The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Rachel Pennington

Introducing The Pie Chest


The moment comes along once every 100 years.  3.14.15, 9.26.53.


What better moment in time to open a place that sells pie?

The Pie Chest is the latest creation of Will Richey, a man who seems to have a knack for creating great restaurants.  First he revamped Revolutionary Soup, next he created The Whiskey Jar, and then, his greatest work,The Alley Light, a James Beard semifinalist for best new restaurant in the country.

Richey’s latest creation he considers an offshoot of the baking program at The Whiskey Jar, where pastry chef Rachel Pennington has developed a cult following for pies, biscuits, and other creations.  Demand for her creations grew so large that Richey decided they needed their own showcase.  Thus, The Pie Chest, featuring “classic pies with a twist” – savory, sweet, and breakfast.

“Some people call them pie safes but my family has always called them pie chests,” said Richey.  “It is that piece of folk furniture with the decorative punched tin panels where one would set pies to cool.  The image represents a lot of what we are doing.” Customers can eat in, take their pies to go, order by the slice, or order whole pies in advance for holidays and other events. “We are a space our grandmas would be proud to enjoy a slice of pie and a good cup of coffee,” said Richey.

Opening tomorrow at Pi at 119 4th St. NE, next to Daedalus Bookshop.

Here is just a sampling of what to expect on the seasonal menu:

Breakfast Hand Pies
Scrambled Egg and Sausage Gravy
Baby Spinach, Feta, and Egg
Timbercreek Organic Sausage, Goat Cheese, and Honey
Breakfast “Pierrito” with Egg, White Cheddar, and Fresh Salsa

Savory Pot Pies
Timbercreek Organic Chicken with Bacon and Roasted Garlic
Beer-Braised Pork Butt and Pepper with Onions
Sausage Gravy topped with a Buttermilk Biscuit crust
Broccoli and Pimento Cheese
Porcini Mushroom and Leek with Gruyere
Kale, Potato, and Chili Pepper
Creamy Potato with Camembert Cheese

Sweet Pies
Apple Southern Comfort
Banana Rum
Bourbon Pecan
Cherry Almond Crumble
Grandma Betsy’s Lemon Chess
Mint Julep
Peanut Butter
Strawberry & Rhubarb
Toasted Hazelnut & Chocolate
Triple Citrus
Whiskey Chocolate Chip



Five Finds on Friday: Rachel Pennington

Photo by Justin Ide.

Photo by Justin Ide.

On Fridays we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Rachel Pennington,  the much touted pastry chef of The Whiskey Jar, who will be making pies for The Pie Chest, an extension of The Whiskey Jar baking program opening soon on the Downtown mall.  “Simple, rustic, classically Southern, seasonal, fresh, from scratch. Those are my values for it,” said Pennington.  More details soon. Pennington’s picks:

1)  The Para Papa at Al Carbon Chicken. “This perfectly-roasted, juicy, charcoal chicken is one reason why vegetarianism would be a near-impossible personal life choice. Half a chicken with fried plantains and yellow rice, salsas, friendly and personable service, just simply delicious. Also doesn’t hurt that Kohr Bros. is within a very doable post-meal walking-distance.”

2)  Spinach Salad and The Fat & Sassy with Artichokes at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie.  “I still fondly remember my first meal at this place. Now it’s the go-to for game days, True Detective binge-watching sessions, and New Year’s Eve tradition. Savory in the most satisfying way. Also doesn’t hurt that right next door is the Crossroad Store with killer Peanut Butter Cup cookies.”

3)  Lobster Tempura at TEN.  “Easily one of the best bites of food I’ve ever eaten. Literally melt-in-your-mouth satisfaction.”

4)  Tomato Sandwich at The Whiskey Jar.  “I can’t help it – I tried to resist the urge to include this due to a bit of a conflict-of-interest, but this sandwich…oh, this sandwich. Starts with butter-toasted Goodwin Creek bread, a generous double-slather of Duke’s mayo, a little seasoning, and thick slices of fresh, beautiful, delicious Red Row Farm tomatoes. I literally eat one every single day during the summer. Sometimes two.”

5)  Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls at Feast!  “A good friend bought me one of these before heading to the Paramount to watch the World Cup match against Germany. As soon as the game ended, I walked to Feast! and bought an amount of which I care not to admit. I also care not to admit how many of these I can consume in one sitting. Perfect with a Cortado from Milli Joe.”

%d bloggers like this: