May 21, 2010

Traveling Foodie: Balliceaux in Richmond

Since the school year is drawing to an end and we're all going off on different adventures, a group of my female colleagues and I met for dinner last night at Balliceaux, on Lombardy Street in Richmond's Fan District.

I was really impressed with Balliceaux. The aesthetic of the restaurant is a mix of soothing green (lots of plants), grey, and lots of wood. Everything is pleasant, but nothing is ostentatious, and the clientele matches Balliceaux in that regard; there were dressed down older couples, dressed up women meeting for cocktails, families, and us. By us, I mean a group of thirteen, who Balliceaux graciously and skillfully accommodated.

We ordered a lot of food. My end of the table started with truffle fries, which I had never had and which I would happily eat every day for the rest of my life if I didn't think it would stop my heart in about a week.

Next came the bread, which was drizzled in olive oil and kind of chewy. Not my favorite.

For my appetizer, I chose the Tandoori Fried Cauliflower ($9), which was served in a cone of pappadam with chickpea salad and "quick pickled" cucumber. The cauliflower had a wonderful sweet taste, and managed to remain light and crispy as opposed to the deep-fried, doughy atrocities restaurants sometimes passed off as fried vegetables.

My friend C ordered the Spicy Crab and Coconut soup ($4.50), which was equally delicious, if not very coconut-y. I also overdosed on crab last weekend in Annapolis, so the idea of a whole bowl full of it was overwhelming.

Somehow, I managed to forget to take a picture of my entrée, which was Roasted Rainbow Trout ($19) with fennel purée, Dutch potatoes, and sauce Gribiche. The trout itself was good, if a little dry, and the fennel purée was fantastic. The Dutch potatoes, though, were tough, and the sauce Gribiche didn't really feel like a natural fit with the rest of the meal.

I would definitely go back to Balliceaux. Having worked as a waitress, I know how dreadful the prospect of a 13-top (waiter speak for party of 13) is, even if you know it'll mean a big tip. But our waiter was kind, patient, and really good at his job, and our meal went off without a hitch. If you're ever in Richmond, check it out.


  1. Did you stay to listen to NO BS Brass Band?

  2. No! But they played at Collegiate on Wednesday, so I got my fill then!