The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Hamiltons’

Five Finds on Friday: Julie Vu Whitaker

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Julie Vu Whitaker of Vu Noodles, which has just added a stellar Papaya Salad to an already stellar menu. Vu Noodles is open M-F from 11 am – 2 pm at both The Jefferson School and The Spot. Whitaker’s picks:

1) Fish Tacos at The Bebedero. “While there are lots of fish tacos out in the world of Latin cuisines, I like The Bebedero’s. I just love the taste of corn tortilla and the simple balance of savory, sweet/tangy salsa and a zing of jalapeno tartar sauce. A plate of the fish tacos and a margarita is perfection!”

2) Creole Beans and Rice at Pearl Island Foods. “You may be surprised that being Asian growing up, I mostly skipped the rice. The best days were noodle days. However after having Chef Javier’s Creole Beans and Rice, oh my gosh! I can’t have enough! And, the tangy kale salad (with mushrooms and watermelon radish) brings excitement to the meal.”

3) Seared Scallops at Hamiltons’. “I can eat my weight on this starter. Simple quality ingredients and colors, this dish has it all for me. Perfectly seared caramelized sweet scallops, and geez, the divine combo of Greek yogurt and jalapeno oil! Not to mention the texture of nuts and seeds. It’s gone way too fast!”

4) Roasted Veggie Bowl at Grit Coffee. “You can find me at Grit almost daily. I get my dark roast there when I’m working at The Spot. When I have time, my favorite breakfast and lunch is the Roasted Veggie Bowl. Oh my! Sweetness you get from roasted vegetables and then my all time favorite protein, hands down the incredible edible egg! The egg here is fried, crispy white and soft yellow. It is exactly how I love my fried egg.”

5) Cumin Tofu at Taste of China. “The menu is pretty extensive, with hot pots and hardy soups. Most times when I have been there, it looked like a lot of Asian people eat here so I’m thinking that this might be the real deal. Outside from my own tofu that I make for Vu Noodles, this place has my favorite tofu. It is the Cumin tofu. Quite simple, but oh so so good! The tofu is deep fried with a layer of a cumin seasoning. Served with plain white rice. That’s it! Not much to it! Doesn’t require much to please me though.”

Five Finds on Friday: Alex Toomy

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Alex Toomy of Ragged Branch Distillery. On December 17, beef and whiskey from Ragged Branch will be featured in a special dinner at Back 40 restaurant with chef Tucker Yoder. Seats are extremely limited. Get yours here.  Toomy’s picks:

1) Timbercreek Burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and extra mayo at Citizen Burger Bar. “No better place to watch my favorite sports event with friends than at this downtown mall burger joint.”

2) Prime Rib – rare – at Aberdeen Barn. “The side dishes are legendary, just like the wait staff.  Might not need to eat for a couple of days.”

3) Fried Oysters at Duner’s. “Crazy for the oysters, veal scallopini and homemade bread at this Ivy go-to. Sometimes after a long week,  we need a place ‘where everyone knows your name’ and the staff remembers our favorites. And if we have to wait for a table at the bar, it is always worth our while.”

4) Ragged Branch Ribeye at Back 40. “Super cool new place at Timbercreek Market ~ nothing quite like feasting on the fruits of our labor and then shopping for the week. That’s a good thing.”

5) The Bar at Hamiltons’. “Ragged Branch Bourbon at the bar. This is how we like to start a weekend.”

Ragged Branch Dinner, December 17, 2017, 6 pm

Sorghum and Rye Glazed Smoked Steelhead, Sprouted Lentils, Brussel Sprouts

Seared Pork Belly, Stone Ground Grits, Cider Bourbon Veil, Caramelized Cabbage

Braised Short Rib, Red Wine Anise Jus, Charred Carrots and Onions

Dry Aged Ribeye, Farro, Cauliflower, Maitake Mushroom

Whisky Chocolate Crémeux, Rye Cherry Jam, Shortbread

Five Finds on Friday: Ian Glomski

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Ian Glomski, PhD, founder of Vitae Spirits, the new distillery on Henry Avenue, beside Ace Biscuit & Barbecue. Current offerings are Platinum Rum, Golden Rum, and Modern Gin.

Vitae is open for tastings, tours, and bottle sales, Wednesday through Sunday, and just introduced a weekend brunch cocktail menu to pair with Ace Biscuit food, which you may bring to the distillery from next door. Glomski’s picks:

1) Ol’ Dirty Biscuit (customized with an egg sunny-side up on top) at Ace Biscuit & Barbecue. “Being raised a Yankee, I’ve surprised myself with how much I have embraced Southern food tastiness. The ODB’s fried chicken, pimento cheese, sausage gravy, and flaky biscuit touch my soul… maybe I was Edna Lewis in a past life.”

2) Kouign Amann at MarieBette. “When I moved back to the US after a stint living in Paris, I thought I’d never taste this ‘croissant on steroids’ again. A true Breton masterpiece, the kouign amann has only five ingredients, there is nothing to hide behind, so each of those ingredients as well as the execution has to be impeccable.”

3) Linguine alla Carbonara at Tavola. “It is very rare for me to ever order a dish more than once at a restaurant, yet here I am time and time again drawn to eating this creamy pancetta-y linguine cooked perfectly al dente Tavola. I can’t quite explain it…it’s just so satisfying!”

4) Carolina Jumbo Shrimp and Grits at Hamiltons’. “Once again my inner Edna Lewis makes me weak at the knees when it comes to Hamiltons’ shrimp and grits. There’s something so right about the combination of the sea mingling with the smoky tomatoes and creamy grits.”

5) Ramos Gin Fizz at The Alley Light. “This is the drink I use to test whether a cocktail bar is up to snuff. Who would think a cocktail made with cream and egg whites could dance so lightly on your tongue when mixed just right? Those Alley Light folks got it down pact.”