The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Maya

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


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.)”

Five Finds on Friday: Dan Frosaker


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Dan Frosaker, the brand new Head Chef and Kitchen Manager of Feast!. From Oregon, Frosaker once managed the kitchen of Andy Ricker’s award-winning restaurant, Pok Pok, which GQ named one of the country’s ten best new restaurants, and also was Executive Chef of the classic Italian restaurant Mama Mia Trattoria. This is always a great time of year at Feast!, which offers an awesome assortment of gift baskets, allowing one stop shopping for your food-loving friends. In addition to the picks below, Frosaker recommends anything from Las Cavanas, the gem hidden in a Crozet gas station. Froasker’s picks:

1) Pimento Cheese Fritters at Maya. “After moving from the Northwest and never having pimento cheese or pepper jelly, this dish was a revelation. The crispy, salty fried cheese fritters topped with sweet pepper jelly and served with chive sour cream is a perfect blend of flavors and textures. Another offering at Maya that rivals the pepper jelly is the country ham gravy which goes well on anything.”

2) Mosaic Pale Ale at Random Row Brewing. “Coming from the intense beer culture of Portland, OR, I am happy to see the growth of the local beer community here in Central Virginia. Random Row is a great addition to the current offerings. Their tasting room is inviting and their Mosaic Pale Ale is very refreshing.”

3) Porchetta Panouzzo at Lampo.  “I’m not the first person to be impressed with Lampo and their excellently made pizzas and sandwiches. I have gone back for the porchetta sandwich many times. I love the bitter char on the bread and the tender pork, cheese and broccoli rabe. Recently, I had a special shaved beef sandwich that blew me away.”

4) Rotisserie Chicken at Al Carbon. “Another dish that needs no introduction is the chicken at Al Carbon. The perfectly cooked chicken is great on its own, but when you pair it with the Aji Sauce and the Jalapeno and Cilantro Sauce it is truly exceptional. A side of green rice and fried Yucca rounds out a great meal.”

5) Deli Egg on an Everything at Bodo’s Bagels. “There is nothing better than a freshly baked bagel with cream cheese in the morning, but the Deli Egg is pretty close. The chopped up end cuts from the deli meats mixed with an egg and piled on an everything bagel is a great sloppy start to the day.”