The Charlottesville 29

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

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Five Finds on Friday: PK Kamath

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Photo by Jen Fariello

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from PK Kamath, co-owner of Fry’s Spring Station and Ivy Provisions. Fry’s Spring Station has just launched DoGood Mondays, where each Monday the restaurant donates 10% of sales to a local school or non-profit. This Monday, it will be Hoos Heal 5K, benefiting the UVa Nursing School. Eat, drink, and be charitable. Meanwhile, for Sunday’s Concert for Charlottesville, Fry’s is hosting Dough for Charlottesville, a Starr Hill Brewery tap takeover where $1 from every Fry’d Dough will go to the Concert for Charlottesville fund. And, if you don’t have tickets, Fry’s is livestreaming the concert. Kamath’s picks:

1) Pork Rib Chop at The Ivy Inn. “The pork rib chop is my go-to, but the amuse bouche that magically appear at the table are also part of what takes this place from great to really special. Add Angelo and Farrell’s personal touch and well, it’s as good as it gets.”

2) Tuna Nori Roll at Bang! “Ok, here’s the thing. It has NOT been on their menu in a while. I’m bringing it up here, with the simple hope of someone at Bang seeing it, feeling terribly regretful for the mistake they have made (sarcasm!!) and putting it back on the menu (not sarcasm!!). In all seriousness, this is our go-to weekday date night spot. The menu is filled with great flavors and textures and the dressed vegetables/salads in most of the dishes are what makes it for me.”

3) Kibbeh Platter with Fire-roasted Red Pepper Sauce, Eggplant and Sesame Green Beans at Sticks. “The entire menu is delicious and it’s simple food, done right. Without question, my 11-year old daughter’s favorite restaurant, from even before she had a full set of teeth (hummus is amazing).”

4) Peri-peri Wings with a side of Peri-peri sauce at The Shebeen.. “Hot, spicy, meaty, spicy delectable goodness. Walter’s wings and an ice-cold Narragansett Lager put me in my happy place. I’m pretty sure my spirit animal is a chicken wing.”

5) Taiwanese-style Pork Chops with Scallion Pancakes at Cafe 88. “Although this place is very unsuspecting, Li is about as talented as it gets, and she cares about what she’s feeding her customers and it shows. Really damn good. Really, really damn good.”

Five Finds on Friday: Corry Blanc

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Corry Blanc of Blanc Creatives, Charlottesville’s award-winning maker of hand-forged cookware. Beloved by chefs everywhere, Blanc Creatives is planning a series of events showcasing their products and the amazing things that chefs can do with them, including a preview next month of Lampo’s much-anticipated steakhouse. Stay tuned for details on the Lampo event. Meanwhile, learn about Blanc Creatives’ many other events here. Blanc’s picks:

1) Fried Chicken Lunch at the Shell Station on Preston Avenue. “Breast, thigh, mac n cheese and collard greens for the win. There’s always a debate in town on who has the best fried chicken. While other places have good chicken, what kills it here are the sides! As a Georgia boy, I grew up eating chicken eight days a week and this place reminds me of home.”

2) French Fries at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. “For the past eight years, I’ve lived on the south side of town and have had the chance to enjoy Ho’s without too much of a drive. There’s no bad dish in the place. My weak spot is definitely the fries though! Fresh cut, piled high on a large plate.”

3) Smoked Tomatoes and Gambas al Parilla at MAS Tapas. “Both dishes are as simple as it gets and deliver so much flavor. Super smokey tomatoes swimming in olive oil and plump shrimp slathered in alioli and salt. What more can you say?”

4) Chef Sandwich at Keevil & Keevil Grocery and Kitchen. “My workshop has been located in the Belmont neighborhood for the past five years. Belmont is an amazing part of town for food once the sun goes down. Not so much for lunch though. Until, Harrison and Jennifer opened up Keevil & Keevil.  The lunch selection is pretty extensive with sandwiches and whatever new creations Harrison’s playing around with that day.  My go- to (at least a few times a week) is the Chef Sandwich. Simple, classic, working-man-size roast beef and turkey.  Everything a sandwich needs to be.”

5) Dinner at Lampo. “It’s really a rare occasion that my wife and I go out to dinner. We both enjoy to cook and keep ourselves busy most of the time. On that rare occasion we go out it’s usually to Lampo. There’s so much talent crammed into that little kitchen. We like to start out with a Boulevardier or two, get an order of the Brussels sprouts and kale salads, usually go for the Diavola and Funghi pizzas and try our damnedest to polish of a round of zeppole dipped into the budino (chocolate pudding).”

Pop-up Dinner with Chef Donnie Glass

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Former Public Fish & Oyster Chef Donnie Glass broke Charlottesville hearts last year when he left town for a job in Martha’s Vineyard. Now he’s back, working on a new project with serial restaurateur Andy McClure (Tavern & GroceryCitizen Burger Bar, Citizen Bowl ShopThe Virginian, and The Biltmore). The restaurant is planned for Richmond, but the first taste of it will be here in Charlottesville at next weekend’s pop-up preview of Bouchon Tallulah.

What’s a Bouchon? “Bouchons are all about crispy pig parts, oysters, carafes of Beaujolais, the tradition of very hands-on ownership, daily menus written around what’s abundant, neighborly banter, and the buzz of a busy, small, noisy restaurant,” says Glass. “I love those things. I crave those things like a drug.”

The pop-up dinners are Friday and Saturday, September 22-23, at Citizen Bowl Shop, on the Downtown Mall, and will feature a tasting menu of Glass’s Lyonnaise-Virginian cuisine. Email bouchontallulah@gmail.com for reservations.