The Charlottesville 29

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

Five Finds on Friday: Maya Hood White


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Maya Hood White, Early Mountain Vineyards Associate Winemaker and Viticulturalist, who will be part of a special guided tasting this Monday, April 29 at Market Street Wine. She and Early Mountain Winemaker Ben Jordan will take guests through a series of rare, small batch wines from Early Mountain and Lightwell Survey, including Maya’s pet nats like Early Mountain White Pétillant Naturel 2018 Malvasia and Early Mountain Red Pétillant Naturel 2018 Blaufränkisch. You can even buy the rare wines on site. Details and full lineup for this unusual opportunity. Call (434) 202-0511 for your slot. White’s picks:

1) Patatas Rancheras at Little Star. “I know I will love just about any (vegetarian) dish that Ryan Collins at Little Star makes, but the Patatas Rancheras is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a tad spicy from the ranchera sauce, with the aioli cooling it down and the potatoes are always perfectly cooked and crispy. I don’t think I could ever eat at Little Star without ordering this.”

2) Marinara D.O.C. at Lampo. “I grew up vegetarian and my mother is a vegan, so I’m pretty familiar with scanning menus to see what I can eat. Aside from the many delicious reasons to love Lampo, it is one of the places that you can easily have an amazing vegan meal without even realizing it. Their Marinara D.O.C. pizza has notably few and straightforward ingredients, but they come together in the most perfect way.”

3) Fried and Raw Brussels Sprouts (made vegetarian) at Brasserie Saison. “The first time I ate at Brasserie Saison, I ordered this salad, and have ordered it nearly every time since. The texture of the raw and fried leaves is great, but what really makes the salad is the sun-dried tomato marmalade. It is slightly sweet to balance out the acid of the tomatoes and a great complement to the earthy Brussels sprouts.”

4) Tofu Red Curry with Broccoli at Thai 99 II. “Thai 99 II, luckily for me, is on my way home, so it is definitely my most frequented takeout spot, with the Tofu Red Curry being my favorite dish.  I’m somewhat obnoxiously picky about bell peppers, and they are are always very accommodating about swapping out the peppers with broccoli. Their tofu is always light and fluffy, and the curry wonderfully rich and concentrated.”

5) Rinse and Re-Beet at The Juice Laundry. “I’ve always loved carrot juice, but the addition of beet and cucumber makes this my favorite at The Juice Laundry. Their juices are cold pressed, organic and very flavorful. If I feel a cold coming on, I’ll grab one of their fire shots and drink it with this juice and keep my fingers crossed.”


Weekend Events at The Space, Quality Pie and No Limits Smokehouse


Morels at Quality Pie

A few quick tips on food events that may be worth your time this weekend:

Culinary Concepts AB Student Pop-up Dinner. If you grew up near Hyde Park, NY, you may be familiar with the outstanding student-run restaurants at the Culinary Institute of America. Or perhaps you recall Manhattan’s student-run restaurant L’Ecole. Tomorrow, April 27, from 6-8:30 pm, we’ve got a lower key Charlottesville-style version of a student-run restaurant when graduates of Antwon Brinsons’ Culinary Concepts AB five week boot camp will showcase what they’ve learned in a pop-up restaurant at The Space. Blackened halibut with quinoa salad and grilled lemons? Apple streusel with agave cream and salted caramel? Go out to The Space and support these budding chefs. Advance tickets required. Tickets here.

Quality Pie Spring Forage Dinner. Also tomorrow, April 27, from 6-9 pm, Quality Pie hosts a pop-up Spring Forage Dinner with foraged delicacies from the area. Morels anyone? $100 covers food, drink, and service. Tickets here.

No Limits Smokehouse Grand Opening. Sunday April 28 is the grand opening of No Limits Smokehouse, the new Belmont barbecue joint from former Clifton Inn Chef Yannick Fayolle and wife Nikki. Live music, drinks, and of course barbecue. 11:30 am until they sell out. Details here.


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