The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Priscilla Martin

Five Finds on Friday: Joy Ting

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Joy Ting, Winemaker and Head Enologist at Michael Shaps Wineworks, and co-creator of a new wine from Jake Busching Wines called Orphan. In 2015, when Busching had just started at Michael Shaps, surplus Pinot Gris grapes (“orphans”) gave Busching and Ting a chance to experiment. Treating white wine grapes as red, they fermented the juice in contact with the skins. The result was initially “rough and tight,” Ting recalls, and needed time.

Fifteen months later, Ting says, the unusual bronze wine had reached its potential, but still needed an identity. Enter Will Curley (Wine Buyer for Ten Course Hospitality and Manager at Brasserie Saison), Priscilla Martin (General Manager and Wine Director at Tavola), and Joy’s husband Paul. What started as a conversation over sandwiches at Kitchen(ette) soon became a passion project. Orphan no. 1 was born. The very limited production will be available later this month exclusively at Brasserie Saison and Tavola, and by retail only from The Wine Guild and http://jakebuschingwines.com/. Ting’s picks:

1) English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich at Timbercreek Market. “Made with a house-made English muffin, a farm fresh egg, breakfast meat (bacon or sausage, depending on the day) and cheese, this is a great way to start the weekend. It is a Saturday ritual in my family to stop at Timbercreek for breakfast on the way home from the Farmer’s Market. My husband and I are in withdrawal since they have been closed for remodeling, but we are excited to see the newly redone space.”

2) Ma La Fish at Taste of China. “My first experience with tongue-numbing ma la spice was at Taste of China, and it was a revelation. It is used in many dishes there, but the fish is my favorite. Its perfectly fried to be crispy outside, warm and tender inside, with ma la energizing the whole thing.”

3) Fried Chicken and Collards at The Whiskey Jar. “I love the relaxed atmosphere at the Jar, and although I have tried pretty much everything on the menu, it is all I can do not to order this every time.  Some things are classics for a reason.

4) Pairings at Fleurie. “This is where my husband and I go for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. The food is great, no matter what we order. Erin Scala and her team pair unique and delicious wines with each dish, enhancing the flavors and the experience.”

5) Fleur de Sel Caramels from La Vache Microcreamery. “These caramels are just the right texture with just the right balance of sweet and salty.  They are beautifully packaged and make great gifts. There are other flavors (like milk stout, lavender and honey, and sweet tea), that are all delicious, but again, I like the classics.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Priscilla Martin

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They love wine, restaurants, and each other. After last week’s picks from Will Curley, today’s Five Finds on Friday come from his fiancée, Priscilla Martin, General Manager and Wine Director of Tavola. Martin’s picks:

1) Sausage, Goat cheese, and Honey Hand Pie from The Pie Chest. “Growing up with an English father, savory pies were one of my favorite parts about winter visits to my grandparent’s house. The hot and flaky breakfast hand pie from The Pie Chest has all the good things about a savory pie but with a delicious modern twist. Walking the Downtown Mall in the winter with one of these and a cup of coffee is a great Charlottesville treat. Also it means I get to eat pie for breakfast – so let’s just say I ‘brexit’ one of these from the shop pretty frequently.”

2) Chicken Liver Pate at Oakhart Social. “My best friend is, ironically, the pickiest person in the entire world. I took her to Oakhart Social and she almost stabbed me for the last piece of what she referred to as meat butter.”

3) Beet Salad at Brasserie Saison.My fiancé is a manager here and so I am not exaggerating when I say that I eat this salad at least twice a month. I normally love roasted beets but something about Chef Tyler’s combination of creamy stracciatella cheese, crunchy puffed rice, and tart pickled red onions make it my all time favorite beet salad. Paired best with the Chenin Blanc by the glass from Wine Director Will Curley’s excellent wine list.”

4) Tacos Al Pastor from Tacos Gomez. “Coming from Chicago, my first question when I asked when I moved to Charlottsville was: ‘Where do I get good Mexican food?’ Our bar manager Steve Yang referred me to the food truck Tacos Gomez. Specifically, the al pastor tacos are my absolute favorite – perfectly cooked and extraordinarily flavorful. Since then, Steve brings them to me almost every Thursday for manager meeting and consequently has just been voted ‘best human alive’ in C-Ville’s ‘best of’ awards.”

5) Albarino from Afton Mountain Vineyards. “As a sommelier, one of the best parts about moving to Charlottesville is living in a wine making region. It’s been absolutely fantastic becoming friends with wine makers and actually seeing the ins and outs of the production. The wine itself here isn’t bad either, and my favorite summer white is the Albarino being produced from Afton Mountain. It’s a perfectly crisp and high acid white wine for the summer but with some great orchard fruit and floral notes that add complexity.”