The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Mas Tapas

Five Finds on Friday: Chrissy Smith

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Chrissy Smith, Wine Buyer at Beer Run, where you can enjoy any bottle of any wine from the store’s selection for just $7 corkage. A Certified Sherry Wine Specialist, Smith is planning an upcoming sherry seminar to help guests better understand a wine style she says is “underappreciated and misunderstood.” Follow Beer Run’s Facebook page for updates. Meanwhile, Smith also hosts a free wine tasting every Friday at Beer Run from 6 – 8 pm. Smith’s picks:

1) Margherita D.O.C. & Polpettine with any of the fabulous Italian reds at Lampo. “I’m not sure how many times Lampo has graced these lists, but I’m about to give them another notch on The Charlottesville 29 post. The talented crew there has created my personal perfect pizza — a crust that is just thin and doughy enough with the perfect amount of char and bite. My favorite combination is the Margherita D.O.C. and meatballs (you have to save that sauce for dipping the crust) with any of Andrew’s carefully-curated selections. Although, my preferred glass of red with this combo is anything of the Piedmontese persuasion. I’m a Margherita pizza lover in general, and since they offer two variations, my fiancé and I did a side-by-side comparison of the standard Margherita & the D.O.C., and while both are utterly delicious, the Mozzarella di Bufala adds a creamier, meltier, more flavorful sensation to the D.O.C. that steals my heart every time.”

2) Boquerones with/ an extra squeeze of fresh lemon, Pan de Casero, and a Manzanilla Sherry at MAS Tapas. “While there are many dishes I drool over at Mas, one of the simplest combinations are the boquerones (Cantabrian white anchovies marinated in olive oil, lemon, garlic) with a little squeeze of lemon, the slow-fermented, hearth-baked bread, and a Manzanilla sherry, especially of the En Rama or unfiltered variety. The sea air brininess & freshness of this sherry from the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda make it a quintessential match to the fresh and powerful flavor of the marinated anchovies.”

3) Uni Nigiri & Chirashi Don with Junmai Daiginjo Sake at TEN Sushi. “Super fresh Uni (sea urchin) over perfectly prepared sushi rice is one of my favorite sushi pleasures, and TEN provides not only the highest quality fish in town, but also the best rice–a touch warm and just sweet & vinegary enough. The purity & freshness of a Junmai Daiginjo is a delightful counter to the creamy, ocean flavors of great Uni. But one cannot survive on Uni alone! And I love the variety in the Chirashi don, which is basically a bowl of chef’s choice sashimi over sushi rice, which is both filling and extremely delicious.”

4) Salmon Linguine with Sparkling Brut Rosé at Beer Run“While I have many go-to dishes at Beer Run, whenever I’m there once the dinner menu begins, you can almost always find me enjoying the Salmon Linguine. It’s a generous filet of perfectly-cooked Atlantic salmon with wilted spinach, garlic-compound butter, and capers over linguine. One of my favorite pairings is the Treveri Brut Rosé–an organic, Washington state sparkling rosé made in the Champagne Method from the Syrah grape–which cuts through while also enhancing the decadent flavors of the salmon and butter.”

5) Spinach & Mushroom Enchiladas with a Reposado Tequila, Cointreau Margarita with salt at Continental Divide.”I love the Continental Divide. If I could, I’d cozy up to the bar, eat comforting food, and chat with the amazing staff every night! If I absolutely had to choose one dish from my usual meal line-up (I like to make it a three-course deal), it would be the Spinach & Mushroom Enchiladas and a margarita with a reposado tequila, Cointreau, and a healthy salt rim. While this might be a sacrilegious treatment of enchiladas to some, I like to chop them up a bit with my fork and mix all the goodies together to ensure an even distribution of deliciousness in every bite.”

Five Finds on Friday: Kerrie Pierce

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Kerrie Pierce of Vitae Spirits, which has just released this year’s batch of Poptails — five different Pierce cocktails served frozen as popsicles in a tube. Collab & Cream, for example, is an astonishingly delicious blend of Collab #1 beer spirit, Orange liqueur, coffee vanilla syrup, milk, and malted milk ball pieces. Meanwhile, on June 21, Vitae is throwing a party to celebrate release of their Distiller’s Reserve Barrel-Aged Rum Batch #1, a blend of rums aged for over two years in Keswick Vineyard’s 2014 Cabernet Franc barrels and Smooth Ambler Old Scout bourbon barrels. Pierce’s picks:

1) Apricot Danish at Albemarle Baking Company.  “I enjoy devouring many things at Albemarle Baking Company, but this pastry is my top favorite and I will snag one every time I walk through the door. It was my favorite pastry when I was in France, and I love that I can get one whenever I want right here in town. Crispy, flaky pastry dough, creamy custard and a little poached apricot without being overwhelmingly sweet. What’s not to love?”

2) Moules Frites at Public Fish & Oyster. “You can’t beat perfectly cooked mussels in a delicious broth with frites and a glass of wine. A friend and I are making our way through all the broth options. It is a delightful quest, and a lovely way to spend an evening with a friend.”

3) Papas Bravas at MAS Tapas. “I order this every visit as long as they aren’t out! Pure comfort food. Sizzling hot yukon gold potato with aioli and grey sea salt? They disappear  too quickly, and then a little bread is needed to mop up whatever is left in the skillet.

4) Branzino alla Griglia at Tavola.  “I find it difficult to explore the rest of the menu because I want this every time. Tender and flaky sea bass with a parsley root puree, baby arugula and fennel with preserved lemon. The flavors all work so perfectly together and I could eat a giant bowl of the parsley root puree with a spoon it is so good.”

5) Tamales Oaxaquenos at La Michoacana. “One of my favorite dishes at Michoanaca, which again is difficult to pick because everything they make is so tasty! The masa is cooked perfectly and the mole sauce is one of the best I’ve ever had. I’ll always order a side of fried yucca if they have it on special too.”

 

Five Finds on Friday: Jeff Latchum

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come Jeff Latchum of wine importer Williams Corner Wine. If you’re shopping for wine and unsure what to buy, check the labels on the backs of the bottles. Find one that says “Williams Corner Wine,” and you know it will be good. This Sunday, Latchum, a natural wine expert, will be at Blenheim Vineyards Library Series to teach a natural wines class, showcasing some of the finest natural wines in the world. Just fifteen tickets will be sold. Call (434) 293-5366 for yours. Details on this and other Library Series events here. Latchum’s picks:

1) Jamón and Rancio Sec at MAS Tapas. “Yes I’m shilling for something we sell and writing my entire piece about wine. Catalan tradition of completely oxidized, non-fortified wine that pairs well with literally anything salty and savory, from jamón to seafood. Ask for Domaine de Rombeau.”

2) Shad Roe and German Riesling at Tastings. “Tucked away from the hoi polloi, have a glass or two from the dozens of open bottles or grab a bottle off the rack and enjoy it for a small corkage. Idiosyncratic and proud of it, also the best place to buy a special occasion or specific vintage wine. He might even still have shad roe to nibble on with a dry German Riesling (ask for Ulli Stein or Peter Lauer).”

3) Meatloaf and Champagne at Bizou. “An often overlooked list for thoughtfully chosen wines at a reasonable price, especially the Champagne and you should be drinking more Champagne! It will make you look (or at least feel) dreamy scarfing down a delicious plate of meatloaf.”

4) Ham Biscuits and Chenin Blanc from Foods of All Nations. “You’ll need a full case of wine, and Tom and Frankie can help. The Wine Store to explore! Make sure to start looking at the back label and becoming fluent with the importer. I am certain you will find kinship with a handful, as many are doing excellent work. It’s never been better to be a consumer of wine! While there, I suggest buying a MarieBette olive baguette, ham biscuits, and some fried chicken, for friends, or just you, the dog, and the case of wine. For ham biscuits and fried chicken I would suggest Chenin Blanc from Domaine aux Moines, Savennieres Sec 2015.”

5) Tuna Nicoise and Muscadet or Sauvignon Blanc at MarieBette Café and Bakery. “Five Finds has found and celebrated many wonderful things about MarieBette, but did you know that they have an affordable bistro wine selection to complement the long list of lovable superlatives? Jason, Patrick, and Will are the best, made all the more adorable with a glass of Muscadet or Sauvignon Blanc. My pairing for either is the Tuna Niçoise.”