The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Brasserie Saison

Five Finds on Friday: Eric Breckoff

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Eric Breckoff, Culinary Arts Director at Piedmont Virginia Community College, where he helps to develop skilled chefs to put into Charlottesville restaurant kitchens. Breckoff enrolled his first students in 2013, and since then graduates have gone on to kitchens like The Alley Light, MarieBette, and Red Pump Kitchen. More information on the program is here. Breckoff’s picks:

1) Carne Asada Gorditas at La Michoacana. “Tragically, only three gorditas come to an order, and my wife and I have to share one and supplement with our second choice tacos: also carne asada, Mexican style. Frankly, you can’t go wrong with anything here.  Simple, down to earth, family-run restaurant that takes pride in their food.  Did I mention the margaritas?”

2) Kofta Kabob with Chick Peas at Afghan Kabob Palace. “My wife and I both love Middle-Eastern food, and Afghan Kabob Palace never fails to please. When it’s cool outside, the aush soup is comforting and warm. For starters, we love the samosas and the bolanee gandana. Crispy, delicious turnover packets of love. My go-to entrée is the kofta kabob and my wife loves the vegetarian plate (make sure you get the pumpkin and the chickpeas).”

3) Moules Frites at Brasserie Saison. “I could eat this every day the rest of my life. Perfectly cooked. Perfectly seasoned. Just the perfect food made with love and care.”

4) Piggie Smalls Pizza at Fry’s Spring Station. “A perfect restaurant to sit outside on a Friday after work and enjoy well crafted, delicious food made with love. A Piggie Smalls  pizza and a beer with the crispy gnocchi & beet salad makes a perfect meal.”

5) Sausage, Egg, & Cheddar on an Everything at Bodo’s. “Ok, I know everyone puts Bodo’s on their list. Why? It’s that good. An everything with egg, cheese, sausage is my morning go-to. Some might say I have a problem. I say I can stop anytime I want to, but why would I want to?”

2018 Best New Restaurant: Brasserie Saison

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With The Bebedero, Commonwealth, Draft, The Pie Chest, Revolutionary Soup, and The Whiskey Jar, all to its name, Ten Course Hospitality has earned a reputation as the top restaurant management group in town. Launched last February, Brasserie Saison may be the group’s best restaurant yet.

Originally conceived to fill a Charlottesville void with Benelux-style food designed to pair with beer, the restaurant has evolved into one that stands out less for its style of cuisine than its overall excellence. In food, drinks, service, and ambiance, Brasserie Saison distinguishes itself with a clear, defining virtue: polish.

The food excels thanks to perfectionists Mike Perry and Devin Murray, who jointly took over the kitchen after founding chef Tyler Teass left. Some of the most memorable dishes of 2017 were at Brasserie Saison, like endive salad with smoked garlic dressing, almonds, and cherries; farro “risotto” with roasted vegetables and kale; crispy scallops a la meuniere with celery root and benne; and seared trout with lentils, spinach, and mustard vinaigrette.

Meanwhile, the front of the house shines under Will Curley and Alicia Walsh-Noel, who oversee one of the most professional staffs in town. Beers, with a Belgian tilt, are the bailiwick of Champion Brewing Company’s Hunter Smith and Josh Skinner, two of our area’s best brewers. And, the bar features excellent wines and expertly-crafted cocktails, thanks to Reid Dougherty.

With Ten Course Hospitality pulling it all together, the result is the year’s best new restaurant. While many good ones opened last year, the 2018 Best New Restaurant is Brasserie Saison.

 

Five Finds on Friday: Alex Bryant

Alex

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Alex Bryant, Project Manager & Food Coordinator of the Tom Tom Founders Festival, which has formed a panel of great culinary minds in search of Charlottesville’s signature dish, and they need your help. “From the time that our nation’s first epicurean feasted at Monticello, the Charlottesville area has been known for its food. But, among all that our region has to offer, what dish distinguishes us most?” Be sure to review the criteria here. And, then make your submission here. The deadline for submissions is March 7. Then, the panel will consider all of the input and its own research of culinary history before announcing Charlottesville’s signature dish in early April. Submit your ideas and stay tuned. Bryant’s picks:

1) The Big Bad Wolf at Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. “Nobody does bennys better than Bluegrass, and the Big Bad Wolf is always a winner. Bacon Jam cream cheese and chipotle hollandaise – it is so worth the wait!”

2) Pretzel Bites at Three Notch’d Craft Kitchen & Brewery. “What better partner to a cold brew than a warm soft pretzel. Pro tip: slice that bad boy in half and slather on the warm gooey cheese and the spicy brown mustard!”

3) Fried & Raw Brussels Sprouts at Brasserie Saison. “An easy to overlook plate, the raw Brussels float wonderfully over the rich roasted notes of the fried ones, and just wait until you find the fresh tomato puree hiding at the bottom – a complete harmony of flavors!

4) Ceviche at The Bebedero. “Who doesn’t like fresh scallops and fish? The spice of the jalapenos and the tang of the lime are a perfect compliment to this already wonderful dish.”

5) Bora Bora Latte from Mudhouse. “My new go to for an after dinner coffee – the nutty hazelnut permeates every sip of this delightful blend of foam and rich espresso.”