by Charlottesville29

501 Monticello Road . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 979-0990


Why MAS?

What can you do if you feel like going to a dinner party but none is planned? Go to MAS, where it feels like like a dinner party every night of the week. At Tomas Rahal’s original tapas bar, you’ll find a rollicking gala of beautiful food, free-flowing cocktails and wines, and fun-seeking people, all set in a cavernous space inspired by Gaudi and Frank Lloyd Wright. The food is serious, too. In the fifteen years since MAS opened, Rahal has cultivated relationships with the area’s best purveyors. With such high quality ingredients, Rahal likes to keep the cooking simple. The results are often spectacular.

What to Order

Our favorite way to eat at MAS is to ask the kitchen to send whatever it wants. A degustacion, of sorts. This not only affirms the dinner party feel of eating at MAS. After all, we wouldn’t order food at a dinner party. It also puts our choices in the hands of the people with the most expertise about current standouts: Rahal and his kitchen staff. That being said, there are some regular dishes on the menu that we do find ourselves craving again and again. Also below are Rahal’s recommendations and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where chefs and personalities have named a MAS dish one of the best in town. MAS has more appearances than any other restaurant.

Our Picks

  • Datil con tocino, fat, juicy, pitted Medjool dates roasted inside of apple-wood smoked bacon
  • Habas fritas,  baby fava beans w/ Amontillado, garlic, olive oil, sweet butter, aged Mahon
  • Gambas al’ parilla, jumbo shrimp grilled Catalan style-in the shell-w/garlic alioli and grey salt
  • Chuletas, baby lamb chops grilled rare only w/flatbread, mojo verde
  • Porktopus
  • Carne Asada

Chef Rahal’s Picks

  • Bikini, a pan fried sandwich of sauteed morels, shallots, Urgelia cheese, and white truffle butter on sunflower wheat
  • Plato de Iberico
  • Tomato plate
  • Duck confit with figs
  • Cachetes de ternero
  • Porktopus
  • Clams in coconut green curry

Five Finds on Friday’s Picks