The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Orzo

Five Finds on Friday: Brooke Ray

Brooke Ray Photo_coffee addict

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Brooke Ray, manager of the New Roots program for the International Rescue Committee. Working with sixty refugee families, New Roots establishes urban farming locations which aid in refugees’ community transition through gardening, education, local food access initiatives, and small business farming. On May 30, one of its farms – New Roots Farm – suffered extensive damage from a severe flash flood, and the twenty families that grow food there were devastated by the loss of most of their crops.

“Our hearts are hurting for all the work and money the families have put into their gardens,” says Ray, “as well as the fact that such a special place that was brimming with life and beauty and joy was so damaged.” The families now hope to reclaim what they can of the season and they need your help. Funds are needed to repair the farm, replant and rebuild beds, and relocate market crops to a safer location for the season. To help the families’ recovery, you can donate here

As usual, the Charlottesville food community has rallied in a time of need. On July 30, the event company Hill & Holler is organizing a Donor Appreciation Party for anyone who donates $100 or more to the cause. There will be food from Ivy Inn, Orzo, and A Pimento Catering, a wine bar from Blenheim Vineyards, beer from Reason Beer, live music, and more. Details on how you can donate and attend this special event.

Ray’s picks:

1) Som Tum at Pad Thai. “I love Santi’s version of papaya salad. It’s fresh and bright and spicy. The papaya, peppers and peanuts pack so many textures and flavors into one refreshing little salad. I like it with a cold beer and a Tom Yum Noodle Bowl. Pad Thai is so under-rated and I kind of hate to blow it up, but it’s my secret go-to for a good selection of well-priced draughts and take-away beer. And Jay, Santi’s son, has great taste in music to boot.”

2) Super-Style Tacos at La Michoacana. “I usually order the vegetarian tacos super-style from Edgar, but if you are so inclined the meat tacos are all also stupid good. The super style come topped with chopped onions, cilantro, cheese, sour cream and lettuce. They are bursting with flavor without being soggy or overly-loaded. I always order the spicy pickled onions and carrots to load on top and add a splash of their avocado salsa.”

3) Tomato Bisque at Orzo. “I have to say, I have loved every meal I have ever eaten at Orzo and really appreciate that the team puts as much care into their salads as they do into their main dishes. If I had to mention one thing though, it would be the tomato bisque made with lamb broth. Eating it was a revelatory food experience for me. Tomato bisque is something we’ve all had and we expect it to taste a certain way. But this one (which I think is a seasonal offering) is so comforting and rich and unexpected. It’s an adult version of one of my favorite, childhood, rainy day meals.”

4) Mango Chili Popsicle at La Flor Michoacana. “Can you tell I like spicy food? Our farm crew often makes a detour for this spot on the hottest days. The popsicle selection is extensive- I recommend making your way through all of them. The Mango chili is sweet and fresh in the right way with a pleasant heat.”

5) The Bellissima at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. “My favorite Sunday ritual is to go biking at Walnut Creek and then head over to Dr. Ho’s for their Bellissima pizza. The crust is flavorful and perfectly crunchy-chewy and it’s topped with so much good stuff- roasted tomatoes, shaved ham, aged parmesan. But most importantly they pile and entire arugula salad on top of it.  And it is REAL arugula – spicy and bold and often local – not the California clamshell stuff that has no flavor. I don’t know what they add to that vinaigrette in the salad but I can’t get enough of this pizza. It’s a good thing it’s 40 minutes from my house.”

Five Finds on Friday: Chris Long

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Chris Long, the UVa football legend who now plays for the New England Patriots, but in the offseason still lives in Charlottesville, where he loves to enjoy our dining scene. Long has recently teamed up with Champion Brewing Company for Waterboys IPA to benefit Long’s charity Waterboys, whose mission is to bring life-sustaining water to East African communities that desperately need it. Watch this moving video to learn more. And then, donate here.

Saturday November 26, Champion is throwing a Release Party for the Waterboys IPA, with proceeds going directly to the charity. Details here. Long’s picks:

1) Cornmeal-crusted Fried Oysters at Maya. “Perfectly fried. The house remoulade makes it.”

2) Thick Cut Pork Chop at The Fitzroy. “The biggest, baddest pork chop in town. Get it with the roasted cauliflower.”

3) The Blaze at The Juice Laundry. “Perfectly spicy.”

4) Semisweet Chocolate Pot de Creme at Orzo.  “I’ve eaten three in one sitting and could’ve had more.”

5) Key Lime Free Range Chicken at ZoCaLo. “Longtime favorite.”

 

Five Finds on Friday: Will Reed

Reed

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Will Reed, Whisky Experience Ambassador at Virginia Distillery Company, which recently took home a gold medal for its flagship Virginia Malt Whisky in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  On May 21, the distillery is celebrating World Whisky Day  at its beautiful visitor center, where you can enjoy a cocktail, sip a wee dram, and enjoy food from Code Fresh Food Truck. Special guest Gearharts Fine Chocolates will even offer a whisky and chocolate pairing demo from 11:30-2:30pm.  Reed’s picks:

1) Chicken Cassoulet at Orzo.  “Every dish at Orzo is delicious, but their Southern take on chicken cassoulet is beyond mouthwatering. After my first bite, I feel like I could die happy.”

2) Don Juan at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. “My favorite way to wind down after work is to swing by Dr. Ho’s. You really can’t go wrong with any of their pizzas, but their Don Juan with roasted tomatoes is pretty killer.”

3) Peanut Butter Pups from Gearharts Fine Chocolates.  “Besides having the amazing combination of chocolate and peanut butter (who doesn’t like that, right?), Gearharts donates a portion of the sales from these chocolates to a non-profit that supports wounded veterans.”

4) Strawberry Picking at Chiles Orchard.  “There’s nothing like biting into your first sun ripened strawberry in springtime. Something I look forward to every May is filling up a basket of strawberries at Chiles before heading over to King Family or Veritas Vineyards. A little cheese, some fresh strawberries and Virginia wine, and you’ve pretty much found the ideal Charlottesville afternoon.”

5) Saint Andrew cocktail at Lost Saint.  “Every drink Patrick and Carrie create at Lost Saint is delicious and unique. Their Saint Andrew cocktail, made with our whisky, Cocchi di Torino and Benedictine is dangerously addictive. I’d have one every night if I could.”