Carytown is known as a place for style. From high-end fashion to quirky gifts, Carytown is one of the best places in Richmond to indulge your stylish side.
C Street, the new bistro to take over the former Acacia spot, wants to be the stylish place to lunch. Perfect for a leisurely lunch with girlfriends or a respite from a day of Carytown shopping, C Street is set to provide a more sophisticated lunch spot.
With a large second-story patio looking out over the shopping district, the people watching will certainly heat up once the weather warms—although diehards can still enjoy the view with help from the outdoor heaters.
The new owners have set the right tone between fare that is casual enough for lunch, but fancy enough to go with the upscale surroundings. With the inclusion of gourmet cheeses and out of the ordinary ingredients, C Street’s meals are unique enough to stand out while still keeping with the familiar.
While the bistro concentrates on breakfast and lunch daily, Sunday brunch and Tuesday/Thursday evening happy hours have recently been added.
On a busy Saturday afternoon, the indoor dining area quickly filled while a few diners opted for heated patio seating. The indoor dining area boasts elegant tile floors, while the white tablecloths and stately wood furnishings give off a genteel vibe. As would be expected from such an elegant locale, prices do run a bit high when compared with those of your typical lunch spot.
Starters run the gamut from a savory bread pudding with Gouda and Smithfield Ham to an edamame hummus platter with flatbreads. We began with a carbonara white pizza ($9).
A crisp, thin crust flatbread is topped with ricotta salada, pancetta and an over-easy egg. The crumbly dried ricotta cheese and pancetta give a tangy salty flavor, while the egg keeps the concoction from being too dry.
Entrees ranging from grilled hanger steak to pan-seared scallops offer a more substantial lunch option and are paired with such enticing options as braised oyster mushrooms and broccolini with sundried tomatoes. Soups include a squash and parsnip puree with jerk seasonings, while salads also incorporate a number of interesting ingredients.
Grilled cheese and paninis may not be what you would expect from an upscale bistro, but C Street adds enough flair to each to justify their inclusion on the menu.
The grilled cheese ($9) substitutes sottocenere al tartufo and fontina cheeses for the more common cheddar or American. The gourmet cheeses boast a creamy texture infused with a detectable truffle flavor. Roasted red peppers and pancetta add a hint of salty sweetness to the pressed sourdough sandwich.
A roasted pork tenderloin and Smithfield Ham panini ($13) also features a less than ordinary cheese, Delice des Cremiers, a rich and creamy French variety. This soft cheese ended up taking a backseat to the sweetness added by pickled red onions and orange zest Dijonaise. The pork leaned to the dry side, with the tart Dijoinaise dominating, but the sandwich did put an interesting spin on a deli classic.
Each sandwich is served with a choice of sides. The sesame-soy Asian slaw boasted crunchy cabbage with just a hint of soy for flavor. Warm root vegetable salad provided a hearty and healthier alternative to roasted potatoes.
Desserts seem quite indulgent for a lunch spot with offerings such as poached pears and lemon mousse, but those looking to indulge their sweet tooth before dinner have a variety of options to choose from.
One of the advantages of spending an afternoon shopping in Carytown is the plethora of local lunch options. While it may not be for every Carytown shopper, C Street does provide an upscale alternative, with a location perfectly poised for people watching. With the addition of gourmet ingredients and a range of interesting options, C Street may just well find its niche among Carytown’s mile of style.