2018 Best New Restaurant: Brasserie Saison
With The Bebedero, Commonwealth, Draft, The Pie Chest, Revolutionary Soup, and The Whiskey Jar, all to its name, Ten Course Hospitality has earned a reputation as the top restaurant management group in town. Launched last February, Brasserie Saison may be the group’s best restaurant yet.
Originally conceived to fill a Charlottesville void with Benelux-style food designed to pair with beer, the restaurant has evolved into one that stands out less for its style of cuisine than its overall excellence. In food, drinks, service, and ambiance, Brasserie Saison distinguishes itself with a clear, defining virtue: polish.
The food excels thanks to perfectionists Mike Perry and Devin Murray, who jointly took over the kitchen after founding chef Tyler Teass left. Some of the most memorable dishes of 2017 were at Brasserie Saison, like endive salad with smoked garlic dressing, almonds, and cherries; farro “risotto” with roasted vegetables and kale; crispy scallops a la meuniere with celery root and benne; and seared trout with lentils, spinach, and mustard vinaigrette.
Meanwhile, the front of the house shines under Will Curley and Alicia Walsh-Noel, who oversee one of the most professional staffs in town. Beers, with a Belgian tilt, are the bailiwick of Champion Brewing Company’s Hunter Smith and Josh Skinner, two of our area’s best brewers. And, the bar features excellent wines and expertly-crafted cocktails, thanks to Reid Dougherty.
With Ten Course Hospitality pulling it all together, the result is the year’s best new restaurant. While many good ones opened last year, the 2018 Best New Restaurant is Brasserie Saison.