The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Lone Light Coffee

Five Finds on Friday: Whitney Foster

Whitney

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Whitney Foster, co-GM of Brasserie Saison, which this week became the newest entry into The Charlottesville 29, answering: if there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29? Foster’s picks:

1) The Hungry Norman at The Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. “Unless you arrive when they unlock the door, you’re probably going to have to wait for a seat at Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. It is worth it. The Hungry Norman is such a treat. It combines blackberry jam, sausage links, eggs, and goat cheese to create this mouthwatering dish that just melts in your mouth.”

2) Branzino at Brasserie Saison. “The Fish of the Day on Brasserie’s dinner menu always hits the spot. More specifically, the branzino. They open up the branzino and lay it skin side down on the grill so the skin gets crispy but the meat stays tender.  If that wasn’t enough, they pair it with seasonal vegetables and purees, such as a cauliflower or beet puree, combined with grilled veggies, sometimes pistachio butter, sometimes a fennel/arugula salad.  The combinations they come up with are unique and always take your mouth on an adventure.”

3) Late Night Burger at C&O. “There are only a select few restaurants that serve late night food, let alone amazing late night food. The C&O burger is a sigh of relief after a long day at work, and it’s affordable. Bless them.”

4) Iced Almond Milk Latte at Lone Light Coffee. “Lone Light recently started roasting their own beans, which is badass. They’ve always made their own almond milk. Their creamy nutty espresso paired with their almond milk is the best way to get each morning started, no sweetener required.”

5) Anything Pork at Brasserie Saison. “I recently experienced the best pork I’ve ever had. Followed immediately by the best pork I’ve ever had. Straight off the pig’s head and into my hand, Chef Devin knows what he’s doing. Try any pork on the menu. I dare you.”

Five Finds on Friday: Alicia Walsh-Noel

alicia

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Alicia Walsh-Noel, Manager of Brasserie Saison, which celebrates Sunday each week now with “Eggs Benefit,” brunch from 11 am to 3 pm with live jazz and specials from the bar. A portion of proceeds go to a different charity each month, and this month it is The Charlottesville Free Clinic. Walsh-Noel’s picks:

1) Kao Soi at Monsoon Siam. “This dish is an ultra comforting curry noodle soup. It’s the perfect juxtaposition of flavor and texture: the sweet curry to the funky pickled cabbage and onions and then the slurpy egg noodles to the crunchy noodle garnish. There’s a reason it’s not available from their to-go-go location – you have to eat it in the restaurant for the full experience. I crave this whenever it’s cold outside or I have a cold or when Antarctica is cold.”

2) Peanut Butter Pie at The Pie Chest and an Almond Latte from Lone Light Coffee. “If you didn’t already know about this place, when you’re walking up 4th St., the aromas will lure you into their door. When you enter, it’s as if you’ve been transported into a quaint New England town –there aren’t many places in Charlottesville that can do that. Tucked within The Pie Chest is Lone Light Coffee, which makes incredible coffee drinks and their own almond milk in-house. The stuff is delicious! I seriously have a hard time getting coffee anywhere else. Rachel Pennington, the owner/baker of The Pie Chest is incredibly talented. You can’t go wrong with any of her sweet or savory pies but I really dig the peanut butter because it’s a little of both. The real deal-sealer is that the crust is PERFECT every time.”

3) Commander Chicory Blue Cheese from Twenty Paces. “So apparently studies are saying that cheese addictions are a real thing? I always blamed it on my French heritage but now even my doctor is telling me to stop! Le sigh. I first had this cheese at Lampo. Then again at Lampo. Then again. And then…well, my husband runs the kitchen at Champion Taproom and he put it on…get this: CHICKEN WING TACOS. OMG. I die now. Anyway, it’s stinky and smoky and I would most likely have it as my last meal.”

4) Whatever Lumpia is on Special at Champion Tap Room. “Speaking of my husband, Jon Bray has this move where he puts things into Filipino egg roll wrappers and then fries them. Need I say more? Ok, I’ll say more. His original has ground pork and dates that he serves with garlicky vinegar sauce. But lately he’s been getting a little wild, making Cheeseburger Lumpia for a kids event and a Buffalo Chicken version another time. This week, it sounds like he’s going with a more traditional pork and shrimp version that should be tasty. Maybe it’s cheating to put your own spouse on this list, but if this is about a memorable and emotional connection to food, Jon’s super-creative twists on Filipino classics are both seared into my memory and make me so happy!”

5) Oyster Mushrooms and Grits at Oakhart Social. “I couldn’t possibly write a Five Finds without mentioning Oakhart. This place is like home to me and I’m stoked at the love they have received so quickly from the Charlottesville community. It’s rare to find a chef that can execute vegetable dishes with the skill that Tristan does and these mushrooms are one of my faves! They make a delicious star of the show with pickles, buttery grits, and crispy, fried chickpeas. Follow that up with all the Fernets and hugs for a foolproof Oakhart evening.”