By Kathy Chouteau
The Artisan Café, a European-style culinary gem tucked away in Richmond’s Marina Bay neighborhood, has launched a weekend dinner service, according to Chef and Founder Liane Ingham.
The chef, whose café has been open for about 16 years, said that her weekend dinner service first launched in the spring with a focus on casual dining and fine foods. “I wanted to bring a touch of class to the neighborhood…I really wanted to be the local dinner restaurant. Not pizza or hamburgers—a little bit of San Francisco in Richmond.”
Ingham’s four-entrée dinner menu is thoughtfully curated, a decisive departure from those that take 15-20 minutes to peruse. “I wanted to keep it really simple, really short, but with great food,” she said about her menu, noting that it regularly features beef, fish and a vegetarian dish and that she changes it monthly “so people don’t get bored.”
If a dish is popular with diners, Ingham will retain it on the menu for another month, as in the case of her Braised Beef Short Ribs with Yukon Mashed Potato, Organic Carrots and a Cabernet Demi Glaze Sauce, which she said is a beautiful dish that “sells out almost nightly.”
Other past and present dinner menu selections include Brown Sugar Grilled Salmon with Wild Rice & Avocado Greek Salsa; Heirloom Tomato Galette with Pesto Sauce; Artisan Creamy Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken, Pepitos & Shaved Parmesan Cheese; and a Seared Ahi Tuna Salad—to name a few.
Starters, such as Baby Spinach & Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts, Craisins & Feta Cheese with a Champagne Vinaigrette, and a dessert menu with selections such as Cheesecake and Cobbler, top off the café’s array of fine offerings, with an ample wine menu and several beer options to boot.
Aside from a menu emphasizing locally sourced, organic ingredients, part of The Artisan Café’s draw is the overall experience. Ingham, who is English, has created a truly European-style café that offers spacious indoor and outdoor seating for diners. The chef revamped her outdoor patio last fall, which amid its patio umbrellas/tables, succulents, wipeout fences, heater lamps—and musical ambience from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Louis Armstrong—combine to create an incredibly peaceful and enchanting setting.
The Artisan Café is located at 865 Marina Bay Pkwy., #33, in Richmond’s Marina Bay neighborhood, easy to reach but a little off the beaten path. Dinner is served Fridays and Saturdays from 5-8 p.m. Lunch is also served at the café Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; check out the menu here. Learn more about The Artisan Café here.
“You can’t you can’t really find my restaurant right off the bat,” said Ingham, who added that it’s almost like a destination restaurant. “But most of the people who actually come to my restaurant are the ones that find me and want to come and enjoy something special.”