This cozy Museum District restaurant has made quite an impression on Richmond diners. What was once a small neighborhood grocery store has been transformed into Belmont Food Shop. The necessities – a small dining room and a heavy wooden bar creates and serves stellar food and cocktails all made with love. Despite being open less than a year (last September), Richmonders have quickly uncovered this nonchalant gem. Word quickly spread (which happens often in RVA) and Belmont was catapulted into the noteworthy restaurant realm.
Impatient diners beware… Belmont takes their time and serves food as its ready (worth the wait – promise). Claustrophobic? This place is small. Real small. So be ready to get close and bump some elbows. Ultimately, the food is THAT good so maybe a few elbow bumps and chair scooting won’t phase you.
When my friend and I went to dinner, Belmont offered a prix fixe 3 course meal (starter, entrée, & dessert) for $36. Genius. To start, we chose the Crab & Avocado and Butternut Ravioli from a small Pinterest-y looking chalkboard menu. Other offerings like smoked salmon with creme fraiche, mushroom soup, and ceviche with ginger and pepper sounded stellar.
They say patience is a virtue? Patience at Belmont is awarded with damn good food. When our food arrived, (by now, I was pleasantly “warmed” by my Legend Brown) I’m surprised I didn’t say “wow” out loud (or maybe I did). Not sure if I was hungry, buzzed, or impressed with the food that sat in front of me. If food could look gorgeous, the Crab and Avocado certainly did – generous pale crab meat piled high on bright green avocado slices garnished with sprouts and a sweet pepper sauce. The flavors were fresh and light – perfect for summer. The ravioli melted in my mouth as if it was made handmade with love and attention, every piece seemed beautifully built and doused with a warm butter and sage sauce. Perfection.
We slowly progressed to our main courses – seared scallops and roasted chicken. The scallops were cooked just the way they should be and served with romesco sauce and zucchini – the flavors of the scallops were light and the boldness of the sauce balanced the dish. The chicken was paired with savory gnocchi, mushrooms, and greens… just plain good. I guess we had talked or fawned over our other plates too long that our chicken was a little on the cold side.
Our meals were finally completed by the pear-crisp and a flourless chocolate cake… both good but not noteworthy. What was noteworthy? My post dinner coffee served in a French Press. I adore my own french press and find other restaurants that do coffee beans justice, a winner.