Kabana Rooftop Unveils New Menu + I Love This Pink T-shirt Dress
I remember how excited I was when I heard a rooftop club was opening near 8th and Main in Richmond. I actually worked across the street for three years on the 13th floor. It was my last 9-to-5 job, actually. I had done enough traveling at that point that I knew rooftop bars were coming to Richmond soon. Kabana Rooftop promised much more than just a view. It was meant to be an elevated club experience, something to satisfy the party princess in me. I hardly expected to try the food.
Since I’ve moved downtown, though, I’ve tried brunch, dinner, apps and desserts in all mental capacities. I’ve watched Kabana Rooftop evolve and grow through the eyes of employees I know who work there, through my late night frolics, and alongside professional contacts. It’s had its issues, but it still reigns as one of my top 10 places to visit if you aren’t from RVA. It’s also a must visit if you live here and haven’t made it up the 20-story elevator climb, yet.
I was tickled to receive an invitation to the unveiling of the new menu under newly appointed Executive Chef Mike Ledesma. I brought along my two favorite people to eat and drink with. Chef Ledesma delivered the dishes to us himself and sat down to talk with us.
First Let’s Talk About the Food
Previously, Kabana had some seriously experimental dishes that I really enjoyed trying. Often, my dining companions weren’t interested in the adventure. The menu also missed the mark on integrating itself into the Richmond restaurant culture. Here in RVA, local is better and comfort is king.
Kabana’s new “American seafood-centric menu” includes well known dishes that have been creatively updated using local ingredients and unexpected pairings. Chef Ledesma spent a lot of time reworking the menu, he said. He’s had a lot of experience creating menus for the Richmond Restaurant Group, which owns restaurants including The Daily Kitchen & Bar, Pearl Raw Bar, The Hard Shell, The Hill Cafe and East Coast Provisions. He split into six sections to satisfy every kind of appetite ranging from a Raw Bar, Snacks and Small plates to Salads, Entrees and Desserts. His Filipino heritage comes through in the flavors of several dishes at Kabana.
During our visit, we tried the Ceviche Mango Jalapeno; a charcuterie of house made cheeses, pate, Virginia ham, nuts and more; Hush Puppy Fried Oysters crusted with cornmeal; the Tuna Poke Bowl with cucumbers, truffle soy sauce, seaweed, avocado, rice and chili aioli; and the slow roasted ribs. We devoured everything in front of us and washed it down with prosecco, rose and white wine. It was truly a treat. We all loved the food, enjoyed with a view of the city.
Chef Ledesma sat down and talked with us about other changes in the restaurant and raising standards for staff and conduct. We talked about what is like to work in the restaurant industry near and far. Richmond is fortunate to have this expert on hand, giving focus and vision to our favorite eateries.
Then the Look: An Easy T-Shirt Dress
What to wear to a small plate dinner at Kabana? I pulled out this new pink t-shirt dress from Zan.Style for the evening. It’s not quite a club outfit, but it’s not quite a dinner outfit. Just like this striped shirt dress, the fabric is high quality and the shape is perfect for just about any body type. It’s all about the legs. Sort of wish my legs where longer, but hey. This shorty ain’t complainin. I pulled out my nude booties to elongate my legs. You have to get a pair to match your skin color for the fall.
The right camera lens would have helped, too! The food photos were great, but we couldn’t get these outfit photos right. My apologies. More killer outfit photos on their way! Keep scrolling to see some details of this look, including that cute back cut out…