The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Our Local Commons

Five Finds on Friday: Jenny Paurys

On Fridays, we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Jenny Paurys, author of The Virginia Table, the new book about Virginia’s great food and drink created by Our Local Commons in collaboration with Early Mountain Vineyards. You can still order copies for delivery by Christmas at virginiatable.com.  Paurys’ picks highlight some of her favorites from the book:

1)  Hop Cider from Potter’s Craft Cider.  “The cider chapter showcases ciders from across the state, and Potter’s Craft chose to highlight their new Hop cider. I admit, I was both curious and nervous to try it. Cider is my jam, and I wondered how hops, which I am not particularly fond of in beer, would affect my beloved Farmhouse Dry. The answer: perfection. Floral, aromatic, divine. I grab mine from Beer Run.”

2)  McLaurin from Spring Mill Farm. “Spring Mill Farm is the artisan featured in the cheese chapter. HB Hunter is creating some excellent goat’s milk and cow’s milk cheeses at his farm in Concord, Virginia, near Lynchburg. The pimento chevre is addictive, and the McLaurin — a tomme — makes my toes curl. Cheesemonger Nadjeeb Chouaf at Timbercreek Market can hook you up with this goodness.”

3) Andouille Sausage from JM Stock Provisions. “The meat chapter includes a list of artisanal butchers across the Commonwealth, and products they carry that are raised in Virginia. Charlottesville’s JM Stock chose to highlight their 60 rotating varieties of house-made sausage, featuring pork from Autumn Olive Farms. I am especially fond of the Andouille, which has a full, yet balanced flavor.”

4)  Oysters at ROCKSALT.  “Each chapter includes chef-authored recipes, and for the wine chapter, ROCKSALT Executive Chef Dylan Allwood created oysters three ways — baked, fried and raw, each paired with white and sparkling wines from Virginia. The Rappahannock River Oysters served at ROCKSALT are a fabulous example of how Virginia producers can leverage the state’s natural resources to produce incredible food and support rural communities.”

5) Three-Grain Pancake Mix from Woodson’s Mill.  “For the grain chapter, we visited Woodson’s Mill in Nelson County, where they are producing flours, cornmeal and grits from Virginia-grown grain. Their pancake mix includes wheat, corn and buckwheat — the latter grown at Steadfast Farm, just south of town. My children love pancakes, but if you had asked me if they would ever eat anything labeled “three grain” I would have questioned your sanity. Yet, when I brought home a bag and whipped up a batch, they ate every last morsel. The pancakes are rich and so very satisfying, even the baby loves them. I get the mix from Foods of All Nations — and I now make a double batch each time, so I have a better chance of scoring one or two for myself.”

Five Finds on Friday: Our Local Commons

Commons

Sarah Cramer Shields, left, and Andrea Hubbell.

On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Sarah Cramer Shields and Andrea Hubbell, founders of the Charlottesville food website Our Local Commons, and creators of the books of the same name. Volume 2 of Our Local Commons has just been published, and tomorrow, October 11, there is a celebration at JM Stock Provisions called Meet Your Makers.  Meet folks whose stories are told in Our Local Commons and enjoy free samples of their products, including Flora Artisanal Cheese, Potter’s Craft Cider, Three Notch’d Brewing Co., Freestone Pies, Virginia Vinegar Works, and Whisper Hill Farm.  Sarah and Andrea’s picks:

1)  Garganelli with Butternut Squash, Kale, Caramelized Onions and Sage at Tavola.  “Seeing it on the menu each year marks the beginning of the fall season and we just can’t get enough of it.”

2)  Fried Oysters at the Cardinal Point Oyster Roast. “The Rappahannock River Oyster guys whip up an amazingly light and crispy batter that we crave all year. Mark your calendars for November 15-16.  Great music, wine and OYSTERS!”

3)  Bulk Spicy Sausage from Babes in the Woods.  “We use it in pasta dishes and soups all year long, but especially love it this time of year paired with squash and kale. It is a staple in both of our homes! You can get it at the farmer’s market or at Relay Foods.”

4)  Takeout from Pad Thai.  “It’s so important to have good takeout options while trying to wrangle one-year-olds during the witching hour.  Our favorites are the Tom Yum Noodle Bowl, the Green Papaya Salad, and the Garlic and Black Pepper Crispy Pork, which the Ouypron family made for us during our interview for the website. It’s not on the menu, but if you ask Jay nicely they will make it for you!”

5)  Cupcakes and Shenandoah Joe Coffee at Sweethaus.  “Our go-to afternoon meeting spot for a caffeine and sugar pick-me-up.  We love the almond cupcakes!  And, they just made their cookie dough frosting available by the tub!  Enough said.”