420 W. Main Street . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 252-2502
Why Little Star?
It is hard to pigeon-hole Little Star. The best description may be a manifestation of the chef-owner’s passions. Ryan Collins spent eight years working for world-famous chef Jose Andres, including three at Andres’ Mexican restaurant Oyamel. Under Andres, Collins fell in love with the Spanish cuisine of Andres’ native country as well as the Mexican cuisine of Oyamel. And so, Little Star — Collin’s first venture into restaurant ownership — showcases both.
Like its sibling Oakhart Social, the restaurant’s bright and airy space was once home to a service station, providing one of the liveliest settings in town. The open kitchen is essentially part of the dining room, which allows high top tables a vista of Collins’ team at work. A stellar bar program favors cocktails of tequila, mezcal, and whiskey, along with well-chosen wines.
What to Order
The menu offers both small plates and large platters, all intended for sharing. Below are our picks, Chef Collins’ picks, and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where a chef or personality has named an item from Little Star as one of the best in town. Also included are appearances on chefs’ Best Thing I Ate All Year.
- Pan Tomate
- French Fries
- Sunny-side Eggs w/ salsa negra, green onion, sesame, grilled bread, hickory syrup
- Coal Roasted Half Chicken
- Marinated Carrots
- Beef Carpaccio
- Seared Tuna w/ rendered foie gras, salsa molcajete, cilantro oil, charred onion
Five Finds on Friday / Best Thing I Ate All Year Picks
- Pan Tomate – Chase Davidson (son)
- Watermelon Salad with Crab — Millie Winstead (Blue Ridge Area Food Bank)
- Oyster Mushrooms — Laura Fonner (formerly, Duner’s)
- Beef Back Ribs — Nathan Hatfield (Tasting Room & Taphouse at Mount Ida Reserve)
- Porky Things — Matt Beck (formerly, Oakhart Social)
- Patatas Rancheras — Maya Hood White (Early Mountain Vineyards)
- Mole — Eva Solano (formerly, Little Star)
- Cantarito con Tequila – Heather Broach (reader)