The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: PK Ross

Splendora’s Pint Club




This may be the best Charlottesville gift idea ever. Put a huge dent in your holiday gift list in a matter of seconds by registering friends for Splendora’s Pint Club. Each month for six months, your friend will receive a whole pint of an exclusive gelato flavor, available only to Pint Club members. At each pick-up, they also receive a free small gelato or medium latte.

Splendora’s gelato wizard PK Ross uses the Pint Club as her chance to experiment with unusual flavors, and the results are outstanding. Each month there is a new flavor, never available before, typically presented with accoutrements. Plus, she always has a story behind the creations, which she shares with Pint Club members. In a previous iteration of Pint Club, for example, Mother’s Day inspired her to create hibiscus tequila gelato with a cayenne ginger cookie. In honor of her father, she made coffee and Laphroiag Quarter Cask with sunflower brittle. A cheese plate by Nadjeeb gave life to a flavor of candied blood orange, served with a side of rosemary infused olive oil. And, a candy bar she had in Michigan led to a flavor of Esmontonian cheese from Caromont Farm, with bitter chocolate flakes. You get the idea. This is special stuff.

Memberships are very limited. And, at just $60 each, they are sure to go fast. Email to buy yours and clear out your holiday gift list.



Splendid Sorbet and Gelato at Splendora’s


Beyond being a science wiz, PK Ross’ greatest virtue in making gelato and sorbet may be her sensitive palate. At discerning flavors, few people I know are as gifted as the owner of Splendora’s. One unfortunate consequence of this trait is that a large number of her delicious experiments never reach the display case. I’ve had the good fortune of being a guinea pig for her trials, and while they are almost invariably outstanding, few meet her satisfaction. “Too ____,” she will say, no matter how much I like it. Just fill in the blank.

Her latest rejection was magnificent, a sorbet blending chocolate and an extraordinary apertif/digestif called War & Rust, made locally by Ben Jordan. Years ago, I wrote that War & Rust was “destined for cult status,” a prediction I had all but given up on until I recently read that it indeed has a “cult following.” (Who knew!) Whether a following or not, it is excellent, and marries particularly well with chocolate, as Vincent Derquenne did for the Charlottesville Mt. Rushmore Chef dinner.

This time, it turns out, it was not Ross who rejected the concoction, but the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chemistry prevented Ross from getting the sorbet’s alcohol percentage low enough for her to sell it without breaking state law. Alas, at a heady 5%, it is a magnificent creation I’ll never have the pleasure to buy. Just dream about.

Even without War & Rust, though, PK’s case is currently stocked with many (legal) creations that are more than worth your time and money. Go. Sample. Enjoy.

Pad Thai Auction Creates 4,400 Meals for Hungry

Pad Thai

The Battle of New Ross took place during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. More than 200 years later, we had our own Ross battle yesterday right here in Charlottesville, this time over Pad Thai’s incredible auction item: a Thai Street Food Feast. On the one side, there was Justin Ross, co-owner of Parallel 38. And, unbeknownst to him, on the other side, there was another Ross – PK Ross (no relation), owner and magician at Splendora’s Gelato. In the end, after lots of bidding back and forth, PK prevailed with a $1,100 donation to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, which is enough to provide 4,400 meals to the area’s hungry.

Thank you to the Rosses and Pad Thai for their generosity and support of the food bank. It’s yet another example of how special Charlottesville’s food community is: two food business owners fighting over who gets to give more money to the food bank, in order to enjoy an amazing meal donated by a third business owner.

Addendum: As if this were not great enough, after PK read this and learned that her bidding rival was Parallel 38’s Justin Ross, she called him and offered two seats at her Pad Thai auction dinner.


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