We liked the Boilerhouse, a restaurant in a former Ford assembly plant in Richmond, but it folded.
Now I can say we like Assemble, the new establishment in the same space. It’s brand new; they just started serving dinner last week. They have a few kinks to work out, but I think that they are well on track to succeed.
Of course, like all new restaurants, they pay tribute to the holy trininty of modern foodie-hood: local, organic and sustainable. I don’t care. The food is good or it isn’t. Most of the food here was good and that’s all that matters to me.
This love fest doesn’t apply to the the appetizer I ordered the second I saw it on the menu: hushpuppies.
I’m not sure that whoever designed these little pebbles of fried cornmeal has ever even seen a proper hushpuppy, let alone eaten one. These are too small, too perfect, not sweet enough, not soft enough in the center, just all around wrong. Do not order them.
Things picked up rapidly from there, though. First up was the curry squash soup:
This soup was just right–not too rich, the croutons completely perfect, the seasoning exactly where it should be.
For an entreé, I had the crab/shrimp Louis. Anything with a creamy salad dressing is probably just the illusion of a healthy meal, but I’m will to live with my dreams and false hopes.
Both Gail and Kate had the gumbo, and it, too was a winner:
The gumbo was served with ramekins of honey butter for the cornbread. The girls finished their gumbo, I finished the cornbread and honey butter. Life is good.
Brad isn’t imaginative–he went for the old standby:
Service in Assemble is great. Of course, they are brand new and seemed to have more employees than customers. That will change, and soon. The food here is excellent, the location is delightful and prices are reasonable. Give Assemble a try.