The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Continental Divide

Five Finds on Friday: Laurel Bennett

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from someone without whom this week’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship by the University of Virginia would not have happened. In March 2009, when Washington State men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett picked up the phone to call Virginia and decline its offer to become its men’s basketball coach, his wife Laurel suggested he put down the phone and give the decision more time. The next day, Tony called to accept the Virginia job. And, the rest is history. Laurel’s picks:

1) Pappardelle Bolognese at Tavola. “If you haven’t had it, just go get it.”

2) Any Meal at Pico Wrap. “My most frequented restaurant. Any meal, make it your way. My vote for friendliest, too.”

3) Trout and ANY Two Sides at Maya. “Eat every bite. Makes me feel right at home with my southern roots.”

4) Grilled Sea Scallops at Duner’s. “They are always cooked to perfection. And there’s room for dessert.”

5) Brownie A La Mode at Continental Divide. “Confession: I often make a pit stop here just for dessert. Amen.”

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Laurel Bennett and family, April 1, 2009, at the press conference introducing Tony Bennett as UVa Men’s Basketball Coach

 

Five Finds on Friday: Nikki Fayolle

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Nikki Fayolle, part of the husband-and-wife team that runs Blue Ridge Pizza Co. and soon will open No Limits Smokehouse in Belmont. As if that’s not enough, Fayolle also owns Glo-Out Gamour Bar. Stay tuned for details about the Fayolle’s new smokehouse. Fayolle’s picks:

1) Tofu Soup at Monsoon Siam. “Monsoon is a must for me. The tofu soup and pad Thai are my faves. I honestly probably eat there too much, but I can’t help myself. The staff is always welcoming also.”

2) Dealer’s Choice at The Alley Light. “The Alley Light is a no brainer for that slamming cocktail list of theirs. My go-to is the Dealer’s Choice. I enjoy the surprise and delight element I get when I order it. It’s always on point and absolutely amazing.”

3) Honey Gelato from Splendora’s. “Splendora’s hits my sweet tooth every time, especially when she runs the honey flavor. I seriously wait until the season hits so I can stuff my face full of that gelato. If people wouldn’t judge, I’d probably rub it all over my face. Yeah, it’s THAT good.”

4) Red Hot Blues at Continental Divide. “Continental Divide is my numero uno for margaritas and the Red Hot Blues. You can never just have one of those margs, like EVER. I also love that the girls there always know that I love the goat cheese and forever ask for extra. (Love you P-nut and Margie).”

5) Sotol at The Bebedero. “The Bebedero is creeping up on my new fave list also. They carry this liquor called Sotol. We had it when we went to Austin in January and let me tell you, the stuff is awesome. They carry all sorts of it, and the bartenders there are incredibly knowledgeable.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Francesca Black

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Francesca Black, chef of Continental Divide, which has been closed for two weeks after water damage related to Hurricane Michael, but is poised to re-open next week. Black’s picks:

1) Late Night Burger with a Salty Dog at C & O. “I usually get fixated on one aspect or one ingredient of a dish so, for me, an exceptional food experience happens when that fixation isn’t easy to discern — a temporary whirlwind sets in because it is that good. C&O late night does that for me. I am rarely free during regular dinner hours, so after work we sometimes head over for that divine burger. The crispy bun, the crunchy lettuce, that perfect first bite. It all becomes complete with their salty dog, the delicious classic with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and a salted rim. It’s a great way to end a long work day.”

2) Masala Dosa from Desi Dosa with Turmeric Lassi from Planet Earth Diversified at the City Market. “If I can make it Saturday morning, the City Market rules. I love the Southern Indian vendor Desi Dosa. They focus on letting the intensity of their spices speak for themselves in simple dishes like the masala dosa, a thin stuffed pancake. Speaking of bold spice, the turmeric lassi from Planet Earth Diversified really wakes you up and goes great with spicy the food.”

3) Octopus Tempura and Hot Sake at Now & Zen. “Although hard to choose food favorites, octopus is absolutely up there, and when tempura fried, it’s a whole different level! I could eat Now & Zen’s octopus tempura everyday — it’s perfectly fried, salted and served with spicy mayo. Then with some hot sake — enough said.”

4) Half Chicken and Green Rice with Aji Sauce at Al Carbon. “I was definitely late to the game to visit Al Carbon on 29 but a friend got some take out one night, let me taste it, and I was instantly hooked. The flavors, especially in the homemade sauces, are unbelievable. I like to get the half chicken, break it up into the green rice and cover it in aji sauce, their medium, garlicky wonder.”

5) Fried Chicken and/or Meta’s Burger with Crushed Ice Soda at Mel’s Cafe. “Of all the delicious restaurants in Charlottesville, I think Mel’s might take the cake. Mel’s cures a bad day and makes a good day that much better. I can never choose between the chicken or Meta’s burger, both of which instantly fuel a tingling sensation even at the thought. Continental is so close, too –we are very proud and lucky to have them as our neighbors!”