The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Cote-Rotie

Five Finds on Friday: Sean Chandler

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Photo by Rich Tarbell.

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Sean Chandler, Director of Retail Operations for Champion Brewing Company, which will soon open Champion Grill, in Stonefield. Check back for details. Chandler’s picks:

1) Funghi Pizza at Lampo. “I love shrooms, and this is a beautiful combo of flavor on top of that amazing crust.”

2) Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese at C&O. “Kind of a cold weather tradition for me. The ultimate comfort food of rich creaminess. I love having a Gibson with it. The tang of the onions is a nice counter point. If I’m really lucky, Anthony will play some Classical music for me.”

3) Fried Brussels Sprouts with Sweet and Spicy Pepper Jelly at Champion Grill. “I know this is a shameless plug, but these vegan nuggets from Phil are going to change the way you think of sports bar food.”

4) Pork Belly at Côte Rôtie. “Anything that Côte Rôtie does with pork belly.”

5) Kimchi Jjigae at Maru. “Tangy and spicy, this is comfort food that you can feel good about.”

funghi

Charlottesville 2019 Best Food Truck: Côte-Rôtie

Cote-Rotie

Fans of the NBA in the ’80s and ’90s may recall writers’ efforts some years to give the league’s MVP award to someone other than Michael Jordan. No one doubted that Jordan was the most valuable player on the planet. And yet, whether out of boredom or just to do something different, pundits would sometimes find a reason to give the award to someone else.

Those pundits might find it uninteresting to give the same food award to the same recipient year after year. And yet, among an excellent crop of food trucks and stands in Charlottesville, one continues to stand out. Talented as they may be, the greatest virtue of Côte-Rôtie’s Peter and Merrill Robertson is not their talent. It’s their passion, which shows in everything that comes off their truck. Côte-Rôtie serves food made by people who love to eat for people who love to eat.

As in 2017 and 2018, the winner of the 2019 Best Food Truck or Stand is Côte-Rôtie.

Testaroli by Cote-Rotie

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Food mashups are not just social media constructs or modern food crazes. Some are time-honored parts of culinary history. Take testaroli, which is essentially crepe pasta — made by boiling cut-up pieces of crepes. 2017 Best Food Truck Cote-Rotie uncovered this delicacy for me today, and I am sure glad they did. The traditional preparation method requires live wood fire and huge cast iron vessels. That’s how it’s been done for years in Tuscany. But, in today’s global food world, Cote-Rotie owners Peter and Merrill Robertson encountered the dish not in Italy but at a restaurant in Kansas City, on a stop during a recent drive across the country. When they got back, they figured out a way to make it on their truck, perfected it, and then added their own touch. Voila!

Served with pesto, Schuyler Greens spinach, and crab poached  in beurre blanc, it is delicious. Available right now – February 16 – at Champion Brewing Company, which works out well because it just so happens to pair beautifully with another mashup: “Fruit Melee” – Fruit Basket Double IPA blended with Melee Session IPA.