The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Mona Lisa

Five Finds on Friday: Liz Nabi

Nabi

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Liz Nabi of Alight Flower Farm, whose beautiful Spring flowers have been brightening lives of seclusion for weeks. They are available for delivery through Schuyler Greens and carry-out from Foods of All Nations. Nabi’s picks:

1) Vegetable Board at The Alley Light. “We don’t get out for date night often, but when we do, The Alley Light is our go-to. From the intimate atmosphere to the delicious drinks (the mule for me, the gazossa for him), it’s a winner. But, it’s the Vegetable Board that’s kept us coming back since they opened. The whole platter of seasonal veggies in so many variations – pickled, roasted, marinated, raw – is an adventure.”

2) Brioche Feuilletée at MarieBette. “Weekends in the off-season, we walk to MarieBette for pastries and La Colombe coffee. I love the brioche feuilletée – the flakiness contrasts with the denseness of the chocolate and hazelnut, topped off with a dusting of granulated sugar. It can’t be beat (well, unless the filling of the day is vanilla cloud creme).”

3) Moules Frites Mariniere at Public Fish & Oyster. “For nights out with friends, we head to Public. Steamed mussels, broth, and fries. What’s not to love?”

4) Vegetable Lasagna from Mona Lisa Pasta and Molasses Cookies from Breadworks. “Before COVID-19, when we had company coming and didn’t have time to cook, we loved to grab a lasagna from Mona Lisa Pasta’s freezer and then walk across the lot to Breadworks for cookies (an assortment for the guests, but with plenty of molasses for us).”

5) Waje Sushi and Gazpacho at Foods of All Nations. “There’s ‘grocery’ sushi and then there’s Waje Sushi – fresh, buttery salmon and perfect rice every time, very reasonably priced. We can’t wait for summer because that means that Foods’ house-made gazpacho will be back in the grab-and-go section. Refreshing and finishes with a nice kick.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Nikki Flannery

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It has been heartwarming for so many readers to send additions and updates to the list of restaurants offering takeout and curbside pick-up during the COVID-19 crisis. Readers know the grave risk that their favorite restaurants may not survive this crisis without cash flow in the meantime. This week’s Five Finds on Friday recognizes one such reader, the Center for Christian Study’s Nikki Flannery, who wanted to make sure that Mochiko was among those listed in the “culture of takeout.” Flannery’s picks:

1) Alpha and Omega at Tavola Cicchetti Bar. “Perfection in a glass. I love this drink so much that my husband John and I served a version of it at our wedding. The brown-butter washed sherry is unreal. Delicate, warm, and bright at the same time.”

2) Hawaiian Plate with BBQ Chicken, Mac Salad, and Cucumber Kimchi from Mochiko. “I grew up in southern California, and one thing I miss about it is its proximity to Hawaii. That’s why I was so excited to hear about Riki’s stand at the market (and eventually his brick and mortar at 5th street station). You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but the BBQ chicken is my favorite. I always ask for extra furikake seasoning on the side—and grab some Hawaiian Sun punch and spam musubis on the way out.”

3) Da Vinci Sandwich from Mona Lisa Pasta. “The real star of this sandwich is the three-seeded baguette coated in what I’m pretty sure is a mixture of fennel seeds, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds (though I always eat it too quickly to know for sure). A perfect balance of salami, soppressata, provolone, tomato, greens, house dressing, and sun-dried tomato pesto. In a town with a lot of amazing sandwiches, it’s my favorite one to introduce to people.”

4) Garganelli Alla Zucca at Tavola. “I actually learned about this dish on a recipe blog, someone visiting from Texas had eaten this at Tavola and created a recipe inspired by it. Once I ordered the original in person I fell in love. The crispy sage and caramelized red onions take it over the top.”

5) Almond Pave Cake from Paradox Pastry. “Four simple ingredients – almond flour, butter, eggs, sugar. Dense, buttery goodness. It’s my birthday cake every year and I have been known to eat it for breakfast.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Patrick Evans

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On Fridays, we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Patrick Evans, baker and co-owner of MarieBette, and creator of the bakery’s many delicious pastries, like, our favorite, the canele, as well as the brioche feuilletée, which has become a bit of a sensation since being dubbed a bronut, leading some even to call for a “national movement of bronuts.” Evans’ picks:

1)  Pizza with Pepperoni and Red Onions from Mona Lisa.  “This is a custom order pie usually, but sometimes they have it by the slice.”

2)  A dinner of Rosé from Blenheim Vineyards, a Sesame Baguette from MarieBette, and an entire wedge of Delice de Bourgogne from Trader Joe’s.  “Sometimes I’ll share some of the cheese with my daughter Betty, who we lovingly call ‘the cheese monster!'”

3)  Weekend Sandwich Special from JM Stock Provisions.  “Whatever it is, it’s gonna be good, and it’s usually on MarieBette Virginia Sourdough!”

4)  Burger Cooked “Red” with Fries and a Pickle at Citizen Burger Bar.  “They don’t do the traditional rare, medium rare, medium, well done here . . . but I realized that RED is the closest to medium rare, and it hits the spot.”

5)  Crispy Tofu Bento Box from Cafe 88.  “I once called to order this on the phone and Lee, the owner, responded by saying ‘OK Patrick, it’ll be ready soon!’ I didn’t know she knew my name, but this kind of small town familiarity is one of the great things about Charlottesville.”