The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Lampo

Five Finds on Friday: Kit Ashi

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Kit Ashi of Monsoon Siam, Monsoon Siam Togogo, and Urban Bowl, the downtown mall Thai/Vietnamese restaurant with a great weeknight deal on pho. Monday through Thursday night, Urban Bowl’s pho menu is just $7.99. Ashi’s picks:

1) Passion Fruit Cheesecake at The Alley Light by Chef Robin. “I like the softness and smoothness of the cream cheese, and the crust is perfect. The cream cheese is not too sweet, salty or sour. And, the lemon and orange zest on top goes well with the passion fruit aroma.”

2) Margarita Pizza at Lampo. “I love the thin pizza crust and the smoke from the charred dough. The sauce is perfect, too. I always have it with a spritz, which makes my lunch or dinner delightful. All of the chefs are so talented, and I can’t wait for their steakhouse to open.”

3) Lad Na at Thai Cuisine & Noodle House and Lemongrass. “This is a Thai’s dish. It is not a popular dish that people know here but it is one of my favorite dishes. I used to have it three time a week. We do not serve this at Monsoon Siam, but Thai Cuisine and Lemongrass are the places I go for it. It is wide noodles with bean gravy and Chinese broccoli. I love to order it with pork and add squid. The right way to eat it is to ask for the spice tray. Add one spoon of chili powder, three spoons of vinegar, mix it, and enjoy.”

4) Seafood Puttanesca at Bella’s. “I love seafood pasta in red sauce. The sauce here is not too thick, and its spicy and tart flavor goes really well with seafood. I can finish a family size by myself.”

5) Kao Mok Neua at Monsoon Siam. “It would be so wrong not to talk about this dish, my new favorite that I put on the menu. Meltingly tender braised beef in Thai southern style curry, rich in flavor and aroma. The sauce goes very well with jasmine rice stir fried in turmeric and curry powder. Crispy fried shallots add texture, while spicy mint sauce adds flavor contrast. It’s going to be the next best curry for Charlottesville.”

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Kao Mok Neua at Monsoon Siam

Five Finds on Friday: Collins Huff

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Collins Huff of Gryffon’s Aerie, the Crozet farm that now has its own food truck at Pro Re Nata Farm Brewery. Gryffon’s Aerie at PRN serves signature burgers and bar food made from the farm’s Devon beef and other local sources. Tonight, April 27, they’ll be serving up po’ boys with Virginia oysters. Huff’s picks:

1) Aged Prosciutto at Lampo. “Sliced on their Berkel Heritage meat slicer. The blade on this hand-powered marvel turns slower, thus cooler, and allows the exquisite fat to render on your tongue, not on the blade.”

2) Albacore Sushi by Toma at Foods of All Nations. “This humble warrior is a Samurai when it comes to his craft. This is my go-to fast lunch when I have to be in town. Try the Albacore. It’s always super fresh.”

3) Scrapple at Ace Biscuit & Barbecue. “Where I come from, we call it ponhorse. Whatever you call it, Brian’s version is unique and awesome.”

4) Hot Dog from JM Stock Provisions. “Alex and the team make these weekly from local meats. It just so happens you can get one at Gryffon’s Aerie at PRN, topped with Farmstead Ferments classic kraut braised in beer. I understand it pairs well with Pro Re Nata’s session Pilsner.”

5) Revolving Ceviche at RockSalt. “Travis Croxton’s team changes it up and gets it right every time.”

Five Finds on Friday: Siân Richards

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Photo by Will May

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Siân Richards, co-owner of Market Street Wine. When Market Street Wineshop closed in February after the owner retired, long-time employees Richards and Thadd McQuade came to the rescue and are resurrecting the shop as Market Street Wine. “We hope that as things are changing so much in Charlottesville, we will be able to continue an institution that the community has loved while also giving it a bit of new life,” says Richards. Tomorrow, April 21, Market Street Wine officially opens its doors, with an Open House from 1-4 pm. Richards’ picks:

1) Egg, Cheddar and Salsa Hand Pie at The Pie Chest. “I love going into The Pie Chest. I love the space and the smell of chai, and I love looking at all the beautiful pies laid out for sale. My real Pie Chest addiction is the vegetarian breakfast hand pie. I have eaten way more of those than is probably advisable in these last weeks while we have been getting the shop ready to open. They are beautifully made, delicious and filling. Stopping to pick one up feels more like a special treat than a meal to go.”

2) Tofu Vegetable Pho at Thai Cuisine and Noodle House. “The tofu pho at Thai Cuisine was a really pleasant surprise. I am always on the lookout for a super tasty bowl of noodles without meat and I was thrilled to find that theirs was fragrant and savory and really good.”

3) Sauteed Escarole and Margherita Pizza at Lampo. “I love going to Lampo. I am really impressed that they are able to balance offering a meal that is carefully prepared, in a comfortable atmosphere, and at a very reasonable price. I always feel like I have had a nice meal out without a scene or a big bill. Their small wine selection is equally balanced.”

4) Grilled Cheese To-Go Wrapped in Wax Paper from Timberlake’s. “A grilled cheese and a bag of chips from Timberlake’s has some kind of sensory/memory mojo for me. The smell, the gooey cheese and the feel of the wax paper. Perfect.”

5) Asparagus from Crazy Farm at City Market. “I am not a morning person but 7 am City Market grocery shopping is where it’s at. Before the crowds. I always feel so rich walking home with my bags bursting.”

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