The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Peter Chang’s

Five Finds on Friday: Jamie Barrett

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CSA Farm Share season is here, and today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jamie Barrett of Bellair Farm, which still has a few of this year’s CSA Farm Shares available. Short for “Community Supported Agriculture,” a CSA involves members paying for several months of a farm’s produce for the growing season early in the year, in shares. Once harvesting begins, each week members stuff their bags full of the farm’s current best fresh-picked produce. Bellair offers shares in two sizes, with five different pick-up locations around town. Details here. Barrett’s picks:

1) Shan City Chicken from Peter Chang’s.  “I love everything at Peter Chang’s but this dish is always part of my out-of-control take out order. Salty, spicy and perfectly crisped bits of chicken surrounded by chili peppers. I always try to taste just a little on the ride home and end up slopping the whole thing up by hand while I drive. It’s a spectacle.”

2) Cabrito Tacos Mexican Style with hot salsa from La Michoacana. “It’s so good and it’s hot enough to make me hiccup. I eat 4 of these on the ride back to the farm. See, there’s a theme.”

3) Bloody Mary at Hamiltons’. “This is my wife, Kelly’s, favorite Charlottesville restaurant. A Bloody Mary is like a whole farm season crammed into a glass with vodka and anyone who’s been through a farm season knows that a little vodka never hurt. It’s got the right amount of grit and pep without being over the top.”

4) Bellissima Pizza at Dr. Ho’s. “This is a farm crew favorite and on special occasions we’ll make the trek over there together, us and about ten pounds of Bellair dirt. We’re a motley crew but the folks at Dr.Ho’s have always treated us right.”

5) Creamed Spinach at Downtown Grille. “I’m a sucker for creamed spinach and I love the big booths at the bar here. My three girls and I like to sit in the booths and watch people walk on the mall. They love the Shirley Temples.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Cheley Napoli

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Cheley Napoli of The Bebedero, which is among the participants in this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day Downtown. During Saturday’s Shamrock Crawl, a green wristband earns you discounts and specials throughout the day at downtown restaurants and shops, including The Bebedero. Free with a suggested donation to PB&J Fund, wristbands are available at Citizen Burger Bar, Spring Street Boutique, and The Hip Joint. For Sunday’s Paint the Town Green, there will be more specials and discounts, decked out shops and restaurants, and children’s fun like balloons, chalk, and activity stations. Event details here. Napoli’s picks:

1) Wasabi Roll at TEN. “I love seafood, especially when it comes to sushi. The wasabi roll is always my go-to because I love tuna and spicy/hot foods. It’s the perfect amount of heat, especially when you pair it with a great cocktail to cool you off. This is one of my favorite places to visit regularly as the staff, ambiance, and food are always great.”

2) Pepper and Garlic Shrimp at Peter Chang’s. “Is my absolute favorite! The steamed snow peas, hot peppers, leeks, red bell peppers, and asparagus make it spicy, light, and earthy. I always feel good after that particular dish. I love the Nigori Cold Sake with it. Perfect combination.”

3) Vegetarian Omelette at Commonwealth Restaurant and Skybar. “Commonwealth is one of the best places to go to brunch. I love Chef Shanesy’s new brunch menu. The vegetarian omelette (with a side of bacon) is one of my favorite brunch dishes. I like vegetables, but I am by no means a vegetarian, so it’s a great balance. Pair that with a Bloody Mary and you have a well-balanced meal.”

4) Smoked Chicken Wings at The Whiskey Jar. “I love The Whiskey Jar because I am a hard-core bourbon fan. I love trying the different varieties and being able to get flights. They also just started barreling their own bourbons with Elijah Craig, which is super cool. Their wings are the best wings in Charlottesville hands down. It’s great place to just chill and feel comfort.”

5) Braised Lamb Shank at The Bebedero. “I am not trying to be biased but The Bebedero is the most beautiful, and passionately driven restaurant I have ever been a part of. From River’s art, incredible bartending, and beautifully crafted cocktails, to Chef Kelvino’s gorgeous and delicious plates it is a place unlike any other. My favorite things from here are the mezcals, one of my favorites being the Del Maguey Pechuga, and chef’s Lamb Shank. I love lamb, and he knocks it out of the park. So tender, it falls right off the bone. Yum. I also enjoy a scorpion shot every now and then. Feels like vacation whenever I am there.”

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St. Paddy's Day

Five Finds on Friday: Carolyn Stromberg Leasure

carolyn with cheddar

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Carolyn Stromberg Leasure of Righteous Cheese, which was once a cheese and wine bar in Washington D.C. and now hosts cheese events here in Charlottesville. On Valentine’s Day is Righteous Cheese’s most popular class ever: Chocolate, Cheese & Baller Bubbly. Leasure and award-winning cheesemonger Sara Adduci will lead guests through four rare grower champagnes, cheeses, and a spread of local chocolates. 6:30 – 7:30 pm in Oakhart Social’s private dining room. Details and tickets. Leasure’s picks:

1) Cold Brew Latte (made with cashew milk & cold brew coffee) from The Juice Laundry. “I really appreciate good coffee, and I get to feel like I’m being healthy when I drink this. Unlike a lot of juice places, The Juice Laundry is 100% organic, which I appreciate. Their Cold Brew Latte is creamy and nutty with a hint of cinnamon and a great start to the day.”

2) Fried Chicken and Onion Rings at Mel’s Cafe. “We cook at home almost every night, but when we are too tired and want something fast, it’s often Mel’s fried chicken. Even with takeout, it stays crispy, the onion rings are the apex of the genre, and even the breast meat is juicy. Though, of course, the best way to eat it is at Mel’s, with chicken straight out of the fryer, while chatting with the folks behind the counter.”

3) Hot and Numbing Shredded Tofu Skins at Peter Chang’s. “I love to order tofu when dining out, since making it at home never turns out quite as good. The Hot and Numbing Shredded Tofu Skin almost has the texture of al dente pasta: thinly shredded, toothsome pieces of tofu skin seasoned with chili pepper, chili oil, sesame oil, fresh cilantro and a host of other spices and seasonings. While not the spiciest dish at Peter Chang’s (which means you can eat more!), it leaves a pleasant, buzzy tingling on your lips. Yum.”

4) Eggs and Pancake Special at Tip Top Restaurant. “With a two-year old toddler/tyrant living in our house, my chef-husband and I don’t get out often for dinner, but we take breakfast seriously. I am a bit particular (read: annoying) about my eggs, and prefer them over-medium, apparently the hardest way to cook them. The number of times my eggs are cooked properly – with firm whites and a soft yolk – at most restaurants is few, but the kitchen at Tip Top has never disappointed. Eggs are always perfect, and there’s nothing wrong with the pancakes and bacon (ordered extra-extra-crispy for me). The relaxed dining room is bustling but it doesn’t take too long for a table, they have crayons for my kid, and the staff is the perfect mix of gregarious, surly, and at the top of their game.”

5) Budino at Lampo. “I love absolutely everything at Lampo, and my standard order is the kale salad, a cheese and charcuterie board, and the Margherita DOC pizza. The perfect dish for me, though, is the chocolate budino. Chocolate and olive oil are one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations. The budino is silky and rich with a savory drizzle of olive oil, a salty, crunchy, caramel-y top, and nutty crushed hazelnuts, all of which come together for an ideal balance of flavors and textures.”

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Hot and Numbing Shredded Tofu Skins