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Old Original Bookbinder's: Good fancy eatin'
Some of y'all are going to be bumfuzzled that I even went to a place like this, but it was a special occasion. See, my friend Chris Peace had a ceremonial swearing-in to the Virginia House of Delegates and invited his family, closest friends and supporters to witness it at the old Virginia State Library and have a reception here afterwards. Folks, you know it's a fancy restaurant when, on their website, they brag on their decor. That's mainly what you pay for...the decor and location. On entering, you see the tank where they keep the live lobsters customers hand select. Bookbinder's is originally a Philadelphia institution. It started out just after the War for Southern Independence as a lunch counter catering to dock workers, but over the years, it has gone upmarket when a produce magnate bought them out in the 1940s. The Richmond location opened in 2000 in an old tobacco warehouse. It seems more intimate because the seating capacity is about 1/3 that of the location up north.
Favorite Dish: We didn't come to eat from the menu, but they had a banquet ready for us which Chris called "refreshments". The spread consisted of vegetable crudite with dipping sauce, international cheese selections (with crackers), grilled marinated beef & vegetable rolls, grilled chicken kabob, smoked salmon mousse on toast points, scallops wrapped in bacon, mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese and Virginia ham, and sweet Italian sausages wrapped in phyllo dough. Most of it was good eating. I wasn't too keen on the salmon mousse. Where I come from mousse is supposed to be sweet, like chocolate mousse. The texture just didn't do it for me, but give me credit, I tried it before I knocked it. On the other hand, I always have been keen on scallops and bacon in their own right, but they go great together. The chicken kabobs with pineapple and peppers soaked in teriyaki sauce deserves honourable mention as well. Normally the food at these catered events leaves a lot to be desired, but this was some fine fare. Chris and Ashley Peace really spared no expense for their friends.
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