The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Bang

Five Finds on Friday: Jin Bang

JinBang

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jin Bang, Chief Aloha Officer of Mochiko, the new eatery from longtime Albemarle Baking Company pastry chef Riki Tanabe. Mochiko will open a brick-and-mortar location soon, but meanwhile you can book them for catering and enjoy their “Good Hawaiian Eats” Saturday mornings at City Market. Bang’s picks:

1) Vegan Chili at The Juice Laundry. “This is one hearty soup! Great for lunch or dinner. I’ve even warmed up leftovers from the night before as breakfast. I love that this chili has a balanced texture and mouth feel. It may be vegan, but it’s not lacking in flavor.  Vegan food still gets a bad rap, but when it’s done well like this chili, there isn’t a lot of room for criticism. It comes topped with your choice of plain or jalapeno-accented cashew sour cream. Simply delicious.”

2) Beet Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette and Chevre at Bang!. “If you like roasted beets, this dish is sure to delight.  It features beets of different varieties and the resulting colors are unexpected. The beets come in a lightly ginger flavored broth topped with a little bit of crunch and goat cheese. I admire the finesse of this dish. I love when chefs find ways to elevate and highlight the simple beauty of high quality ingredients. This may not be the dish that jumps out at you amidst all of the other edibles on the Bang! menu, but it’s definitely one of my favorites.”

3) Panna Cotta Gelato at Splendora’s.  “I don’t think this needs any explanation.  Splendora’s kills with this one! Not too sweet, not too mild, just right. For anyone who enjoys light, rich, and creamy, the panna cotta gelato satisfies cravings for all of the above.”

4) Tom Kha Soup at Pad Thai. “When I get soup at a Thai place, I usually opt for the spicy version with lemongrass- Tom Yum. Everything at Pad Thai tastes magically of home.  I’m not Thai, but the flavors of the broths here remind me of the soup dishes my grandmother used to make for us at home. You can taste all of the time, labor, and love that goes into the food here. What I dig about the Tom Kha is the surprising acidity that cuts through the rich sweetness of the coconut. I was skeptical the first time I ordered it, in part because I expected the coconut would be cloying. Much to my delight, this soup was something I’d never expected to taste in a soup. It’s the right amount of rich, sweet, salty, tangy – it pretty much hits all of the flavors you might want in a soup. It’s not spicy, but you can always add your own spice. To this day, it is comfort in a bowl on a rainy day or when I’m feeling under the weather- and who am I kidding. Sometimes I just crave it for no reason at all because it’s that kind of good.”

5) The Mayweather Salad at Roots Natural Kitchen. “This salad combines all of the things I like in a salad. Not only does it have roasted beets and goat cheese, it also comes with sweet potatoes. Honestly, I customize my bowls so I don’t usually get the onions or bulgar- but both of those things come with this filling bowl too. I think what I love is that I can add avocado, or swap out my proteins. Depending on my mood, I can ask for tomatoes or a different kind of dressing. Every time I order this bowl, it looks a little different, but that’s what I love about Roots. Salad becomes an expression of self in the moment.  Who would have guessed ordering salad could be such a mindful practice?”

Five Finds on Friday: Linda Steiner

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Linda Steiner, pastry chef at Duner’s, whose desserts are known to be destination-worthy. It’s shad roe season, and Duner’s is one of the only places in town to enjoy the delicacy, but supplies are very limited. Every Thursday Duner’s receives enough to make just eight weekend orders of the sauteed Pamlico Sound fish egg sacks. First come first serve, and just for a few weeks. Steiner’s picks:

1) Crab Pot Stickers at Bang! “Crab Pot Stickers and Firecracker Shrimp get ordered every time. As well as my Bang-A-Rita. If it is nice enough, you have to sit outside and enjoy all of Vincent and Tim’s hard work.”

2) Dumplings at Marco & Luca. “I have a really hard time going downtown and not bringing home some of the best dumplings and peanut noodles in C-Ville.”

3) Prosciutto Pizza at Lampo. “Andrew KILLS it with his cool wine selections. I just let him pick and always leave happy.”

4) Cured Salmon at The Alley Light. “Any cocktail from Micah, one of the best in all of C-Ville, if not Virginia! And is there really anything that you would not be happy with off of their menu? They have not missed a beat since the changing of the guard in the kitchen. The Cured Salmon and Potted Shrimp get me every time if they are on the menu.”

5) Beef and Broccoli at Silk Road. “A little off the path, but everyone should really try this place in Waynesboro. (Turn into the old Shoneys on your way towards the Home Depot) Ambiance, Ambiance, Ambiance! The food is really great, the Lunch Boxes are great, but if you have to pick one, go for the Beef and Broccoli.”

Five Finds on Friday: Ben Clore

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Ben Clore, co-owner of Oakhart Social.  On Sunday April 24, Oakhart Social’s chef and co-owner Tristan Wraight will join Matt Greene of JM Stock Provisions at Blenheim Vineyards for a special guest chef dinner as part of  the vineyard’s The Library Series.  Under the tented event space of Blenheim Farm, guests will enjoy a five course family-style meal paired with library wines from Blenheim’s cellar.  Tickets and info here.  Clore’s picks:

1) Pork Spring Rolls at Bang!  “Crispy, fried, salty bites of porky deliciousness with a great vinegary dipping sauce that counterbalances the fat and salt perfectly. (Pro tip- Bang is a great place to take kids.  Food comes out fast and if junior doesn’t like one thing just keep ordering!)”

2) Shrimp and Grits at Maya.  “Local stone ground grits and an amazing smoked tomato gravy make me so happy every time I order them.”

3) Aspen Ridge Farm Hamburger at Orzo.  (Lunch only.)  “House pickles and the rosemary aioli are a great compliment to some really flavorful farm-raised beef.”

4) Finocchio Arrosto con Aranci (roasted fennel, oranges and basil) at Tavola. “I think this has been on their menu from the start and it’s clear why.  Super simple flavors and great execution make it a dish that’s more than the sum of its parts.”

5) Guay Tiew Ruea (Boat Noodle Soup) at Thai Cuisine and Noodle House.  “I’m a sucker for anything broth and noodle based.  This a ton of umami and is almost impossible to stop eating until it’s gone.  I can be so full I’m in pain and I still can’t stop.  I get the small to minimize inevitable later self-loathing.”