The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Five Finds on Friday

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!”

Mush

Mush Luv mushrooms

Five Finds on Friday: Ashley Malcolm

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Ashley Malcolm of Malcolms Market Garden, the Staunton farm she and her husband operate, whose CSA Farm Share resumes this spring. What’s a CSA Farm Share? Short for “Community Supported Agriculture,” it involves members buying all of a farm’s produce for the growing season early in the year, well before the harvest. Once harvesting begins, each week members receive bags stuffed full of the farm’s current best fresh-picked produce. Drop-off locations for Malcolms Market Garden farm share include Charlottesville, Crozet, Waynesboro, Fishersville, and Staunton.  Visit the website for info and registration.  Malcolms’ picks:

1) Fried Chicken at Wayside. “Skip all of the mediocre fried chicken out there and just go for this great chicken. Perfectly crispy and tender. When I’m on this side of town, it’s an easy choice for picking up dinner.”

2) Chicken Salad on an Everything Bagel at Bodo’s. “Everyone has ‘their sandwich’ that they usually order from here, and this is mine and has been for decades. Add some sprouts for more texture and freshness.”

3) Chocolate Praline Crunch Dome from Albemarle Baking Company. “Everything crafted by ABC is authentic and delicious and made with love and precision, but this is the type of dessert that will have you dreaming about it for years. The magic of the textures and layers beneath the ganache dome make for the most decadent individual portion.”

4) Two Eggs, Bacon, Home Fries, and a Biscuit at Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. “I’ve waited hours of my life to eat here, as all should, because it is just that good. This is great diner food at its best. The biscuits are a dream.”

5) Shishito Peppers at Citizen Burger Bar. “Obviously the burgers and fries are spot-on here, mainly because of their emphasis on local fresh ingredients. The shishito peppers are a real treat because they showcase the beauty and simplicity of the vegetable. With hardly any (spicy) heat, perfectly charred, completely dip-able and addictive, they are a favorite.”

Shishito

 

Five Finds on Friday: Carolyn Stromberg Leasure

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Carolyn Stromberg Leasure of Righteous Cheese, which was once a cheese and wine bar in Washington D.C. and now hosts cheese events here in Charlottesville. On Valentine’s Day is Righteous Cheese’s most popular class ever: Chocolate, Cheese & Baller Bubbly. Leasure and award-winning cheesemonger Sara Adduci will lead guests through four rare grower champagnes, cheeses, and a spread of local chocolates. 6:30 – 7:30 pm in Oakhart Social’s private dining room. Details and tickets. Leasure’s picks:

1) Cold Brew Latte (made with cashew milk & cold brew coffee) from The Juice Laundry. “I really appreciate good coffee, and I get to feel like I’m being healthy when I drink this. Unlike a lot of juice places, The Juice Laundry is 100% organic, which I appreciate. Their Cold Brew Latte is creamy and nutty with a hint of cinnamon and a great start to the day.”

2) Fried Chicken and Onion Rings at Mel’s Cafe. “We cook at home almost every night, but when we are too tired and want something fast, it’s often Mel’s fried chicken. Even with takeout, it stays crispy, the onion rings are the apex of the genre, and even the breast meat is juicy. Though, of course, the best way to eat it is at Mel’s, with chicken straight out of the fryer, while chatting with the folks behind the counter.”

3) Hot and Numbing Shredded Tofu Skins at Peter Chang’s. “I love to order tofu when dining out, since making it at home never turns out quite as good. The Hot and Numbing Shredded Tofu Skin almost has the texture of al dente pasta: thinly shredded, toothsome pieces of tofu skin seasoned with chili pepper, chili oil, sesame oil, fresh cilantro and a host of other spices and seasonings. While not the spiciest dish at Peter Chang’s (which means you can eat more!), it leaves a pleasant, buzzy tingling on your lips. Yum.”

4) Eggs and Pancake Special at Tip Top Restaurant. “With a two-year old toddler/tyrant living in our house, my chef-husband and I don’t get out often for dinner, but we take breakfast seriously. I am a bit particular (read: annoying) about my eggs, and prefer them over-medium, apparently the hardest way to cook them. The number of times my eggs are cooked properly – with firm whites and a soft yolk – at most restaurants is few, but the kitchen at Tip Top has never disappointed. Eggs are always perfect, and there’s nothing wrong with the pancakes and bacon (ordered extra-extra-crispy for me). The relaxed dining room is bustling but it doesn’t take too long for a table, they have crayons for my kid, and the staff is the perfect mix of gregarious, surly, and at the top of their game.”

5) Budino at Lampo. “I love absolutely everything at Lampo, and my standard order is the kale salad, a cheese and charcuterie board, and the Margherita DOC pizza. The perfect dish for me, though, is the chocolate budino. Chocolate and olive oil are one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations. The budino is silky and rich with a savory drizzle of olive oil, a salty, crunchy, caramel-y top, and nutty crushed hazelnuts, all of which come together for an ideal balance of flavors and textures.”

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Hot and Numbing Shredded Tofu Skins