The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Ivy Inn

Five Finds on Friday: Deirdre Armstrong

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Deirdre Armstrong of Harvest Thyme Herbs, the  vegetable and herb farm, beloved by area chefs, that she founded with her husband Phil. Deirdre recently lost Phil to an unexpected illness, and he is now remembered as an unsung hero of the food community, whose passion and hard work made thousands of meals more delicious. Deirdre’s picks:

1) Whippoorwill Crowder Peas in Ham Broth at The Shack. “These heirloom crowder peas were a gift to Chef Ian Boden from Dr. David Shields, English professor, author and seed saving pioneer at University of South Carolina. Ian passed them along to us, and once I tasted this dish, I could see why he was so eager for us to grow them. Served with pickled Fresno chiles and schmaltz cornbread, to mop up the insanely good ham broth, these rich, savory peas are a revelation.”

2) Doe Hill Pepper Bisque at the Ivy Inn. “Phil was known for his hot peppers, but Angelo makes this impossibly creamy soup from a golden yellow sweet pepper that is a pre- 1900 family heirloom from the Doe Hill area in Highland County, Virginia. Summer sunshine in a bowl.”

3) Wild Mushroom Risotto at Maya. “Risotto is always a wise choice at Maya, but this umami- rich variation hits just the right note with woodsy Sharondale wild mushrooms and Greg’s special magic.”

4) Shrimp Tacos at Chicano Boy Taco. “Chilled shrimp makes this taco so refreshing to me. Topped with roasted corn, grilled onion, cabbage, cojita cheese and tangy chipotle mayonnaise, all wrapped in a perfect handmade corn tortilla, it is a healthy summer standout on a menu that’s chock full of tempting choices.”

5) Fig Chocolates from Santiago Chocolates. “Jim Dutton is a self- taught chocolatier, and his mastery of the art is evident in his unique flavors, gorgeous stenciling, and insistence on only the finest ingredients. Opening a box of his chocolates takes my breath away each time. If forced to choose a favorite flavor, I would have to pick the decadent fig filling, with port wine and anise. Best savored with a glass of port, of course!”

Cville Ham Biscuits

Cville Ham Biscuits are all over Charlottesville: from humble dives to fine dining restaurants, and everywhere in between. We find them in country stores, gas stations, butchers, farms, church suppers, picnics, cookouts, weddings, funerals, coat pockets, and car seats. We eat them to celebrate, to mourn, and for no particular reason at all. Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the Cville Ham Biscuit knows no boundaries – not race, creed, nor color. And, among the many great ham biscuits around town, no two are the same. Here is where to find some of the best.

Batesville Market
Shaved Kite’s Country Ham with local Elysium honey
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Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar
Edwards Surryano Ham with peanut sauce and thick cut apple pickle
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Exchange Café
Cheddar chive biscuit with applewood smoked ham and house made bacon fig jam
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Feast!
Jane’s Sweet Potato Biscuit w/ Edwards Country Ham and Va. Chutney Co. Plum Chutney
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Hunt Country Market
Country Ham with house made honey mustard
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Ivy Inn
Kite’s Country Ham with hickory syrup mustard
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JM Stock Provisions
House-made Tasso ham with hot sauce and honey
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Keevil & Keevil Grocery & Kitchen
Edwards Country Ham with Aunt Suzy’s cheese spread and pepper jelly
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The Whiskey Jar
Kite’s Country Ham
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Five Finds on Friday: Mike Perry

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Today’s Five Finds come from Mike Perry, co-chef of Brasserie Saison, which appears twice in the 2017 list of chefs’ “Best Thing I Ate All Year,” and is ringing in the New Year with a special four course dinner on New Year’s Eve. Details and reservations here. Perry’s picks:

1) Roast Lamb at Ivy Inn. “Having worked with Angelo for years, one thing he always has on his menu is lamb and it’s always fantastic. I remember taking part in events he’s hosted, roasting a whole lamb or goat over a pit and to this day these are some of my most fond food and community experiences.”

2) Bellissima Pizza at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. “My thinking on this is… THIS PIZZA. It’s their house margherita with the addition of shaved country ham, arugula and aged parmesan. ‘Nuff said. Oh, and Michael Wayne’s BBQ –some of the best I’ve ever tasted in Virginia.”

3) Rotisserie Chicken at Al Carbon. “It’s not a secret and I love it. I get takeout and my family crushes it.”

4) Tasting  Menu at Back 40. “I’m definitely biased here because Tucker is my homie. His courses are interesting and thoughtful from beginning to end and it feels like more than just dining.”

5) El Fuego Wrap and IVP Banh Mi at Ivy Provisions. “The El Fuego Wrap is this breakfast burrito that barely fits in your hand. It’s dripping with magic chorizo grease and it’s nostalgic to the burritos I used to eat when I was growing up in Colorado. I never blink about ordering it. Everything they do in that shop is really well done. They just nail the banh mi and whenever I eat it, I wish there was more, even though it’s enough to feed two people.”