Must a restaurant be old to be “iconic”? A sneak peek at Quality Pie drove me to the dictionary in search of an answer. Due to open next week, the restaurant and bakery gracing the cusp of Belmont feels so congruous with the character, culture, and spirit of Charlottesville that, as soon as it opens, it may seem like it has been here forever- a part of Charlottesville. I mean, just look at the place.
For months, Tomas Rahal, formerly of MAS Tapas, has been hard at work converting one icon – Spudnuts — into a new one. The counter stools are from the old Woolworth’s on the downtown mall. The paintings are by Steve Keene. And, there is a photo hanging of Alex Caines, the much-missed “Mayor of Belmont.” Whereas Spudnuts’ charm lay in a drab, unfussy setting, Rahal has transformed the building into a bright, happy space, full of light and color.
Rahal and some of his former MAS kitchen staff have been busy testing pies, breads, biscuits and pastries that will be available both to eat-in and to-go. For onsite dining, the menu will change as the day moves on. In the morning, breakfast items like pastries and waffles. Mid-day, sandwiches (grilled octopus banh mi?) and other lunch items. And, as the evening approaches, Rahal’s beloved tapas. Once the ABC permit clears, there will also be plenty of the great wines Rahal is known for sourcing.
Grilled octopus on charcoal bread
Cville Ham Biscuit, with Serrano ham on a rye biscuit
Quality Pie opens Monday, July 2, and will be open Mon-Fri 7 am-8 pm, and Sat-Sun 10 am-3 pm.
So, about that dictionary search. Iconic means “relating to or of the nature of an icon.” And, an “icon” can mean an “emblem,” “thing that is revered or idolized,” and “thing regarded as a representative symbol of something.” That sounds right, but was not the most interesting thing about the search. In the results for the definition of iconic, Google suggested next searching for the definition of something else: