The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Maya

Five Finds on Friday: Laurel Bennett

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from someone without whom this week’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship by the University of Virginia would not have happened. In March 2009, when Washington State men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett picked up the phone to call Virginia and decline its offer to become its men’s basketball coach, his wife Laurel suggested he put down the phone and give the decision more time. The next day, Tony called to accept the Virginia job. And, the rest is history. Laurel’s picks:

1) Pappardelle Bolognese at Tavola. “If you haven’t had it, just go get it.”

2) Any Meal at Pico Wrap. “My most frequented restaurant. Any meal, make it your way. My vote for friendliest, too.”

3) Trout and ANY Two Sides at Maya. “Eat every bite. Makes me feel right at home with my southern roots.”

4) Grilled Sea Scallops at Duner’s. “They are always cooked to perfection. And there’s room for dessert.”

5) Brownie A La Mode at Continental Divide. “Confession: I often make a pit stop here just for dessert. Amen.”

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Laurel Bennett and family, April 1, 2009, at the press conference introducing Tony Bennett as UVa Men’s Basketball Coach

 

Five Finds on Friday: Deirdre Armstrong

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Deirdre Armstrong of Harvest Thyme Herbs, the  vegetable and herb farm, beloved by area chefs, that she founded with her husband Phil. Deirdre recently lost Phil to an unexpected illness, and he is now remembered as an unsung hero of the food community, whose passion and hard work made thousands of meals more delicious. Deirdre’s picks:

1) Whippoorwill Crowder Peas in Ham Broth at The Shack. “These heirloom crowder peas were a gift to Chef Ian Boden from Dr. David Shields, English professor, author and seed saving pioneer at University of South Carolina. Ian passed them along to us, and once I tasted this dish, I could see why he was so eager for us to grow them. Served with pickled Fresno chiles and schmaltz cornbread, to mop up the insanely good ham broth, these rich, savory peas are a revelation.”

2) Doe Hill Pepper Bisque at the Ivy Inn. “Phil was known for his hot peppers, but Angelo makes this impossibly creamy soup from a golden yellow sweet pepper that is a pre- 1900 family heirloom from the Doe Hill area in Highland County, Virginia. Summer sunshine in a bowl.”

3) Wild Mushroom Risotto at Maya. “Risotto is always a wise choice at Maya, but this umami- rich variation hits just the right note with woodsy Sharondale wild mushrooms and Greg’s special magic.”

4) Shrimp Tacos at Chicano Boy Taco. “Chilled shrimp makes this taco so refreshing to me. Topped with roasted corn, grilled onion, cabbage, cojita cheese and tangy chipotle mayonnaise, all wrapped in a perfect handmade corn tortilla, it is a healthy summer standout on a menu that’s chock full of tempting choices.”

5) Fig Chocolates from Santiago Chocolates. “Jim Dutton is a self- taught chocolatier, and his mastery of the art is evident in his unique flavors, gorgeous stenciling, and insistence on only the finest ingredients. Opening a box of his chocolates takes my breath away each time. If forced to choose a favorite flavor, I would have to pick the decadent fig filling, with port wine and anise. Best savored with a glass of port, of course!”

Five Finds on Friday: Janna Hackworth

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Janna Hackworth, the trained chef and former manager of The Wine Guild who is buying Revolutionary Soup on The Corner. Post-sale, Hackworth says guests can expect more of the same great soup, salads, and sandwiches, as well as some new specials. We’ve always said that Rev Soup is a sneaky good choice for dinner, and through June, every night is Kids Eat Free night when parents order dinner there. Hackworth’s picks:

1) Meat from Barefoot Farm.  “One of the things that excites me most about taking over Revolutionary Soup on The Corner is the ability to continue to support local farmers and purveyors. We’ll be buying our pasture raised pork and beef from Kira and Mike Shifflett at Barefoot Farm in Keene. They’re opening a store in Scottsville, Barefoot Country Store, slated to open in July.”

2) Chicken Liver Toast at Brasserie Saison. “I love the contrast of the crunchy pickled celery and the creamy chicken liver paté. The hazelnut shaved on top is such a fantastic accent. I can’t stop thinking about this dish!”

3) Dumplings at Marco and Luca. “Simple and perfect- the ultimate comfort food, year-round. Soon to be our next-door neighbors on The Corner!”

4) Passionfruit + Mango Caramels from La Vache Microcreamery. “Stephanie makes the best caramels. My favorite is the seasonal passionfruit + mango, but you can’t go wrong with the classic fleur de sel. (Now that I’m no longer at the Wine Guild, you might be able to find them in stock. Ha ha.)”

5) Fried Oysters at Maya. “Anything on their from-scratch menu works for me. They’ve been consistently great for over 10 years now, but I always have to have the fried oysters. (I met my husband there, so it holds a special place in my heart.)”