It was time to check out the new place in Shockoe Bottom, so Matt and I headed out for date night on Saturday. Located in the former Cafe Gutenburg, Arcadia is a surprising new fine dining spot. Once there, we were greeted with valet parking and very friendly hosts. Lucky for us, we were seated in a corner in the front and discovered that we at famous table number 15! This is the exact same spot where Daniel Day Lewis sat while he was filming his new Abe Lincoln movie in Richmond! As he is one of Matt's favorite actors, we had big smiles on our faces from the beginning!
Okay, back to Arcadia. The restaurant did a good job preserving the original feel of the historic building, while giving it a fresh make over. The beautiful engravings on the vaulted ceilings remain, while the walls have been updated with a pale, happy yellow color. I was also pleased to see that the tables are more generously spaced apart than other spots in town. All in all, it has a classy and elegant, yet friendly feel.
One the aspects I appreciated the most are the wine listings. Here, you may select a wide range of lovely bottles from a $20 or a $30 list. What a steal! We helped ourselves to a bottle of earthy Malbec.
On the other hand, Arcadia's dinner menu is a little on the pricier side. As an upscale steak house, it offers all of its sides a la cart. For us, this meant we skipped the appetizer and small plates, though I really wanted to try the ceviche and and carrot soup, the latter of which our server told us was featured on a list of foods that must be tried in Richmond. Maybe next time.
For my entree, I chose the crab cakes which were served with "vegetable sticks" of potato and carrot, finished with a grain mustard mayo. I thought the cakes were well done with high quality back fin meat. There was very little filling and the taste was good, though it was overly salted.
Matt ordered the New York Strip, medium rare. Arcadia is most renowned for its steaks. They use only Angus beef which is prepared in a special broiler used to quickly cook steaks at 1600 degrees to caramelize the meat. Matt's steak was a bit under cooked, even for him, but he said it was very flavorful and he enjoyed it overall.
For our one, shared side, we chose the shrimp macaroni and cheese featuring aged gouda. It was decadent; very rich and meant to be shared. However, I also thought it too was too salty and it was priced at over $11.
Finally, for desert we chose a pear tart which consisted of beautifully arranged pear slices baked into a puff pastry. It was light, airy, and delicious.
We really enjoyed our date at Arcadia. It is close to home and the service is wonderful. I think the food is gourmet, albeit on the more expensive side. For a twenty dollar bottle of wine, two entrees, one side, and one dessert, our final bill came to $100 before gratuity. For this reason, we will save Arcadia for special occasions, but I think we will be back ;-)