The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Feast

Five Finds on Friday: Kay Pfaltz

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Kay Pfaltz, left, with Sallie Justice.

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Kay Pfaltz, founder of the Nellysford legend Basic Necessities, which she now co-owns with Sallie Justice and Rosie Gantt. Since 1997, the cafe, wine and cheese shop has strived to offer “a taste of Europe in the Blue Ridge Mountains.” Pfaltz’s picks:

1) Mile 842 from Devils Backbone Brewing Company. “Sometimes all a wine shop owner wants is a good beer, preferably on tap, with a little patch of sunshine. Hike the AT, then hop off at milepost 842 for a well-deserved beer. Hoppy, with great flavor.”

2) Clean Green at The Juice Laundry. “Going to the other end of the beverage spectrum, I love anything The Juice Laundry makes. Sometimes I’m in the mood for Clean Green (kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, apple, parsley, ginger, and lemon), sometimes, Spicy Green, sometimes Rinse & Refresh, and always the nut milks, which are wonderfully addictive. I was thrilled when The Juice Laundry first opened and glad to see the rise of vegan restaurants. And you can slip over to The Juice Laundry after you’ve bought C’ville’s best and freshest (and mostly local) produce at Integral Yoga.”

3) Edmond Fallot Walnut Dijon Mustard at Feast! “Add a scoop of the walnut mustard to your vinaigrette, instead of plain dijon, and your friends start oohing and exclaiming: ‘Ahh, there’s a secret ingredient . . . oh, I know it . . . but what is it?’ Somewhat similar taste to using walnut oil but less pricy.”

4) Marinara D.O.C. Pizza at Lampo. “From antipasti to pizzas to their excellent and unpretentious wine list, Lampo is my go-to restaurant. The Marinara D.O.C. is pure, vegan, simple, and delicious. Next best thing to a ticket to Naples.”

5) Almond Pavé at Paradox Pastry. “When I returned to Virginia in the early 90s after more than ten years in Paris, good pastries, bread, and chocolates were the things I missed the most. Not all pâtisseries in Paris carried pavé aux amandes, but I’d buy one when I saw it. At Paradox, buy it by the slice, or do like I do now and buy the whole cake and freeze. Be forewarned, you may eat it so quickly, there’s no need to freeze. Moist, dense, and delicious. I eat chocolate after lunch and dinner (Hello, Gearharts) and, well, sometimes one just needs a change of pace. Four simple ingredients: almond flour, butter, sugar, and egg . . . so gluten-free, as they say, by default.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Megan Kiernan

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Megan Kiernan, Product Development Chef of Feast! and founder of the roaming dinner series Forage. The next Forage event is Cocktails with the Kennedys, March 10 and 16 at Estouteville, the “Camelot of Albemarle County.” Details and tickets here. And, to receive updates about future events, register here. Kiernan’s picks:

1) Funghi Pizza at Lampo. “I’m a sucker for all things mushroom. As a forager, mushrooms are by far my most prized discovery out in the woods. Lampo’s pizza is the perfect combination of cheesy mushroom goodness on that irresistible Lampo crust.  I love many items on their menu, but the Funghi Pizza is the one item I order every single time I go.”

2) Salmon and Avocado Rolls at Tokyo Rose. “While there aren’t a lot of bells and whistles with these rolls, they are endlessly satisfying and delicious. The sushi chefs  do a wonderful job of balancing the rice quantity to the salmon and avocado, and the quality of the fish is always great. As a native of Charlottesville, I’ve been a longtime fan of Tokyo Rose, although I was never cool enough to go to the punk shows in the basement when I was growing up.”

3) King Trumpets, Blue Oysters and so many more mushrooms from Mush Luv. “I first met Charlie as a teacher in a mushroom foraging class at Living Earth School. He and Nina forage and grow mushrooms, and they seek out local species to clone, so the mushrooms that you buy from them are incredibly special. They’ve introduced me to many delicious mushroom species, and they’ve inspired me to dig deeper in my own mushroom foraging.”

4) Greek Goddess Dressing from Feast!. “When I started at Feast eight years ago, this was already an item they made in house. It’s one of the most versatile dressings I know.  I dilute it with water and rice wine vinegar and use it as a salad dressing, I toss farro or rice in it and serve under chicken or fish, and it’s a great dip for vegetables or tortilla chips. The ways to use it are infinite. Eight years in, and I still go back for seconds every time we sample it.”

5) Pelure de Pomme, Hewes Crab and Farmhouse Dry Potter’s Craft Cider from The Cider Garden at the Bridge. “Potter’s Craft Cider has been a long time favorite of mine.  Full disclosure, I did marry one of the owners, Tim Edmond, but I was a big fan of his products long before we were dating. Tim and Dan started their business right around the time I returned to Charlottesville, and I was an uber fan of their super dry, refreshing ciders straight out of the gates. That I know have a lifetime supply of cider at my fingertips is an enormous perk of the marriage!”

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Mush Luv mushrooms

Five Finds on Friday: Natalie Siler

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Natalie Siler, the woman behind Charlottesville’s favorite chocolate peanut butter balls. After a decade in the Pittsburgh restaurant industry, the Charlottesville native returned home in 2012 in search of a job with a more traditional schedule, when fate and Charlottesville generosity intervened. A “friend of a friend” asked if Siler would like to carry on the peanut butter ball recipe she had been making for Feast!. Siler accepted, and when she took her first batch to Feast!, she recalls, “the woman at the counter popped one in her mouth, and said: ‘Great! We will need 300 more.” Six years later, the peanut butter balls remain a sensation, as she now makes 600 per week to meet holiday demand. Available only at Feast!. Siler’s picks:

1) Black Bean Nachos at Continental Divide. “On paper, they might not sound like anything out of the ordinary, but when you add the squeeze bottle of Wait a Minute sauce and one of Matt’s margaritas, it is unpretentious and wonderful. If I have room, one of the daily specials from Seven Hills never lets me down. I like to sit at the curve of the bar and come early.”

2) Italian Sub at Anna’s Pizza #5.  “I grew up in Charlottesville and many of my favorite dishes and spaces exist only in memory now, but 34 years later, the Italian Sub at Anna’s Pizza #5 has stayed happily identical to how I remember it tasting after a swim meet on a Wednesday night. A satisfying crunch, the tangy house dressing and one of the best beer pitcher deals in town. Don’t change, Anna.”

3) Honey Ginger Martini at Bang!. “This drink makes me think of my sister. Her name is Ginger and she lives in Austin, which is where I was first introduced to Tito’s Vodka. (My dad claims to have played cornhole with Tito himself). And, this drink is perfect for a kick in the pants to get you going for a show downtown. House pickles and sweet potato gnocchi always follow.”

4) Cheese from Caromont Farm and Our Lady of the Angels. “I’m a sucker for a cheese plate. I’m not sure I can pick a favorite one, but Pippin Hill and The Local come to mind. I’m always excited to see Caromont Farm on the menu. After my snuggle session with the goats last year, I always like to think I played some tiny part in making it taste so good. But I’m always looking for that bright red wax wheel that covers the gouda from of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery. It’s made in the mountains near Crozet and if anyone is not sure what I might want as a gift, the two pound wheel will do just fine.”

5) Tuna Avocado Carpaccio at Now & Zen. “The first time I ordered this and the almost-table length salad was placed in front of me, I giggled like a small child. It hit all the marks for me. Protein. Spice. Greens. Texture. I always over order here, but I can never not get this salad.”