The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Potter’s Craft Cider

Five Finds on Friday: Josh Skinner


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Josh Skinner, Lead Brewer of Champion Brewing Company.  Today is a big day at the brewery, with the 2016 release of the coveted Fruitbasket Double IPA, a limited release which some have called the best beer made in Virginia.  Skinner and crew use extravagant amounts of Mosaic hops, and add grapefruit juice, orange juice, and citrus zest.  Previously just available on draft and in large bottles, this year Fruitbasket will be available in cans, starting today at 1 pm at the brewery.  Skinner’s picks:

1)  Abruzzo Pizza at Lampo.  “While I love a classic Margherita pizza, this to me is the ultimate pie.  The addition of pork meatballs take a classic pizza to an entirely new level of satisfaction.  Just fold it up ‘wallet style,’ grab a pilsner, and enjoy.”

2) Mosaic Hop Cider from Potter’s Craft Cider.  “I’m a huge fan of what Potters is doing, be it the wild fermentation ciders they have recently released or their line of hopped ciders. The combo of refreshingly dry cider with a huge, pungent nose of Mosaic hops makes for an extremely dangerous combo.  This could easily be my official non-beer drink of the summer.”

3)  GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) Ramen with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Pickled Vegetables at Miso Sweet.  “This, for me, is comfort food at its best.  Some people like mac’n’cheese, but give me a spicy bowl of noodles in pork broth loaded with kimchi and let me shamelessly slurp away.  The addition of crispy Brussels sprouts and pickled veg lend both interesting flavor and texture contrasts to the mounds of pork belly and shredded pork hiding in the piping hot broth.  It goes perfectly with an IPA.”

4)  Torta Ahogada at La Michoacana.  “Before I was a brewer, I was an archaeologist and spent some time excavating in Mexico.  During that time I fell in love with the regional cuisine and am always in search of dishes that take me back to the wind-battered coasts and solitary deserts of Central Baja.  This dish does just that.  This simple, unpretentious sandwich drenched in chili pepper broth is about as authentic as you can get.”

5)  Everything from Côte-Rôtie. “I really can’t say enough about the work that Pete and Merrill are doing.  With a constantly rotating menu ranging from fresh takes on French classics to Japanese yakitori inspired dishes, they crank out what is hands down some of the best food in town.  And all out of a food truck!  The crispy pig’s ear snack may be the ultimate bar food and they’re doing God’s work when it comes to lamb and duck dishes.  They come to the Champion tap room every Sunday and I refuse to miss them.”


Five Finds on Friday: Alex Import


Alex Import, in San Francisco for the Good Food Awards

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Alex Import, meat wizard at JM Stock Provisions, who is currently in San Francisco for the 2016 Good Food Awards, honoring the nation’s best food and drink products.  In 2015, JM Stock won for Best Charcuterie for their pate de campagne, and this year they are a finalist in the same category for their tasso ham. The winners will be announced tonight.  Stay tuned.  Meanwhile, Import’s picks:

1)  Spicy Miso Ramen at Mican.  “Nothing scratches the umami itch like this steamy bowl of anti-winter. I’m a sucker for noodles of any kind, and a rich, complex broth holds a special place in my heart. Love the homey atmosphere, and a concise but sagely selected list of sake offerings seals the deal.”

2)  Grapefruit Hibiscus Cider from Potter’s Craft Cider.  “This new gem really has me intrigued. Every aspect is magnetic. Soft, glassy texture; acute acid and dainty but confident flavors; coy bubbles, sexy hue, artistic package, and appealing price tag. Thank you to all at Potter’s for showing us the way.”

3)  Shaved Salad at Oakhart Social.  “A tough job selecting this out of the herd of nourishing selections of food and booze at Oakhart. Why this salad? Can’t put my finger on it — and to me that is more often than not the hallmark of something truly special. Love these guys.”

4)  Hot and Numbing Tofu Skins at Peter Chang’s.  “The allure of this dish is its mystique. Makes me question my ability to share.”

5)  Omakase at TEN.  “Given the nature of my work, I go out of my way to seek out water-dwelling proteins. Texture and nuance are fortified with simplicity on these plates, and a hearty list of all-too-quaffable cocktails finds me lingering after a meal here.”


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  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.”

%d bloggers like this: