The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Flora Artisanal Cheese

Five Finds on Friday: Matt Wolf

Wolf

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Matt Wolf who, with former Public Fish & Oyster chef Donnie Glass, runs Skipjack Purveyors (fka Banyan Day Provisions). Though no longer at Timbercreek Market, Glass and Wolf still plan to cater with what they call a “flip-flop approach to fine dining,” and also help with events around town. This Sunday, they will host a pop-up raw bar at South Fork Food Truck’s Crawfish Boil, at Mono Loco. From 2-8pm, there will also be JM Stock Provisions smoked andouille sausage, music by  The Bayou Faux Pas and Johnny Ghost, and a Mono Loco margarita and daquiri bar.

Evidently, Wolf was the kid who stayed after class to ask for extra credit. For his five finds, the go-getter drafted the longest picks ever (five “novels” he calls them), and even submitted images for the picks.  And to refer to one restaurant’s bar, he coined the phrase “”the wood that separates patron from Patrón.” That’s worth a 100+5 with a “Super!” sticker. Wolf’s picks:

Flora

1) Valleé Brebidoux from Flora Artisanal Cheese. “Probably my favorite 8 feet or so of case space in Charlottesville. Nadjeeb “NaCheese” Chouaf is the owner and head cheesemonger of Flora Artisanal Cheese which is located in Timbercreek Market. Take it from me, he knows what’s Gouda. From Vermont to Normandy, pungent to tame, soft to hard, he has a cheese for any taste or application. My favorite of his current stock is Valleé Brebidoux, a Basque sheep’s milk that tastes like milk and honey had a baby. Oh, and the Marinated Isle of Lesbos Feta is pretty good too. If you’ve had it, you know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I recommend getting over to 722 Preston Avenue as fast as physically possible.”

Juicer

2) The Importance of Being Earnest at Public Fish & Oyster. “Brad ‘The Juicer’ Langdon is Head Barman at Public Fish & Oyster on W. Main Street nestled right up against Oakhart Social (if you didn’t know). A true student of the game is Langdon, a virtuoso of sorts behind the wood that separates patron from Patrón. Well versed in every aspect of mixology, you can’t go wrong with anything he makes. However, “The Importance of Being Ernest” is what I’m here to talk about specifically. Langdon’s play on a Hemingway daiquiri is his latest creation that I can’t get enough of, until I’ve had enough. The cocktail stars Charlottesville’s own Vitae Platinum Rum and is backed by the freshest squeezed lime juice, and local Rosemary-Rhubarb syrup, Shaken… Up. I’m not sure I’m allowed to say this but I’m drinking one right now. The sun has appeared with the cocktail to match, so head on over to PFO and chase one of Brad’s cocktails with a Narragansett Lager and let the juice get loose.”

Fry's

3) Frito Cianci at Fry’s Spring Station. “As well as recently being renovated tastefully modern, Fry’s is also now under new management. Headlined by The Rock Barn and Ivy Provision’s Ben Thompson and company, it’s managed day to day by Tyler Wood whose unwavering righteousness is reflected through the wholesome atmosphere you feel when you walk in the door. It’s safe to say Fry’s ‘Neighborhood Hearth’ is back better than ever. The menu has been rejuvenated with rustic Italian favorites spun in an upscale direction with the centerpiece being a pizza oven that nearly needs its own area code it’s so large. Very reasonably priced and a portion size that eaters can appreciate are just a couple of reasons to swing by Fry’s patio bar for a cold Narragansett lager and some chow. My guilty pleasure leads me to Fry’s for the Frito Cianci, a fried seafood plate featuring squid, shrimp and seasonal vegetables tied together with a tasty vinaigrette and some basil, chased with a ‘Gansett  (detecting a theme here?).  Add a large serving of sunshine, and I can’t think of a better afternoon.”

valley

4)  White Blend at Valley Road Vineyards. “The newest kid on the block on the 151 wine trail, Valley Road has been steadily taking shape on the grounds that used to be AM Fog Farm. At the head of Critzers shop road VRV is a launchpad for your weekend wine tasting route. A beautiful cascade of vines and beautiful farm structures that lie beneath the vineyard make for a picturesque afternoon with good people and good drink. Under the watchful eyes of Scott Link and Grayson Poats, the property has been taking shape since the first vine went in the ground. They will feature several varietals in their debut including a Chardonnay, a White blend, a Merlot- Rose, a Merlot, and a Meritage. The tasting room is scheduled to open early summer and they have a lot of fun things planned, including a weekly farmers market and live music and also having delicious upscale picnic food for sale on site. So when you’re planning your annual wine tasting adventure, don’t forget about the new guys and swing on through Valley Road. They are going to be doing big things.

5) Dagwood at Durty Nelly’s Pub-Wayside Deli. “This is where I go to disappear. A cozy “Cheers”-esque bar full of regulars that only know each other by name and hug goodbye. In the winter the fireplace is ablaze, with rock and roll pouring from the speakers and the door propped open. It’s perfect brackish air combination of fire and fresh. With a domestic pitcher weighing in at 10 dollars even (Rolling Rock for me), it makes for an economical afternoon. If I’m feeling wealthy, I’ll splurge and get a Dagwood sandwich, which contains nearly every sandwich staple under the sun. It’s a tight knit crew down at Duty Nelly’s, so let’s still keep this between us.”

crawfish

 

 

Five Finds on Friday: Thomas Leroy

Thomas

Photo by Milo Farineau.

On Fridays, we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities. Today’s picks come from Thomas Leroy, chef of the new Kardinal Hall, now open. Leroy’s picks:

1) Gambas al’ Parilla at MAS Tapas. “Huge jumbo grilled shrimp in their shells with alioli. The cooking in the shell process makes the shrimp retain their juicy texture, sprinkled with coarse sea salt.  I personally enjoy the crunch of the shell and the blend with the rich garlicky alioli.”

2) The Superman at The Juice Laundry. “Always a great start of my day to get a smoothie from those guys.  The lineup of drinks uses organic fruits and it’s vegan. Nor only are we neighbors, but those folks are awesome people.”

3)  Prosciutto Pizza at Lampo. “I love the Neapolitan-style crust and burnt edge that gives a smoky flavor to each bite.  I’ve known a few of the owners for a long time and you can tell they put their soul into their food. Everyone can make a pizza, but they are the best for this particular style.”

4)  Cheese from Flora Artisanal Cheese.  “Pretty much anything Nadjeeb passes me over his counter to taste at Timebrcreek Market is gold. I remember our days at Whole Foods and I could always count on him to understand the value and depth of what the people here call a ‘stinky cheese.'”

5)  Jack’s Java Stout from Three Notch’d Brewery.  “I’m not a huge dark beer fan but once Dave Warwick gave me a sample at a beer dinner we did together I was hooked. It’s basically drinking a strong iced coffee espresso with the added bonus of alcohol in it.  It’s hard to pick one beer from Three Notch’d, because the entire lineup is solid and the brewmaster’s passion is felt in every sip.”

Introducing Timbercreek Market

Creek

The first food tenant at the historic Coca-Cola building is set to open.  And, it’s no joke.

Timbercreek Market, an offshoot of Timbercreek Farm, will house a butcher shop, cheese shop, and casual restaurant, all in one.  For years, Timbercreek Farm products have been on menus of the area’s top restaurants, on shelves at select retail outlets, and available for purchase from the farm itself.  Now, Timbercreek is poised to remove altogether the middle men from the “farm-to-table” process.  The farm will bring its products literally to guests’ tables.

Sara Miller, who owns Timberbreek with her husband Zach, said that the idea behind the market is to “answer demand from both our customers and chefs that has been increasing over the years . . . for a place where they can gather to enjoy, shop for, and learn about the local foods we grow at the farm as well as those grown at other farms in the area.”

Given how esteemed Timbercreek Farm is throughout the food community, it’s no surprise that an all-star cast has flocked to help out. Will Richey and Josh Zanoff, of The Alley Light, The Whiskey Jar, and Revolutionary Soup, have been overseeing planning.  “I have worked with Timbercreek since the very beginning,” said Richey.  “With this new project, Timbercreek can extend their best practices in rearing animals to the best practices in handling the meats they produce.”  Richey says that while the market will have “all the things you expect from a top notch butcher shop,” what will make it special is that “you’ll know exactly where all of the meat is coming from — the farm less than seven miles from where it is being sold.”  Chefs and customers can inspect the daily offerings, select exactly the cut of meat they want, and know its source.

Beyond Timbercreek’s own beef, pork, lamb, chicken, duck, rabbit, eggs, and produce, the market will also offer products from other top local food businesses, including other farms, Shenandoah Joe, The Pie Chest, and more.  Meanwhile, The Wine Guild will provide a selection of wines, which can be enjoyed both on premise and off. The idea, Richey said, is to be a one stop shop for whatever’s needed for a great local meal.

Running the cheese counter will be Nadjeeb Chouaf, who last year was named second best cheesemonger in the country. The market will be the new home of his Flora Artisanal Cheese.  “I’m really excited about partnering with Zach and Sara,” said Chouaf who expects the new, larger space for his cheese shop to allow expanded selections, and also regular cheese classes, events, and even pop-up dinners.

Manning the butcher counter will be Adam Lawrence, a ten year veteran of Whole Foods Market.  “I am truly passionate about meat cutting,” said the Earlysville native. “It is an art not commonly practiced in this day and age.”

And, heading the kitchen will be Allie Redshaw, sous chef of Pippin Hill Farm.  Anyone who has enjoyed a meal recently at Pippin Hill knows that this is a good thing.  A very good thing.

Redshaw, whose husband Ian co-owns Lampo, plans an array of prepared food items to eat at the market or take home, as well as sandwiches stuffed with Timbercreek products.  We got a sneak peek at the menu and its a doozy, with options like a 120-day Dry Aged Ribeye Philly Cheese on ABC Ciabatta or a Brioche Grilled Cheese with Bone Marrow.  But, the sandwich that Redshaw is most excited about is her riff on a banh mi, which she says will include “an assortment of Porky goodies, pickled vegetables, and seasonal pates.”  Instead of the traditional crusty baguette, Redhsaw will serve the sandwich on Tigelle – a delicious bread from Emilia Romagna that is notoriously difficult to perfect.  Redshaw has been working hard to do just that, and Timbercreek Market will make theirs fresh daily.

Most of the rest of the sandwiches will be served on bread from Albemarle Baking Company, which drives home how intertwined our local producers and purveyors are.  Timbercreek provides its farm’s eggs to the bakery, which uses them to make bread, which the bakery provides to Timbercreek to make sandwiches.  “A full circle,” said Miller.

Last but not least, there will of course be steak!  Customers can pick any steak they like and, for a small fee, have it grilled for them on the spot.  Richey is high on this option.  “I am personally ecstatic about the chance to walk into the shop, point at a perfectly cut steak in the case and say, ‘Grill that for me, medium rare’, and then sit down with a beer to wait for my steak – any time of the day.”  Beer and steak any time of day sounds good to us.

Timbercreek Market plans for a June opening, with hours 10-7, Monday through Saturday.  In the historic Coca-Cola building at 722 Preston Avenue.