The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Devil’s Backbone

Five Finds on Friday: Brian Helleberg


On Fridays, we feature five finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Brian Helleberg, the chef who owns Fleurie and Petit Pois. Next week Fleurie is participating in Charlottesville Restaurant Week, which is an excellent chance to try a three-course menu of Fleurie’s modern French cuisine for just $36.  Menu here.  Helleberg’s picks:

1) Marrow from Ham Hocks from The Rock Barn.  “To have Ben Thompson working his craft in Nelson County is a local foodie’s dream realized.”

2) Nachos at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie.  “I got tricked into ordering these one time and I barely saved room for the pizza.”

3) Beef from Wolf Creek Farm.  “Richard Bean once said to me: ‘John Whiteside is about the best grass farmer I’ve ever seen.’  That’s good enough for me.  My favorite is the bone-in rib steak.”

4) Datil con tocino at MAS.  “The fact that Tomas is a vocal leader and supporter of the City Schoolyard Garden makes these taste even better.”

5) Eight Point IPA from Devil’s Backbone.  “I often tell people that I’m heading up to Wintergreen to do some skiing but I usually don’t make it past the brewery.”

Five Finds on Friday: Walter Slawski


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Walter Slawski of The Shebeen and The Catering Outfit.  Slawski’s picks:

1)  “Newest addiction.”  Notorious P.I.G. at Ivy Provisions.  “A charcuterie-lover’s dream in some of the best baguette outside of Paris. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to write a sandwich menu.  It’s HARD!  PK Kamath at Ivy Provisions has crushed it with inventive deli sandwiches and a killer beer and wine selection.”

2)  “Classic.” Escargot at Petit Pois.  “Anything at Petit Pois!  I have found myself on a gorgeous fall day, three bottles of wine deep (not alone), ordering a third and fourth plate.  Restaurant folk don’t often get out for dinner.  Petit Pois’ super affordable, perfectly executed bistro offerings are about as good as a daytime meal gets.”

3) “Afghan.”   Lamb Curry at Afghan Grand Market.  “WOW.  A couple of months ago I ran into the Grand Market International to buy chick pea flour and za’atar.  They have a kitchen in the back complete with a ceramic flatbread oven and kebab range.  OK, I obviously don’t know the correct names for these pieces of equipment, but WOW.  The lamb curry is phenomenal as well as the mixed grill and all the sides.  I know because one of the sons ensured I tried eveything my first time in!”

4)  “Joe.”  Kenyan AA from Shenandoah Joe.  “It’s as close to the first cup of coffee I ever had as I can get.  Not to mention I just feel good every time I walk in to the Preston Avenue store.  Ask for yours with a side of Dave Fafara.  It’s well worth it.”

5)  “Beer.”  Trader Saison at Three Notch’d Brewing Company.  “First of all, so much gratitude to Devils Backbone for pioneering the Central Virginia beer scene.  The boys at Three Notch’d are making you proud.  The Trader Saison is out of this world.  Even unconditioned.  Even uncarbonated right out of the steel.  Derek and Co. keep it up!”

Five Finds on Friday: Jason Oliver


Photo by Heidi Crandall ©, Devils Backbone Brewing Company.

On Fridays, we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Jason Oliver, Brewmaster at Devils Backbone Brewing Company, which was named Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival.  Next week be on the lookout for the latest batch of Dark Abby, their limited release Belgian Dubbel.  Also, on December 17 Devils Backbone is hosting a Mystery Dinner Theatre, where the entire pub dining area will serve as the “stage.”  Oliver’s picks:

1)  Lasagna at Beer Run.  “It doesn’t matter if it’s meat or vegetarian.  Every lasagna I’ve had at Beer Run is delicious, served smothered in bubbling cheese that’s hotter than the surface of the sun.  Let it cool for a few minutes and you’ll have some great comfort food, plus an awesome beer selection.”

2)  Shishito Peppers at Citizen Burger Bar.  “They are simple, straightforward, and delicious.  Flash fried peppers with an Asian inspired sauce that’s semi-sweet and salty.  Most of the time the peppers are mild but it’s a little like roulette because you may land on a hot one which can light you up.”

3)  Durban Spiced Chicken at The Shebeen.  “The Shebeen has a great relaxed feel to it and is unique for it’s South African inspired foods and atmosphere.  Durban Spiced Chicken is a peri-peri spiced chicken breast served with the South African staple mealie pap (think savory grits) and a sauce called “Voodoo” which is spicy and awesome.  I usually ask for additional side of Voodoo sauce.”

4) Mediterranean Salad with Wood-Roasted Salmon at Brixx Pizza. “Sometimes I want a cool refreshing dinner-sized salad and I have found few better.  The salad bowl is chilled, the lettuce crisp, the portion ample, with the blackened salmon hot, well seasoned, and straight from the wood fired oven.  Simple and pure.  A perfect salad when you want a light meal.”

5)  Cheeseburgers at Riverside Lunch.  “I was turned on to Riverside just a few months ago and they are really that good.  Riverside also has one of the best prices on local bottled craft beer in Charlottesville which makes the combination of awesome old school burgers and affordable beer a no brainer.”

%d bloggers like this: