The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Prime 109

2015 & 2016 Dishes of the Year at Prime 109’s Bar

Sweetbreads

General Tso’s Sweetbreads at Lampo

Some say Wednesday is the best night to enjoy Prime 109, particularly in the bar, where a jazz trio (Adam Larrabee, Brian Caputo & Randall Pharr) performs each week while guests enjoy Abraham Hawkins’ latest cocktail creation. Tonight, the Wednesday bar gets better still with the addition of the 2015 and 2016 Dishes of the Year.

The 2015 Dish of the Year was General Tso’s Sweetbreads, a rare special menu item at Lampo, created by chef Ian Redshaw. The 2016 Dish of the Year was another Redshaw special at Lampo, Szechuan Pastrami Panuozzo. Now chef at Prime 109, Redshaw is featuring both dishes tonight in the bar.

Channeling China via Italy, the sweetbreads are tossed in a sauce of honey, Calabrian chili, garlic scapes, and a fermented fish sauce called garum. They come with truffled Carolina gold rice and broccolini.  For the pastrami sandwich, without the use of Lampo’s pizza oven for panuozzo bread, Redshaw made a few tweaks. On rye from Albemarle Baking Company, Redshaw’s own Sherwood Farm Szechuan pastrami joins burnt corn aioli and a slaw of Brussels sprouts and ramps.

Jazz, Abe’s cocktails, and two dishes of the year. Sounds like a solid hump day.

Five Finds on Friday: Ryan Davidson

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If you work in the Charlottesville food industry, you may recognize this week’s Five Finds on Friday participant, a young lady who has joined me on my food adventures ever since she changed my life eleven years ago today. With a boundless love of life and people, it seems Ryan has told most of Charlottesville’s servers that she likes their earrings. Happy birthday, Ryan. Ryan’s picks:

1) Parker House Rolls at Prime 109. “When I go to a restaurant, I always like it when they have bread. But, Prime 109’s Parker House Rolls are not just ordinary bread. You can smell them coming from the other side of the restaurant. And when you get them you can’t stop eating them. We always end up ordering a second one! They are warm and have a nice salty taste when eaten with butter. They are also almost as good at home! And, Prime 109 is the place where I’m going today for my birthday!”

2) Fried Chicken with Waffles and a Vanilla Milkshake at Smoked Kitchen & Tap. “Chicken, waffles, and syrup. There are so many flavors and I like how they fit together. Smoked is also where I had my first milkshake. I love vanilla, and when I heard vanilla ice cream was in that milkshake, I was really excited! Their milkshakes are creamy, sweet and, best of all, taste exactly like vanilla! I’ve had more milkshakes, but that one is still my favorite! Their chicken always comes out nice and hot, and the waffles freshly made. It’s a bit of a drive, but it’s totally worth it!”

3) Lumpia from Little Manila. “Ever since I was young, my brother and I would go to the market on Saturdays. And every Saturday, my brother would get what he called ‘egg rolls’ from Little Manila. Then he introduced them to me and I loved them. They have great flavors on their own, but even better in the sauce.”

4) Dealer’s Choice at The Alley Light. “Sometimes after swimming at ACAC, I like to go to The Alley Light for a mocktail. Every time I go, Micah always makes a different one for me. But, the parts I like most are the fruity flavors and the tiki glasses.”

5) Kale Caesar at Chopt.  “After a soccer game, for me, the best thing to eat is a Kale Caesar from Chopt. I love salad, not only because it’s so healthy, but because of how many different types there are. My favorite by far is the Kale Caesar because I love kale and the dressing they use. I also think that one bonus is how they chop it. They chop it up so small, so that everything is mixed together.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Marijean Oldham

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Marijean Oldham, author of the 100 Things to Do in Charlottesville Before You Die. “It could have easily been 100 Things to Eat, but I needed to expand the scope, rather than my pants,” says Oldham. Cross off all of the remaining names from your Christmas list with the newly-released second edition, now available at New Dominion Bookshop, The Virginia Shop, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.  Oldham’s picks:

1) Meatless Bolognese at Prime 109. “When I tell people a steakhouse is one of my new favorite restaurants, they are extremely surprised, because I don’t eat meat. And, while I could make a meal of a cocktail and Parker House rolls, the bolognese is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.”

2) Nachos at Beer Run. “Get the nachos your way, with meat, beans or both, add extra jalapenos, and avocado if you like. They get a highlight in a chapter of my book. They’re that good.”

3) Truffled Mushroom Ragout at The Local. “It’s possible I’d eat a truffled shoe, I love the flavor so much, but this dish with the house made fettucine, white truffle oil, dozens of local mushrooms and a just-right amount of parmesan cheese is the standard order every time I’m at The Local.”

4) Tofu Caramelized Onions from Vu Noodles. “This is one of those dishes I crave on a regular basis. Mostly it’s as takeout through the tiny window shop called The Spot on 2nd Street, to be eaten on a park bench if its nice or back at my desk if I’m busy. (Vu Noodles has a second location at The Jefferson School). Vegetarians crave umami, the category of taste that exists outside of sweet, sour, salt, and bitter. It’s hard to get when you don’t eat meat but the combo of rich caramelized onion, the texture of the tofu, and the noodles gets right to heart of that hunger spot.”

5) Deviled Egg Dip with Savory Waffles and Crispy Potatoes at Brasserie Saison. “I’m not ashamed to admit I had this dish two days in a row last winter. It is comfort food wrapped in a snuggly blanket. Next time I order it, I might even share.”

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