The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Little Star

Five Finds on Friday: Matt Beck

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Matt Beck of Oakhart Social, which this weekend hosts an event to help Tavola’s Rebecca Edwards prepare for the Diageo National Finals in the United States Bartenders’ Guild annual World Class bartending competition. (That’s Charlottesville for you. One restaurant celebrates the success of another.)  This Sunday June 2, at 4 pm, Oakhart Social is opening its private event space to the public for Sunday/Funday, offering a menu of cocktails that Edwards will bring to next week’s National Finals competition. Details here. Beck’s picks:

1) Uni, Ankimo and Otoro Nigiri at TEN. “The quality of the fish and the temperature of the rice are just a few of the small details that make sushi extraordinary, and the crew at Ten always nails it. If I had to pick three pieces that they do exceptionally well I would always choose Uni, Ankimo and Otoro, but you really can’t go wrong regardless of what you order.”

2) Dealer’s Choice at Tavola. “Rebecca and Steve and the rest of the wonderful staff do an excellent job of serving delicious seasonal cocktails without unnecessary pretense. It’s always a pleasure to pick their brains. I generally get a Dealer’s Choice and let them have some fun.”

3) Bamboo Pork at Cafe 88. “It’s not on the regular menu, but if it’s being run as a special it’s a must get. A delicious stir fry of pork, bamboo shoots, chilies and ginger. It’s probably one of my favorite lunches in town.”

4) Porky Things at Little Star. “I’ve tasted most of the menu, and everything is delicious and thoughtful and you should order it all. But, I always get charcuterie from Sylvanaqua. Chris from Sylvanaqua is raising and curing some excellent products. Try to save a little room for dessert though.”

5) Wednesday Night Bar Menu at Prime 109. “The price and ambiance on Wednesday night are pretty great. Eat a sandwich or another of the specials that they offer at the bar, listen to some live jazz, and order a cocktail, and you’re bound to have a good time.”

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Prime 109 bar Photo by Kailee Taun

Five Finds on Friday: Maya Hood White

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Maya Hood White, Early Mountain Vineyards Associate Winemaker and Viticulturalist, who will be part of a special guided tasting this Monday, April 29 at Market Street Wine. She and Early Mountain Winemaker Ben Jordan will take guests through a series of rare, small batch wines from Early Mountain and Lightwell Survey, including Maya’s pet nats like Early Mountain White Pétillant Naturel 2018 Malvasia and Early Mountain Red Pétillant Naturel 2018 Blaufränkisch. You can even buy the rare wines on site. Details and full lineup for this unusual opportunity. Call (434) 202-0511 for your slot. White’s picks:

1) Patatas Rancheras at Little Star. “I know I will love just about any (vegetarian) dish that Ryan Collins at Little Star makes, but the Patatas Rancheras is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a tad spicy from the ranchera sauce, with the aioli cooling it down and the potatoes are always perfectly cooked and crispy. I don’t think I could ever eat at Little Star without ordering this.”

2) Marinara D.O.C. at Lampo. “I grew up vegetarian and my mother is a vegan, so I’m pretty familiar with scanning menus to see what I can eat. Aside from the many delicious reasons to love Lampo, it is one of the places that you can easily have an amazing vegan meal without even realizing it. Their Marinara D.O.C. pizza has notably few and straightforward ingredients, but they come together in the most perfect way.”

3) Fried and Raw Brussels Sprouts (made vegetarian) at Brasserie Saison. “The first time I ate at Brasserie Saison, I ordered this salad, and have ordered it nearly every time since. The texture of the raw and fried leaves is great, but what really makes the salad is the sun-dried tomato marmalade. It is slightly sweet to balance out the acid of the tomatoes and a great complement to the earthy Brussels sprouts.”

4) Tofu Red Curry with Broccoli at Thai 99 II. “Thai 99 II, luckily for me, is on my way home, so it is definitely my most frequented takeout spot, with the Tofu Red Curry being my favorite dish.  I’m somewhat obnoxiously picky about bell peppers, and they are are always very accommodating about swapping out the peppers with broccoli. Their tofu is always light and fluffy, and the curry wonderfully rich and concentrated.”

5) Rinse and Re-Beet at The Juice Laundry. “I’ve always loved carrot juice, but the addition of beet and cucumber makes this my favorite at The Juice Laundry. Their juices are cold pressed, organic and very flavorful. If I feel a cold coming on, I’ll grab one of their fire shots and drink it with this juice and keep my fingers crossed.”

 

Five Finds on Friday: Eva Solano

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Eva Solano, the Little Star sous chef who has an immigration hearing this month to decide whether she may remain in the country. As the primary provider for her family, Solano is fighting deportation so she can continue to support her family in the United States. You can help her with her battle, as she incurs mounting legal fees and other costs. Help Solano here. Solano’s picks:

1) Tacos de Lengua at El Tako Nako. “It is not hard to know why I love tacos. Tacos are a part of my heritage and roots. As well, this food truck is open until midnight and is convenient. After working a long night in the restaurant, I want to get something fast and yummy.”

2) Ankimo at TEN Sushi. “For some reason, I like to eat liver. The technique used at TEN Sushi when poaching the liver and preparing the components that form the dish work well. It is a very unique and yet simple dish.”

3) Pollo at Al Carbon. “As a working mother, when I was not able to cook for my family, I would always get the pollo from here. My fiance always jokes that I cook all day for other people, but am not able to cook for my own family. We love this pollo. It reminds us of the times we lived in NYC and had all the cultural influences. This pollo is prepared in a traditional Peruvian style and is a family favorite.”

4) Menudo at Super Amanecer. “If you ever want to recover from a hangover, this stew made from cow’s stomach and red chili pepper can save you! This is again very traditional after a long celebration. It reminds me of what my mom would make after holiday parties.”

5) Mole at Little Star. “The first time Chef Ryan said we were going to make mole, I was concerned as it is one of the most difficult, signature Mexican sauces. Sometimes it can have more than twenty different ingredients and takes us two days to create. I have been a chef for fine dining French, Japanese, and Italian cuisines, and I am so excited to make such an authentic sauce from Mexican cultures that is used for celebrations. When I tasted it, I was impressed with the results. Chef makes me proud to show Charlottesville that Mexican ingredients and techniques can compare with fine-dining cuisines of the world.”

Al Carbon Rotisserie Chicken, Charlottesville, VA 10/05/2015

Photo by Tom McGovern