The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Duner’s

Duner’s Auction: Holiday Party for 50

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Here is your chance to experience Duner’s like you never have before, while helping to feed the area’s hungry: The Charlottesville 29 Restaurant Auctions. Along with all of the other restaurants in The Charlottesville 29, Duner’s has created a once-in-a-lifetime experience for whoever pledges the highest donation to The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Thanks to the generosity of Duner’s, Pollak Vineyards, and Brewing Tree Beer Company, the entire winning bid goes directly to the food bank. And, thanks to the efficiency of the food bank, each dollar donated creates four meals for the area’s hungry.

The Duner’s signature experience for The Charlottesville 29 Restaurant Auctions:

Holiday Party for 50

Some call Duner’s the happiest place on earth, which means there may be no better place for a holiday party. This December, the auction winner will have all of Duner’s to themselves for a party of up to fifty guests. While guests gather beside a roaring fire with the auction winner’s favorite holiday music playing, Chef Laura Fonner’s kitchen will send out a steady stream of canapés and appetizers. The auction winner may leave the food in Fonner’s hands, or make their from selections from a wide array of options, like pan fried pork and shrimp dumplings, smoked trout mousse on everything crackers, or General Tso’s sweetbread nuggets. Likewise, the winner may let Pastry Chef Linda Steiner choose the sweet treats, or make their own choices from options like red velvet cupcakes, bourbon pecan pie squares, and eggnog cheesecake squares. Beverages for holiday toasts will include wine from Pollak Vineyards, beer from Brewing Tree Beer Company, and Duner’s own housemade eggnog.

What better way to ring in the holidays? It’s Duner’s Holiday Party for 50.

Note: The auction winner’s party may last up to three hours. The auction winner will schedule their party on any of the following Mondays or Tuesdays this December: 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, or 17.

Bidding

Bidding has ended for the Duner’s experience. Winning bid: $6,000.

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: Sarah Humphrey

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Sarah Humphrey of Fellini’s, which was among the picks this week in chefs’ Best Thing I Ate All Year. Fellini’s now hosts weekly Martini Wednesdays, with martini specials and Sinatra-era classics by decked out pianist Sammy Horne. And check Fellini’s Facebook page for updates about their special celebrations on Christmas Eve and NYE. Humphrey’s picks:

1) English Muffins from The Bread Basket. “Ginny from The Bread Basket has a lot of fans. She is particularly known for her beautifully twisted baguettes which are featured in several restaurants. But have you tried her English muffins?  Heavens to Betsy!  They have the same glutinous, dense quality as some of her other breads, and are slightly salty, and just wonderful.  I adore the whole wheat version. My husband and I have used them in the past for brunch, and they are a fantastic foundation for all sorts of Eggs Benedict dishes.  They make a great egg sandwich.  They are perfect for big, gloppy burgers because they stand up to all the juices and goo without breaking down like brioche. And I love them with just a little unsalted butter and blackberry jam.”

2) Almond Pave from Patisserie Torres. “I love most almond desserts, but this is my new favorite.  It’s made with cake soaked in almond syrup, and the interior is light and fluffy but soooo soft and moist. The exterior is slightly crackly, with almond cream coated in sugar and sliced almonds.  t’s a sweet pastry, for sure, but not cloyingly so. It’s more decadent and less messy than an almond croissant. This new patisserie has a lot of gems and I’m excited to have them here!”

3)  Chicken Liver Mousse (or any appetizer) at Petit Pois. “I mean, I’d be content to sit inside or outside of this charming restaurant with a glass of sparkling wine and just eat Albemarle Baking Co. baguette and butter. The service is always perfect.  And the appetizers!  If they have steak tartare available, order it!  It is sublime.  The French Onion Soup is nearly over the top, it’s so thick and rich and flavorful. The mussels are always plump and perfectly cooked and there’s a ton of mirepoix left in the bowl for you to spoon up. The escargots are exactly what you’d hope for, bathing in butter with a generous amount of parsley and garlic.  I have to get them almost every time I’m there.  My favorite might, however, be the chicken liver mousse.  It’s served with crostini, but it’s so rich I prefer it with plain baguette.  The mouse is gorgeously seasoned with cognac and it’s impossibly smooth and refined,  It’s practically a condiment.  Have you tried it on corn on the cob?  Seriously, I brought some home and it was awesome. Sorry, Chef.”

4)  A tie (Thai! no pun intended!) between Yum Woon Sen and Guay Tiew
Tom Yum at Thai Cuisine & Noodle House. “This is my favorite cuisine, and my favorite Thai place in town. I cannot decide between these two dishes, but I feel that both of them are often overlooked. For appetizers, people gravitate toward fried items or fresh rolls, but Yum Woon Sen is a great cellophane noodle salad. It strikes the perfect balance or sour, sweet, and spicy, with ground pork, cilantro, red onions, peanuts, and fish sauce. I love it hot, cold, or room temperature. My other choice is a Thai noodle soup.  It is so, so elegant. If you wanna be really cool, ask for sen mee instead of the rice noodles. This broth is pretty sweet, so I add a lot of sambal and jalapenos in vinegar. It’s great with meat, but I also enjoy it vegan with fresh (not fried) tofu and vegetarian broth, and I add extra veggies. Almost nothing makes me happier.”

5) Chocolate Truffle Torte at Duner’s. “Pastry Chef Linda Steiner is amazing, and Duner’s is so lucky to have her. Everything she makes blows me away. This dessert is not always on the menu, but it can be found fairly often. It is a great gluten-free dessert option to those who are tired of crème brulee. It’s super rich and fudgy, like the interior of a chocolate truffle. The best part, really, is the crust–it’s all nuts and I’m wild about it.  There’s a touch of cinnamon which really elevates this torte. Duner’s serves it with whipped cream, berries, crème anglaise, and raspberry coulis, but all you really need is two bites of the torte. I can’t rave about it enough.  If you’re full from dinner, get a slice to go.”

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Chicken Liver Mousse at Petit Pois