The Charlottesville 29

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

Five Finds on Friday: Jamie Barrett


CSA Farm Share season is here, and today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jamie Barrett of Bellair Farm, which still has a few of this year’s CSA Farm Shares available. Short for “Community Supported Agriculture,” a CSA involves members paying for several months of a farm’s produce for the growing season early in the year, in shares. Once harvesting begins, each week members stuff their bags full of the farm’s current best fresh-picked produce. Bellair offers shares in two sizes, with five different pick-up locations around town. Details here. Barrett’s picks:

1) Shan City Chicken from Peter Chang’s.  “I love everything at Peter Chang’s but this dish is always part of my out-of-control take out order. Salty, spicy and perfectly crisped bits of chicken surrounded by chili peppers. I always try to taste just a little on the ride home and end up slopping the whole thing up by hand while I drive. It’s a spectacle.”

2) Cabrito Tacos Mexican Style with hot salsa from La Michoacana. “It’s so good and it’s hot enough to make me hiccup. I eat 4 of these on the ride back to the farm. See, there’s a theme.”

3) Bloody Mary at Hamiltons’. “This is my wife, Kelly’s, favorite Charlottesville restaurant. A Bloody Mary is like a whole farm season crammed into a glass with vodka and anyone who’s been through a farm season knows that a little vodka never hurt. It’s got the right amount of grit and pep without being over the top.”

4) Bellissima Pizza at Dr. Ho’s. “This is a farm crew favorite and on special occasions we’ll make the trek over there together, us and about ten pounds of Bellair dirt. We’re a motley crew but the folks at Dr.Ho’s have always treated us right.”

5) Creamed Spinach at Downtown Grille. “I’m a sucker for creamed spinach and I love the big booths at the bar here. My three girls and I like to sit in the booths and watch people walk on the mall. They love the Shirley Temples.”

dr hos

Collaboration 29 Returns: the Beer Tribute to Charlottesville

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Last year, Reason Beer brewer Mark Fulton embarked upon an unusual project: brew a tribute to his hometown. Fulton grew up in Charlottesville, and after moving away and brewing at Maine Beer Company, he returned home in 2016 to launch a brewery with two childhood Charlottesville friends. Like many of us, Fulton loves the Charlottesville community, and the skilled brewer wanted to express that love the best way he knows how – with beer.

To emphasize the community nature of the project, Reason included local collaborators, including this website, The Charlottesville 29. In fact, Reason even named the beer for the site: Collaboration 29. Why The Charlottesville 29? Reason co-founder Jeff Raileanu explains the tie:

“First is the positivity and enthusiasm that The Charlottesville 29 brings to the local scene. No need for negative reviews or putting anyone down – there’s so much great stuff happening around Charlottesville that deserves to be celebrated, and that’s the focus. And the local focus is important to us too. All three of the business partners grew up in Charlottesville and it’s always been a special place to us. We couldn’t imagine being located anywhere else, and love being surrounded by some many great local producers. From the sustainably-raised meats and fruits and vegetables at the farmers market to an excellent maltster right here in town (fellow collaborator Murphy & Rude), there’s no need to go any farther afield. We also appreciate how The Charlottesville 29 tells a story. It’s not just a ‘best of’ list, it tells stories of the local scene, from farm to table, with fascinating looks into all of the passionate people who make it happen.”

 Indeed, the label for Collaboration 29 reads:

There’s a good reason we chose Charlottesville as the home for our brewery. We all grew up around here, and if you ask us, it’s just about the greatest little city in the world. This beer is a juicy, tropical love letter to our home town, brewed in partnership with The Charlottesville 29 and Murphy & Rude Malting Co.

Upon its release last May, Collaboration 29 was an instant hit, and not just for sentimentality. Beer drinkers loved it. First, a keg of Collaboration 29 was served at the Governor’s Executive Mansion. Then, it was named Best Hoppy Beer at a beer competition, winning blind tastings against giants like Bell’s, Stone, Ballast Point, Founder’s, and Sierra Nevada.

Now, Collaboration 29 is back (and available in cans!). Wednesday May 15, from 6-8 pm, is the release party at Beer Run, where Collaboration 29 will be on the tasting table, along with Reason’s Hoppy Blonde, Prismism, and Inexorable. All of those plus Reason’s Saison will also be on tap.

Thank you, Reason, for including The Charlottesville 29 in this special project, and for celebrating Charlottesville in such a delicious way.


Five Find on Friday: Melissa Stefaniak

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Melissa Stefaniak, founder of Single Baked Sweets, a new Charlottesville-based company making single-serve, bake-at-home dessert kits, like chocolate chip cookies and s’mores pie. All kits come with pre-measured dry ingredients in bakeware and simple instructions. Shop at Stefaniak’s picks:

1) Cheeseburger at Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint. “The ultimate comfort food to me is a simple, delicious cheeseburger and Jack Brown’s does not disappoint. Soft bun, melty cheddar cheese and wagyu beef patty – nothing else needed. Add a side of their Jack Brown’s sauce and it becomes a new addiction. Pairs well with a draft beer and good company.”

2) Chocolate Almond Croissant at MarieBette. “I’m not even a huge almond fan, but this pastry is one of my favorites in the world. Classic flaky, buttery croissant with a surprisingly sweet almond paste and chocolate center, topped with powdered sugar. It’s divine, indulgent and oh so sophisticated.”

3) S’mores Bread Pudding at Oakhart Social. “Not even sure where to begin to describe my own surprise, delight and gleeful satisfaction with this dessert. Nothing like what you would expect and 100 times better than your wildest dream. It’s deconstructed bread pudding. Puffy, fried dough, meets chocolate, meets brûléed marshmallow peaks and puppy chow crunch. Don’t order one to share, you’ll regret it – order one just for you because it’s so worth it.”

4) Chicken Wings at Doma. “You can get them in a variety of yummy flavors, and I recommend you order at least 20 in a variety of sauces. All are delicious, crispy and crave-able. Stay also for their dolsot bibimbap – full of fresh flavors and crispy rice.”

5) Orange Wines at Tavola. “Great atmosphere and great food, but what I love is their wine selection. If you haven’t tried one of their orange wines, it’s a must. Not only is orange on brand with UVa (wahoowa), but it’s a unique take on classic varietals. Perfect for sipping and enjoying the local scene.”


Chocolate Almond Croissants at MarieBette