The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Draft Taproom

Five Finds on Friday: Josh Zanoff


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Josh Zanoff, the ZZ Top guitarist Partner in Ten Course Hospitality who manages The Whiskey Jar and The Bebedero. One of Zanoff’s most beloved employees, Romaine Brooks, recently lost his life. You can show that Brooks is gone but not forgotten by helping his family cope with the financial impact of his death. Here’s how to shower Charlottesville’s love on Brooks’ grieving family. Zanoff’s picks:

1) Vibe at LW’s Livery Stable. “I know Five Finds is supposed to be all about the food but to me there is a close relationship among the food, the aesthetic, and the feelings that any eatery evokes. Livery gives me that good feeling. It comes across in the food and in the cocktail program. It comes across in knowing that the building and business have been in the same family since 1849. It’s our cool quiet local joint where the bartenders know your name and where you leave feeling taken care of.”

2) Cavolfiore Caramellato at Tavola. “The best cauliflower I’ve had anywhere, ever. The transformation of ordinary ingredients to extraordinary plates is a magical power of a great chef. This transformation at Tavola, similar to when chefs like Harrison Keevil roast a humble chicken, keeps me coming back for more just like their wine program does. It’s a place to go to get inspired.”

3) Large Iced Americano at Splendora’s. “If I start my day at The Whiskey Jar or The Bebedero then it’s our Trager Brothers blend of course, but it really depends on which way I walk to work. Sometimes it’s Java Java, or Lone Light inside Pie Chest, or Mudhouse but I usually try to aim right for Splendora’s. The Illy blend they use makes the Americano look right, smell right, taste right, and it gets you feeling right whether or not you throw in a couple ma’amoul.”

4) Beer Cheese Tots at Draft Taproom. “I crave food that comforts. Food that feels like a warm hug from places that feel like home. Riverside has always filled that niche very well, but lately I’ve also been drawn to Draft Taproom. I would never have imagined a joint with 65 taps would have a scratch kitchen. I assumed freezer to fryer but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’d never heard of anyone doing potato tots from scratch before I started eating there.”

5) Southern Hospitality as formerly served by Romaine Brooks at The Whiskey Jar. “While it is not something that we order or pay for or eat with a fork, it is something that feeds our soul. We all know we can get a burger and some fried chicken and an Old Fashioned just about anywhere around here, even at our gas stations. What you can’t get anywhere are people who really care like Romaine. What sets one restaurant apart from another isn’t only the food but how that restaurant makes you feel overall. Romaine Brooks made you feel good. He made you feel like you were a part of something. He made you feel important and he made you feel taken care of. He was a part of our lives for many years at The Whiskey Jar and at Parallel 38 where his brand of hospitality will be missed dearly.”

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Introducing Draft Taproom


Where can you find the largest draft selection of Virginia beers in the state?

Starting this week, right here in Charlottesville. That’s the claim of a new taproom from the ownership team behind Commonwealth Restaurant & SkybarDraft Taproom will be across the mall from Commonwealth, and will mark a lot of “firsts” for Charlottesville’s downtown mall. First sports bar. First bar with more than 30 Virginia beers on tap. And, the first bar to use a pour-your-own beer system.

Customers purchase a plastic card which they then take to any of the sixty taps along the walls to insert their card. A sensor system records what tap you pour from and how much, deducting the price from your card. All beers are priced by the ounce. Pour an ounce of several . . . or sixteen ounces of your favorite. There’s also wine and cider on tap for non beer-lovers.

HDTVs are everywhere, with a TV package that includes every NFL game, and soccer and rugby from around the world, among other sports. For food, order at the counter from a beer-friendly menu of mussels, brats, and burgers, overseen by Commonwealth chef Reggie Calhoun.

On both food and beverage, there are no gratuities, unless you want to leave one, in which case Draft will donate 100% of it to a local charity.

Look for Draft to open this week. And, if it’s the largest draft selection of Virginia beers in the state, might that not make it the largest Virginia draft selection in the world? Or, the universe?



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