Five Finds on Friday: Bryan Szeliga

by Charlottesville29

Every Friday, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs, personalities, or readers.  This week is Bryan Szeliga, Chef at Orzo Kitchen and Wine Bar.  Szeliga’s picks:

1)  Sushi at Seafood @ West MainI 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 ArianaEver 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.