The Charlottesville 29

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

Canele de Bordeaux at MarieBette


At a recent holiday party hosted by one of the area’s best chefs, we were turned on to a classic french pastry called Canele de Bordeaux.  While swooning over the pastries, we were surprised to learn that among the extraordinary spread of food — mussels, calamari salad, charcuterie, and more — the caneles were perhaps the only things the chef had not prepared himself.  What local source had made something the chef deemed worthy of serving to his guests?  MarieBette, the new patisserie and cafe on Rose Hill Drive.

If you’ve never had one of these beauties, head over to MarieBette now.  A dark, caremelized crust encases an interior that is at once custardy and airy.  They are sort of like a hand-held creme brulee.  Although the pastries are famously finicky and based on a secret recipe known only to Bordeaux patissiers,  MarieBette pastry chef Patrick Evans seems to have mastered them.  Perhaps best of all, they pair equally well with coffee and wine, so they can fill the bill any time of day.



Ian Boden to Cook at James Beard House


Our area’s dining continues to rack up the accolades.  Ian Boden has joined the list of area chefs to be invited to cook at the James Beard House, a much-deserved honor.  He will appear on February 2, 2015, for an evening titled “The Mighty Virginia Shack”, after his Staunton restaurant.  His menu, below, looks like it might be worth traveling all the way to New York.  Our favorite part may be that all of the wine and cider pairings come from Virginia.  Bravo Ian!



  • Hors d’Oeuvre

    • Buttermilk Biscuits with Chicken Liver Mousse and Concord Grape Jelly
    • Rappahannock Oysters with Pickled Salsify–Finger Lime Relish and Ice Plant
    • Fried Chicken withSchmaltz Aïoli, Caper–Parsley Purée, and Pickled Shallots
      • Thibaut-Janisson Brut NV
  • Dinner

    • Pumpkin Salad with Pumpkin Seeds, Concord Grape Vinaigrette, and Roasted Pumpkin Seed Oil
      • Foggy Ridge First Fruit Hard Cider
    • Roasted Lamb Neck Lettuce Wraps with Pickled Vegetables, Hozon Seasoning, and Herbs
      • Ankida Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay 2012
    • Snail-Pork Belly Posole with Jimmy Red Corn, Chile-Fermented Cabbage, Cilantro, and Radishes
      • Ox-Eye Vineyards Riesling 2012
    • Smoked Beef Brisket with Egg Barley, Young Carrots, Marrow-Sorghum Gravy, and Herbs
      • Jefferson Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2012
    • Forbidden Rice Pudding with Pickled Apples, Bourbon Cherries, Rice Crackling, and Nasturtium
      • White Hall Vineyards Petit Manseng 2012


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