The Charlottesville 29

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

Category: Five Finds on Friday

Five Finds on Friday: Courtenay Tyler

Courtenay

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Courtenay Tyler, co-founder of Tilman’s, which has lots of news this week. First, building on the success of the shop’s pop-ups, Tilman’s is launching a takeout menu. Today through Monday, from 12-6pm, guests will have the option of taking their order to-go or enjoying it “picnic style” on the patio. In addition to food and wine, there will be cocktails like Negronis, martinis, and sangria. Pre-ordering is preferred, but walk-ins are also welcome. Next, COVID-19 be damned, Tilman’s is planning a sister restaurant for later this year. In the former home to Tin Whistle Pub, Tonic will be a cafe and bar, with a patio and outdoor bar, offering small plates of vegetables, seafood, and fresh sandwiches, including house roast beef. Stay tuned for details and an opening date, likely this summer. Tyler’s picks, which focus on takeout and delivery options in the Culture of Takeout:

1) Tuna Avocado Carpaccio at Now & Zen. “This is probably the one dish in Charlottesville that I crave the most. It’s packed with big chunks of fresh tuna, avocado, and my favorite, tobiko. The wasabi dressing is always light, and the salad is perfectly dressed. My husband and I will wait in line for all of Chef Toshi’s small plates, but this is always the first thing that we order.”

2) Deonjang Jjigae at Maru. “Steven and Kay Kim are my next door neighbors at Tilman’s, and boy, did I luck out in that respect. They are incredibly nice. Kay has a sharp wit, and best of all Steven is an amazing chef. I love this Korean miso stew (don’t ask me how to pronounce it). It’s a big umami bomb, which I love. It has tofu and veggies and is a little spicy, and I always get it with clams. It comes with their homemade banchan, which has kim chi and other interesting things I can’t identify until I ask. I’m really happy if there’s pickled burdock that day.”

3) Any Soup at Bizou. “I have no idea how every single soup I have had from Bizou is amazing, but it is. Their shrimp bisque is actually the very first meal I ate here in Charlottesville, when I moved here in 2014. A mention on their specials board will definitely make me stop in. They have the butternut squash bisque on their to-go menu this week, and they are on my list for take-out. When things were ‘normal,’ they provided a much needed respite after a long day at Tilman’s. I enjoy sitting at that bar, and chatting with Rachel about her wine list. She has a great palate and point of view. And, she writes the best wine descriptions in town.”

4) Triple Citrus Pie at The Pie Chest. “Rachel’s pies aren’t super fancy. They are simple, and homey, and made with love, and in that, reflect Rachel’s personality. Her triple citrus is sublime. That texture! It’s such a treat.”

5) Chocolate Gelato at Splendora’s. “PK’s chocolate gelato is like no other. Deep, dark, intense. It may sound plain, but I promise you, it is not. It’s dangerous that PK is now delivering. All I have to do is call or text, and next thing you know I have my fix.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Liz Nabi

Nabi

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Liz Nabi of Alight Flower Farm, whose beautiful Spring flowers have been brightening lives of seclusion for weeks. They are available for delivery through Schuyler Greens and carry-out from Foods of All Nations. Nabi’s picks:

1) Vegetable Board at The Alley Light. “We don’t get out for date night often, but when we do, The Alley Light is our go-to. From the intimate atmosphere to the delicious drinks (the mule for me, the gazossa for him), it’s a winner. But, it’s the Vegetable Board that’s kept us coming back since they opened. The whole platter of seasonal veggies in so many variations – pickled, roasted, marinated, raw – is an adventure.”

2) Brioche Feuilletée at MarieBette. “Weekends in the off-season, we walk to MarieBette for pastries and La Colombe coffee. I love the brioche feuilletée – the flakiness contrasts with the denseness of the chocolate and hazelnut, topped off with a dusting of granulated sugar. It can’t be beat (well, unless the filling of the day is vanilla cloud creme).”

3) Moules Frites Mariniere at Public Fish & Oyster. “For nights out with friends, we head to Public. Steamed mussels, broth, and fries. What’s not to love?”

4) Vegetable Lasagna from Mona Lisa Pasta and Molasses Cookies from Breadworks. “Before COVID-19, when we had company coming and didn’t have time to cook, we loved to grab a lasagna from Mona Lisa Pasta’s freezer and then walk across the lot to Breadworks for cookies (an assortment for the guests, but with plenty of molasses for us).”

5) Waje Sushi and Gazpacho at Foods of All Nations. “There’s ‘grocery’ sushi and then there’s Waje Sushi – fresh, buttery salmon and perfect rice every time, very reasonably priced. We can’t wait for summer because that means that Foods’ house-made gazpacho will be back in the grab-and-go section. Refreshing and finishes with a nice kick.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Melissa Meece

Meece

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Melissa Meece of Firefly, which, after some Spring cleaning, plans to re-open in a few weeks with a full takeout menu. Check Firefly’s Facebook page for updates. Meanwhile, in the Culture of Takeout, Firefly has an online store for takeout and delivery of beer, wine, and other pantry items. Plus, order a gift card of $100 or more from the online store, and proceeds will go to a fund to support Firefly’s staff during the COVID-19 crisis. Meece’s picks:

1) Rustic Rosemary English Muffins from Orange Dot Baking Company. “I start my day off right with a local egg on a flavorful gluten-free muffin from Orange Dot Baking Company. It’s hearty and delicious. A couple of times a week I also treat myself to their chocolate chip biscuits and I can’t wait to try their new flatbread.”

2) Spring Rolls from Vu Noodles. “I’m thrilled that Vu Noodles will be re-opening later this month at the Flat on Water Street so I can get Julie’s fresh and delicious food again. Her menu is a vegetarian’s paradise.”

3) Bread Pudding from Moon Maiden’s Delights. “Since I prefer to eat mostly gluten-free and plant-based, I absolutely love that I can get any treats from Moon Maidens in York Place and not need to look at the ingredients. Her bread pudding is dense and flavorful – a meal unto itself – but doesn’t leave me feeling gross like a glutinous and sugary bread pudding would. It’s not always available, though, so try something else if she doesn’t have it.”

4) Catfish Po’Boy from The Southern Crescent. “When I feel like cheating on my (mostly) gluten-free and vegetarian diet, I want a catfish po’boy from Southern Crescent in Belmont. Something about their crispy cornmeal batter and the perfectly seasoned remoulade. Add a Zombie Punch cocktail to-go, and you’ve got the perfect meal. Like so many Cville restaurateurs, Ian and Lucinda are doing a great job quickly adapting and keeping us all fed during the quarantine.”

5) Undorn Mead from Skjald Meadworks. “My beverage of choice is mead, aka honey wine, and I love that there is a meadery right here in Charlottesville. Delicious at room temp or over ice, you can also use it as a cocktail ingredient. I also highly recommend their Sumarmal or strawberry mead, when in season.”

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