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: Rachel Snogles

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Rachel Snogles, GM of Kama, the new Japanese restaurant at Violet Crown, whose Grand Opening is this weekend. A preview of Kama is here. Snogles’ picks:

1) Linguine Alla Carbonara at Tavola. “The quality of the pasta and attention to flavors in each dish are impeccable. Every pasta I’ve had has been fantastic, but a particular favorite is the linguine alla carbonara. Takes me back to Italy with every bite.”

2) Seven Hills Beef Tartare in The Coat Room at Brasserie Saison. “Whenever my family and I want a special night where we don’t have to think about making decisions, we always go to The Coat Room. They take it out of our hands and send food and drinks that suit our mood, though we always get the steak tartare with grilled oyster aioli when it is on the menu.”

3) Croque Madame at brunch at Commonwealth Restaurant. “I love brunch and rarely get to go, so when I do I want somewhere that does more than just bacon and eggs. At Commonwealth they nail it from classics like Eggs Benedict with Surryano ham to something more unique like the Dutch pancake with citrus chive marscapone with macerated berries. A personal favorite is the croque madame with the runny egg and delicious bechamel. It’s perfect for when I cannot decide between lunch and dinner.”

4) Margherita Pizza at Lampo.  “When it comes to wanting more than just a slice of pizza, Lampo is an obvious choice. A perfect crust makes the margherita pizza a treat every time. Save space for their cheese selection too.”

5) Pastry from MarieBette.  “Whether I am craving a canele, a chocolate almond croissant or simply want some good bread, MarieBette never disappoints.  It takes all my self control to not be there daily.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Diane Burns

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Photo by Andrea Hubbell

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards Horticulturist Diane Burns, who has expanded Pippin Hill’s flower beds and added new varieties just for a Cut Flower Workshop, July 23 at Pippin Hill. After a tour of Burns’ gardens, guests will learn how to harvest, handle, and arrange flowers, using the sustainable flowers from Burns’ gardens. Next, guests will take their arrangements to the Reserve Room Veranda to enjoy a chef’s lunch featuring vegetables from Burns’ garden, with plenty of Pippin Hill wine. Each guest will take home their floral arrangement. Tickets and info here.

Burns’ picks, which include her favorite local foods from Charlottesville City Market and beyond, particularly for summertime grilling:

1) Kielbasa from Double H Farm. “I love their smoky kielbasa flavored with garlic and spices. It is fantastic with grilled peppers.”

2) Carmen and Escamillo Peppers from Bellair Farm. “There are lots of vendors that sell produce at the market, but I like visiting with Jamie, and his friendly crew of folks, for the freshest produce. I buy the Carmen and Escamillo peppers to pair with kielbasa.”

3) Ginger Jam from The Farm at Red Hill. Wendy and Richard do a great job with dips and sauces, and their new line of ginger jam is the perfect addition when preparing grilled pork tenderloin. I first discovered The Farm at Red Hill at the Charlottesville City Market, and while the team no long participates in farmers’ markets, their goods can be found at The Great Valu in Crozet, Foods of All Nations, Whole Foods and the Barracks Road Harris Teeter.”

4) Tulip Poplar Honey from Elysium Honey Company. “We actually just added an apiary at Pippin Hill, so honey is on my mind. I love to brush the honey on thick slices of pineapple — grilling it lightly, just to show the grill marks. Yes, it really is all about the grill marks.”

5) Chocolate Pecan Pie from Family Pies & Ties. “Lynette’s Chocolate Pecan Pie is to die for. I prefer to eat it straight from the pie pan. It’s made with love and lots of chocolate. We can’t get enough of their baked goods.”

Five Finds on Friday: Millie Winstead

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Millie Winstead, Director of Development for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, the beneficiary of The 2019 Charlottesville Restaurant Auctions. In the auctions, now underway, the restaurants of The Charlottesville 29 have each created a once-in-a-lifetime experience for whoever pledges the largest donation to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. And, the food bank in turn takes each dollar and creates four meals for the area’s hungry. Winstead’s picks:

1) Atun a La Parilla at MAS. “I would go to MAS any and every day. The menu changes all the time and everything they make is so good. But, one thing that I always include in my tapas choices is the tuna. It is perfectly cooked (rare) and is seasoned with just the right amount of grey sea salt.”

2) Fruit Focaccia at Albemarle Baking Company. “Another place I would visit every day, in my perfect world, is ABC. Our family’s Saturday morning would not be complete without a stop at Gerry’s. After a stroll through our city’s wonderful farmer’s market, we always visit ABC to get my fruit focaccia, a variety of pastries for the rest of the family, and a baguette for a future weekend meal.”

3) Watermelon Salad with Crab at Little Star. “This is a new find and I can’t wait to go back and have more. The flavors were unexpected – who would think to put those two things together? I’m so glad they did because the sweet and savory combination was perfect.”

4) Dealer’s Choice at Lost Saint. “This place feels special, kind of like you have to be from here to know it even exists. Tucked away within Tavern & Grocery, it is a perfect get-away with a friend or date. And, the bartenders know their business. Let them guide you and teach you, and sit back and enjoy.”

5) Weekly Soup from l’etoile Catering. “I miss having Mark at a physical location I can go whenever I want, but this is the next best thing (unless you want to invite me to a party you have him cater!). Working for the food bank, I travel throughout central and western Virginia. When I find myself passing through Crozet, I stop to see what Mark has put in his cooler on his porch, a.k.a. what will be my family’s dinner that night. I know it will be delicious.”

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