The Charlottesville 29

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

Chefs on the Move

Murray

Devin Murray, now of Brasserie Saison

Catching up on chef news around town:

Brasserie Saison has just added even more talent to its kitchen, which already included head chef Tyler Teass, formerly or Rose’s Luxury, and Morad Sbaitri. Now they’ve added longtime Whiskey Jar head chef Devin Murray, who joins the kitchen as sous chef, replacing Nick Moon. John Meiklejohn takes over at The Whiskey Jar.

Kardinal Hall recently welcomed new head chef Jeff Burgess, former chef and co-owner of Provincetown’s Ristorante Marissa, who has also cooked at top spots like Jasper White’s Summer Shack and Mario Batali’s Babbo. Original Kardinal Hall chef Thomas Leroy left to run the kitchen of the Market at Grelen.

Kelsey Naylor, former sous chef of Timbercreek Market, just took the same role at Public Fish & Oyster “Watch this girl,” said owner Daniel Kaufman. “You heard it hear first.”

Aris Cuadra, formerly of Tavola, is new Executive Chef of Clifton Inn, which re-opened yesterday with a fresh new look and menu, after a brief closure for refurbishments. Look for a more accessible menu, suitable for regular visits.

At Duner’s, longtime chef Doug McLeod moved home to Asheville, and has been replaced by former head chef Laura Fonner who returns after a few years of baby time. “She’s an amazing chef,” says owner Bob Caldwell.

And, last but not least, John Shanesy is leaving Petit Pois to try his luck in New York City. Owner Brian Helleberg will continue as Executive Chef, and though he would not rule out hiring a sous or chef de cuisine down the road, says that for now he really enjoys being involved in the nuts and bolts of Petit Pois’s kitchen. We will enjoy him there as well.

MarieBette

mariebette

700 Rose Hill Drive . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 529-6118
http://www.mariebette.com/

Why MarieBette?

MarieBette is a throwback. While other restaurants try to make history, MarieBette Cafe and Bakery follows it. Owners Patrick Evans and Jason Becton look to the past, serving up faithful renditions of classic, mostly French, breakfast, lunch, and pastries.

And so, there is no pork belly in the Croque Monsieur, no wasabi in the Tuna Nicoise, and the baked eggs are, well, baked eggs. Throw in a breezy, cozy space and local art on the walls, and you’ve got a little slice of Paris on Rose Hill Drive. No wonder some transplants from France say it takes them back home.

What to Order

My nine-year-old son says he plans to take over The Charlottesville 29 one day, and practices by assessing the area’s best versions of his favorite foods. His first two categories are pancakes and chocolate chip cookies, and, after thorough research, he rates MarieBette first for both.

Also not to be overlooked is the pleasure of a simple breakfast. You know those warm breakfasts at boutique hotels that remind you how satisfying a plate of well-prepared eggs can be? MarieBette offers it seven days a week. Below is a list of other suggestions, Evans’ and Becton’s favorites, and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where a local chef or personality has named a MarieBette dish as one of the best in town.

Our Picks

  • Bakery Basket
  • Canele
  • Brioche Feuilletée
  • Prezzant
  • The Jorgenson (Tartine of Smoked Salmon, Crème Fraiche, Red Onion, Poached Egg)
  • Croque Madame 

Chef/Owners’ Picks

  • Apple Galette (Evans)
  • Bacon, Egg, and Cheddar on a Croissant (Evans)
  • Stuffed French Toast (Becton)
  • Croque Madame (Evans)
  • Tuna Nicoise (Becton)

Five Finds on Friday Picks