The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Riverside Lunch

Five Finds on Friday: Patrick Carruthers

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Patrick Carruthers, the new sous chef of Junction, which has just released a new menu. A preview:

Pistachio Crusted Lamb Rack | Spice Roasted Parsnips, Herbed Cous Cous, Mint-Cilantro-Pistachio Chimichurri

Cowgirl Spiced Duck Breast | Sweet Potato-Duck Confit Hash, Shaved Cumin Dusted Brussels Sprouts, Dried Fig, Hatch Pepper Duck Demi-Glace

Chili Rubbed Grilled Atlantic Salmon | Jumbo Lump Crab-Avocado Salad, Coconut-Cilantro Rice, Roasted Chayote Squash,  Lime Buerre Blanc

Carruthers’ picks:

1) Burger at Riverside Lunch. “There is a lot of great food in Charlottesville but you can’t beat a fresh burger with bacon, lettuce, and mayo between two buns, especially when it comes with a basket of shoestring fries covered in Lawry’s seasoned salt.”

2) Ricotta Gnocchi with Duck Confit at C & O. “Served with duck cracklins, it is the perfect amount of savory and sweet. Just eating it will make you feel rich.”

3) Anything in a Crepe at The Alley Light. “Coming from someone who has personally rolled out more of theses crepes than I can count, I have never lost appreciation for how amazing each and every combination comes together from pigs head with mushrooms and sherry vinegar to guinea hen with salsify and parmesan cheese.”

4) Happy Hour at RockSalt. “$1 oysters with a shot of bourbon and a cider at their outdoor bar is a go-to for me and Nicole when we aren’t in the kitchen at Junction.”

5) Biscuits and Red-Eye Gravy at The Pigeon Hole. “When The Corner clears out for summertime, The Pigeon Hole is a great brunch spot to grab a bloody mary, a patio seat, and some fluffy biscuits smothered in gravy. Plus, there is a handsome bartender who works there with a phenomenal head of hair who I am lucky to call one of my close friends.”

Five Finds on Friday: Will Curley

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Porron skills.

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Will Curley, Wine Buyer for Ten Course Hospitality and Manager at Brasserie Saison, which has just launched its onsite brewery and will soon open a basement bar called Coat Room. The reservation-only, wood-paneled dining space below Brasserie Saison will offer an exclusive list of special beer, wine and cocktails. Curley’s picks:

1) Maiale Milanese at Tavola. “Call it comfort food, fat kid food, or just happy food, this is the dish that I think about days in advance of any meal at Tavola.  The grilled lemon sauce with peppery arugula and a perfectly fried pork cutlet hit all the high notes and are best paired with whatever Wine Director Priscilla Martin wants to pour that day.”

2) Al Pastor Tacos at La Michoacana. “Moving from Chicago to Charlottesville has brought some amazing things; a role at a great new restaurant, the chance to meet people inside and outside the wine & restaurant world, and a gorgeous, historical town with an amazing food & drink scene.  What I miss most, however, is the breadth of Mexican food options that were available to me in Chicago. From Nayarit-style seafood to Oaxacan moles, the varieties of delicious, affordable food there are seemingly endless.  Overall, The Bebedero is top-to-bottom my favorite Mexican in town, but sometimes you want filling, cheap and quick, and La Michoacana is all three.”

3) Double Bacon Cheeseburger at Riverside Lunch. “Chef Tyler Teass introduced me to this Charlottesville staple recently, and I’m still upset at him for not showing me sooner.  Smash burgers > pub burgers.  Cheap beer and the friendliest wait staff.”

4) Frisee Salad at Petit Pois. “My favorite and most-visited restaurant in Chicago was a tiny neighborhood bistro, and I was happy to discover that same soul at Petit Pois.  Classics are classics for a reason, and the combination of egg yolk, lardons, frisee and a perfectly balanced mustard vin make a great light lunch.  Pro tip: combine with chicken liver mousse, escargot and a bottle of rose, and kiss your afternoon goodbye.”

5) Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit from Timbercreek Market. “Chef Tucker’s light, fluffy, gigantic biscuit sandwich is the perfect way to start your day, even more so when your day starts at 11 am after a long Saturday night service. Plus, Tucker is always happy to talk shop and give advice on the restaurant scene here in town.”

Five Finds on Friday: Brandon Wooten

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Brandon Wooten, co-founder of Grit Coffee, now with four locations: the Downtown Mall, Elliewood Avenue, Crozet, and Stonefield. The new Stonefield location, Wooten says, has more of a “European cafe vibe,” and will soon introduce weekend evening service, with small plates, dessert, draft beer, wine, and craft cocktails. Evening service begins next Friday, April 28. Wooten’s picks:

1) Carne Asada at MAS Tapas. “I’ve probably had dozens of steaks since the first time I had the carne asada (8 or so years ago), and have still yet to have a better steak dish in this town or really anywhere else in the world. It’s that good.”

2) Rotisserie Chicken and Fried Yucca at Al Carbon. “Their rotisserie chicken is something special, as is everything else I’ve had there. I love sauces and theirs are exceptional.”

3) Cuban Sandwich at Grit Coffee Downtown. “Hopefully this doesn’t read as self-promotion because we can’t take any credit for the local iteration of this sandwich. (That honor goes to Tony Jorge of Cafe Cubano fame). All we’ve tried to do is carry on the legacy of what we think is the best Cuban sandwich outside of Florida.”

4) Red Hot Blues and a House Margarita at Continental Divide. “I know I’m not alone in coveting either one of these, but for me they are inextricably linked (and a necessity at least once a month).  I think often of the Wait-A-Minute mango habañero sauce – probably more than I should.”

5) Double Bacon Cheeseburger and Fries at Riverside Lunch. “My dad used to take me and my brother to Riverside back in the days when it was just a counter in the back of a laundromat. There’s just no beating the simple perfection of their burgers and fries. It’s a Cville tradition I’m more than happy to pass on to my two boys.”