The Charlottesville 29

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

Introducing Timbercreek Market

Creek

The first food tenant at the historic Coca-Cola building is set to open.  And, it’s no joke.

Timbercreek Market, an offshoot of Timbercreek Farm, will house a butcher shop, cheese shop, and casual restaurant, all in one.  For years, Timbercreek Farm products have been on menus of the area’s top restaurants, on shelves at select retail outlets, and available for purchase from the farm itself.  Now, Timbercreek is poised to remove altogether the middle men from the “farm-to-table” process.  The farm will bring its products literally to guests’ tables.

Sara Miller, who owns Timberbreek with her husband Zach, said that the idea behind the market is to “answer demand from both our customers and chefs that has been increasing over the years . . . for a place where they can gather to enjoy, shop for, and learn about the local foods we grow at the farm as well as those grown at other farms in the area.”

Given how esteemed Timbercreek Farm is throughout the food community, it’s no surprise that an all-star cast has flocked to help out. Will Richey and Josh Zanoff, of The Alley Light, The Whiskey Jar, and Revolutionary Soup, have been overseeing planning.  “I have worked with Timbercreek since the very beginning,” said Richey.  “With this new project, Timbercreek can extend their best practices in rearing animals to the best practices in handling the meats they produce.”  Richey says that while the market will have “all the things you expect from a top notch butcher shop,” what will make it special is that “you’ll know exactly where all of the meat is coming from — the farm less than seven miles from where it is being sold.”  Chefs and customers can inspect the daily offerings, select exactly the cut of meat they want, and know its source.

Beyond Timbercreek’s own beef, pork, lamb, chicken, duck, rabbit, eggs, and produce, the market will also offer products from other top local food businesses, including other farms, Shenandoah Joe, The Pie Chest, and more.  Meanwhile, The Wine Guild will provide a selection of wines, which can be enjoyed both on premise and off. The idea, Richey said, is to be a one stop shop for whatever’s needed for a great local meal.

Running the cheese counter will be Nadjeeb Chouaf, who last year was named second best cheesemonger in the country. The market will be the new home of his Flora Artisanal Cheese.  “I’m really excited about partnering with Zach and Sara,” said Chouaf who expects the new, larger space for his cheese shop to allow expanded selections, and also regular cheese classes, events, and even pop-up dinners.

Manning the butcher counter will be Adam Lawrence, a ten year veteran of Whole Foods Market.  “I am truly passionate about meat cutting,” said the Earlysville native. “It is an art not commonly practiced in this day and age.”

And, heading the kitchen will be Allie Redshaw, sous chef of Pippin Hill Farm.  Anyone who has enjoyed a meal recently at Pippin Hill knows that this is a good thing.  A very good thing.

Redshaw, whose husband Ian co-owns Lampo, plans an array of prepared food items to eat at the market or take home, as well as sandwiches stuffed with Timbercreek products.  We got a sneak peek at the menu and its a doozy, with options like a 120-day Dry Aged Ribeye Philly Cheese on ABC Ciabatta or a Brioche Grilled Cheese with Bone Marrow.  But, the sandwich that Redshaw is most excited about is her riff on a banh mi, which she says will include “an assortment of Porky goodies, pickled vegetables, and seasonal pates.”  Instead of the traditional crusty baguette, Redhsaw will serve the sandwich on Tigelle – a delicious bread from Emilia Romagna that is notoriously difficult to perfect.  Redshaw has been working hard to do just that, and Timbercreek Market will make theirs fresh daily.

Most of the rest of the sandwiches will be served on bread from Albemarle Baking Company, which drives home how intertwined our local producers and purveyors are.  Timbercreek provides its farm’s eggs to the bakery, which uses them to make bread, which the bakery provides to Timbercreek to make sandwiches.  “A full circle,” said Miller.

Last but not least, there will of course be steak!  Customers can pick any steak they like and, for a small fee, have it grilled for them on the spot.  Richey is high on this option.  “I am personally ecstatic about the chance to walk into the shop, point at a perfectly cut steak in the case and say, ‘Grill that for me, medium rare’, and then sit down with a beer to wait for my steak – any time of the day.”  Beer and steak any time of day sounds good to us.

Timbercreek Market plans for a June opening, with hours 10-7, Monday through Saturday.  In the historic Coca-Cola building at 722 Preston Avenue.

Five Finds on Friday: Shelby Park

Shelby

On Fridays, we feauture five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Shelby Park, the recently announced Executive Chef of Trump Winery, where she has introduced a new spring menu.  On Mother’s Day, Trump is hosting a special buffet brunch including a glass of wine. While the brunch requires purchasing tickets in advance, Trump will also accept walk-ins for the regular menu that day.  Park’s picks:

1)  Hungry Norman at Bluegrass Grill and Bakery.  “Bluegrass is my favorite place in town to go for breakfast. The Hungry Norman is an English muffin topped with goat cheese, blackberry jam, sausage, poached eggs, and hollandaise. I love the combo of sweetness from the jam, slight sourness of the goat cheese, and the savory sausage. And then topping the whole thing off with eggs and hollandaise is just awesome. Their home fries are also to-die-for.”

2)  Tucker’s Pop-up Dinner Menu at Eljogaha.  “Chef Tucker Yoder is doing a series of pop-up dinners around town. He was the chef I worked for when I was an intern and also when I was a line cook at the Clifton Inn. The menu changes every weekend, but we got to enjoy sprouted grain porridge with almond milk and cabbage jus. The texture was so unique and such a different use of sprouted grains. Tucker also makes a great ribeye and a fantastic homemade sourdough bread. He is truly an amazing chef, and I’d recommend his pop-up restaurant to everyone.”

3)  Charcuterie and Pork from The Rock Barn.  “The Rock Barn has awesome pork products, and I just switched the charcuterie plate at Trump to feature their meats. We get the tasso ham, the Daisy-della, and the spicy Capicola, and they are all amazing. I also just had Rock Barn pork chops at Orzo with date puree, beer mustard, and polenta and absolutely loved it.”

4)  Cocktails at The Alley Light.  “The Alley Light is my favorite place to go for great cocktails. I love the fact that they will custom make you a cocktail to suit your tastes. Every drink is always expertly balanced, and their mixology is really impressive.”

5)  Egg Rolls at Bamboo House.  “The Bamboo House is a definite hole-in-the-wall place with some non-traditional décor, but their egg rolls are delicious. They’re not your average egg rolls.  Their are huge and packed with pork and veggies. I live nearby so getting a big order of take-out eggs rolls is my fried food go-to.”

 

Tucker Yoder and Josh Zanoff at The Whiskey Jar

Crispy egg

Since ending his four-year run as Executive Chef of Clifton Inn in December, Tucker Yoder has been busy with his new roving restaurant, Eljogaha, which has popped up at L’Etoile and Blenheim Vineyards, and will be at Grit this weekend.  Yoder also recently stepped into the kitchen at The Whiskey Jar to provide his expertise. Though his stint was short by design, the impact should be lasting.  “I tried to introduce some different techniques and uses for items they had,” said Yoder, “and worked with [owner] Will Richey and [chef] Devin [Murray] to create some new dinner menu items.”

As an example, Yoder cited a crispy egg salad with greens, schmaltz vinaigrette, ‎pickled onion and chicken skin.  A “crispy egg,” said Yoder, is one that has been soft-boiled, breaded with stone ground grits, and then deep fried.   Pictured above, yes it tastes as good as it looks.

But, Richey says that many of the changes will not be apparent from the menu itself.  Instead, the focus has been improving existing dishes.  “When Devin and I began to think about these changes, we wanted the idea of ‘Grilled and Green’ to be the driving concept, getting us back to our goal of presenting Southern food that can be fresh and healthy,” said Richey.  For example, “with some great guidance from Tucker, we revamped our salads to make them a key feature on the menu . . . and craveable.”  Look also for a fresher take on side dishes, like marinated mushrooms, fresh sautéed vegetables, and sweet curry pickles.

Yoder’s kitchen consultation has been part of a broader effort over the last several months to “polish” the restaurant, as Richey puts it, and bring it back to the way he had originally conceived it.  The changes are not dramatic, Richey said, but rather small tweaks here and there to restore the restaurant’s ambience, food, and service.  “Overall, we will be the good ole Whiskey Jar,” said Richey.

Perhaps the biggest change is Richey’s reunion with former business partner Josh Zanoff, a Culinary Institute of America alum who Richey credits with teaching him how to cook years ago.  The two once cooked together at L’Etoile, catered together, considered starting their own bistro, and joined forces at Revolutionary Soup, which Zanoff helped revamp when Richey bought it in 2005.  They then went their separate ways, but Zanoff recently returned to the fold and now is running The Whiskey Jar.

The spring menus, below, launch today.

LUNCH

Whiskey_Jar_Spring_Lunch_Menu_v3_Page_1

Whiskey_Jar_Spring_Lunch_Menu_v3_Page_2

DINNER

Whiskey_Jar_Spring_Dinner_Menu_v2_Page_1
Whiskey_Jar_Spring_Dinner_Menu_v2_Page_2

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