With a short and uneventful train journey from DC completed, I arrived in Richmond unaware that the snow that had fallen over the weekend had well and truly stuck. The place was heavily bedecked in the stuff.
This meant a taxi to my hotel rather than a stroll along Main Street and dinner nearby rather somewhere further flung.
Fortunately I was staying in a decent neighbourhood for restaurants so soon hit upon Saison as a likely spot.
With a really excellent selection of tap beers – I sampled highly pleasing marzen and saisons – and an extensive cocktail list, this felt like a place I was going to enjoy. And so it proved.
Their daily specials included a riff on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich including foie gras, brambles and potato bread which sounded and looked pretty insane. I decided to stick with their menu dishes.
I opened with their lamb tartare and followed with local pork served with apple, braised cabbage and spaetzle.
The tartare arrived promptly and was accompanied by many thin slices of good toast. It was one of the best tartares I’ve had on this trip and there have been many. The lamb was packed with flavour, the egg yolk beautifully runny and the seasoning on point. It was splendid.
The pork was a damn tasty dish, too. A massive on-the-bone chop, it again displayed excellent preparation and seasoning, with the bed of herby noodles, crisp apple, beets and cabbage really hearty and satisfying.
Coffee to finish was high quality French press. It was a suitably strong note on which to finish.
So overall, Saison served me a great first meal in Richmond. It struck me as an excellent local hangout for top notch drinks and good food prepared with high levels of care and attention. I’d be here a fair bit if my stay in town was longer.
Blythe scores Saison
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 16.5/20
I ate: lamb belly tartare, Autumn Olive pork
I drank: marzen, saison, coffee, water
I wore: black and blue
Total bill: $59.51
Address: 23 West Marshall Street, Richmond, VA 23220