March 17: Restaurant Report

By Heather Sullivan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A common critical violation for restaurants is storing "raw over ready." Juices from raw meat can drip down and contaminate foods that are ready to be served, and that can make you sick. Instead, raw foods are supposed to be stored underneath.

This Restaurant Report begins in Richmond, at Clayton's Café at 909 E. Main Street had 5 critical violations on its state health inspection. The report says raw eggs and chicken were stored above ready-to eat breads and cooked bacon. A manager tells us the violations were minor and were corrected during the inspection.

Similar problem in Chesterfield, at El Paso Mexican Restaurant, 13245 Rittenhouse Drive, with 5 critical violations. The inspector noted a pan of raw chicken was stored on top of an uncovered container of shredded cheese. El Paso had them all corrected for a perfect score on the next inspection.

It was a different problem in Henrico. MaMa Wok at 7801 West Broad street had 6 critical violations, including that the slicer was found soiled. Violations were corrected during the inspection.

Be sure to catch Style Weekly's "State of the Plate" issue this week. The magazine chose Amuse at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art as its Restaurant of the Year, and their critics favorite hot spot is Pescados China Street.

Style staff also discovered restaurants are spending more time dressing up the way food is presented on the plate, in an effort to attract new customers and excite old ones. We asked Tim Bereika, head chef at Secco Wine Bar, to show us how he crafts his beautiful plates.

"I sort of have a mental diagram of a plate as we're putting it together. It's continuously evolving as we go. Even when we put it on the menu, the dish can change its appearance as we get further along with it," said Bereika.

You'll notice clean lines, bright colors, and neatly cut veggies. All chefs go about it a little differently.

"It just sort of evolves. Some chefs write stuff down, they have a sketch book, some guys just do it a la carte," explained Bereika.

You'll find Style Weekly's "State of the Plate" issue on news stands now.

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