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: Whitney Matthews

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Whitney Matthews of SpiceSea Gourmet, three time finalist for Best Food Truck in Charlottesville. To find her stellar po boys, lobster/shrimp rolls, and more around town, check the monthly calendar on her website and follow along on her Facebook page. Matthews’ picks:

1) Garlicky Greens Kraut from Farmstead Ferments. “I (and my mother) love this kraut. It goes with everything – eggs in the morning, sandwiches for lunch, or straight out of the jar. It’s always crisp and full of flavor. There is always a jar in my refrigerator.”

2) Canelés from MarieBette. “This is my extra special treat. Canelés are not a typical pastry to find, but MarieBette always has them and they are always delicious. Biting through the thick caramelized crust into the custard center is my favorite part.”

3) Cabernet Franc Reserve from Montifalco Vineyard. “This wine is wonderful. Not too heavy, lovely mouth feel, and pairs great with a steak. One of my favorite wines from the region. Also, the atmosphere at Montifalco is perect – welcoming, calming, small, and charming. The owners take special care to make sure each guest has an exceptional experience. They also bring in wines from around the world to add to their tasting flights. A great, small batch winery.”

4) Classic Tomato Sauce from Nona’s Italian Cucina. “Such a versatile sauce. I’ve used it for classic pasta dishes, baked with zucchini and mozzarella, and as a dip for baguettes. I always imagine a little Italian nona standing over a stove stirring her pot when I open a bottle. I love that you can taste the garlic and parsley shining through the tomato. The wife and husband team are frequently at the City Market and they take the time to give samples and talk about the sauce.”

5) Fried Chicken Paffle from Iron Paffles & Coffee. “First, all the sandwiches from Iron are amazing, but there’s something about the crunch of the chicken that keeps me coming back. You can build your own chicken paffle to fit what you desire – pepper jack cheese, aioli, and arugula for me. Also, their Instagram page is great. All those beautiful pictures of specials and desserts. It’s mouthwatering.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Mita Tembe

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Mita Tembe, Bakery Manager of MarieBette Cafe and Bakery. At MarieBette, Tembe’s favorites are the sticky bun, the chocolate chunk cookie, and the Monroe tartine, with scrambled eggs, caramelized onions, bacon, and herbs atop MarieBette sourdough. Tembe’s other favorites around town:

1) Spanish Olive Oil and Rosemary Cake at Orzo. “My friend and I meant to share but we got two instead. Best accident ever.”

2) Santa Fe Enchiladas and a House Margarita .at Continental Divide. “I love the pumpkin muffin on the side, and you can never go wrong with a CD margarita.”

3) Belgian fries and aioli at Public Fish & Oyster. “Hands down the best fries in Charlottesville: hot, salty, crispy. Also, the fried brussels sprouts, with that same aioli, are incredible.”

4) Torta Brava at La Michoacana. “Super super spicy and absolutely delicious.”

5) Grilled Banana Bread at Bizou. “I have attempted to recreate this at home to no avail. Bizou does it best.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Sean Chandler

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Photo by Rich Tarbell.

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Sean Chandler, Director of Retail Operations for Champion Brewing Company, which will soon open Champion Grill, in Stonefield. Check back for details. Chandler’s picks:

1) Funghi Pizza at Lampo. “I love shrooms, and this is a beautiful combo of flavor on top of that amazing crust.”

2) Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese at C&O. “Kind of a cold weather tradition for me. The ultimate comfort food of rich creaminess. I love having a Gibson with it. The tang of the onions is a nice counter point. If I’m really lucky, Anthony will play some Classical music for me.”

3) Fried Brussels Sprouts with Sweet and Spicy Pepper Jelly at Champion Grill. “I know this is a shameless plug, but these vegan nuggets from Phil are going to change the way you think of sports bar food.”

4) Pork Belly at Côte Rôtie. “Anything that Côte Rôtie does with pork belly.”

5) Kimchi Jjigae at Maru. “Tangy and spicy, this is comfort food that you can feel good about.”

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