The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Parallel 38

Five Finds on Friday: Wiley Kimball

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Wiley Kimball of Parallel 38, which Wednesday, January 24, is hosting a happy hour and dinner with local wine star and itinerary creator Jake Busching. Happy hour, from 4-6 pm, includes a “meet and greet” with Busching and discounted prices on his wines. Dinner begins at 6:30, and includes a seven course feast with Busching, paired with Busching wines and other special selections. Guests can attend either or both events. Buy your dinner tickets at (434) 260-8793. Kimball’s picks:

1) One-Eye Burger from Mel’s Cafe. “This is, to me, the perfect burger. Just the right size, just the right amount of grease, and topped with a fried egg. I get mine with grilled onions, mayo, and hot sauce. Mel’s is a great spot for a casual lunch and the service is some of the friendliest you’ll find anywhere. If you haven’t been, you need to change that ASAP.”

2) The Rocket from Snowing in Space. “I can get down with just about everything from Snowing in Space but I always gravitate to this take on a Mexican hot chocolate. The Rocket is their cold-brew espresso mixed with milk, cinnamon, and a touch of chili powder. I usually drink my coffee black but something about this creamy, slightly spicy concoction always hits the spot.”

3) Literally Any Beer from Three Notch’d Brewing. “I wracked my brain trying to narrow this down to even only three favorites and I couldn’t. Their beers are just that good, especially the seasonals and collaboration brews. Special shout out to their collab with Oskar Blues, the Black & Goldings black ale. If you want something a bit more adventurous, stop by the Sour House on Preston (in their original taproom) and embrace the funk.”

4) Dry-Fried Eggplant at Peter Chang China Grill. “I could easily do this list five times over with only dishes from Peter Chang, but this is my hands down favorite. Light, crispy, savory, and with just enough spice to wake your palate up (and build up to some of the other dishes!). You hand me a couple orders of this and a tall Sapporo and I’ll be the happiest person on the planet.”

5) Wine and the View at Brent Manor Vineyards. “If I need to get out of town, this is my go-to. Tucked away just off 29 in Nelson County, this small vineyard is run by the lovely Jorge and Tracie, who not only make their own lineup of wines including a beautiful Chambourcin, they also stock a rotating selection of Portuguese wines and “winetail” specials that are always surprising and refreshing. All of that, paired with some beautiful VA scenery, makes for a perfect lazy afternoon. They’re closed for the season now but look out for them to reopen in the spring – you won’t be disappointed.”

Five Finds on Friday: Daniel Kaufman

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Daniel Kaufman of Public Fish & Oyster, now home to one of the best happy hours in town, 4-6 pm every day. Besides special food items like lobster rolls, there are great deals on wine, beer, and classic cocktails like negronis. “Lots of people know about our lobster rolls being offered during happy hour,” says Kaufman, “but the clam strip roll our chef Gregg has worked into the menu is probably the best sandwich I have ever had (bias aside).” Kaufman’s picks:

1) Boquerones at MAS Tapas and Parallel 38. “Perhaps it is cheating a bit to mention two places here, but I love what both restaurants do with these perfect little fishes. Mas takes a traditional approach serving these vinegar-and-olive-oil marinated white anchovies with lemon and garlic. P38 takes them in a different direction adding a touch of Maras red pepper which adds a welcome hint of spice. Either way, they are probably my favorite snack food.”

2) Xiao Long Bao (Steamed Pork Soup Dumplings) at Taste of China. “I am a dumpling junkie, and was so happy to see someone local doing real Soup Dumplings. Taste of China serves them perfectly steamed and filled with the most delicious molten-lava-hot broth just waiting to scald the hell out of your mouth. Every bit worth the pain involved.”

3) Scallion Bubble Pancakes at Peter Chang’s China Grill. “The first time I saw these delivered to a table, I thought it was the most ridiculous looking dish I had ever seen. Two basketball-sized balls of fried dough served alongside some brownish-yellowish sauce. I was in love the first time I had them. You have to eat them before they get cold and when you do, they have the most amazing chewy texture that comes to life when dipped in the sweet curry sauce served along side.”

4) Mexican Street Corn at Al Carbon. “Street corn has shown up on countless menus in the last year, but I haven’t tasted one that tops these guys. They make theirs with fresh cotija cheese and a spicy/sweet mayonnaise concoction and finish it with a hint of lime juice which adds the perfect hint of acidity to the creamy sauce. The perfect accompaniment to their amazing chicken.”

5) Shaved Salad at Oakhart Social. “This is the best salad I have ever had, and I know I’m not alone on this one. Dates, apple, arugula, watermelon radish, fennel, toasted breadcrumbs. Sweet, bitter, crunchy, tart, creamy all works together harmoniously. I’d happily go vegetarian if I got to eat this every day of my life.”

Five Finds on Friday: Albee Pedone

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Albee Pedone, bar manager of Three Notch’d Brewing’s new brewpub. Yesterday, Three Notch’d released Big Dog Blonde Ale, a collaboration with the natural pet store Animal Connection. $1 of every pint sold goes to local pet rescues, and Animal Connection is making dog treats from the spent grain of the beer’s production. The beer will be available through Sunday, October 29, when Animal Connection is hosting Dog Fest and Howl-o-Ween at IX Art Park. Three Notch’d is also throwing an Oktoberfest Celebration today through Sunday, October 22. You can purchase your Oktoberfest stein now, for free beer. Pedone’s picks:

1) Espresso at MarieBette. “My morning doesn’t get going until I have some good espresso, and for that I head to MarieBette. Not only the best espresso in my opinion, but also the best pastries, and pretty much everything else they make. Whether I have time for a leisurely breakfast or I just need to stop in and grab something quick, I always love visiting my friends, Jason, Patrick, and Will and having some incredible treats to start the day, which definitely keeps me on track for long hours of work.”

2) Rotisserie Chicken at Al Carbon. “Their chicken is unbelievably moist and juicy, with a perfectly crispy skin – the only rotisserie chicken better than Al Carbon is in Tulum, Mexico as far as I’m concerned. And the spicy guacamole is delicious too. Always friendly and welcoming, this is a must have, on a weekly basis for me.”

3) Smoked Tri-Tip at Oakhart Social. “Now, when it comes to dinner, first on my list is Oakhart Social. Owners Ben Clore and Chef Tristan Wraight really know how to make a restaurant work. Add to that mix an incredibly talented staff like Bar Manager Brendan Cartin, whose cocktails are nothing short of inspired genius in a glass, and Sous Chef Todd Grieger, who brings the perfect blend of execution and creativity to your face hole, and you are in for a real treat. Chef Tristan is by far one of the best chefs I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a meal from. His wizardry makes me love things I would normally never eat (like Brussels sprouts), and makes things I love better than I thought they could be. In addition to the smoked tri-tip steak, some of my other favorite menu items currently are the shaved salad, grilled shrimp, and the pepperoni pizza. But really, anything that comes from that kitchen and bar are enough to make me happy. Everything about this place is perfection. And while the name rings of the social aspect of going out to eat, to me it’s family.”

4) Shishito Peppers at Parallel 38. “Next is a new-old-favorite. Parallel 38 has (thankfully) reopened, and the new digs are nothing short of enlightening. This place feels like it has been there forever, and any memories of previous establishments disappear as soon as you walk in. Kudos to Steve Pritchard, Justin Ross, Cara Ward, and Chef Johnny Garver for all their hard work making this new place even better than the original. I was simply floored by every dish that came out. My favorites there so far (and I didn’t exactly get through the entire menu, but I’m close) are the blistered shishitos (the best preparation of this kind I have ever had), sirloin (mouth watering and so tender it falls apart before the fork even hits it), and the octopus (which reminded me of Sunday dinner at my grandmother’s house). I couldn’t be happier to see these guys in action again, and I couldn’t be happier that I no longer have to drive to the other side of town to do so. Welcome back guys, it’s been too long.”

5) Marinara d.o.c. Pizza at Lampo. “Last, but most certainly not least, is Lampo – another place that makes me feel like I am walking into a family member’s house for dinner. Intimate, charming, and oh the smells. This place blows me away every time I go there, and seeing the smiling faces of Mitch Beerens, Andrew Cole, Loren Mendosa, and the rest of the staff, I know I’ve come home. These guys know good food, and being an Italian from Brooklyn I like to eat good food, especially pizza and this place helps me forget that I am hundreds of miles from my hometown every time I eat a pie from their oven. My favorite is the Marinara d.o.c. – the simplicity of this pizza is unlike anything I’ve had – garlic, marinara, oregano, salt and olive oil – it’s all the best parts and is absolutely amazing. Other favorites are The Hellboy pizza, roasted cauliflower, and if I’m lucky they have a cannoli or two left when I get there. Their slogan should read something like: Lampo, making Italian New Yorkers feel at home since 2014.”