The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: MarieBette

Five Finds on Friday: William Darsie


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from William Darsie, GM of MarieBette Cafe & Bakery, which is about to launch a new hybrid pastry that could rival its world-famous “bronut.” Stay tuned. Meanwhile, February is Hot Chocolate Month at MarieBette, with a different riff everyday. Darsie’s picks:

1) Porchetta Panuozzo at Lampo. “Sandwich is my favorite food, and this, undoubtedly, is the best one. There is a reason this place is considered by many to be the best restaurant in town. I could eat this sammy every meal, everyday, for the rest of my life and die a happy camper.”

2) Vegetables at Oakhart Social. “Oakhart is my happy place. Owners Ben and Tristan clearly know what they’re doing. The concept, the execution, the food and the vibes are all I want from a restaurant. I never thought I’d only eat vegetables for dinner and be thoroughly satisfied at the end: Brussels sprouts, shaved salad, and the charred carrots (please bring them back) to highlight a few. And who could forget the Barman, Albee Pedone. He gets the classics right and the cocktail and beer list are evidence of his experience, knowledge and insanity. But, to be honest, the dude just makes a bomb slushy.”

3) Goat Cheese from Caromont Farm. “Caromont Farm is more than just scenic countryside and goat cuddles. Gail, Daniel and Izzy are also making some bangin’ cheeses. My personal favorite is their hometown homage, Esmontonian. Put it in a salad, grate it on some pasta, or just eat it by the wheel.”

4) Pulled Pork Platter from The BBQ Exchange. “Coming from the West Coast I was never exposed to any ‘real’ barbeque, and I am thankful those dark days are over. The pulled pork melts in your mouth, the sauces are on point, and I love all their sides the same. The South can debate BBQ all they want, but the conversation stops here. Always worth the trip to Gordonsville.”

5) Ham Biscuits at JM Stock Provisions. “Did I mention sandwich is my favorite food? Sliced-to-order Tasso ham and some honey hot sauce stuff on a fresh biscuit is all you need to start your day off right. One is good, but do yourself a favor and shove two of these in your face. These things filthy, thank you gentlemen.”


Five Finds on Friday: The Dennisons


Five Finds on Friday is a weekly feature where area chefs and personalities name five favorite food/drink items in the area. In appreciation of readers of The Charlottesville 29 over the years, last week’s Five Finds on Friday came from the winner of a reader random drawing, Jason Boorman of Kardinal Hall. But, non-industry readers deserve appreciation, too, and so this week’s random drawing winner is Rebekah Dennison, of PRW Laboratories. Rebekah was entered by her husband Mark, of Musictoday, and she returned the favor by sharing her picks with him. Five Finds on Friday from Charlottesville natives Rebekah and Mark Dennison:

1) Smorgasbord of Slices To-Go from Downtown Christians Pizza. “After a long week this is our ultimate Friday night treat, the key is to have someone to share a few slices with so you get to taste as many of their incredible combinations as possible. Our current favorites to share are Chicken & Black Bean, Fresh mozz/tomato/basil, buffalo chicken & blue cheese, and spinach/artichoke/pesto.”

2) Hummus on an Everything bagel with Sprouts, Cucumber, Onion, Feta spread, and Kalamata Olive Spread, Cut from Bodo’s Bagels. “There are so many sandwiches that we could have picked from Bodo’s, but this Mediterranean spin, a mouthful to order and to eat, always seems to make it on our tray.” 

3) Quiche from MarieBette Cafe and Bakery. “The perfect breakfast is only a three minute walk from our house. Each variety is amazing but when the mushroom quiche is available we can’t resist getting a slice every time we swing by for our favorite morning coffee, a large iced red-eye.”

4) Grilled Salmon at Zocalo. “We had our wedding reception here 8 years ago, so Zocalo has a special place in our hearts.  We still go back to get this piping hot dish which the kitchen will split perfectly for two, served with green chili and goat cheese couscous.”

5) Spam Musubi and Pork Lau Lau from Mochiko. “Riki Tanabe is always cooking up amazing Hawaiian street food that is the perfect City Market treat. Mark always goes for the Spam Musubi while Rebekah gets the Pork Lau Lau  platter accompanied by the best mac salad ever.”

Five Finds on Friday: Albee Pedone


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Albee Pedone, bar manager of Three Notch’d Brewing’s new brewpub. Yesterday, Three Notch’d released Big Dog Blonde Ale, a collaboration with the natural pet store Animal Connection. $1 of every pint sold goes to local pet rescues, and Animal Connection is making dog treats from the spent grain of the beer’s production. The beer will be available through Sunday, October 29, when Animal Connection is hosting Dog Fest and Howl-o-Ween at IX Art Park. Three Notch’d is also throwing an Oktoberfest Celebration today through Sunday, October 22. You can purchase your Oktoberfest stein now, for free beer. Pedone’s picks:

1) Espresso at MarieBette. “My morning doesn’t get going until I have some good espresso, and for that I head to MarieBette. Not only the best espresso in my opinion, but also the best pastries, and pretty much everything else they make. Whether I have time for a leisurely breakfast or I just need to stop in and grab something quick, I always love visiting my friends, Jason, Patrick, and Will and having some incredible treats to start the day, which definitely keeps me on track for long hours of work.”

2) Rotisserie Chicken at Al Carbon. “Their chicken is unbelievably moist and juicy, with a perfectly crispy skin – the only rotisserie chicken better than Al Carbon is in Tulum, Mexico as far as I’m concerned. And the spicy guacamole is delicious too. Always friendly and welcoming, this is a must have, on a weekly basis for me.”

3) Smoked Tri-Tip at Oakhart Social. “Now, when it comes to dinner, first on my list is Oakhart Social. Owners Ben Clore and Chef Tristan Wraight really know how to make a restaurant work. Add to that mix an incredibly talented staff like Bar Manager Brendan Cartin, whose cocktails are nothing short of inspired genius in a glass, and Sous Chef Todd Grieger, who brings the perfect blend of execution and creativity to your face hole, and you are in for a real treat. Chef Tristan is by far one of the best chefs I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a meal from. His wizardry makes me love things I would normally never eat (like Brussels sprouts), and makes things I love better than I thought they could be. In addition to the smoked tri-tip steak, some of my other favorite menu items currently are the shaved salad, grilled shrimp, and the pepperoni pizza. But really, anything that comes from that kitchen and bar are enough to make me happy. Everything about this place is perfection. And while the name rings of the social aspect of going out to eat, to me it’s family.”

4) Shishito Peppers at Parallel 38. “Next is a new-old-favorite. Parallel 38 has (thankfully) reopened, and the new digs are nothing short of enlightening. This place feels like it has been there forever, and any memories of previous establishments disappear as soon as you walk in. Kudos to Steve Pritchard, Justin Ross, Cara Ward, and Chef Johnny Garver for all their hard work making this new place even better than the original. I was simply floored by every dish that came out. My favorites there so far (and I didn’t exactly get through the entire menu, but I’m close) are the blistered shishitos (the best preparation of this kind I have ever had), sirloin (mouth watering and so tender it falls apart before the fork even hits it), and the octopus (which reminded me of Sunday dinner at my grandmother’s house). I couldn’t be happier to see these guys in action again, and I couldn’t be happier that I no longer have to drive to the other side of town to do so. Welcome back guys, it’s been too long.”

5) Marinara d.o.c. Pizza at Lampo. “Last, but most certainly not least, is Lampo – another place that makes me feel like I am walking into a family member’s house for dinner. Intimate, charming, and oh the smells. This place blows me away every time I go there, and seeing the smiling faces of Mitch Beerens, Andrew Cole, Loren Mendosa, and the rest of the staff, I know I’ve come home. These guys know good food, and being an Italian from Brooklyn I like to eat good food, especially pizza and this place helps me forget that I am hundreds of miles from my hometown every time I eat a pie from their oven. My favorite is the Marinara d.o.c. – the simplicity of this pizza is unlike anything I’ve had – garlic, marinara, oregano, salt and olive oil – it’s all the best parts and is absolutely amazing. Other favorites are The Hellboy pizza, roasted cauliflower, and if I’m lucky they have a cannoli or two left when I get there. Their slogan should read something like: Lampo, making Italian New Yorkers feel at home since 2014.”