The Charlottesville 29

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

Introducing The Pie Chest


The moment comes along once every 100 years.  3.14.15, 9.26.53.


What better moment in time to open a place that sells pie?

The Pie Chest is the latest creation of Will Richey, a man who seems to have a knack for creating great restaurants.  First he revamped Revolutionary Soup, next he created The Whiskey Jar, and then, his greatest work,The Alley Light, a James Beard semifinalist for best new restaurant in the country.

Richey’s latest creation he considers an offshoot of the baking program at The Whiskey Jar, where pastry chef Rachel Pennington has developed a cult following for pies, biscuits, and other creations.  Demand for her creations grew so large that Richey decided they needed their own showcase.  Thus, The Pie Chest, featuring “classic pies with a twist” – savory, sweet, and breakfast.

“Some people call them pie safes but my family has always called them pie chests,” said Richey.  “It is that piece of folk furniture with the decorative punched tin panels where one would set pies to cool.  The image represents a lot of what we are doing.” Customers can eat in, take their pies to go, order by the slice, or order whole pies in advance for holidays and other events. “We are a space our grandmas would be proud to enjoy a slice of pie and a good cup of coffee,” said Richey.

Opening tomorrow at Pi at 119 4th St. NE, next to Daedalus Bookshop.

Here is just a sampling of what to expect on the seasonal menu:

Breakfast Hand Pies
Scrambled Egg and Sausage Gravy
Baby Spinach, Feta, and Egg
Timbercreek Organic Sausage, Goat Cheese, and Honey
Breakfast “Pierrito” with Egg, White Cheddar, and Fresh Salsa

Savory Pot Pies
Timbercreek Organic Chicken with Bacon and Roasted Garlic
Beer-Braised Pork Butt and Pepper with Onions
Sausage Gravy topped with a Buttermilk Biscuit crust
Broccoli and Pimento Cheese
Porcini Mushroom and Leek with Gruyere
Kale, Potato, and Chili Pepper
Creamy Potato with Camembert Cheese

Sweet Pies
Apple Southern Comfort
Banana Rum
Bourbon Pecan
Cherry Almond Crumble
Grandma Betsy’s Lemon Chess
Mint Julep
Peanut Butter
Strawberry & Rhubarb
Toasted Hazelnut & Chocolate
Triple Citrus
Whiskey Chocolate Chip



Five Finds on Friday: Riki Tanabe


On Fridays, we feature five finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  In honor of tomorrow’s once-in-a-lifetime event, Pi Day (3/14/15), today’s picks come from Pastry Chef Riki Tanabe, the man behind the pies, cakes, and other pastries at Albemarle Baking Co., which will be celebrating tomorrow with, of course, pies. Tanabe’s picks:

1)  Drinking Wine and watching Polo at King Family Vineyards.  “This is a family favorite–the kids get to run around, and the adults can relax and drink wine over good conversation. It’s a good thing they have a scoreboard, because occasionally, we will miss a goal (or three).”

2)  Anything at C&O Restaurant.  “Dean Maupin and his team are fantastic. Whenever we need to entertain family from out-of-town, we can always trust that we will have a phenomenal meal at C&O.”

3)  Bacon, Egg and Cheddar on an Onion Bagel at Bodo’s.  “Just eat it.”

4)  Datil con Tocino at MAS Tapas.  “Just about anything wrapped in bacon is awesome, but there is something about the bacon-wrapped dates at Mas that make it a staple when we go there. The grilled calamari with romesco sauce–although rarely on the menu–also is a favorite of mine.”

5)  Hopwork Orange IPA from Blue Mountain Brewery.  “While all the beers I have had at Blue Mountain Brewery are excellent, the Hopwork Orange IPA is particularly refreshing–just the right balance of hops and malt. It is great on a warm afternoon on the deck with friends.”

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