The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Bang!

Five Finds on Friday: Tasha Durrett

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Tasha Durrett, founder of Black Women Who Wine, which hosts regular wine events and works with Virginia wineries to increase diversity and agritourism opportunities. Durrett is the next featured guest in Blenheim Vineyards’ Oenoverse, an inclusive wine club that aims “to introduce Virginia wine in a comfortable, conversational setting for folks who have never joined a ‘wine club’ before or want to continue the path of learning about wine and want to experience a series of fun events and meet likeminded people.” Each session, a featured guest shares and discusses favorite wines, and on July 10 at Blenheim, Durrett will lead a tasting of her wine selections, paired with bites from chef Tim Moore of Early Mountain Vineyards. In addition to the tastings and conversation, Oenoverse members receive four bottles of wine, printed tasting notes, discounts, and more. Follow along on Facebook. Durrett’s picks:

1) Caipirinha at South and Central. “This is my favorite drink in the entire city. A caipirinha is such a simple drink, but it’s hard to find a good one in Charlottesville. The one at South and Central is amazing and really the only drink I get there.”

2) Grilled Pineapple at Passiflora. “Let’s be clear. I love Passiflora. But the grilled pineapple is one of my favorite things I’ve ever eaten. I add the garlic citrus jackfruit. and it’s a perfect dish. I’ve tried to copycat it at home and it’s never quite the same.”

3) Pancit at Manila Street. “One of the things I miss most about living in Northern Virginia is Filipino food. Manila cures that longing. The pancit is comparable to any I’ve had, and the staff is always great here. Grab some after work and pair with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Vidal Blanc. Add on some lumpia and it’s even better.”

4) Country Ham Croissant at The Blue Ridge Pig. “I’m from Nelson County and I couldn’t be featured here without including my favorite item from The Blue Ridge Pig. Country ham was a staple of every Christmas celebration growing up. It’s expensive and salty, so you don’t want to have too much of a good thing, but when you do have it, it’s amazing. The sandwich is served with dill sauce, which adds to its overall uniqueness.”

5) Fried Chicken Steamed Buns, Spicy Garlic Sauce, House Pickles at Bang!. “Bang! has been nothing if not consistent since I first started going here back when I turned 21. It continues to have some of the best cocktails and small plates in the city. These buns are an homage to the menu of the earlier 2000s and give me a nostalgic feel. I’m happy Bang! is still around. It’s a gem.”

Five Finds on Friday: Danielle Stein

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Danielle Stein, who has entertained and informed Charlottesville sports and food fans throughout her tenure at CBS19. Now moving on, Stein once said it was her dream to appear in Five Finds on Friday. Who are we to stand between a girl and her dreams? In honor of her work in Charlottesville, always with a smile, Danielle Stein’s Five Finds on Friday:

1) Key Lime Martini at Bang!. “There is no question that Bang! is my favorite restaurant in Charlottesville since the first week I came here. I love their rotating menu of small Asian-fusion tapas, and try to pick new things each time. While I do that, there is always one constant: the key lime martini. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and a little tart and a graham cracker crumb rim. Always fits perfect with any dish I order.”

2) Lamb Carpaccio at The Alley Light. “I dream about the lamb carpaccio at Alley Light. The most beautiful and intimate space features some of the more unique things I’ve ever tried. I’ve had other carpaccios like tuna and beef, but the flavor of the paper-thin lamb is so special and is such a star. So good on their bread with the aioli and arugula.”

3) Ka Pow Crispy Pork Belly at Monsoon Siam. “Anything with the words ‘spicy’ and ‘garlic’ in the description is going to call my name, and then with crispy pork belly? Game over. The sauce flavors and the spicy peppers make this dish great, and it packs some heat! Shout out to the Hell Fried Rice too.

4) Provoleta at South and Central. “It’s a skillet of hot, melty cheese that’s crispy and golden on top and makes for the ultimate cheese pull when you scoop it onto bread or with your insane steaks. Enough said. They have lunch special with the provoleta melted onto a steak as well for the best of both worlds. Beautiful space, and always check their steak special (if they have the bison ribeye, GET IT).

5) Cacio e Pepe Pizza at Luce. “Luce has changed me for the better. I love their pasta, but their pizza is just something else. You get all the joy of cacio e pepe pasta, but on a white pizza. This, quite literal, hole in the wall off the downtown mall makes for the perfect carryout meal, and I loved their tented live music summer series in the parking lot next door.”

Five Finds on Friday: Casandra Rodriguez

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Casandra Rodriguez of Vegan Comforts Soul Food, which opens this Sunday March 13, and will be open every Sunday and Monday to follow. Rodriguez has formerly served her vegan soul food at markets and pop-ups, and now has a temporary home at Royalty Coffee Sandwiches and Pastries on Cherry Avenue. A permanent venue is coming soon. Follow along for updates on Instagram. At Vegan Comforts, she’s particularly fond of the Vish Tacos, made from fried hearts of palm, as well as the “Slow Poke Rodriguez,” with Field Roast chorizo, simply egg scrambled in homemade salsa, topped with feta cheeze on a homemade buttermilk biscuit. Elsewhere in town, Rodriguez’s all-Vegan picks:

1) Pho and Crispy Rolls at Vu Noodles. “I get the crispy rolls just so I can dip them in the pho, and both together are so comforting, savory, and refreshingly delicious. I literally go here once or twice a week. Highly recommend.”

2) Portobello Philly at Firefly. “When I’m craving a Philly cheesesteak and don’t feel like cooking this is my go-to spot for it. It is so yummy.”

3) Creole Beans Platter at Pearl Island. “Wooo chile, this whole meal is the perfect combo. The creole beans are perfectly seasoned and the tostones with the sauce are to die for. Don’t get me started on the rice with the garlic kale. So so good.”

4) Won Ton Nachos at Botanical. “Ryan got me hooked on these nachos. They are so delicious. The cashew cheese sauce could pass for real cheese, first of all, and the toppings were so fresh and had the perfect crisp light touch. Def will be back for more.”

5) General Tso’s Cauliflower and Coconut Rice at Bang!. “Bring back the chickpea roll things, haha, no but seriously. My favorite dish from here right now is the General Tso’s cauliflower and the coconut rice. So comforting and filling.”

%d bloggers like this: