A re-opening, a new opening, and a pop-up dinner: This week’s restaurant news

SMALL BITES

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Mount Juliet manager Jake Busching will soon open his tasting room and winery, Grace Estates. Photo: John Robinson Mount Juliet manager Jake Busching will soon open his tasting room and winery, Grace Estates. Photo: John Robinson

A Graceful entrance

Mount Juliet Vineyards has grown some of the finest grapes in the state for the past 14 years, with veteran winemaker Jake Busching at the helm since 2011. The Crozet vineyard will soon include a tasting room and winery, called Grace Estate, to (hopefully) open sometime this month. This will be the first vintage crafted entirely from the vineyard’s grapes.

Growing grapes and making wine is not new to Busching, who has worked with local viticulturist Chris Hill, and in the vineyards at Jefferson, Horton, and Keswick vineyards. In 2003, he moved on to winemaking at Pollak Vineyards, where he planted 25 acres of vines, helped build the tasting room, and took home top industry awards. Now he manages the 550-acre estate while selling grapes to local wineries (as well as saving some for himself). Stay tuned for Grace Estates’ opening date; the tasting room will be open Thursday to Sunday from 11am to 5pm and tastings will be $5. Visit graceestatewinery.com for more details or call 823-5014.

Horsing around

If fresh seafood, hand cut steaks, and a country drive are what you’re in the mood for, head to Scottsville to experience the newly reopened Horseshoe Bend Bistro & Taproom. An unpretentious American bistro atmosphere, it serves made-from-scratch, locally sourced dishes, and has a friendly small town bar scene (local brews from James River Brewing Company are on tap!) with live local music five nights a week. It’s open for dinner only Tuesday to Thursday and all day Friday to Sunday.

Puppy love

Gearhart’s Chocolates has launched a new (and adorable) handcrafted milk chocolate peanut butter pup. The chocolate puppies are hand-piped milk chocolate with a decorated dark chocolate face and toasted almond ears. Gearhart’s is donating 5 percent of each sale of these little guys to the Companions for Heroes, which matches rescue dogs as aides to wounded service veterans. The specialty chocolates were designed with Easter in mind, but are still available for $22 per box. More information and a link to purchase can be found at gearhartschocolates.com.

Going Greenie

Kathy Zentgraf, proprietress of mobile food cart and catering company Greenie’s, is hosting a pop-up restaurant at the Blue Moon Diner Sunday, April 21 from 5:30-10pm. Expect a, ahem, healthy dose of vegetarian and vegan fare, like the sandwich that started it all: local veggies and chevre on naan, which Zentgraf first served at the City Market. Call 996-1869 for more information.

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