Wanna see something hilarious???
This is a six-inch sub from a “restaurant” which I will not name, as it probably possess enough legal muscle to wipe any record of my existence clean off the face of the Earth. It features compressed meat-like products hailing from an unknown origin (trust me, you don’t want to know), “White American” cheese (reverse racism?) and wilted, industrially produced veggies. It comes with a bag of chips and a soda and costs you $6.75.
This is Secco’s pork panino. It features braised Duroc pork shoulder (naturally and humanely raised, no antibiotics, etc.), fresh goat cheese and a local spicy plum chutney that, when the sandwich is pressed to order, partially oozes through the bread, creating a sweet, caramelized crust. It is served with our signature fried chickpeas and a local field greens salad dressed with a homemade lemon-thyme vinaigrette and costs you …$7.00.
ONE MEASLY QUARTER marks the difference between sad, processed, anonymous food stuffs that harm the environment and pump your body full of preservatives AND a truly satisfying meal made with real ingredients that were raised and prepared by real people who really give a damn. Really!
In addition to sandwiches, Secco’s daytime menu also offers a wide selection of cheese and charcuterie, soups, salads, antipasti, natural sodas, French press coffee, etc. And, of course, should you choose to indulge in a glass of beer or wine with your lunch (you know, like Nick Cage in Leaving Las Vegas…or like EVERY EUROPEAN IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!!!), we still have plenty of that too.
Secco’s stellar lunch menu is available every day, from noon to 4PM.
Admittedly, when the average person is contemplating where to go for a great burger, a wine bar known for inventive, seasonal cuisine is probably not the first place to come to mind. Then again, most of our customers have little in common with the “average person” and this is not your run-of-the-mill Royale with Cheese.
Esteemed people of the internets, I give you The Lamburguesa!
Ground lamb is seasoned with Balti spice (an ancient Pakistani blend of nearly 20 seasonings), grilled and then topped with feta, sliced red onion and harissa yogurt. On the side: crispy hand-cut fries tossed with sea salt, black pepper, smoked Spanish paprika and fenugreek (a common ingredient in many curries).
Yet before your higher functions have a chance to parse out the delicate play of global spices, the synapses in your primitive brain burst like a cherry bomb, set off by the primordial marriage of muscle, fat and fire. Sure, this is a decidedly forward-thinking, multi-lingual, burger-of-the-world, but underlying its sophisticated exterior is enough juicy, eat-with-two-hands lusciousness to render Guy Fieri mute (could you imagine how wonderful?).
And what better antidote is there to the season when social obligation compels us to ingest so many patties of over-cooked, under-seasoned beef at cook outs and company picnics? I bite into my Lamburguesa, emit a muffled grunt of ecstasy and envision a better world, where all cultures coexist in perfect harmony and every member of the human race knows how to grill to a perfect medium.
The Lamburguesa is the latest addition to Secco’s stellar lunch menu, available from noon to 4PM, seven days a week.
This blog post marks the first in at least a couple of experiments where we share the recipes behind one of Chef Tim’s signature plates. Hard to believe that this is what he considers one of his “simple” dishes. Just reading this recipe and, for the first time, truly coming to terms with the amount of creativity and labor behind it, has me overcome with conflicting emotions. On one hand, I’m incredibly proud to be part of a operation that brings food of this caliber to the table. On the other, I feel like WE WERE STRAIGHT SUCKAS for only charging $8 for this dish.
Any of you weekend warrior chefs up to the task? If so, let us know how it turned out in the comments. Be forewarned, this is not your average “30 Minute Meal” kinda recipe, so put on your cooking shoes (uh, crocs, I suppose) and prepare to take your game to the next level.
Ale-Braised, Paprika-Dusted Grilled Octopus with Smoked Yukon Potatoes, Braised Celery, Celery Leaves and Squid Ink Sauce
For the Octopus:
Octopus • 1, 6-8 pounds
Celery • 1 stalk, roughly chopped
Yellow Onion • 1 each, peeled and quartered
Carrot • 1 large, peeled and coarsely chopped
Fresh Thyme • 4 sprigs
Fresh Garlic • 2 cloves, peeled
Bay Leaves • 2 each, fresh if available
Wine Cork • 1 each
Ale* • 32 ounces
*You’re best off using something mild, golden and slightly sweet (we used a French Biere de Garde); avoid anything too hoppy or dark.
Set up an ice bath that is large enough to hold the octopus once it’s cooked. In a large stockpot, bring the ale up to a boil with the vegetables, herbs and wine cork. Grab the octopus by its body and add it to the pot–dunking it a few times before completely submerging it). Gently simmer the octopus until tender–about 90 minutes. To check doneness lift the octopus out of the water with a large spoon and pinch in between the legs, right where they meet the body. If the gelatin-like skin begins to crack or tear slightly it’s ready. Plunge the octopus into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cool, portion it by cutting the legs away from the body. Reserve the head and body for another use. Refrigerate the legs until needed.
For the Smoked Potatoes and Celery:
Yukon Potatoes •3 each, peeled and diced
Celery • 2 stalks, fibers removed
Celery Leaves • about 50 picked from the center of the head
Olive Wood Shavings • as needed for smoking the potatoes
Chicken Stock • as needed (vegetable stock alternatively)
Set up an ice bath in a container large enough to hold the cooked potatoes. Place the diced potatoes into a pot and fill it with enough water to cover them by an inch. Bring the potatoes up to a simmer and cook until al dente–about 5 minutes once at a simmer. Drain and plunge the cooked potatoes into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once chilled, drain completely. Place potatoes in a bowl and cover with plastic film. Smoke them twice using the olive wood and Poly Science Smoking Gun, then reserve until needed.
Place the celery in a sauté pan, then pour enough stock in to partially cover the stalks. Add and pinch of salt and pepper, then bring the stock up to a simmer. Cook slowly until celery is al dente, then remove the stalks from the pan and cool in the refrigerator. Cool stock and reserve for another use.
For the Squid Ink Sauce:
Squid Ink • 1 teaspoon
Yellow Onion • ¼ Cup, finely chopped
Fresh Thyme • 2 sprigs
Fresh Garlic • 1 clove, finely chopped
Canned Tomatoes • 12 ounce can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil • as needed
Using a medium-sized sauce pot, add enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom by 1/16 of an inch. Add the onions, garlic and thyme and sweat over medium heat until softened. Add the canned San Marzano tomatoes along with the squid ink and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, remove the thyme sprigs and place mixture into a blender. Process until smooth, then cool completely and reserve.
To Complete the Dish:
Preheat your grill on high. Coat the octopus with extra virgin olive oil, then generously dust the octopus with smoked Spanish paprika, salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until you get some char on both sides of each leg and the octopus is cooked through–about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover in foil to keep warm.
While the octopus is cooking, sauté the potatoes over medium-high heat until lightly browned then finish in a 475 degree oven until tender. At the last minute, add the celery so it has a chance to warm up in the pan. Place mixture in a small bowl and add the celery leaves. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Dab a basting brush in the squid ink sauce and paint a swoosh on each plate. Take each cooked octopus leg and cut into two pieces. Stack the octopus and potatoes/celery creatively on the plate (see photo) and serve.