The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Cote-Rotie

2017 Best Food Truck: Côte-Rôtie


Charlottesville’s food truck scene has become so prolific that all of the 2017 finalists for Best Food Truck warrant recognition, whether for a legit po’boy, spot-on lumpia, an unctuous taco de cabeza, destination-worthy barbecue, or down-home sweet potato fritters. Yet, even among that great group, one stands out.

Graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, the husband-and-wife team of Peter and Merrill Robertson came to Charlottesville in 2015 from the Hamptons, where they had run an acclaimed and ambitious restaurant. The Hamptons’ loss has been our gain, as the truck they launched here, Côte-Rôtie, is now the best in town.

More than anyone in the area, the Robertsons revel in the freedom that the food truck format gives them. They cook what they want, when they want. True lovers of food, their tastes range from sophisticated to down-and-dirty comfort food, and span a wide range of cultures, too. Depending on their mood, a Japanese hand roll of eel and avocado or Chatterly oysters with sweetbread pork belly farce might share menu space with a good-old-fashioned sausage-egg-and-cheese biscuit or a guajillo-chile pork stew.  On your next visit, you might find no Japanese, Southern, or Mexican food at all,  and instead linguini alla bolognese, chicken ballotine cooked in foie gras fat, or a version of steak frites that rivals any bistro. The Robertsons’ truck is even decked out with a yakitori grill shipped from Japan (try the sweetbreads!) and a rotisserie for roasting ducks, chickens, pork shoulders, and more.

Côte-Rôtie has a regular Sunday gig at Champion Brewing Co. and is often there Tuesday as well. To catch their latest location, follow along here.

Check back tomorrow for 2017’s winner of Best New Restaurant.

2017 Best Food Truck Finalists


Next week, the 2017 edition of The Charlottesville 29 will be announced, answering: if there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29? While the list is limited to brick-and-mortar restaurants with a Charlottesville address, much of our area’s great food these days comes from sources with no address at all. Although it took a while to take hold, the food truck scene is certainly upon us, with all kinds of great options visiting breweries, vineyards, cideries, and elsewhere around town.

Tomorrow, February 1, we will announce The Charlottesville 29’s 2017 Best Food Truck. To be eligible, a food truck must have been in operation since January 1, 2016, and must regularly serve the Charlottesville area.

The finalists for 2017 Best Food Truck are:


Five Finds on Friday: Merrill Robertson


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Merrill Robertson, the Culinary Institute of America alum who, with her husband Peter, runs the outstanding food truck Côte-Rôtie. The truck will be at Champion Brewing Company tonight and this Sunday. Robertson’s picks:

1) Double Bacon Cheesburger at Riverside Lunch.  “No shame in walking in there at 11 am on a day off after a long hike with the dog, and having a couple of ice-cold Full Nelsons and a double bacon cheeseburger with fries. The friendliest, sweetest people run that establishment. Best burger in this town hands down.”

2) Blanc de Blanc from Thibaut-Janisson. “Great value and well-made. On par with true Champagne.”

3) Shrimp Po’Boy from SpiceSea Gourmet. “Perfectly fried shrimp, spicy house-made aioli, and fresh greens. A winner.”

4)  Whatever David Pours at Citizen Burger Bar. “Friendly, very knowledgeable about beers, and fun to chat with at the bar.”

5)  Turkey, Havarti, Sprouts, and House Dressing at Take it Away. “Any sandwich with their house dressing is addictive. A spot I would always hit up while visiting Charlottesville prior to moving here.”


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