The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Orzo

Five Finds on Friday: Hannah Deal

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Hannah Deal of Hannah’s Homemade, which makes nut and granola butters from sustainably sourced, 100% organic ingredients that are free of most common allergens. Deal hopes her business will draw attention to chronic illnesses, and she donates a portion of proceeds to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA). You can meet Deal and sample her products tomorrow, January 26, at Feast! from 12-2 pm. Details here. Deal’s picks:

1) Roasted PEI Mussels at Orzo Kitchen and Wine Bar. “I have eaten just about every dish at Orzo and while they are all incredible, their mussels appetizer is one of the best they’ve got. While I can no longer consume dairy as of 2017, I still dream about this dish and used to order it nearly every time I went. As a side note, I studied for a semester in Belgium (a place known for mussels) and couldn’t find any as good as Orzo’s. If that isn’t a testament to how good they are, I don’t know what is.”

2) Crab Soup at The Local. “Crab is a favorite food of mine, and since my family frequents the beach for vacations, I have had more than my fair share of crab soup over the years. I still remember where I sat when I took my first bite of The Local’s crab soup. It manages to be rich and creamy while not taking attention away from the most important ingredient; crab. As a bonus, you don’t feel like you’ve gained ten pounds after eating it. Similarly to the last dish, I can’t eat this one anymore, but I will still recommend it to anyone.”

3) Green Curry at Thai 99. “You can’t really go wrong when ordering green curry, but you can end up with a mediocre curry that you’ll forget about the next day. Thai 99’s is anything but mediocre and contains a blast of flavor and spice in each spoonful. As a bonus, this one works for all of the gluten-free and dairy-free folks out there! I could eat this every day during the winter, and then some.”

4) The Mayweather at Roots. “Roots is my go-to lunch place if I’m out working all day. I have eaten their Mayweather bowl so many times that the total is probably embarrassing, but their food is delicious and leaves me satisfied each time I go. I do make a few substitutions to create a dairy-free and gluten-free dish, but this is easy to do, and the staff are always so friendly. If you’re reading this and work at Roots, thanks for feeding me!”

5) Adam’s Apple at Revolutionary Soup. “This is the best sandwich I have ever had, period. Rev Soup takes some of the best, classic ingredients such as bacon, goat cheese, and apple, and puts them in between two slices of locally made bread slathered with homemade garlic aioli and local apple butter. You really can’t get better that! And while this sandwich is not allergen-friendly, most of their options are, which makes it a great place for just about anyone.”

Five Finds on Friday: Ellie Grinspun

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Ellie Grinspun, the former chef-owner of Kafkafe who now runs Ellie Cooks, a personal chef service in your home. Details here. Grinspun’s picks:

1) Blueberries from The Berry Patch in Free Union. “A tradition that began 18 years ago, picking blueberries with my son, and still continues. When he was younger we would read ‘Blueberries for Sal’ at bedtime in preparation for our morning adventure. As he surpassed me in height it became a competition to see who could pick the most – me, but he definitely eats the most! Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk!”

2) Coppa Pork Steaks salted and thrown on the grill from JM Stock Provisions. “Ask the boys, Alex and Ben, to cut it thick! Serve it with a huge seasonal salad and enjoy. Oh, and their tasso ham sliced to go or served on their flaky biscuits with honey and hot sauce. Don’t forget to follow Autumn Olive Farms on Instagram and watch videos of their adorable piglets running and grazing!”

3) Farmers in the Park at Meade Avenue. “This is my idea of a perfect market – low key, shaded, local fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, drinks, desserts, and food. No crowds means you can chat with the vendors and really get to know them!”

4) Scallops from Seafood @ West Main. “Lately, I like them raw! Slice them horizontally and layer them on a serving platter with chunks of local peaches, paper thin slices of cucumbers, drizzle with a shallot white balsamic vinaigrette and a sprinkling of Maldon flakes, and top with torn pieces of fresh mint. Simple and fresh.”

5) Ending an evening out with a Chocolate Pot de Crème at Orzo. “Think chocolate pudding marries crème brûlée. Or, the deconstructed s’mores bread pudding and a whiskey sour prepared with an egg white at Oakhart Social.”

 

 

Five Finds on Friday: Brooke Ray

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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.”