The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Belle

Five Finds on Friday: Lizzy Hood

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Lizzy Hood, formerly of Eleven Madison Park, who now manages Passiflora, which opened this week in the former home to Commonwealth, on the downtown mall. The latest project from Champion Hospitality Group, Passiflora features Baja-Med cuisine from chef Phillip Gerringer, such as the Baja classic, and Gerringer’s favorite, fish tacos: beer battered cod, shredded queso asadero and manchego, buttermilk ranch, and red cabbage, in a flour tortilla. Full menu and reservations here. Hood’s picks:

1) Donuts from Belle. “I tried the donuts from Belle a few weeks ago, and I’m not sure why it took me so long. These little guys are dangerous. They are a great start to a Saturday morning.”

2) Burger and Amaro Late Night at C&O. “During my time working in New York City, one of my favorite things to do was find that perfect dark and cozy bar to lose some time in. The downstairs of C&O brings that vibe back for me. I frequently go late night for an amaro and the burger.”

3) Kimchi Pancake from Sussex Farm. “The Kimichi Pancake from Sussex Farm at the City Market. After I stumbled upon this dish, I made it a priority to go every Saturday. But truly you can not go wrong with anything Jen Naylor is cooking.”

4) Lunch Special from JM Stock Provisions. “I spent a brief time working at Stock Provisions when I moved to Charlottesville in 2016. Since then, I know to keep an eye out for Ben Moore-Coll’s lunch special out of the butcher shop. It is always damn good.” 

5) Everything Prezzant from MarieBette. “Buttery, flakey, salty. Not much to say here other than if you haven’t tried these yet, go.”

Five Finds on Friday: Susan Sweeney

Cake Bloom_Susan Sweeney

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Susan Sweeney, of Cake Bloom, which is brightening lives of seclusion with cake delivery. Have a beautiful cake delivered to your door, and, while you’re at it, the door of a friend — like the cake below going out to a Charlottesville business celebrating a third birthday today. Sweeney’s picks:

1) Tarta de Santiago at Quality Pie. “Rich, flavorful and unfussy, with just a dusting of powdered sugar, this is one of those stellar cakes that always satisfies. A slice with coffee is a perfect breakfast in my book, but I wouldn’t turn down a midday or late night sliver either.”

2) Food and Wine Pairing at Gabrielle Rausse. “Having recently moved from Sonoma, California, I’ve done a fair bit of wine tasting in my life, and this one was a standout. I think it was a combination of that brilliant light pouring onto the bar through the trees on a crisp winter day, the crusty loaves of house-made bread coming out of the oven, and the comforting tiny plates of stewed chickpeas that won me over. The fire pit and wine only added to the experience.”

3) Chocolate Ice Cream at Brasserie Saison. “This isn’t the kind of thing I’d normally order or go out of my way to seek out, but my sister brought me to the bar one night just for this chocolaty treat. I believe it’s listed as ice cream on the menu, but it has the richness and density of a gelato. Order it for the perfect finale to a yummy dinner of moules frites, or do as we did: just go straight for dessert.”

4) Sloppy Jose at Ivy Provisions. “If you had a little too much fun the night before, the Sloppy Jose is all you need to set you straight. Chorizo, egg, english muffin. Need I say more?”

5) English Muffins at Belle. “I’m a big fan of English muffins, and great ones are hard to find. That is, unless you go to Belle. Just the right combination of chewy nooks and crannys, plus a crisp, perfect crust. The generous size makes them perfect for sharing.”

cake

Food Find: Cinnamon Roll at Belle

cinnamon roll

During one of my recent visits to Belle for a breakfast sandwich, baker Scott Shanesy emerged from the kitchen to tell me how pleased he was with his recent batches of cinnamon rolls. He displayed the earnest excitement of a passionate cook who had nailed it. As if I were not already sold, immediately after we spoke, one of Charlottesville’s better chefs entered Belle, ordered breakfast, and, unprompted, began congratulating Shanesy on his cinnamon rolls, which he had tried on a previous visit. “Honestly, man,” he said, “best cinnamon roll I have had in a long time.”

Now that I have had one, I see what they mean.

Shanesy uses a sourdough that he ferments for 48 hours, which not only adds flavor but also yields a roll that retains a pleasantly soft texture all day long, without drying out. He incorporates a touch of orange into the glaze, giving it a citrusy tang that complements that of the dough. If any of this sounds off-putting, it is because my words do not do justice to the finished product. Shanesy’s well-considered tweaks do not offend the palate as unnecessary cheffy deviations. Rather, the result is a traditional cinnamon roll experience, enhanced.

 

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