Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Martha Stinson, of Stinson Vineyards, which allows several ways to enjoy its wine through the pandemic. Reserve online for outdoor bottle service and wine flights at the vineyard. Shop online for curbside pick-up or free delivery within 20 miles. Have it shipped to you, with free shipping for 4+ bottles. Or, best of all, escape to the vineyards’ Inn at Stinson Vineyards, including a free wine tasting, hot breakfast, and stunning views from the patios and swimming pool. Stinson’s picks:
1) Hunt Brother’s Thin Crust Pizza from Piedmont Store in “downtown” White Hall. “You can add toppings such as pepperoncinis, but plain cheese is great. Perfect for pool days at the Inn.”
2) Collard Greens at Smoked Kitchen & Tap. “Practically a whole meal by itself. Cooked in the Southern style, with a mix of their meats.”
3) COVID-19 Wine Flights at Stinson Vineyards. “These were a group design effort – we used my husband’s architectural drawing software to make the printouts.
4) Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese at Bodo’s. “Warm, soft and chewy. Would make New York jealous.”
5) Soup of the Day from l’étoile Catering. “My all-time favorite is the seafood bisque – every bite is different.”
Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Zack Worrell of Monolith Knives, Charlottesville’s own award-winning artisan of custom cutlery, beloved by chefs around the country. Monolith is teaming up with Nobel Peace Prize nominee José Andrés to help hurricane victims in the Bahamas. While Andres’ World Central Kitchen has already served more than one million meals in the hurricane aftermath, thousands remain in need. You can help the cause by entering Monolith’s raffle for an extraordinary one-of-a-kind José Andrés Signature Chef Knife, with a handle representing the Bahamian flag, and a blade etched with José Andrés’ signature, the WCK logo, and the Bahamian national slogan: “Forward Upward Onward Together.” Win the raffle and own the only knife of its kind, all while helping an urgent cause. Enter here.
1) Rice Pudding from Foods of All Nations. “A local favorite, using a recipe that’s hasn’t changed in over 45 years. Foods has been offering their signature rice pudding on their deli shelves since I was four years old. It has the right amounts of everything: butter, sugar, rice, raisins, nutmeg and sweet southern style indicative of older Charlottesville. Pretty much the whole damn deli counter is a museum of tried and true recipes that make Foods of All Nations such a great place to shop.”
2) Steak Chinois at C&O. “This steak is C&O’s signature dish and most likely the longest lasting item to ever grace their menu. The steak is rare and delicious, served with Swiss gruyere and delicious potatoes and scallions with a tamari ginger sauce. This entrée is even better with their Boston Bib salad and bread. The C&O has a fantastic environment and wide selection of fabulous wines making it probably one of my top three places to eat out in Charlottesville.”
3) Bacon Wrapped Dates at Quality Pie. “Chef Tomas Rahal is a local favorite of Spanish infused culinary mastery. His bacon wrapped dates are to die for. They are so delicious and utterly addictive. Tomas has so many other delicious goodies at Quality Pie that there is more than enough to choose from to suit any taste. A wonderful staff and awesome family atmosphere make Quality Pie a big favorite of mine.”
4) The Hellboy at Lampo. “Sitting in the coolest little building in Belmont, Lampo is a must for pizza aficionados and lovers of Mediterranean and Italian inspired dishes with flare. The crew at Lampo have one special bad ass pizza there called The Hellboy. A traditional Neapolitan dough recipe with spicy honey drippings over pepperonis, red sauce and mozzarella create the most awesome fusion of hot and oh so tasty. Make sure to get the shaved Brussels sprout salad and you will be vanquished. A great selection of wines and knowledgeable staff will make your meal a real experience. Do make sure to give an extra 45 minutes of wait time, but it’s worth every minute.”
5) Bacon, Egg, and Cheddar on an Everything at Bodo’s. “Bodo’s is a staple of Charlottesville. Established over 30 years ago, Bodo’s has grown to three locations serving up amazing bagel sandwich creations of any kind. I have been asked to ship Bodo’s bagels to people who have left Charlottesville because the addiction was that good. My favorite, the morning ritual I call it: bacon, egg, and cheddar, on an everything. Even people who don’t like bagels like Bodo’s I sometimes have been known to eat Bodo’s 3-4 days a week. It’s an institution of Charlottesville.”
Kindness is contagious, you see. In The 2019 Charlottesville 29 Restaurant Auctions, our area’s top restaurants and artisans offered once-in-a-lifetime experiences for whoever pledged the largest donation to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Though the auctions came to an end last night at Prime 109, our community’s generosity did not. The symbolic check represents the auction’s total benefit to the food bank at end of last night’s bidding. But, even after it was written, that benefit keeps growing.
First, Sussex Farm offered to duplicate its offering for the runner-up in the auction for its Kimchi Forever experience, yielding an additional $1,100 for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
Then, UVa Men’s Basketball Coach Tony Bennett doubled up, too. Bennett was the feature in Bodo’s Bagels’ Lunch of Champions auction experience, a lunch in the office of the coach of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champions. This was the final item in last night’s live auction at Prime 109, and, in a thrilling finale, bidders drove the bid all the way above $50,000. This morning, Bennett was so moved to learn of bidders’ generosity that he offered a second experience — one for each of the two leading bidders. In turn, the two bidders will each make a $54,000 donation directly to the food bank.
With these additions, the total benefit to the food bank from The 2019 Charlottesville 29 Restaurant Auctions now exceeds $250,000. Thanks to the efficiency of the food bank, each dollar can create four meals, meaning that, through the auctions, our food community will have provided more than one million meals to our area’s hungry.
Stay tuned for a full report on the amazing effort over the last two months.