The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Now & Zen

Five Finds on Friday: Ashley Williams

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Ashley Williams, new owner of Tavern & Grocery. Williams’ picks:

1) Charred Carrots at Oakhart Social. “I can’t get enough of these. Something about them just hits all the right chords. They are still crispy, and charred, and richly seasoned, all at the same time. Bold, balanced, perfect.”

2) Skillet Roasted Mussels at Tavola. “Whenever I go to Tavola, I have to order the mussels. Skillet roasted with just some garlic, they are indulgent and just plain FAB. Throw in a good crisp Italian white wine, and I’m good.”

3) Santa Fe Enchiladas at Continental Divide. “I can’t even think about going to Continental Divide without ordering the Santa Fe Enchiladas. I mean, as many times as I try to order something else, I just can’t do it. And with the pumpkin muffins on there, just doesn’t get better. (Not to date myself, but I’ve been ordering this for close to 20 years, and they are perfect every time.)”

4) Turkey on an Everything Bagel at Bodo’s. “A simple turkey sandwich on an everything bagel at Bodo’s is beyond a must. Lettuce, tomato, onion, light mayo, and you’ve done it. I lived in NYC for ten years and there was that deli that always just got it ‘right.’ Bodo’s gets this right, on another level. And how it’s less than $5 and you get it in less than 5 minutes . . it’s a simple miracle and gets me through a tough morning every time.”

5) Tuna Tartare at Now & Zen. “I don’t know how Toshi puts out food as good as he does in such a tiny spot, but he does. Now & Zen delivers with the tuna tartare. Fresh, seasoned perfectly, and beautiful. Any time I think of sushi, this is the dish I want.”

Five Finds on Friday: Courtney Hildebrand

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Courtney Hildebrand of The Catering Outfit, the full service caterer that recently launched pop-up lunches and dinners at its Carlton Road kitchen. Lunches are every Thursday, and the first dinner installment will be Saturday, August 18: Basque Seaside Dinner, with chef Tomas Rahal of Quality Pie. Details and reservations here. Meanwhile, The Catering Outfit’s sister restaurant, The Shebeen Pub and Braai, serves brunch every Saturday and Sunday, with house made Bloody Marys, acoustic music, and even outdoor patio seating on swings (yes swings). Hildebrand’s picks:

1) Mexican Street Corn at Junction. “In a town with lots of new street corn options, Melissa still has my favorite! It’s one of their shared plates so you can enjoy a small order by yourself or get a large to share with your friends. The chili-lime dressing is amazing.  Junction also has my favorite cocktails in town. I love to try anything Alec creates. My current favorite is Rum Communion with brown butter rum and notes of pineapple & lime. It’s hard to have just one of these yummy cocktails!”

2) Spicy Shrimp Dishes at The Local, Bang!, and The Shebeen Pub and Brai. “I am a sucker for a great shrimp dish. I have a three way tie for the best shrimp dish in town, as I will always order these if I am at one of these establishments. My picks are the Crispy Shrimp at The Local, the Firecracker Shrimp at Bang!, and the False Bay Crispies at The Shebeen Pub and Braai. They are all so tasty and it is just too hard to narrow it down to just one pick!”

3) Green Giant Roll at Now & Zen. “Now and Zen is one of my favorite spots to go to dinner with a small group of friends. Everything on the menu is mouthwatering, but the Green Giant Roll is always a pleasant surprise for friends who shy away from vegetarian dishes. This giant roll with sweet potato tempura, avocado & cream cheese stands up to any of their other signature big rolls.”

4) Vella Jack Cheese Fritters at Zocalo. “My sister and I love to go Zocalo for dinner when we can make time to have a night out together. We always start with the cheese fritters & raspberry-chili glaze, and then split the salmon dish for our entrée. The entire menu always sounds amazing, but we rarely stray from these picks on our sister dinner date. Zocalo also offers margarita flights which is always a good start to a night out!”

5) Big Baby Sake from North American Sake Brewery. “They have not quite opened their doors yet, but I have had a chance to try the new Big Baby Sake from the soon-to-be-open North American Sake Brewery. Andrew Centofante’s creation is one of the best sakes I have ever tried. I am excited for what he & Jeremy have in store once they open their doors next week.”

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Braised short rib sandwich, a recent pop-up lunch at The Catering Outfit

 

Five Finds on Friday: Sara Goldsmith

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Sara Goldsmith, who runs the brand new Feast! Truck at Main Street Market. Ideal for folks who need a morning Feast! fix, the converted 1974 cherry red Citroën H Van is open M-F 7:30-3 and Saturday 9-4, serving Red Rooster coffee, made-to-order breakfast, and grab-and-go lunch. Goldsmith’s picks:

1) Rotisserie Chicken at Al Carbon. “They have stayed consistent with their incredible recipe from Day One!”

2) Beef Brisket at BBQ Exchange. “It is totally worth the drive to Gordonsville. Tender and beautifully seasoned.”

3) Salmon Nanban appetizer at Now & Zen. “Spicy and cooked to perfection. I order this as my meal, and am always satisfied.”

4) CB&J Smoothie at The Juice Laundry. “Cashew butter, dragonfruit, and bananas are just a few of the delicious organic ingredients. Great as a meal or a snack any time of the year.”

5) Nicoise Quinoa Bowl at Feast!. “High grade tuna, Nicoise olives, and boiled local eggs on a bed of well-seasoned quinoa. It is so simple and fresh. I am addicted.”

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