108 2rd St. NE . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 971-7800
Rumors of fine dining’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Sure, recent years have seen a rise in downscale eats, offering inexpensive ways to eat well, without pomp and circumstance. All the while, chef-owner Brian Helleberg has sustained his serene temple of sophisticated French cuisine on the downtown mall, Fleurie.
How has Helleberg bucked the downscale trend? It’s not stubborness. It’s passion. Having worked under such legends as Yannick Cam, Gerard Panguad, and Jean-Yves Schillinger, Helleberg simply loves everything about sophisticated French dining – the experience, the service, the presentation, and of course the food. Fleurie reflects Helleberg’s passion, remaining one of the few places in town where you can still dine on crisp, white table cloths, and where the servers are committed professionals. The food is exquisite, too, celebrating the attention to detail demanded by classic French cooking, with Helleberg’s own riffs. And, in 2017, it received an even bigger boost, when James Beard Award semifinalist Jose de Brito returned to Charlottesville from the Inn at Little Washington to become the restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine.
What to Order
Fleurie has several menu options. A pre-theatre menu offers three courses for $36. A tasting menu features a parade of some of the kitchen’s favorites. And, the regular a la carte menu is always available. Below are our picks, Helleberg’s picks, and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where a local chef or personality has named an item from Fleurie as one of the best in town.
- Cured Scottish Salmon
- Foie Gras and Passion Fruit Mousse
- Seared Foie Gras
- Sautéed Skate
- Lamb du Juor
- Warm Chocolate Cake
- Sautéed Veal Sweetbreads with sunchokes, pickled pearl onions and veal jus
- Lamb Carpaccio with haricots verts and shallot salad
- Vanilla Mille Feulle with inverted puff pastry, candied orange and thyme
Five Finds on Friday Picks
- Lobster Bisque — Wilson Richey (Ten Course Hospitality)
- Quail Stuffed with Mushrooms and Pistachios, Sauteed Endive, Quail Jus — Sidney Hall (Moon Maiden’s Delights)
- Rack of Lamb — Luther Fedora (formerly, Horse & Hound)
- Wines by (former) Sommelier Erin Scala — Robin McDaniel (The Alley Light); Michael Davis (The Wine Guild)
- Sautéed Skate — Jeff Deloff (formerly, Threepenny Cafe)
- Foie Gras and Passion Fruit Mousse — Carol Davidson (Mum)