The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Blenheim Vineyards

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: 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.”

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