The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: L’etoile

L’Etoile is Back!


L’Etoile fans take note!

The beloved and lamented French and Virginia-inspired restaurant, which closed its doors in 2014 after twenty years of service, is back. But, for two nights only. And, for just ten lucky guests each night.

Since closing, L’Etoile has continued as a catering business, operated out of Crozet. On November 18 and 19, the catering kitchen will host a pop-up reincarnation of L’Etoile Restaurant.  The seven-course set menu will be a surprise for guests each night, with no substitutions, so leave your dietary restrictions at home. It will be a rare opportunity to leave yourselves completely in the hands of longtime L’Etoile chef and co-owner Mark Gresge. Guests can expect a few old favorites from the restaurant, plus new creations from Gresge and his sous chef for the night, Kelsey Naylor. “I miss the restaurant,” says Gresge, “and this is a way to reconnect with the roots of L’Etoile.”

Water and coffee will be served, while guests are welcome to bring their own wines. Details below. For tickets, email Advance tickets required, and just ten tickets will be sold for each night!

  • What: Pop-up L’Etoile Restaurant
  • When:  November 18 and 19, 2016, 6 pm
  • Food: Seven Course Surprise Menu. No Substitutions.
  • Drinks: Water and Coffee. BYOB.
  • Where: L’Etoile Catering, 5857 Jarmans Gap Rd., Crozet, VA
  • How Much: $60 per person, plus gratuity


Five Finds on Friday: Mark Gresge


On Fridays, we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Mark Gresge of l’etoile Catering.  The recently closed l’etoile restaurant was one of the area’s most beloved restaurants for two decades, and l’etoile Catering is already one of the premier outfits in town.  Call 434-823-1435 for details.

In addition to the five picks below, Gresge could not resist a sixth, in recognition of his talented former chef of l’etoile, Ian Redshaw.  “6. Pizza at Lampo,” said Gresge. “I have not had one yet, but I know that it belongs on the list. If Chef Ian put it in the oven, it is going to be great indeed.”  Gresge’s picks:

1)  Buttermilk Biscuit at The Whiskey Jar.  “Handed to me fresh out of the oven by Rachel Pennington, the pastry chef. Sometimes in cooking, there is beauty in simplicity.”

2)  Grilled Bologna and Egg Sandwich at Mel’s Cafe.  “Prepared and served by Mel himself with a smile. White bread has now found its true calling.”

3)  Bocadillo Jamon at MAS Tapas.  “After giving birth to twins, this is the first item that my wife asked for. This is an under-the-radar masterpiece.”

4)  Glazed Sugar Cookie from Pearl’s Bake Shoppe.  “After one bite, I paused and pondered – this is one wonderful cookie. It made me very happy.”

5)  Shakedown Imperial Chocolate Cherry Stout at Starr Hill Tasting Room.  “Perfect beer for a winter evening. I had to beg the family to let me stay and have another. Pairs well with the handful of Fritos taken from son’s bag.”


Five Finds on Friday: Jonathan Wheeler

Jonathan Wheeler Pic

On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  This week’s picks come from Jonathan Wheeler, Sparkling Winemaker at Trump Winery.  Next weekend, May 4 and 5, Trump Winery will be celebrating its 2012 Vintage Release with samples of the new 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, and Rosé.  Wheeler’s picks:

1)  Oysters on the Half Shell at Blue Light Grill and Raw Bar.  “Super fresh, tastes just like the ocean should.”

2)  Ginger Braised Pork Tamale with Mole Sauce at Commonwealth Restaurant.  “Goes great with their En Fuego cocktail.”

3)  Hudson Valley Duck breast with Navy Bean Cassoulet at L’Etoile.   “Great savory flavors.”

4)  Steak au Poivre at the Downtown Grill.  “Anytime I want perfectly cooked steak I go here.”

5)  Umali Brûlée at Savour Restaurant.  “A puff pastry with pudding, candied pecans, and coconut that is a great way to end the meal.”

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