The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Five Finds on Friday: Allie Redshaw


On Fridays we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Allie Redshaw, the new Sous Chef of Pippin Hill. Redshaw’s picks:

1) Scallion Bubble Pancake at Taste of China. “We all know this is a ‘chefs’ favorite,’ so seemingly no surprise that I am giving recognition to this strip mall Chinese restaurant, but T.O.C. is so much more; always a friendly face greeting Ian and I at the door, and a pot of hot tea waiting on the table. Apart from their service, the food is impeccably authentic Szechuan cuisine. I could list at least ten dishes that are favorites of mine, but the Scallion Bubble Pancakes are golden brown and delicious with duck sauce and spicy mustard; and, the spicy, crispy duck with its whole Thai bird chilis, charred scallions, and overly crispy duck skin completes every meal!”

2) Malai Kofta at Royal Indian. “This place just having moved locations is absolutely on point. Their table service is absolutely wonderful, and the food also meets those standards. The malai kofta, which is my go-to, is a vegetarian option derived of curried vegetable ‘meatballs’ of sorts submerged into a delicious creamy sauce; accompanied with the perfectly cooked basmati rice and jasmine tea, it is a wonderful meal!”

3) Chicken at Al Carbon. “This small storefront has slowly become one of my favorite places to go, not only because of the smell and sound of fresh chicken skin crackling upon the rotisserie spit just inside the front door, but you truly get your money’s worth of food here. With a choice of either a quarter, half, or whole chicken, complete with three sides and a drink, you can easily feed two or three adults for less than $30.00. The chicken is seasoned, and perfectly juicy, the esquites (sweet corn with crema, queso, and cilantro), and the saffron rice; ALL to die for!”

4) Pork at The BBQ Exchange. “This hub of pork goodness is off the beaten path but well worth the commute. The bacon doughnuts, the dopest pulled pork, and the thick-cut house made bacon, all rock my socks off! MY favorite aspect of this restaurant is that the integrity and consistency of the food never waiver, despite their exorbitant number of customers served every day.”

5) Massaman Curry with Tofu at Monsoon Siam. “Last but not least, this Thai food has been a comfort food to me since I first moved to Charlottesville. The massaman curry with tofu is my go-to, it lends a little sweetness, with a spicy finish; and the brown rice is just as well cooked as the white. All of their food is comforting, hot, and delicious, authentic Thai. And they deliver :)”

Five Finds on Friday: Andrew Cole


On Fridays, we feature five food or drink finds from local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Andrew Cole, the longtime sommelier of Tavola, who recently left to join three chefs in opening the much-anticipated restaurant Lampo, which will specialize in Neopolitan pizza.  “Since I’ve partnered up with three great chefs to open Lampo,” said Cole, “I figured it’d be appropriate to leave the food to the experts and focus on something I’m a little more familiar with.”  So, here is the first ever liquid Five Finds on Friday.  Cole’s picks:

1)  Parliament at ZoCaLo.  “Be it by choice or reputation, I can’t go to Zocalo without having at least one. Citrusy, balanced, and refreshing, this mojito/margarita riff with basil and Hendricks gin is as consistently delicious as the restaurant where you can find one.”

2) “Cherry Choke” at The Alley Light.  “The team at The Alley Light is astounding. I love the depth of the wine list, the food is as creative and exciting as it is delicious, but it’s the cherry choke that keeps me sidled up to the bar. Admittedly, I am a sucker for Amaro, but Micah’s use of Cynar in this cocktail is particularly brilliant.”

3)  Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet with Skillet Roasted Mussels at Tavola.  “I would admit to a bit of bias on this one, but a glass of the Pepiere Muscadet with the skillet roasted mussels at Tavola is truly tough to beat. I know shellfish and muscadet is a bit cliché at this point, but in this case it’s a perfect foil for one of the best dishes in town.”

4)  Jalapeño Margarita at Mono Loco.  “A classic margarita with a healthy dose of jalapeño peppers, but don’t be intimidated because this drink really works. It’s spicy as hell, but that’s only fitting of brunch at Mono Loco, and you can balance it out with a shot of passion fruit if you don’t like the heat.”

5)  Greyhound at C&O.  “I’ve always appreciated the classics, and C&O defines the term. It’s a simple drink, but you can’t make it much better than they do at C&O. The whole bar program deserves applause, they’ve got a great whiskey collection, and an extensive list of interesting and obscure amaro.”

Five Finds on Friday: Micah LeMon


On Fridays, we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities. This week’s picks come from Micah LeMon, our area’s most devoted mixologist, who expertly oversees the bar at The Alley Light. LeMon also writes about booze for C-VILLE, and his cocktails have won notice from publications like The Local Palate. He’s so skilled that when we go to The Alley Light we just let him make whatever he wants.  LeMon’s picks:

1)  Pastrami and Provolone on an Everything with lettuce, mayo, and tomato at Bodo’s.  “Consistently the best sandwich I’ve ever had for around 5 bucks.”

2)  Seared Greek Halloumi Cheese with ouzo and tomatoes at Orzo.  “I love this dish so much.  It tastes like delicious pizza for grown ups.  That and and a bottle of Albarino and it’s going to be a good night.”

3)  Anything with Garlic Alioli at MAS. “It is the most rich, delicious dippy sauce. It also promises hours of garlic burps for the immediate future, which I like.”

4)  Wings and Beer at McGrady’s.  “Good wings, good beer, and good times.  Everyone needs a pub in their neighborhood, and McGrady’s is great one in mine.  I try to go once a week to catch up with friends over trivia.”

5)  Drinks, especially in the winter, at C&O.  “When the cold weather comes, I love catching a drink in the cozy, gnarled, bar downstairs.  It’s the kind of place where you want to go to sit, drink, and have hours-long conversation.”






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