The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Blenheim Vineyards

Five Finds on Friday: Ben Clore


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.”




Five Finds on Friday: Jason Becton


On Fridays, we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Jason Becton of MarieBette Café & Bakery, of bronut fame, which is now featuring new items for the holidays, like a delicious toffee date pudding and a bourbon pecan tart.  Becton’s picks:

1) Pork Chops at JM Stock Provisions. “One of my favorite things to cook, especially this time of the year, is pork and JM Stock’s chops are flavorful, perfectly cut and wrapped with care for my trip home to Covesville.”

2) Oysters, French Fries and a Glass of Chablis at Public Fish & Oyster.  “I love oysters. And I love fries. Someone else put this as their pick before and there’s a reason. They’re awesome. I mix their aioli with ketchup and sit at the bar and talk about wine with Brad. Donnie has been known to bring out some dishes he’s playing with in the kitchen which are always delicious and much appreciated.”

3) Painted White at Blenheim Vineyards.  “The Charlottesville area is known for great wine and Blenheim makes great wine. Kirsty Harmon’s 2014 Painted White is the perfect wine to drink while sitting on their deck and squinting to see if the ‘sea view,’ though stunning, is aptly named. Maybe after a few glasses the view may become clearer.”

4) Brussels Sprouts at Oakhart Social.  “I grew up loving Brussels Sprouts and never understood why they were always the butt of the joke for what children would never eat. I can eat them a million ways but the team at Oakhart does them plenty good. A little heat, a little fish sauce, a lot of caramelization. Betcha can’t eat just one.”

5) Cortado at Shark Mountain Coffee.  “Sometimes you just want to drink someone else’s coffee in someone else’s café. We love the La Colombe coffee that we serve at MarieBette (I start every workday with our mocha) but when I want a change of scenery, Shark Mountain is the perfect spot. Their coffee is REALLY good and the drinks are always made to perfection. One of my barista friends humbly told me that they were the best baristas in town. I can’t argue with that.”

Lampo and Blenheim Popping Up this Sunday


Belmont is the place to be this Sunday.

From 12 until 3, Lampo, the hugely popular Neapolitan pizzeria, will host its first ever pop-up brunch.  If all goes well, it won’t be their last, and, based on the menu items we sampled, it’s bound to go well.  A white pizza based loosely on carbonara (pictured above) is stellar, topped with porchetta, parsley, pecorino, and 63 degree sous vide eggs.  Also delicious is a modern riff on the classic Spanish tortilla, inspired by super-chef Ferran Adria: creamy scrambled eggs with discs of smokey chorizo and, Adria’s addition: potato chips (pictured below). Lampo’s chips are house-made and flavored of pickles to offset the rich eggs and chorizo.  There will also be sous vide, fried duck with waffles.  And, regulars will be happy to know that Lampo will bring back the popular Hellboy pizza. “People have been clamoring for it and the Scorpion pepper sauce is finally ready,” said chef and co-owner Loren Mendosa.


To go with the grub, bar manager and co-owner Andrew Cole has some special brunch drinks planned, including a paw paw daiquiri and a spicy Bloody Mary with San Marzano tomatoes and pickled friarelli peppers.

After brunch, you can get your weekend wine-tasting fix right next door at The Bridge PAI.  From 12 until 6, Blenheim Vineyards will host a pop-up tasting room, offering tastings, wine on tap, growler fills, and bottle sales.  Details below.

That’s a solid Sunday.


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