EAT | SHOP | PLAY
by Victoria Bourne
Country-cool comes to P-town
This year’s summer soundtrack is chock-a-block with familiar names and iconic voices, but a country music pioneer is appearing for the first time at the Union Bank & Trust Pavilion in Portsmouth on Aug. 16. Dwight Yoakam told Rolling Stone in 2015 that his three-decade-long career hasn’t been about anticipating what will be a commercial success: “It’s about doing what I find exciting musically and what will entertain me musically.” A champion of the Bakersville sound who’s packaged in skinny jeans and a big cowboy hat, Yoakam released his most recent album, Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars …, in 2016; it’s an all-bluegrass affair and includes a twangy cover of Prince’s Purple Rain.
Made-from-scratch cones and
a revolving selection of
house-made ice cream and vegan frozen desserts sounds like an excellent reason to check out Charm School Social Club in Richmond. But what intrigues us is the gourmet ice cream shop’s toasted marshmallow-fluff topping that co-owner and pastry chef Meryl Hillerson makes in house. It’s piped onto your frozen treat and toasted with a culinary blowtorch.
An amazing something
Pharrell Williams brought Something in the Water to Virginia Beach, his hometown, in late April, and everyone agrees the three-day, star-studded music, art and cultural festival was something else – something wonderful, something hopeful, something worth repeating. Look for it to return in 2020.
Big on the small screen
Two Tidewater natives with a list of theatrical credits on their resumes have popped up in a couple of binge-worthy shows.
Norfolk native Emmy Raver-Lampman appears in the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy. The show chronicles the lives of a dysfunctional family of child superheroes turned estranged adults who reunite after the somewhat inexplicable death of their adopted billionaire father. Raver-Lampman plays Allison Hargreeves, who can alter reality with a whispered “I heard a rumor … .” The show is an adaptation of Gerard Way’s graphic novel series of the same name and has been renewed for a second season.
Kelli Barrett, a Virginia Beach native, has won rave reviews for her portrayal of Liza Minnelli in Fosse/Verdon, a new FX television series about choreographer and director Bob Fosse and dancer, actress and choreographer Gwen Verdon. Barrett, according to reviews, captures Minnelli at the height of her powers and international stardom. Not surprising, given that she prepared for the role by working with a Fosse protégé.
Fresh and local
There’s no better time than spring and summer to hit up your local farmers market, and there are certainly a few in Tidewater. It’s a good way to eat healthier and support our small farmers, not to mention the myriad crafters and artisans you might meet. Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads has an app to get you started.
Cheers to courageous beginnings
The countdown to Virginia Distillery Co.’s first flagship release has begun. In less than a year, whiskey lovers could be kicking back with a dram of its American single malt Courage & Conviction. Inspired by the distillery’s late founder, Dr. George G. Moore, and guided by his principle, “Have the courage of your convictions,” the 100 percent malted barley whiskey is matured in former bourbon, sherry and cuvée wine casks and aged at least three years in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
The flagship release is a marriage of the three core whiskeys, and the distillery says it’ll have notes of caramel and butterscotch, with hints of dark dried fruit, raspberry, cocoa, barrel spice and vanilla evolving on the palate. It’s slated for spring 2020, but a sneak peek, or “Prelude,” will be available in September, according to the company. The new series includes individual bottlings of each cask type, to be released in fall 2020.
On the Table
with George Culver from I HEART FOOD
Flexing their mussels
LeGrand Kitchen in Norfolk is known to have one of the best burgers around, but I want to talk about its mussels. The dish is parked in the starters section of the menu and the description reads: “Blood sausage, cider, cream, toast.” The simplicity of it on paper belies complex flavors captured in the bowl. The fresh, plump Prince Edward Island mussels are bathed in a light sauce made with cream and hard cider. All of this stays in the pan only as long as is needed for the large mussels to open, releasing their natural liquor to fortify the sauce. Once you start to dig into this dish, you don’t want to stop.
Mea Culpa, etc.
FLUBS | FEEDBACK | FOLLOW-UPS
Unfortunately, we had a mistake in our last edition (“Living Past and Present in Onancock,” April/May): We gave wrong names for the owners of an inn in that beautiful Eastern Shore town. The hard-working owners of The Inn at Onancock, a luxurious downtown bed-and-breakfast, are Kim Moore and Matt Spuck. Be sure to give their dog Dante a scratch behind the ears when you visit.
Now let’s talk good news. We got word too late to address in the last issue, but the young men of the Hampton Roads Whalers Premier hockey team (“Humility & Focus,” April/May) seized their third national title in four years in March, beating the Michigan Metro Jets 5-2 in Boston. The Whalers Elite team lost 3-2 to the Richmond Generals in semifinal play.
And last, a little humble bragging. Distinction won big in the annual Virginia Press Association awards in April, taking home a dozen honors in its first year competing in the magazine division. First-place awards went to Tim Eberly, EJ Toudt and Adam Ewing for combination picture and story for “A Puncher’s Chance,” and to Patrick Hayes for sports feature photo for a piece on kayak fishing. Both appeared in the February/March 2018 edition.
Second-place awards went to:
• Ben Swenson, Jennifer Fenner and Keith Lanpher: Combination picture and story, “Disappearing Virginia Part 6: The Vanishing Melody of Swamp Music.”
• Eric J. Wallace: Business and financial writing, “Indomitable spirits”; and feature writing portfolio, “A forager’s life,” “Sydney’s big-ass vacation, baby” and “100 years of sweetness.”
• Todd Wright: Photo-illustration for the spring fashion issue; and pictorial photo for an image of chef Sydney Meers.
• Keith Lanpher: Picture story or essay, “The ultimate Thanksgiving dinner.”
• Adam Ewing: Personality or portrait photo of the trainer from “A Puncher’s Chance.”
Third-place awards went to:
• Eric J. Wallace: food writing, “A forager’s life.”
• Clay Barbour, Jennifer Fenner, EJ Toudt and Wes Watson: Special sections or special editions, Distinction’s Food Issue, “Recipes for savoring life.”
• Jennifer Fenner, EJ Toudt, Wes Watson and Clay Barbour: Design and presentation, February/March, April/May and June/July.