Five Finds on Friday
On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities. Below is a list of all of the finds to date.
Pei Chang, chef of TEN Sushi. Chang’s picks:
1) Meatloaf Sandwich at Stonefire Kitchen. “Artisanal sandwiches and salads engineered by Jeremy Butterfield, a kitchen witch who’s just giving us a taste.”
2) Octopus Carpaccio at Glass Haus Kitchen. “It goes without saying that Ian Boden and his team are putting up the most interesting food in town. Inspired combinations that just work.”
3) Pappardelle Ragu at Tavola. “The perfect neighborhood restaurant. Mike and Loren kill it nightly.”
4) Short Ribs at Hanu Truck. “A fellow So-Cal transplant who is sharing the flavors of Los Angeles, Koreatown and the surrounding areas with Charlottesville. And, he’s doing it well. Can’t go wrong with the short ribs, be it tacos, mulitas or tortas. “
5) Spinach Balls by Caroline Chang. “Wifey’s spinach balls are a wonder to behold. I’m a fan of spinach as well as food in ball form.”
Treat Huey, former UVa tennis great, now a highly ranked doubles player. Huey’s picks:
1) Yuca and Caramont Farm Goat Cheese Fritters at Commonwealth. “This appetizer is ridiculously good. Then you can not go wrong with any of the entrees especially if you get the smashed, roasted red potatoes as a side. A great meal and then heading upstairs to Skybar to have a drink when there is good weather is a great way to end a day.”
2) Local “Double H Farm” Berkshire Pork Chop at The Local. “Get the blackberry cobbler with house made vanilla ice cream for dessert. All the food is great, and the restaurant building and decor are also reasons I come back and eat here as much as I can.”
3) Cajun Crusted Tilapia wrap with Chipotle Dressing and Salt and Vinegar Chips at Zazus Fresh Grille. “I have this at least once a week when I am in town.”
4) Lunch Buffet at Milan Indian Cuisine. “When I am really hungry, the lunch buffet at Milan is my go to. One of my friends, Sanam, who moved here from India five years ago, took me here for the first time a few years back after raving about it and I have been hooked ever since. The naan, curries and tandoori chicken are must haves.”
5) Pasta al Forno and House Salad at Bella’s. “Start with the large Bella’s house and then have the Pasta al Forno. Two people sharing these is the perfect amount of food. Also, I recently ate at the bar because there was a wait and my friend and I got to talking with Ayo the bartender. He’s a great guy and made dinner even more enjoyable.”
Jonathan Wheeler, Sparkling Winemaker at Trump Winery.
1) Oysters on the Half Shell at Blue Light Grill and Raw Bar. “Super fresh, tastes just like the ocean should.”
2) Ginger Braised Pork Tamale with Mole Sauce at Commonwealth Restaurant. “Goes great with their En Fuego cocktail.”
3) Hudson Valley Duck breast with Navy Bean Cassoulet at L’Etoile. “Great savory flavors.”
4) Steak au Poivre at the Downtown Grill. “Anytime I want perfectly cooked steak I go here.”
5) Umali Brûlée at Savour Restaurant. “A puff pastry with pudding, candied pecans, and coconut that is a great way to end the meal.”
1) Shredded Tofu Skin in Chili Sauce at Peter Chang’s China Grill. “Nothing gets the mouth watering like cold, shredded, tofu skins with cilantro and a plethora of chili oil.”
2) The Fat n’ Sassy at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. “Otherwise known as a four cheese pizza disguised as ‘cheesy bread,’ studded with roasted garlic, cut into squares, and served with house-made ranch dressing. Broccoli optional. Extra ranch not optional.”
3) Bucatini All’Amatriciana at Tavola. “So simple, so good, yet impossible to re-create at home. I could eat this everyday – and the fellas at Tavola can attest to that.”
4) Tachos at Fardowners. “Translation = tater tot nachos piled high with all the fixins. Best shared with friends and pints of local beer.”
5) The Riviera at Greenwood Gourmet Grocery. “Hands down, the best tuna sandwich, period. Filled with quality tuna, olive oil, capers, red onion and magic. Served on crusty Goodwin Creek bread. What’s not to love?”
Ethan Zuckerman, of Barefoot Bucha. Zuckerman’s picks:
1) Ragu Bolognese at Bella’s. “Add the house salad, the calamari fritti, and a bottle of Italian red. You’ll definitely have leftovers.”
2) Datil con tocino (bacon-wrapped dates) at Mas Tapas. “Sweet, savory, sizzling slow food.”
3) Pork Gyoza at Now & Zen. “Try them with the spinach and eggplant dish and a roll or two.”
4) Pastrami & Swiss on an Everything Bagel at Bodo’s. “Don’t hold the mustard, horseradish, and lettuce.”
5) South Side of Heaven crepe at The Flat. “Local sausage from the awesome folks at the Rock Barn, spinach, and cheese–super filling, local ingredients, and under $10.”
Curtis Shaver, executive chef of Hamiltons’ at First & Main. Shaver’s picks:
1) Crispy Fried Eggplant at Taste of China. “Taste of China is consistently good. The soup dumplings are great too.”
2) House-smoked Pastrami Reuben at Fardowners. “The fact that they use pastrami and smoke it themselves makes this Reuben top notch.”
3) Animal Crackers at Glass Haus Kitchen. “What’s not to love about fried chicken skins and pigs ears?”
4) Gyro or Souvlaki at Mykonos Cafe. “A lunch time favorite of mine.”
5) BBQ at BBQ Exchange. “Craig is a culinary mastermind and his BBQ is worth the trip to Gordonsville. Worst part is I never can decide on a sauce. They’re all so good.”
Alex George of Commonwealth Restaurant and SkyBar and Just Curry. George’s picks:
1) Shrimp and Grits at Horse & Hound. “Luther Fedora’s shrimp and grits are amazing! The best damn grits I’ve ever had.”
2) Almond Croissant at Paradox Pastry. “Jenny Peterson does an absolutely fantastic job with these croissants. I have at least two a week.”
4) Prosciutto and Blue Cheese Sandwich at Market Street Market. “With pear, honey, and basil on ciabatta bread, this is my favorite anytime sandwich.”
5) Cornmeal-crusted Fried Oysters at Maya. “Christian Kelly’s fried oysters are a must-have every time I go there.”
Michael McCarthy, chef/owner of Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. McCarthy’s picks:
1) Hot Sicilian sandwich at Durty Nelly’s Wayside Deli. “Rye bread makes life better, plain and simple.”
2) Fried Chicken at GOCO on Cherry Ave. “There is a lot of fried chicken out there, but this is the BEST hands down.”
3) Crab Cakes at Duner’s. “The real deal, lots of lump crab and pleasantly seasoned.”
4) Pork Souvlaki Dinner at Tip Top Restaurant. “They know how to hook it up!”
5) Mustard Crusted Rack of Lamb at Ivy Inn Restaurant. “Everything Angelo touches turns to gold, but the rack of lamb at the Ivy Inn is perhaps his biggest culinary achievement.”
Jenny Peterson of Paradox Pastry. Peterson’s picks:
1) Olde Salt Oyster Stout at Champion Brewing Company. “All of the beers here are wonderful, but a weekend afternoon spent sliding oysters along with this beer is indelibly etched on my palate. Perfection.”
2) Carne Asada at MAS. “I feel so unadventurous and borderline boring by ordering this dish every time I go to Mas. I just can’t not order it.”
3) Fried Mussels and Truffled Fries at Skybar. “We work long days on Fridays at Paradox and afterward, my Sugarista Sue and I head to the Skybar for a refreshing beverage. The fries are a staple and the mussels have replaced my former favorite, the fried oysters!”
4) Our Famous Veggie Pizza at Blue Mountain Brewery. “After delivering wedding cakes to one of the many wineries in the area, I treat myself to this pizza and always offer to share with the folks sitting with me at the bar.”
5) Blueberry Handpie at Paradox Pastry. “It’s . . just . . . perfect. Love you hold in your hand!”
Gerry Newman, Master Baker at Albemarle Baking Company. Newman’s five picks:
1) BBQ Lovers 3 Meat Platter at BBQ Exchange. “Worth the drive! My family loves to head over on a Sunday afternoon when the weather is warmer and squeeze in one of the front porch picnic tables. My son and I share a 3 Meat Platter of brisket, pulled chicken, and pork belly. We’re always trying different sides and Chef Craig never disappoints.”
2) St. Brendan Omelet and Caesar Salad at Bodo’s. “Millie and I have been Bodo’s fans for over 23 years. We used to drive over from Covington, Va before we moved to Charlottesville and would always get a dozen bagels to have back in our rural post. Now, my youngest and I like to share the St. Brendan omelet and a Caesar salad. Good food and the price is right. Though, as my daughter points out, you need to be mindful of social engagements after the garlic-y Caesar.”
3) Upstairs Window Table at C&O. “Every meal at C&O is a winner. I love the Berkshire Pork Saltimbocca while Millie prefers the Cuban Ribeye Steak. Our favorite table is upstairs by the center window, but it doesn’t really matter where we sit because when Dean is in the kitchen, we know we are in for a stellar dining experience.”
4) Cheeseburger at Riverside Lunch. “I first ate at Riverside years ago when it was at the west end of Free Bridge (now home to CVS). It was small, crowded, loud and you entered close enough to the grill that you could lend a hand with the lunch rush, if need be. Today, when the five of us go to to Riverside for lunch we make sure to order a basket of fries first to share while we wait for our sandwiches. I always get the cheeseburger all-the-way and I always leave happy.”
5) Pimento Cheese Fritters with Pepper Jelly at Maya. “My mom visits from Portland, Oregon every winter and loves going to Maya while she is here. If you have five or six people in your party, get a double order of these babies. Crispy on the outside, slightly melted on the inside, and full of flavor with the pepper jelly. Go on Tuesdays when they have the Chicken Fried Chicken and entrees are twelve bucks. Christian also makes a creamed cabbage that is out of this world.”
Christian Kelly, chef and co-owner of Maya. Kelly’s five picks:
1) Linguini Alla Carbonara at Tavola. “Simply delicious.”
2) Stone Pot of Pork and Potato Balls at Peter Chang’s China Grill. “Peter Chang’s Spring festival menu is unbelievable!”
3) Hot Chocolate at Splendora’s. “It’s really melted chocolate instead of what we think of as hot cocoa.”
4) Vella Jack Cheese Fritters at Zocalo. “Always perfect, a classic!”
5) Deviled Eggs (brunch) at Rapture. “Simple, delicious, like Grandma’s ‘cept better.”
Hunter Smith, owner and brewer at Champion Brewing Company. Smith’s picks:
1) Tres Colores Fish and Chips at Beer Run. “I don’t know what it is, but this fresh twist on a pub favorite really nails it for me. Moderate spicy heat, and really fresh pico on top of crunchy catfish is perfect with an IPA for me.”
2) Carne Asada at Mas. “I could order at Mas by using the menu as a dartboard and always be happy, but I particularly love the melt-in-your-mouth eyelid-squeeze-inducing carne asada. A showcase of amazing beef that seems to just barely touch the grill. Carnivore indulgence.”
3. Baltimore-Style Pit Beef Sandwich at Ace Biscuit & BBQ. “Brian catered our soft opening party and it was love at first bite. (Forgive the cliché.) Everything I’ve had there is fantastic . . . . We rarely have time to do lunch outside of the brewery because of hectic brewdays, so when we can, we plop down at Ace and I love the tender, juicy Baltimore-style pit beef with a smooth kick from the horseradish sauce. Can’t skip the side of fried green tomatoes. Always motivated to work out after a trip to fat kid heaven.”
4) Tacos de Lengua at La Michoacana. “We have been the fortunate offsite venue of choice for La Michoacana to set up their truck and by god is their food every bit as amazing from the truck as it is at the restaurant. Nothing off of the list is less than great, but I love the chewy and flavorful tongue, prepared ‘Mexican’ style, with their green hot sauce. 3 of these plus a Missile IPA = so bangin’.”
5) Duck Confit at The Clifton Inn. “I recently attended a beer dinner at Clifton Inn, and as usual Tucker, Tyler, and Collin were swinging for the fences. The highlight for me was duck confit with roasted endive, cocoa nib nougatine, and cherry fruit leather. Seriously? Seriously.”
Brice Cunningham, chef-owner of Tempo. Cunningham’s picks:
1) Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Oysters and a Special at Maya. “I start with a nice bottle of white wine and the cornmeal-crusted oysters and then usually have the special for the night. The guys in the kitchen are always doing something fun for the Southern food lover’s palate.”
2) Cocktails at Commonwealth. “When I need a good cocktail I head to Commonwealth’s bar and chat about cheese and wine with Steven, the manager there.”
3) BLT Sandwich at Bagby’s. “I love a good old fashioned BLT for lunch from Baggby’s.”
4) Pain au Chocolat at Albemarle Baking Company. “For the perfect pain au chocolat, I always turn to Albemarle Baking Company.”
5) Dinner at Clifton Inn. “When I have friends in from New York or Europe, I take them to the Clifton Inn to enjoy some of Tucker Yoder’s creative cooking.”
Ian Redshaw, Chef de Cuisine of L’Etoile. Redshaw’s picks:
2) Muffaleta at Beer Run. “Muffaleta, any time anywhere, especially at Beer Run.”
3) Meat and Cheese Counter at Feast!. “Some of the best people with the best products. Great time while waiting for your lunch.”
4) Bibimbap at The Korean House. “A hot stone boil comes out sizzling, with a sunny side up egg.”
Loren Mendosa, sous chef of Tavola. Mendosa’s picks:
1) Veal Sweetbreads and Fried Brussels Sprouts at L’etoile with capers, parsley, lemon, fleur gris and aioli. “Perfectly cooked sweetbreads are hard to find and Ian Redshaw does just that.”
2) Fried Chicken & Waffles at Ace Biscuit & Barbecue. “I love the fact that Brian uses fried chicken thighs instead of breast meat for this dish. I’ve always been a thigh guy.”
4) Sake Roll at TEN Sushi. “I’m a sucker for a spicy roll and the fresh jalapeno in this one is perfect.”
5) “Coffee and Doughnuts” at TEN Sushi. “TEN gets two picks because they have two great chefs, Yoshihiro Tauchi and Pei Chang. This dessert is my perfect way to finish a meal, tender beignets and sweet creamy coffee.”
Tim Gearhart of Gearharts Chocolates. Gearhart’s picks:
1) Fried Oysters with Chipotle Aioli at Duner’s Restaurant. “An absolute staple.”
2) Beef Short Rib at Zinc. “This is one of the most memorable meals I have had in Charlottesville in quite a while. Grits, roasted cauliflower . . . ridiculous.”
3) Beef Jerky at The Organic Butcher. “I have a serious addiction to beef jerky. Don’t judge me.”
4) A perfectly poured Duvel beer on tap at Mas. “Maybe enjoyed with a few raw oysters and I am not sure it gets better.”
5) Chocolate Praline Crunch Cake Dome at Albermarle Baking Co.. “Even after being around a whole bunch of chocolate all day, I can still do some damage on one of these.”
Dan Potter, co-owner of Potter’s Craft Cider. Potter’s five picks:
1) Southside of Heaven at The Flat. “An eye-opening experience to what a crepe can be. Perfect after a long night out, big enough to feed two, but usually gone before anyone else gets a taste.”
2) Freedom Ranger Chicken from Free Union Grass Farm. “These birds are very active and run around more than a standard Cornish Cross. Any way you choose to cook it, they have the tastiest thighs you will ever try.”
3) Hemingway’s Paris by Forage. “I’m very excited for the next dinner from Megan Kiernan and Justin Stone, the curators of Forage. These two put together more than just an incredible meal – they create ‘holistic occasions meant to be enjoyed by all the senses.’ Every part of the experience is worth savoring.”
4) The Horny Goatburger at Black Market Moto Saloon. “Organic spiced goat with avocado, bacon, Gouda and cilantro lime sauce – what else is there to say?”
5) Fried Chicken with Collards at The Whiskey Jar. “Simple, but delicious. This is a staple meal done well. It’s always nice to enjoy at the end of a long week alongside a cold drink.”
Jennifer Keevil, Manager and co-owner of Brookville Restaurant. Keevil’s five picks:
1) “Omakase sashimi, sushi, and sake at TEN Sushi.”
2) “A refreshing Greyhound and grazing off the late night menu at C&O.”
3) “Shopping and tasting all the raw milk cheeses and charcuterie at Feast!.”
4) “Gambas al’ parilla smothered in aioli, and homemade sangria at Mas.”
5) “A perfect runny egg on anything at Brookville.”
Mike Yager, sous chef of the new Glass Haus Kitchen. Yager’s picks:
1) Charleston Wings at The Lazy Parrot Grill. “On boys’ night out, that’s the place we go to get the best wings in town. And, Charleston is by far the best flavor.”
2) Bison Burger at Beer Run. “Best beer selection in town by far, and the burger is a bad mamma jamma.”
3) Hamachi Collar at Ten Sushi. “Everything Pei does is awesome. Hamachi collar just happens to be one of those things.”
4) Hangar Steak at Petit Pois. “I love steak frites, and I love hangar steak. You can’t go wrong with hangar steak and french fries that are done right.”
5) PBR at Miller’s Downtown. “Something about that bar makes PBR taste better than it already does. Maybe it’s the dirty bar scene with loud music (Barling and Collins amazing Sunday night entertainment), or maybe it’s the fact that they have the best bartenders in the world right at my front door.”
Angelo Vangelopoulos, chef/owner of Ivy Inn. Vangelopoulos’ picks:
1) Nachos at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. “It’s the first thing that comes to mind when I decide to make the trip to North Garden. I love the Jack London pizza, but the nachos make me come back over and over.”
2) Moroccan Wrap or Chicken Shawarma Wrap at Aromas Cafe. “It’s a toss up: the Moroccan wrap with the world’s tastiest eggplant or the shawarma. Hassan and his staff make the experience memorable — great place for a lunch date.”
3) The Chef’s Counter at Clifton Inn. “It’s like eating in your own kitchen if it was staffed with five great chefs and a great service staff. The snacks and courses seem to be endless.”
4) Chorizo Potatoes with a side of Homemade Tomatillo-Avocado Sauce at Cafe Cubano. “It’s so good I’ll eat yours too.”
5) Goat Vin D’Alho and Naan at Milan Indian Cuisine. “Ask for extra napkins and order another beer. It’s succulent, spicy and soul warming. Don’t even try to eat without using your hands.”
Josh Hunt, co-owner of Beer Run. Hunt’s five picks:
1) Cheeseburger “All the Way” and a Coke in the Bottle at Riverside Lunch off High St. “As someone who grew up on the east side of Charlottesville, the Riverside has been an institution since long before I started going in the 80′s with my brothers and step-dad, to the old location on Long St., where the CVS is now. I’ve been all over this country and I haven’t found a better or more classic cheeseburger. Plus, the service is probably the fastest in town.”
2) Boquerones Con Ajo at Mas. (Plump white Cantabrian anchovy filets in an olive oil, garlic, lemon marinade). “Man, these anchovies are a thing of beauty — briny, fresh and plump, resting perfectly in olive oil. I think Tomas has some in-depth secret process that makes these so amazing. Excellent with a crisp white wine or a glass of Duvel Belgian golden ale.”
3) Baltimore-style Pit Beef Sandwich With Creamy Horseradish Sauce and a Cheerwine at Ace Biscuit & Barebecue. “When I go to Ace, I just let Brian & Gabby in the kitchen tell me what to order. I’ve yet to leave disappointed . . . or hungry.”
4) Lunch Buffet at Milan Indian Cuisine. “My girlfriend Chelsea turned me on to Milan, and its fantastic buffet, with a selection of delicious curries, rice, veggies, meats, chutneys, salads, naan and sauces. It also happens to be a great spot to meet my mom, who is a vegetarian and loves it.”
5) Fried Lotus Root at Peter Chang’s China Grill. “Holy Toledo, these things are like the best shoestring fries you’ve ever had, but better and flavored with spicy Szechuan peppers and spices. The are only available in season and fantastic with beer (like most things). Tip: Always order at least one item off of the hand-written page on the back of the menu. There are great authentic and seasonal dishes on that page.”
Tim Edmond, co-owner of Potter’s Craft Cider. Edmond’s picks:
1) Soft Pretzel at Early Mountain Vineyards. If you haven’t ventured to Madison to check out this winery, the soft pretzel is reason enough. They also have an awesome selection of Virginia wines and partner with wineries from across the state. The fact that it is beautiful, they are steadfast supporters of Virginia wine and have committed to donate all profits to the Virgina wine industry, those are good reasons to check it out too.
2) House-made Sorghum Butter at The Whiskey Jar. I could eat it by itself but usually put it on hush puppies or ham biscuits. Love this place, love the food and the understated local ingredients.
3) Goat Pasanda at Milan. I order this extra spicy with garlic naan.
4) Ginger Kombucha from Barefoot Bucha with a Hot Donut from Carpe Donut. A favorite Saturday morning ritual is to walk the dog to Carpe Donut. The kombucha is awesome and I love that you can also find Barefoot Bucha on draft at places like Blue Mountain Brewery, Whole Foods, and The Whiskey Jar.
5) Dinner at Forage. This is a ridiculously awesome supper club from chefs Megan Kiernan and Justin Stone. They cook some of the best food in Charlottesville that is either foraged, bought, or bartered from local sources.
Luther Fedora, chef/owner of Horse & Hound Gastropub. Fedora’s picks:
1) Singapore Mi Fung at Red Lantern. These noodles are my favorite when ordering takeout!
2) Virginia Prosciutto & Mozzarella Sandwich at Feast!. This is a great lunch option when I am on the go. It is fresh, local and delicious.
3) Potato Rosemary Bread at Albemarle Baking Company. This is one of the Saturday specials and it is one of my favorites.
4) Royalty Parties Sushi Platter at Tokyo Rose. This is a Monday night tradition at my house and it is my son’s favorite meal.
5) Rack of Lamb with Potato & Swiss Chard Gratin at Fleurie.
Tyler Teass, sous chef at Clifton Inn. Teass’ picks:
2) Cocktails at 9 1/2 Speakeasy. It’s got great cocktails, and they keep it quiet. It’s a great place for after work drinks or dates.
3) Vegetable Soup with Bread and Butter on the late night menu at C&O. Delicious and hits the spot especially now since the weather’s gotten colder. Plus, they play great music.
4) Duet of Lamb “Greek Style” at Ivy Inn. Angelo is the nicest guy ever and makes awesome food. His gyros are worth the trip to Ivy alone.
5) Larb at Thai Siam. It’s one of a kind and I constantly crave their food.
Ian Boden, head chef of Glass Haus Kitchen. Boden’s five picks:
1) Tacos de Carnitas at La Michoachana.
2) Crispy Pork Belly at Peter Chang’s China Grill.
3) Date Night at Ivy Inn. My wife took me there for my birthday.
4) Daily Specials at TEN. Pei’s creative specials are off the hook!
5) Baklava at Balkan Bakery at City Market. Their baklava reminds me of what my grandfather used to make.
Dahlia Lithwick, who is not just the nation’s leading Supreme Court writer, but also a lover of Charlottesville food. Lithwick’s picks:
1) Truffled Mushroom Ragout at The Local. My ongoing problem is that although I love everything on the menu at The Local, if I don’t get the truffled mushroom pasta I get depressed. Also, the one time I got a half-order I got depressed too. Best just to scarf down the whole bowl and smile.
2) Coriander Fish Rolls at Peter Chang’s China Grill. These are stupidly delicious.
3) Must Khiar (cold yogurt soup) at Ariana Grill Kabob House. You are either a cold soup person or you aren’t. But if you are and you haven’t had this one, you should. Dunk their bread in it. Use it as raita over everything! Oh my god, just writing this makes me need some Right Now.
4) Boquerones con ajo at Mas. (Plump white Cantabrian anchovy filets in an olive oil, garlic, lemon marinade). Possibly not a first-date food.
5) Black Bean Breakfast Burrito at Bluegrass Grill and Bakery. But I could have picked any breakfast item at random and said the same.
1) Melanzane al Parmigiano at Tavola. This really gets back to my Italian roots. Tavola is a great addition to the Charlottesville culinary scene.
2) Vegetarian “Blue Plate Special” at Hamiltons’. A classic, perfect every time.
3) The Haystack at the Horse & Hound. Stack of roasted vegetables, goat cheese, pesto, and sprouts, on multi-grain bread. Horse and Hound is a favorite at the UVa Center for Politics. They have a great menu and also do a wonderful job on catering.
4) Donut Ice Cream Sandwich at Carpe Donut. Cinnamon-sugar donut sliced in half and layered with homemade vanilla ice cream. The perfect food to fulfill one’s guilty pleasure.
5) Cookie Dough Archer at Arch’s Frozen Yogurt. Lots of cookie dough in vanilla frozen yogurt. Students aren’t the only ones who love Arch’s!
Chris Humphrey, chef at Rapture. Humphrey’s picks:
1) Goat Vin d’ Alho at Milan.
2) Pastrami and Swiss on an Onion Bagel with onions and mustard at Bodo’s.
5) Sweetbreads at C&O. Sweetbreads with sultanas and green peppercorns in a marsala cream sauce over toasted brioche.
Coy Barefoot, best-selling author, radio personality, adjunct faculty member at UVa, Founding Partner and Creative Director at earlessrabbit.com, Founder and Editor-in-Chief at uvahistory.com, and Ironman Triathlete. Barefoot’s picks:
1) Spicy Chicken Pizza at Christian’s Pizza.
2) 50 Blend at Cafe Cubano.
3) Sesame Chicken at Red Lantern.
4) Turkey on a Sesame bagel (or everything or garlic) with tomato, cheddar (or swiss or muenster), mayonnaise and mustard, hot and cut at Bodo’s.
5) Crab Benedict at The Nook.
1) Pollo Tacos with Salsa Verde at La Michoacana.
2) Avocado Tempura at TEN.
3) Capesante ai Ferri, at Tavola. Pan-roasted sea scallops, leek-beet risotto, white truffle oil.
4) Jowl Bacon with Fried Eggs at Maya (brunch).
5) Gyoza Dumplings at Now and Zen.
1) Honey Bunch at Java Java. My unofficial office makes these same cookie-meets-mini muffins as C’ville Coffee, and while they’re not as BIG at Java Java, they’re more densely packed with the oats, coconut, honey, brown sugar, butter, and flour that make them so chewy…and so perfect for breakfast!
2) Ginger Scone at Albemarle Baking Company. Made only on Fridays, these buttery delights packed with spicy chunks of candied ginger and topped with crunchy turbinado sugar sell out fast. Wait, did I say Fridays? I meant, um, Wednesdays.
3) Vodka Gimlet Up with Fresh Lime and a Splash of St-Germain at Zinc. Just about any bar who doesn’t mind my Sally in When Harry Met Sally ordering style (and who carries the fragrant elderflower liqueur) will make this, but I love the airiness of the bar at Zinc and the attention they devote to their cocktail program.
4) Bellissima Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. It’s been mentioned before, but I’ll mention it again: A chewy, charred whole wheat crust (made with Steadfast Farm’s wheat) strewn with roasted tomatoes, puddles of fresh mozzarella, ribbons of fresh basil, sea salt, shavings of salty Turner Country Ham, all topped with local arugula that’s been tossed with shaved parmigiano, lemon, and olive oil? My favorite salad and my favorite pizza in one perfect pie.
5) Melanzane al Parmigiano at Tavola. Michael Keaveny’s recipe is the best I’ve ever had. Thin rounds of eggplant get breaded with a secret ingredient (I’ll never tell!) and lightly fried before being stacked on the plate, free form, with ricotta, mozzarella, and parmigiano cheeses between the layers and a bright, garlic- and basil-laced San Marzano marinara sauce all around it.
Somdev Devvarman, UVa tennis legend and food lover. Devvarman’s picks:
1) Warm Medley of amFog Wild Mushrooms at Ivy Inn.
2) Cigar Rolls and Drunken Noodle at Monsoon Siam.
3) Chicken w. Three Peppers in Hot Iron Plate at Peter Chang’s China Grill.
4) Every omelet (as long as you get home fries) at Bluegrass Grill and Bakery.
5) Buffet Lunch at Milan.
Tucker Yoder, Executive Chef at Clifton Inn. Yoder’s picks:
1) Rock Barn Bratwurst at Beer Run. I am a big sucker for these.
2) Espresso from Sidamo beans at Shenandoah Joe. Dave [Fafara, owner] turned me onto this a while back and I crave it every time I go in there.
3) My Wife’s Muffins with Flour from Wheatberries from Steadfast Farm. My wife is a big baker and makes fresh muffins for breakfast from flour she mills from fresh wheatberries from Steadfast Farm. It really adds another dimension to the morning.
4. Lunch Buffet at Himalayan Fusion. With four kids, we don’t eat out much, but when we get a chance we really like the lunch buffet at Himalayan Fusion. The kids will eat naan and Butter Chicken for days.
5. Jam from Jam According to Daniel. Our house is big fans of Daniel’s jams, especially the fig, damson plum, and anything with holy basil in it.
Mark Thompson, Founder and Master Brewer of Starr Hill Brewery. Thompson’s picks:
1) BBQ Sandwich and a cold Northern Lights at Three Notch’d Grill. Made with love by my lifelong friend Hayden Berry.
2) Hippie Wings (with Ghost Rider sauce if you dare) and Festie Amber Lager at Fardowners with Grover the chef/owner. (Hippie Wings are breaded Portabella mushrooms tossed in your choice of sauce.)
3) Picnic lunch from Greenwood Gourmet Grocery. The food is as excellent as the company of Dave and Nina.
4) Gambas al’ Parilla at Mas, to catch up with Tomas, and because you can still taste the garlic the next day.
5) Any place that serves Starr Hill beer, because the best beer in the world is always the one in front of you.
Taylor Smack, co-owner and brewer at the beautiful Blue Mountain Brewery. Smack’s picks:
1) Crispy Pork “Cheerwine” BBQ at Maya.
2) The Goat Herder at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar.
3) Datil con tocino at Mas. Medjool dates roasted inside of applewood-smoked bacon.
4) Pad Thai with Tofu at Downtown Thai.
5) Fried Chicken with Collards at The Whiskey Jar.
1) Sausage, Egg and Cheesse, Coffee, and a Chocolate Glazed Donut at Spudnuts. Really doesn’t need an explanation.
2) Veggie on Rye with House Dressing, add Watercress and a Side of House Dressing, 1/2 pint Exotic Grains, and Rte 66 Dill Pickle Chips at Take It Away. I’m not a vegetarian.
3) Bamee Moo Dang at Pad Thai. Wonton Noodle Soup is what they call it on the menu, which is weird because the literal translation is Ramen Red Pork.
4) The bar and the man who makes it, Paulie, at Vivace.
5) Four C’s on a Sugar Cone at Chaps. This is a recent revelation for me, thanks to my better half, Laura, replacing Arch’s Swirl with M&M’s as indulgence #1 (besides Talisker).
Brian Ashworth, the former Zocalo sous chef and owner of Ace Biscuit & Barbecue. Ashworth’s picks:
1) Deli Egg on an Everything Bagel at Bodo’s.
2) Tom Yum Noodle Bowl with Beef Tongue at Pad Thai.
3) Gyro at The Villa.
4) Spicy Tuna Tartar at Zocalo.
5) Korobuta Pork Belly Sandwich at The Box.
Kirsty Harmon, Winemaker and General Manager at Blenheim Vineyards. Harmon’s picks:
1) Fried pickle chips at Tavern on the James.
2) Roasted Almond gelato at Splendora’s.
3) Kanpachi sashimi at Ten.
4) Burrata at Tavola.
5) Bellissima pizza at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie.
Michael Keaveny, chef/owner of Tavola. Keaveny’s picks:
1) Crispy Rock Shrimp Tempura at Ten.
2) Tacos de Carnitas at La Michoacana.
3) Fried Chicken at Brown’s.
4) Sausage, Egg, & Cheese on an Onion Bagel at Bodo’s.
5) Pho Special at Lime Leaf. (Weekends only.)
George Cohen, Chair of the UVa Faculty Senate, who led the faculty’s effort to secure the reinstatement of UVa President Theresa Sullivan. Cohen’s picks:
1) Lox and Vegetable Cream Cheese on an Everything Bagel at Bodo’s. Great soul food that takes me back to my Jewish New Jersey roots. Now if we could only get some good herring in sour cream and onions!
2) Black & White Cookies at Chandler’s. Another childhood favorite. I also love their chocolate cakes.
3) Hot and Sour Soup at Szechuan. We have known the Yu family for years and this is my personal favorite dish there.
4) Pesto Wrap at Zazus Fresh Grille. Zazus is a big favorite of my law professor colleagues and I just love the pesto wrap.
5) Fajita Burrito at El Puerto. This is another of my lunch favorites. Delicious, though I usually am in a stupor for several hours afterwards.
Harrison Keevil, chef of Brookville, which he co-owns with his wife Jennifer. Keevil’s picks:
1) Heaven and Hell Sandwiches at BBQ Exchange. I love Craig’s Q and when he put these on his menu I had to get them. They are filled with my favorite ingredient, pork. Just prepare yourself when about to eat both because they will put you on the couch and into a food coma. (Heaven: pulled pork, over-easy egg, melted cheddar cheese, “Sticky Love” bacon, baconnaise, lettuce and tomato on a house made roll. Hell: habanero fried mac and cheese balls, tempura-batter fried ghost pepper bacon, pickled Thai dragon chiles, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, spicy chimichurri, and “Caution Hot” ghost pepper sauce on a house made hoagie roll.)
2) Korobuta Pork Belly Sandwich at The Box. I fell in love with Banh Mi sandwiches when I lived in San Francisco. When Pei took over the menu at The Box and created this adaptation of the Banh Mi , I went straight to get it.
3) Earlysville Sandwich on French at Bellair Market. Just love this sandwich. (Note: This sandwich typically comes on sourdough, but Keevil prefers French instead.)
4) Chef Tasting Menu at Clifton Inn. Tucker and his crew do a great job and I love going to the Clifton Inn, which is actually where my wife and I met, and just put myself in their hands. They never disappoint.
5) Two Al Pastor Tacos and one Chicken Tamale at City Market. It is how I start every Saturday at 7 am before I go buy the day’s menu items at the market for Brookville.
Dave Kostelnik, General Manager of Feast!, Charlottesville’s favorite gourmet food shop and cheesemonger. Kostelnik’s picks:
1) Coriander Fish Rolls from Peter Chang’s China Grill. Miniature, crispy fish cigar. Yes please! Be forewarned, I refuse to share these with anyone and will often eat two orders all by myself prior to entrees arriving. Stop judging me. Stop it.
2) Pork Belly with Colonel Bacon BBQ Sauce from BBQ Exchange. Consume with a variety of house-made pickles for good measure. It’s a little known fact that every time you eat BBQ pork belly an angel gets its wings and an obese kitten is rescued from a tree. Do you not like angels and obese kittens? Exactly. Eat BBQ pork belly.
3) Gambas al’ Parilla from Mas. Grilled shrimp + garlic alioli + grey sea salt. Simple. I am half convinced that Tomas puts an addictive chemical in the dish that makes me crave it fortnightly (which oddly enough I am comfortable with).
4) Baked Currant Donuts from Albemarle Baking Company. A relatively new invention by team ABC. Admittedly I was not sold at first, but now things are different. Now I eat at least 3 of these per week. Gerry laughs maniacally whenever he sees me approach because he knows I lack the self-control to resist. Thanks Gerry.
5) Saganaki from Orzo Kitchen and Wine Bar. Let’s be clear about one thing: I love hot cheese even more than I love angels and obese kittens.* If you can find a way to sear delicious Halloumi cheese, cover it in anise-flavored Greek booze, fresh herbs, tomatoes and garlic, then I will let you into my circle of friendship. (*I actually loathe cats.)
1) Burger and Vanilla Milk Shake at Blue Moon Diner.
2) Taco de Pollo at La Michoacana.
3) Bocadillo Jamon at Mas. Jamon serrano, manchego cheese, and aioli on wood-oven bread.
4) Papparadelle Ragu at Tavola. House made pasta, pork and red wine ragu, parmigiano-reggiano, and basil.
5) White Bean Salad at Feast!.
Kath Younger, author of the blog Kath Eats Real Food, where she blogs about literally everything she eats. Younger’s picks:
1) Black Bean and Corn Relleno at Zocalo. I’ve seen it mentioned before, but this pepper is my favorite entrée in all of Cville. The flavor combination of the smoked grits and the cheesy, tortilla-crusted pepper with that amazing cilantro sauce are just incredible!
2) Meritage from Jefferson Vineyards. Although I’m not drinking now due to the baby baking in my stomach, the JV Meritage is one of my all-time favorite red wines. I will have to celebrate with a huge glass in September!
3) Veggie Plate at Eppie’s. I’m a Registered Dietitian, so I gotta put some veggies on the list! I always get collard greens, sweet potato, and black beans with that incredible cornbread that tastes like cake!
5) Spicy Cashew Trout at Commonwealth. I hope this is still on the menu, because it was one of the best entrees I’ve ever had. The cashews on top were sweet, candy spiced, the trout perfectly seared, but the show-stopper is their coconut rice – so sweet and rich! [Note: Sadly, this is not on the current Commonwealth menu.]
Kate Collier and Eric Gertner, the happy couple that runs Feast!, Charlottesville’s favorite gourmet food shop and cheesemonger. Kate and Eric’s picks:
1) Now & Zen: Yellowtail sashimi appetizer, Chirashi entree, and Cowboy cookies.
2) Zinc: The Palmer cocktail, Fois Gras Torchon appetizer, and the daily recommendation of chef Justin Hershey for an entree.
3) La Guadalupana: Crispy Pork Carnitas (weekends only) and Modelo Especial.
4) Brookville: Virginia Ham Fritters, and Chef Harrison Keevil’s special recommendation of the evening.
5) The Whiskey Jar: Hush Puppies, Sweet Potato Biscuits with Apple Sorghum Butter, and a Sazerac to drink. “This is a perfect food & whiskey pairing!”
Scott Smith, co-owner of Bodo’s. Smith’s picks:
1) Pancakes at Blue Moon Diner.
2) “The Albemarle” Cake at Albemarle Baking Company. Chocolate cake on the bottom, then three mousse layers—dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate. Covered with a milk chocolate glaze.
3) Contorni at Tavola. Specifically, cavoletti di bruxxelles pan tostado (pan roasted Brussels sprouts, pancetta, brown butter) and finocchio arrosto con aranci (roasted fennel, grilled oranges, basil).
4) Espinacas Catalana at Mas. Sauteed spinach, sultanas, pine nuts, garlic, Amontillado, and Arbequina olive oil.
5) Jalapeno lime cream cheese at Bodo’s.
Bryan Szeliga, Chef at Orzo Kitchen and Wine Bar. Szeliga’s picks:
1) Sushi at Seafood @ West Main. I love the fact that they only serve sushi a couple of days a week when the fish is super fresh. By only selling sushi when the fish is fresh, it shows to me a high level of respect for the fish.
2) Methi Sauce at Royal Indian. At Portland, OR’s Paley’s Place (where Szeliga previously worked), chef Vitaly [Paley] used to braise local lamb with hay from the farm. Royal Indian’s version of Methi sauce reminds me of that culinary experience. I love the grassy/hay flavor of fenugreek. To me, it creates a connection to the food and the earth. At Orzo, I buy fenugreek spice and methi herb from the Spice Diva and use it with Madeira to make our braised lamb.
3) Gyro platter and chick peas at Ariana. Ever since the first time I tasted the food at Ariana I have been hooked. Their flat bread is the best I have had. I eat there at least once a week. The gyro platter is great for lunch and at dinner I can’t get enough of their chick peas.
4) Black Bean and Corn Relleno at Zocalo. This is a cool ‘upscale’ version of a typical crisp chili relleno. Their chilis are typically just the right heat but sometimes…watch out!
5) Crispy Rock Shrimp Sandwich at The Box. – I really like the direction Chef Pei is going with the Box. All of the sandwiches are good. Most of the time I order the rock shrimp. The firm texture of the shrimp with the crispy tempura with pickled vegetables and spicy mayo make for a perfect filling between bread. Note: This was previously one of our picks on Two for Tuesday. The sandwich seems to have a bit of a following.
Jenée Libby, author of the renowned Charlottesville blog The Diner of Cville. Libby’s picks:
1) Slow Cooked Veal Shank Osso Bucco at Ivy Inn.
2) Bibimbap at The Korean House.
3) Hot and Sour Soup at Marco and Luca.
4) Apple Harvest Cookies at Cappelino’s Crazy Cakes.
5) Thai Iced Tea Gelato at Splendora’s.
Ivan Rekosh, one of the two head chefs and owners of Zocalo. Rekosh’s picks:
1) Roast pork with shrimp wonton and wonton noodles at Pad Thai. “Not on the menu anymore, but he still makes it.”
2) Chopped liver on an everything bagel with extra red onions at Bodo’s.
3) Agedashi tofu with bonito at Miyako. “You have to specify bonito.”
4) Sante Fe Enchilada at Continental Divide.
5) Chicken thigh at Wayside Takeout & Catering.
1) Porktopus at Mas Tapas. “Tomas (Rahal) is a mad genius and lucky to have Mike Ketola!”
2) Daily Cheese and Charcuterie Board at Pippin Hill Farm. “Hands down best winery food pairings in Virginia.”
3) Omakase (Chef’s Choice) Sushi at Ten. “I crave it!”
4) Truffled Parmesan French Fries at Fossett’s Bar at Keswick Hall. “The finest jewel of a casual restaurant anywhere.”
5) Pan-Roasted Trout at Maya. “I may go there right now, it’s that well prepared and handled from start to finish.”
Andrew Silver, one of the two head chefs and owners of Zocalo. Silver’s picks:
1) Thai beef consomme noodle bowl at Pad Thai. “Hands down my favorite dish in town. Profound broth, melt in your mouth brisket, lots of herbs and toasted garlic.”
2) Cheese Steak at Fabio’s NY Pizza.
3) The Hungover at Boylan Heights (Sunday Brunch menu). “Cheesy hash browns with a burger on top and 2 fried eggs. Served with white bread and spicy ketchup.“
4) Deli-Egg with American cheese on a sesame bagel at Bodo’s. “All the corned beef and pastrami scraps encapsulated in an omelet.”
5) Honey Shrimp with Chili Sauce at Taste of China. “Perfectly cooked small sweet shrimp with a sweet and spicy sauce.”