Overheard on the restaurant scene… This week’s food news (June 24)


File photo. File photo.

Zinc announced over the weekend that it will close at the end of June. Open less than seven years, the West Main Street spot will close its doors after service Saturday, June 29. Owner Vu Nguyen posted this to the restaurant’s Facebook page Saturday: “It’s been a tough, fun, frustrating, enlightening, debaucherous, humbling, hazy, and delicious run. Now it’s time to say farewell.” Nguyen will turn his attention entirely to his other West Main Street restaurant, Moto Pho Co.

Independence Day is not only a day to celebrate our freedom, but it’s maybe the best holiday for grilling out. Do just that at the Tailgatin’ Shindig at Stinson Vineyards—live music from the Chickenhead Blues Band and BBQ pork sandwich platters piled high with Blue Ridge Pig coleslaw, baked beans, and potato salad from 6-8pm.

Tailgatin’ Thursday happens every week at the Crozet vineyard. The grills are fired up and folks are invited to cook their own dinner (which is available through Timbercreek Organics) over open flame. Admission is free, and so is the invitation to bring the family, the dog, and everyone you know.

Put the “French” back in your French fries at Tempo restaurant, where Tuesday is the new Saturday and Champagne is the new best friend of burgers. Every Tuesday night, the restaurant offers two free ones with the purchase of a bottle of Champagne.

Blenheim Vineyards may be a frequented spot for owner (and, O.K., singer-songwriter) Dave Matthews, but on July 4, he’ll be at Monticello’s 51st Annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony as its featured speaker. Following the ceremony, Blenheim will grill grass-fed beef hot dogs and burgers from Matthews’ farm, Best of What’s Around, from noon-5pm. Stop by to grab some lunch and a glass of wine while you’re in the neighborhood.

Also on July 4, Keswick Vineyards will host “Red White & Bluegrass,” with live music from 1-4pm and food from Buttz BBQ, which melds the traditions of Memphis, Texas, and North Carolina BBQ. Admission is free, and picnics are also welcome.

Is there an echo in here? Clifton Inn will ring in the holiday with a classy barbeque-inspired three-course dinner by chef Tucker Yoder. The menu will feature beer-braised chicken and barbeque-glazed halibut. Reservations are accepted from 5-9pm and the price is $50 per person.

Topeka’s Steakhouse is now closed. The 4-year-old Pantops spot, which specialized in fresh cuts that you could both eat at the table and buy in its butcher shop, shut its doors June 17, but will soon be replaced by locally owned Shadwell’s. The new eatery will serve everything from fresh seafood and salads to pasta and, yes, steak. According to its website, the restaurant should be open sometime this summer and will be “the neighborhood place to be.”