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#101 porcupine

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:52 PM

Shenandoah Joe Coffee is not a bad place to stop when passing through the area.  Pleased to see that they do pour-overs; more pleased when the barista asked which roast I want.  The choices were dark or darker.  Total geek that I am, I asked if I could smell some beans.  He had no problem with that.  They were oily and almost black and smelled that way so I asked for (and got) something lighter.  Great cup.  Meanwhile, I asked who roasts the beans, expecting an answer like Counter Culture or Lexington or whatever.  The answer was "uh, his name's Dave; he's sitting at that table over there."

 

Gotta love small independent shops.


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#102 Joe H

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 05:43 PM

That was really good!



#103 ktmoomau

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 08:27 PM

Yum, yum, yum!  Had a really good meal at Public Fish and Oyster.  The space it open and really cute.  Nice selection of oysters.  They had four sauces for the oysters: horseradish, rose mignonette, apple mignonette, cocktail.  I really liked the apple mignonette.  They also had a nice bread selection.  For entree I had the olive oil poached halibut with mussel pan sauce, leek, mushroom and Anson Mill grits that were so sinful.  The dish was really good.  Matt had the Thai mussles which were also really good, and their fries were tasty.  


But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
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Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
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#104 Seanchai

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:10 AM

Really looking forward to trying Public Fish and Oyster with my wife without the kids if I can finagle a babysitter.  My older son has an expensive taste for fresh seafood and high sense of entitlement;  I blame his mother of course.


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#105 Joe H

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 11:27 PM

The single best restaurant in the Charlottesville area right now is the Ivy whose chef/owner was nominated for a Mid Atlantic James Beard award this year.  We had a 12 course tasting menu that was extraordinary.  On Monday eve ning every single one of the 50-60 seats was filled-the restaurant is known and has a very real loyal following.

 

At this point I believe I have been to every Charlottesville area winery and my absolute favorite is Grace Estates which also has the most spectacular setting and view of any of them.  This may seem difficult to believe given the views and settings of King Family, Veritas, Pollak and Afton but Grace, a 20,000 square foot Georgian mansion on the plateau top of a 1100' mountain with 30+ mile views is spectacular.  Their '12 PV and '12 Tannat are among the best '12's in the state and bothv ery reasonably priced in the mid to high '20's.  '13 from the barrel will challenge for the Governor's Cup next year as VA's best wine.  Jake, the winemaker, was at Pollak until a couple of years ago.  He had several wines in VA's Governor's Case.  He'll win it at Grace.

 

Grace Estates is virtually unknown but a true destination, I think the primary destination of a any Charlottesville area winery followed by Barboursville and Keswick, possibly Pollak also.  



#106 plarkins

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:24 PM

My wife and I visited Charlottesville over this past holiday weekend. It was our first prolonged visit and really enjoyed it. I wish I had gone to Grace Estates. Ended up going to Keswick, Barboursville, Pollack, and Afton. Nothing really stood out. Reinforces my opinion Linden, Glen Manor, and Delaplane are the best all-around vineyards/wineries in the state (RDV too but I haven't been). I know Barboursville makes great wine not available for tasting, so I'll give them a pass...considering they set up their tasting room for quanity over quality (zoo over zen). I did like their pinot gris and Italian reds (I regret not buying some since they turned out to be the better wines of the trip). After doing their tasting, I had terrible palette fatigue so I didn't enjoy Pollack and Afton's wine as much as I would have probably. It is a beautiful area, the whole region. I guess I'm just biased to Jim Law and his apprentice's wines.

 

We did do Ivy Inn and enjoyed the food a lot. However, dining out on the patio was awkward. Its a rectangular brick patio that is obviously shaped well for larger events. For normal dining, it was a bit too spacious and we were sat at a table with leaves extended. It could have sat 6 people, so it also was awkwardly spacious. The meal started with a tasty amuse bouche of pimento cheese on a cracker. We split an app (crispy fried holloumi cheese), salad (local heirloom greens), one pasta (gnocchi with Polyface chicken and Rock Barn andouilli), and a dessert (peach crisp w/ ice cream). Everything was very good. Just wish we could have tried more dishes, but we were still carrying lunch in our stomachs from the destination worthy BBQ Exchange in Gordonsville. An easy stop if going to Barboursville, Keswick, or other nearby wineries.

 

Other places we ate at were:

Petit Pois - wife raved about the trout amandine and I had a very good pork loin not listed on the website menu. Portions were fairly large.

Blue Mountain Brewery - really nice but large, busy setting. Beer was alright. I had the kolsch but have enjoyed better ones locally (Mad Fox). Food was more than adequate for a brewery.

Shenandoah Joe - wife enjoyed her pour-over. nice, spacious interior. I don't drink coffee so can't add much.

Carpe Donut - all organic doughnuts with originally one flavor (cider cake donut rolled in cinnamon sugar); initially sold from a food truck or catering now with a tiny storefront in an interesting refurbished (faux?) low density industrial park. They had two new flavors in the store (maple glazed and bourbon), but preferred the original. The donuts were a bit spongy for my taste. One donut was cooked longer/hotter and had a crispier exterior than the others, so that one was the best.

Bizou - nice setting on the mall, but no tables with shade so we ate inside. Perhaps a bit outdated of an interior, but the food was surprisingly very good. I hadn't reviewed this place prior to our visit. It was brunch so had an excellent vegetable frittata. really fresh and little dots of roasted red pepper sauce made it stand out.

 

one more note on wine. I was surprised how cheap bottles of VA wine were at the restaurants. Generally not more than 50% additional cost from retail..most seemed less. Lots to choose from too. Cville really does take local to the next step.



#107 Joe H

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 12:35 AM

I believe that there is a different model in Charlottesville wineries:  going to the winery and having a view of the mountains with either a tasting or buying the cheapest bottle available.  Most wineries have a good bottle but on three visits in the last four months it is a rarity when someone buys anything more than the cheapest to drink.  Overall, I totally agree with plarkins above:  Jim Law has passed on different standards for Linden/Delaplane/Glen manor and RDV.  I believe the finest wine in the entire state (fine by any definition-not just VA) is being made fifty miles west of the beltway off of I 66.  Certainly, one of the most beautiful places on earth, too.  I'd also add Hillsboroughs and their Onyx to this list.  I was at Delaplane several days ago and he has two of the best wines in VA:  his 2012 Williams Gap red and his 2013 Petit Manseng.  Linden's 2010 Hardscrabble Red is the best he has ever made ('10 Boisseau, too) and Jeff White at Glen Manor is quietly setting the standard for everyone else in the state.  '10 Hodder Hill, '10 Petit Verdot, '12 Petit manseng.  Both linden and Glen Manor have superb late harvest dessert wines well worth trying a bottle of.

 

The Washington Post's recent major attention to the above wineries is more than warranted.  We are extremely fortunate that they are so close to us.  And so serious about what they make.


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#108 plarkins

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 05:31 PM

drifting off target, but I'm glad you mentioned petit manseng. The '13 at Delaplane is awesome. And recently tried Glen Manor's '13 petit manseng too. Jeff's wife, Kelly, paired it excellently with candied ginger in the tasting room. Currently, I much prefer the pm's over Virginia's viognier.


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#109 ktmoomau

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 01:12 PM

We didn't do a lot of eating out this trip, but I wanted to point out a couple fun places if you are up near Barboursville winery.  First Grelen Farm Market is a really nice greenhouse/orchard/market.  They have a small selection of food.  I just had a cookie, but the menu didn't look bad.  We ended up eating lunch at Stonefire Kitchen.  It was a great lunch stop and would be well worth a stop for picnic provisions to take to a winery if you didn't want to eat in.  It was pretty busy on Saturday, so you may want to call in your order if you are taking out.  They had a great selection of sandwiches, salads and they had a couple seasonal soups.  They also had a large selection of beer, wine, other beverages and small baked goods.  I had a turkey and dill havarti sandwich with homemade apple chutney and spinach.  It was really good.  MIL's turkey and rice soup looked really good too.  FIL had corned beef that was obviously homemade and looked really good.  


But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
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www.katelintaylor.com


#110 LauraB

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 01:04 PM

This past Saturday afternoon, on our back roads trip to Staunton, we were looking for lunch while passing by the northern edge of Charlottesville, after a visit to Barboursville Vineyards.  I pulled up DR.com on my iPhone and determined that we were very near Sedona Taphouse (thanks to ktmoomau for posting about this upthread).  This turned out to be a perfect choice.  This restaurant is way better than you'd expect from a venue located in a strip mall.  The restaurant is very sleek and has a nice patio, and since it was an absolutely gorgeous day, we chose to eat on the patio.  Even though the patio is right next to the parking lot, we didn't feel like we were dining next to a parking lot.  The service was friendly and efficient.  We both ordered tacos -- fish for me and pork for him. I also had a beer from their amazingly long beers on tap list; they also have an even longer list of bottled beers.  The food was quite good.  This is not a destination, but should you find yourself in the vicinity, this is a good choice.  



#111 Seanchai

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 09:07 PM

Pizza in Charlottesville has long been problematic.  Before Christian's became a local chain it had decent gourmet pizza by the slice, but most of the Charlottesville pizza places seemed to aim at the low-hanging fruit of the UVA student who needed to either to soak up the booze or grab a quick study break.  Being from NYC I am of course an expert on pizza (if you don't believe me, just ask me), and so was forced to go on two hour field trips to Two Amys, Pupatella, Pizzeria Orso, Ghibellina, etc. for excellent Neapolitan/ Neapolitan-style pizza (if not my mythical NYC ideal which is actually located in the pizza ovens of Apizza Scholls in Portland, OR, but I digress).

 

Now, when I get a craving for this style of pizza, I have an excellent option right here in Charlottesville:  Lampo (http://www.lampopizza.com) ,  Located in a tiny 22 seat building just over the Belmont bridge from the Downtown Mall, it's run by a bunch of cooks formerly from excellent local restaurants that are executing at a pretty high level right out of the chute with the authentic high heat oven imported from Italy.  I'm not saying it's better than those listed above (especially being a little more than a week old), buit I think it would certainly hold its own in a blind taste-off.   Open Monday — Saturday, Lunch 11 - 3    Dinner 5 - 12

 

The crust has spotted charring and the light, chewy texture you would hope for.  It's a small menu with a lot of cross-polination between antipasti, sandwiches, pizzas and charcuterie.  The polpettine was amazing as an antipasti (about 6 small meatballs served with marinara and pecorino) and so look forward to trying it on the panuozzi and pizza.  We had the Diavola, Margharita and Prosciutto pizzas, which were all excellent with my favorite being the Diavola.

 

Charlottesville has already discovered it;  get here early or late to grab one of the few seats.


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#112 astrid

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 12:01 PM

Had good meals at The Local and Parallel 38.  The Local is in my mind farm-to-table done really well, neither too austere nor too sloppy, both possible pitfalls of lesser restaurants. It's also considerably cheaper than its competitors in Charlottesville.  Latitude 38 offered somewhat more exotic fare, mostly in small plates but also had a number of larger plates at similar to small plate prices.  All the offerings were quite good and the larger plates (only available at brunch) were good deals.

 

I would rank both well above a rather unsatisfactory meal at Ivy Inn.


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#113 Seanchai

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 12:30 PM

Had good meals at The Local and Latitude 38.  The Local is in my mind farm-to-table done really well, neither too austere nor too sloppy, both possible pitfalls of lesser restaurants. It's also considerably cheaper than its competitors in Charlottesville.  Latitude 38 offered somewhat more exotic fare, mostly in small plates but also had a number of larger plates at similar to small plate prices.  All the offerings were quite good and the larger plates were good deals.

 

 

Ate recently at the Local for the first time in a while and you're exactly right.  Nothing fancy but great ingredients very well executed.



#114 johnl

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 05:03 PM

There's a lot to like in Charlottesville. I'm just going to start a little list and tag it as "Charlottesville" as I go. Can I accomplish that by simply putting the word "Charlottesville" in the body?

 

So, I made notes about Italian over here. I'll start Asian here.

 

(1) Peter Chang landed here for a while, unannounced, as many readers know because folks on this board have documented  his moves and popular media folks such Calvin Trillin's New Yorker articles noted them, too. Although we personally learned of his arrival at Taste of China not because of the chatter on DR (before my time), nor Trillin's article (though I've been reading the NYer since the '60s), nor because of Chang's name, but because our daughter said she'd gone to a local Chinese place and had extraordinary food ("Dad, you'll like it, 'cause there's hot things that have flavor, presentation, and all that"); so we went and waited to get a table and it was great...then we got the Trillin article about a week later and realized we'd seen the medals on the wall...went back repeatedly with longer and longer waits and wait staff coming from 90 minutes away. Now there's one of his storefronts here (Barracks Rd Shopping Center North: http://www.peterchan...lottesville.com). Some of our friends fret about the quality assurance across Mr. Chang's multiple locations. Is it as good as when he oversees the kitchen himself? I dunno, but it's still the best Chinese in this little college town, as far as I'm concerned. 

 

(2) My and Hip Fam have a wonderful Viet-Thai place near the U.Va. "Corner" on 14th St. It's called Lemon Grass and one can find it by wandering around the interface between the U.Va. grounds and the neighboring shopping area until one finds a railroad underpass; walk one block east and it's under the parking garage. It's another typically tiny C'ville spot. It's very busy during lunch, because it's popular with the medical school folks. Not expensive, no great wine selection, but very tasty. Lunch and dinner. Closed during typical U.Va. vacations-long holidays. No reservations. The owners are almost always on site and very helpful. 

 

(3) Don't miss Now and Zen, just off the Down Town Mall, across from the McGuffy Art Center on 2nd St. NW. or venerable Tokyo Rose in the Ivy Square Shopping Center just west of the University of Virginia area on Ivy Rd.



#115 johnl

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 07:51 PM

To the Moderators: I think that Charlottesville deserves its own thread.  A lot of us in DC spend a fair amount of time there and it's just not all that far away.  And, some of us may be moving there in the not-too-distant-future.... :ph34r:

 

LauraB, thanks. There are lots of good opportunities for dining here in Charlottesville. Many folx visit C'ville for special events (e.g., U.Va. graduation) and just for a quick get-a-way. 

 

I'd be happy to contribute what I know from having eaten at many of what I consider to be the best places many times. It'd be great to get DR.com folks' comments about these places in an organized part of the board.  

 

In addition, C'ville has garnered recognition from 

And a whole batch of others

 

Now I'm not a travel promoter or any such (just an eater who works at the local industry giant (U.Va.), but I am an advocate for this little 'ville. I'd guess we have as high a ratio of good restaurants per capita as just about anywhere. Sure, it's because we're a little place—only a coupla-100 thousand. 



#116 lizzie

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 08:58 AM

The Local is a favorite of ours in C-ville. We had several pasta dishes recently that were perfect comfort food on a very cold Saturday (and eased a bit the pain of the loss to Duke.)  It also has a great beer selection.  We like Feast (416 W. Main) for sandwiches.  My UVA daughter gets take out from Lemon Grass (mentioned above) a lot. I appreciate the recent postings - gives us many more places to try over the next few years.


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#117 johnl

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 07:28 AM

Yep, we like The Local a lot. One can have a lot of fun right there in that little section of Belmont with Tavola, Tomas Rahol's Mas, and The Local all scrunched together within a few steps of each other. 



#118 johnl

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 08:02 AM

Really looking forward to trying Public Fish and Oyster with my wife without the kids if I can finagle a babysitter.  My older son has an expensive taste for fresh seafood and high sense of entitlement;  I blame his mother of course.

We had a nice dinner there a few weeks ago. After a few dozen oysters—most went down friend John's and my gullets', though a few were had by our fabulous dates—we had quite good plates and really good desserts. 



#119 johnl

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 10:10 AM

I had lunch for the third time at the Oakhurst Inn yesterday. It's right where Emmett dumps into JPA as JPA, coming north turns toward the hospital, so it's just a brief walk from my office. Jeanette Peabody (back to cheffery after a stint making cheese that followed her fabulous run at Billy and Kate Hamiltons' place) and her partner built a new building and converted several houses in the neighborhood into a for-real inn with nice rooms.

 

They converted the first floor of one of the houses into a lovely little eating space. The menu is not extensive, as you can see on the part of the site devoted to dining, but the things I've had (Garden Wheat sandwich and Arugula Salad sans chicken) were flavorful and satisfying. Pleasant wait staff. I think it merits a breakfast test. 

 

For folks visiting U.Va. who are not particularly interested in the nightlife of The Corner area, it might be a great choice as a place to stay. There's not much to do for entertainment in the immediate neighborhood, so it would be a car trip for dining—or use the free trolley that stops across the street and go to the downtown mall. For access to U.Va., one would be within a few 100 meters of the south lawn (much of arts and sciences), engineering, and education.



#120 johnl

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 11:28 PM

I don't think that I mentioned that Pat and I had dinner with four friends at the C&O here in Hookville in late February 2015. We were seated in the mezzanine, near the large stove at the entrance and, because it was a chilly night, that was nice. I don't know if there was a seating upstairs in the "formal" dining area, but there were things happening in the bistro space downstairs (a long-time favorite space). In the spring, summer, and fall, the outside space is nice, but it was not a good choice in the 25-degree weather when we dined there.

 

When we moved to C'ville in the late '70s, the C&O was one of the two only reasonably good places to dine. Other than steak-and-chops places, you would go to diners and dives or the C&O or the Gas Light. The Gas Light is gone. The C&O has been through many variations since then, but it has maintained standards for pretty good quality. Sure, there's been variation. Recently, though, Dean Maupin took it over from Dave Simpson (Dave died a couple of years ago) and it's taking on a new menu and style. Dean Maupin has an extraordinary history in the local food scene, as documented by The Hook

 

And the food we had on our recent visit merits high regard. Mr. Maupin has maintained the old C&0 veg soup and it still seems to have the mystery ingredients (soy or tamari?). We had some Yukon Gold potato ravioli that had wonderful flavors and textures as another app (I had the French Onion Soup sauce held, because the helpful waitron said, "Oh...there's stock in that, John. Skip it. The kitchen can work with you."--but I bet the flavors would have been even more interesting with it included). The Brussels Sprouts app was wonderful, too, as was the warmed Artichoke Hearts. 

 

We did have entrées, too. I had a filet of salmon with shrimp that had a mixed spicy and tart sauce. (I see that the current menu is Roasted Arctic Char and Grilled Shrimp with a tamarind-ginger relish,‏ avocado salad; sounds very similar). Very good, though I asked that the kitchen send it out as rare as the health department would allow, and it came out pretty much medium well. Stuff keeps cooking, you know. (Though I didn't say anything, I can predict the subtle notes: Kitchen blames the wait staff. Wait staff blames the kitchen. Most folks have heard it before.) It still was good. 

 

Our friend Elaine, who is no longer there, built a wonderful wine list. Don't be afraid to ask for the premium list, just for a look. It's fun. We stuck with a couple of bottles of good Sancere.

 

Great deserts! 

 

Sheesh, we were there  for more than 3.5-4 hours. 



#121 ktmoomau

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Posted 16 March 2015 - 11:36 AM

So I dined at three restaurants this weekend that I hadn't been to before: Ivy Inn, South Street Brewery and The Virginian.

 

Saturday night we ate at the Ivy Inn after hitting Trump Winery (miss), Jefferson (hit), Keswick (bunt) and Mountfair (hit).  I was really expecting good things given the recent Beard nomination.  While the food was fine, there wasn't anything I felt that I couldn't have eaten at Hamilton's or Three Notch'd Grill.  It was good, but it wasn't special.  So while it was a fine meal, I left there being really puzzled at why this got a nomination.  I had thought about going to The Alley Light, but friends liked this menu better. We had a taste of pork rillette on mini toast as an amuse bouche and that was very good, creamy and crunchy.  I had a chorizo and chicken fettucine as a starter.  While the pasta was good and it seemed handmade, I wasn't sure why there needed to be both chicken and chorizo, it tasted good, but I could have gone without the chicken and just had a tad bit more pasta on the plate.  For an entree I had Ragged Mountain trout with grit cake, sweet potato, brussel sprout, mushroom and bacon jus.  The fish felt a little dry to me, the grit cake also seemed a tad overcooked and there wasn't enough bacon jus to make up for it.  Some of the other entrees on the table- hanger steak, duck and tenderloin looked fine, but no one was going on and on about a you have to try this or etc.  The desserts was the best course, we had a lemon icebox pie that was really good.  Our friends has creme brulee which seemed very classic in presentation.  We had blondie bites as our parting taste, MK's had a bit of plastic wrap on it.  Again it was fine, but a blondie isn't a complicated dish.  Again, I wouldn't say not to go here, just don't go here expecting the level of cooking of Cathral Armstrong or Cedric Maupilier.  

 

The next day we had lunch and some beer at South Street Brewery.  This has been taken over and redone by the folks who own Blue Mountain Brewery, therefore, there is a wide array of beer selection and some very good beers.  The space is more light and airy than it previously was according to the in-laws.  The boys got there early as we were shopping downtown and shared a sample of all of the beers.  When we got there and the waiter came by it was 2:05 pm, the brunch menu ends at 2:00 pm, he said we couldn't get items off the brunch menu anymore.  I had him go ask the kitchen, the kitchen said yes.  So our friend got fried french toast, which he seemed to really like.  Mk said the burger was better than Citizen Burger and very good, but beware the pickles on top of the burger are sweet pickles (yuck- he didn't eat them but I stole the gherkin and pickled pepper which was a mistake).  The fried chicken is only on the brunch menu (I don't understand this, it's not like chicken and waffles it comes with mashed potatoes and aspararagus) but is really good.  We also had the wonchos (wonton nachos) which were a little too sweet.  I had a salad with their seasame dressing, which was really good salad dressing.  We really enjoyed the food and the beer, some of their menu is also only available after 5pm.  My in laws said on that menu the fish and chips and hanger steak are both really good.

 

Sunday night we had dinner with MK's parents and sister after our friends had left.  MK and I were pretty full after South Street earlier and all of us were pretty tired.  We just wanted something easy and not fancy, we were trying to decide between Sedona and The Virginian and The Virginian won.  I got a BLT with a side of mac and cheese.  The BLT was perfectly traditional, although maybe it had one more slice of tomato, which was fine by me, I like tomato.  The mac and cheese was very good, although I didn't eat it with the potato cake they serve over top it, I saved that with half my sandwich for lunch today.  This is certainly a not fancy diner-esque place on the Corner, but it's fun and the food is good.  It's the type of place you don't feel guilty order a buffalo chicken finger sandwich.  It was what we all needed at that place and time.  

 

Next time will try out the Alley Light. 


But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#122 johnl

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 08:54 PM

I took my son down this weekend for camp, as we were leaving, I asked his counselor for a good Mexican restaurant. He recommended 'Guadalajara' & after a few wrong turns, we found it. My 7 yr. old daughter & I enjoyed a delicious dinner, a bit over salted, but the salsa was spicy, they kept our drinks filled (she had Hawaiian punch, I had a lime margarita & water), & the chile rellenos were great. Since I got 'misdirected', shall we say, I got to see lots of C-ville, the White spot, bagel places-it's a nice college town, reminds me of Chapel Hill, a bit....

 

Our fave:  La Michoacana, is a little place that seats maybe 24 and does a vibrant take-out business. It's a family biz. Sometimes the early adolescent daughter, whose English is among the best of the family, takes orders at the register. Wonderfully friendly folks who offer authentic dishes with great specials in addition to lots of on-menu dishes.

 

Just recently (2014), there's even a liquor license, but most folks will want Mexican beer.

 

No credit cards, but the prices are so reasonable, you will not need them. 



#123 johnl

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 09:26 PM

Notes from dinner 22 March 2015 at the Ivy Inn where the chef is Angelo Vangelopoulos (James Beard Semifinalist).

 

Pat and I dined at the Ivy Inn. We were treated graciously and had our picks from an extensive menu. The Inn was pretty busy for a Sunday night. We were seated in the downstairs dining room at a nice corner two-top. 

 

From the menu (see similar menu) Pat had two apps (wild mushroom minestrone and black mission fig toasts) while I settled for an app and a salad (grilled broccolini and the bibb lettuce salad). These were complex, inventive dishes that begged me to taste them in bits, deconstructing what had been assembled. They were delicious in the whole and in parts. 

 

For entrees, Pat had a pasta (sweet potato ravioli) and I had a sautéed flounder. The ravioli came with sautéed spinach, Portobello 'shrooms, and Mascarpone cream. The Flounder came with fennel, tomato, white wine sauce over local greens and tiny-kernal rice. These, too, were quite delicious. The Flounder, especially, was beautifully composed.

 

For deserts, Pat had some chocolate something and I had a cheese board with Port. Nice selection of local and other cheeses. 

 

Portions were not large, but sufficient. The service was definitely not formal and surely less than intrusive. Rather than being offered things, we had to ask a couple of times. 

 

The two of us had a very nice four-course meal with wines for under $200 including tip.

 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

 

Mr. Vangelopoulos is one of several C'ville folks who have been invited to cook at the James Beard House in NYC or acknowledged by JBF (others: Alex Montiel, who cooked at The Boar's Head and now has Cocina del Sol, Tim Burgess and Vincent Derquenne, who have Bizou and Bang!, and Jose who is now at Alley Light).



#124 astrid

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 07:20 PM

A weekend getaway took us to MAS, Parallel 38, and Alley Light in Charlottesville.  

 

MAS was as good as our fond remembrances from a visit several years ago.  Warm weather brought the added benefit of sitting on the patio in the afternoon sun, definite improvement over the dark and loud interior.  Everything we sampled was pretty good to very good, I don't think you can go too wrong with this (long) menu.

 

Parallel 38 is staking out some sort of gravitational orbit to CAVA Mezze in my mind. I think that is an overall compliment.  A lot of similarities in approaches but Parallel 38's takes are a bit more adventurous and more likely to be accompanied by unusual flavors, and perhaps a bit less consistent. 

 

Alley Light is good.  REALLY GOOD.  Okay, I wasn't fully on board with their charcuterie board because I don't think cooked ham should ever end up on a charcuterie board.  But otherwise everything was awesome.  Especially especially the seafood board, anyone seeking out a tastier and better seafood platter need to get this, and get the large size version.

 

We also went to Ashlawn Highland Plantation for a tour and I was charmed by the experience.  Probably fewer than 2 dozen visitors on the premise in total.  We had a wonderful and knowledgeable guide for the 35-minute house tour.  The grounds were beautiful too - it should not surprise any visitor here that when you type in "Ashlawn Highland", Google auto-complete offers "Ashlawn Highland wedding" as the second choice and "Ashlawn Highland Wedding Cost" as the third choice.



#125 Seanchai

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 02:42 AM

David Lebovitz is one of the old school food bloggers who's been doing his American in Paris thing for a long time (at least in the parameters of Internet blogging).  He recently visited Charlottesville for a UVA/French studies presentation and wrote a wonderful post about his food adventures there.  Included in there were words and pictures about new and old favorites such as Wayside Chicken, Lampo, JM Stock and Provisions, Milli and Joe coffee, and Albemarle Baking Company among others.  Well worth a look.

 

http://www.davidlebo...ville-virginia/



#126 tentimesodds

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 10:29 AM

David Lebovitz is one of the old school food bloggers who's been doing his American in Paris thing for a long time (at least in the parameters of Internet blogging).  He recently visited Charlottesville for a UVA/French studies presentation and wrote a wonderful post about his food adventures there.  Included in there were words and pictures about new and old favorites such as Wayside Chicken, Lampo, JM Stock and Provisions, Milli and Joe coffee, and Albemarle Baking Company among others.  Well worth a look.

 

http://www.davidlebo...ville-virginia/

 

The canneles de bordeaux pictured in the article are from MarieBette, a new bakery and cafe in the Rose Hill neighborhood.  There are way too many good breakfast/lunch options in my little town (and it's hard to not eat Bodo's Bagels every single day) but I can't recommend the croissants and pain au chocolat, along with those canneles, enough.

 

I wish there was a site like this one for Charlottesville, but a good consolation is the wonderful blog The Charlottesville 29 (http://charlottesville29.com/).  There you'll find all the happenings of note.  I'm most excited about the redevelopment of an old (c. 1939) Coca-Cola bottling plant into a complex with a beer garden run by the best bottle shop/beer bar in town and a butcher shop, cheese counter and restaurant run by Timbercreek Farm.  

 

I am not a huge fan of JM Stock and Provisions (maybe I'm just not Brooklyn enough to get why you'd pay $22.99 a pound for flap meat--excuse me, bavette) but Wayside, Albemarle Baking Company and Citizen Burger are solid choices.  I need to get to Lampo to see if it approaches Pupatella-level quality.



#127 Seanchai

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 10:43 AM

I like JM Stock a lot for the variety of sausages they make and the high level of service you get but yes, good lord is it expensive.  I think the quality is a little better at JM Stock but there are still some items I still go to Organic Butcher for like pork shoulder or beef roasts because of the price disparity for bigger amounts of meat.

 

I've loved my two visits to Lampo (I wrote the first one up above),  The sandwiches and sides are as good as the pizza.  As I said, it may not be completely at Pupatella quality but it's in the ballpark.



#128 tentimesodds

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 12:32 PM

Seems like we have a number of Charlottesvillians on here.  Maybe we could set up a sister board.

 

I pretty much exclusively go to Organic Butcher for steak, though I did get a pork shoulder at Harris Teeter last year for a 12-hour smoke.  Costco is opening this summer (allegedly) and should be a good source of quality meat. But, I'm a plebeian and don't know how to cook any of the fancy stuff so I think a place like JM Stock is lost on me.



#129 DonRocks

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Posted 02 May 2015 - 11:59 AM

Seems like we have a number of Charlottesvillians on here.  Maybe we could set up a sister board.

 

I pretty much exclusively go to Organic Butcher for steak, though I did get a pork shoulder at Harris Teeter last year for a 12-hour smoke.  Costco is opening this summer (allegedly) and should be a good source of quality meat. But, I'm a plebeian and don't know how to cook any of the fancy stuff so I think a place like JM Stock is lost on me.

 

If we get 10 active posters, I'll do it. Also, in anticipation of it, please write your posts here one restaurant per post; otherwise, it would be impossible to split them up. Simply chime in, and let me know. Also, recruit your friends from Charlottesville - it really isn't any more trouble to have a forum than it is to maintain this thread. Note also: the forum will most likely be Richmond (it's logical to pair Charlottesville with Richmond, with Richmond getting top billing, similar to Baltimore and Annapolis - it would also include everything in Virginia that isn't NoVa, so thisthis, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this) - it shouldn't take much to come up with 10 people. The Plains would move into the DC forum. I'll be watching and waiting ...

 

... and if I could only figure out what to do with Frederick. :wacko:


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#130 DonRocks

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 09:07 PM

If we get 10 active posters, I'll do it. Also, in anticipation of it, please write your posts here one restaurant per post; otherwise, it would be impossible to split them up. Simply chime in, and let me know. Also, recruit your friends from Charlottesville - it really isn't any more trouble to have a forum than it is to maintain this thread. Note also: the forum will most likely be Richmond (it's logical to pair Charlottesville with Richmond, with Richmond getting top billing, similar to Baltimore and Annapolis - it would also include everything in Virginia that isn't NoVa, so thisthis, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this) - it shouldn't take much to come up with 10 people. The Plains would move into the DC forum. I'll be watching and waiting ...

 

... and if I could only figure out what to do with Frederick. :wacko:

 

In the meantime, don't forget about the website Charlottesville29.com.


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#131 ktmoomau

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 01:32 PM

I would post actively, although I don't live down there, I visit at least once every two months.  I will see if I can find any C-ville people I am friends with an send them a message.


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#132 johnl

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 07:36 AM

Table for six at The Alley Light on Friday 8 May 2015. Will Richey pulled together two round tops between the entrance and the right end of the bar. He suggested a nice Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc blend for those of us who were drinking wine. Jose De Brito sent a plate of Artichoke Carpaccio to the table very shortly after we were seated. We ate a lot from the specials board as well as a few things from the regular menu (e.g., the seafood board), passing around the dishes. There were lots of and repeated enthusiastic comments about the food. 

 

Here's a photo of the specials board (I hope readers can enlarge to see the detail). 

 

AlleyLight20150508.png

 

In addition to the excellent artichoke dish and the seafood board, at least these items made it to our table:

  • Morels & poached egg on toast
  • Baked mussels
  • Simple salad
  • Roasted Cod
  • Duck breast (I skipped)
  • Seafood risotto

There were meat things happening at the other end of the tables I missed, I'm pretty sure.... Then there were desserts.



#133 johnl

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 08:21 AM

Saturday night I got to go to La Michoacana, which is still my fave place for Mexican food in C'ville. It's tiny. It's not in the midst of any of the hot dining spots. You have to order at the counter. You assemble your own setup. You wait for and take your own food to your table. The food is fab. David Hawkins's Cville Weekly article from February of 2015 got it right. 

 

I skipped the things on the pretty extensive menu and had the shrimp special as a platter (there was a burrito option). The specials board is easy to miss; you have to look toward the kitchen, past the cash register, for a small white board. Don't search for fancy writing.

 

We sat outside on the slope-y "patio" (former parking spaces) that made our plates slide downhill along the surface of the metal tables and, with traffic whizzing by, we tucked into our dinners, gobbling everything—especially the house-made tortillas.

 

Since Mr. Hawkins's article, La Michoacana has added an ABC license. I had a beer and a couple of folks had special-order margaritas, about which they had lot of good things to say. 

 

For conversation, we lamented the passing of El Tepeyac, a pretty good Mexican-Salvadoran place in northern Charlottesville. But we all agreed that this was really a good place. And, then there's the value: Five people with drinks and dollars in the tips jar = ~$90?



#134 tentimesodds

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 09:45 AM

If we get 10 active posters, I'll do it. Also, in anticipation of it, please write your posts here one restaurant per post; otherwise, it would be impossible to split them up. Simply chime in, and let me know. Also, recruit your friends from Charlottesville - it really isn't any more trouble to have a forum than it is to maintain this thread. Note also: the forum will most likely be Richmond (it's logical to pair Charlottesville with Richmond, with Richmond getting top billing, similar to Baltimore and Annapolis - it would also include everything in Virginia that isn't NoVa, so thisthis, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this) - it shouldn't take much to come up with 10 people. The Plains would move into the DC forum. I'll be watching and waiting ...

 

... and if I could only figure out what to do with Frederick. :wacko:

I'd post, and will try to do so in here, but I would say that my initial thought was to have a completely separate board rather than pair in with everything that you've built here.  Pairing with Richmond just doesn't make sense to me--very, very different towns with different sensibilities.  There are only about 400 restaurants in Charlottesville in total, including each branch of every Subway and McDonalds and everything else, so really only, say, a hundred post-worthy places.  I'd like to get a thread up for literally each one of them, with reviews, but that sounds a bit ambitious.



#135 tentimesodds

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 09:46 AM

Table for six at The Alley Light on Friday 8 May 2015. Will Richey pulled together two round tops between the entrance and the right end of the bar. He suggested a nice Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc blend for those of us who were drinking wine. Jose De Brito sent a plate of Artichoke Carpaccio to the table very shortly after we were seated. We ate a lot from the specials board as well as a few things from the regular menu (e.g., the seafood board), passing around the dishes. There were lots of and repeated enthusiastic comments about the food. 

 

Here's a photo of the specials board (I hope readers can enlarge to see the detail). 

 

attachicon.gifAlleyLight20150508.png

 

In addition to the excellent artichoke dish and the seafood board, at least these items made it to our table:

  • Morels & poached egg on toast
  • Baked mussels
  • Simple salad
  • Roasted Cod
  • Duck breast (I skipped)
  • Seafood risotto

There were meat things happening at the other end of the tables I missed, I'm pretty sure.... Then there were desserts.

 

Is that $76 for the seafood risotto?  If so, that's got to be the highest entree price I've ever seen in this town.



#136 DonRocks

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 10:23 AM

Is that $76 for the seafood risotto?  If so, that's got to be the highest entree price I've ever seen in this town.

 

$16 with a "g" on top of it. :)


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#137 johnl

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 11:11 AM

Is that $76 for the seafood risotto?  If so, that's got to be the highest entree price I've ever seen in this town.

Don has it right. It's $16. 

 

To see how the board represents the number seven, look at the cost of the marinated anchovies in the "snacks" section at the upper left of the photo. 

 

We got out of there after three hours with everything included (save what the kitchen sent us gratis) for ~$65/person.

 

JohnL



#138 tentimesodds

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 11:57 AM

Don has it right. It's $16. 

 

To see how the board represents the number seven, look at the cost of the marinated anchovies in the "snacks" section at the upper left of the photo. 

 

We got out of there after three hours with everything included (save what the kitchen sent us gratis) for ~$65/person.

 

JohnL

Foiled by the French 1 again! I should have known better because I cross my 7s when writing--a by product of taking French from Kindergarten on.  Bien sûr, je ne me souviens pas de tout ça...


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#139 ktmoomau

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 01:27 PM

I'd post, and will try to do so in here, but I would say that my initial thought was to have a completely separate board rather than pair in with everything that you've built here.  Pairing with Richmond just doesn't make sense to me--very, very different towns with different sensibilities.  There are only about 400 restaurants in Charlottesville in total, including each branch of every Subway and McDonalds and everything else, so really only, say, a hundred post-worthy places.  I'd like to get a thread up for literally each one of them, with reviews, but that sounds a bit ambitious.

That's kind of what Don means, if you check out the Baltimore Board you would get an idea of what it would be like.


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Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
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#140 johnl

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 01:39 PM

Foiled by the French 1 again! I should have known better because I cross my 7s when writing--a by product of taking French from Kindergarten on.  Bien sûr, je ne me souviens pas de tout ça...

 

I don't speak it, but I do eat it!







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