The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Splendora’s

Five Finds on Friday: Lee O’Neill

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Lee O’Neill of Radical Roots Farm, a longtime participant in the Charlottesville City Market, which now has a chance to be named the best farmers’ market in the country. Vote here!

Meanwhile, Radical Roots is joining other local producers and artisans in Food From our Farms 2020, a socially distant harvest dinner benefiting Local Food Hub. For a recommended donation of $100 per person, you will receive a locally sourced fine dining experience, delivered right to your door. Meals are prepared by APimento Catering and Gail Hobbs-Page of Caromont Farm, with desserts by Albemarle Baking Company, and beverages from Blenheim Vineyards and Blue Ridge Bucha. You will also receive bonus goodies from Back Pocket Provisions and Catbird Co., a Local Food Hub tote, and a recipe book with recipes from Radical Roots, MarieBette, The Pie Chest, and more. Dinners are available 9/26 and 10/3, and tickets must be purchased one week in advance. Support the Local Food Hub! Tickets and information here. O’Neill’s picks:

1) Coco Verde Acai Bowl from The Juice Laundry. “The ultimate treat after a long day of farming and making deliveries.  Nutritious, hydrating and a meal in itself.”

2) Coconut Macaroons dipped in Chocolate from Albemarle Baking Company. “Sweet and savory all wrapped up in one.  I love these for a nice gluten free treat.”

3) Peach Sorbetto from Splendora’s. “Any in season fruit is amazing, especially with a touch of basil or mint. Refreshing on a hot, summer day.”

4) Spicy Salmon Sushi Roll from Now & Zen. “I love fresh sushi and any roll from Now & Zen is amazing. Combined with shrimp spring rolls and a bowl of miso soup . . . perfection.”

5) Drunken Noodles from Pad Thai. “Perfect on a cool autumn day to warm you from the inside out.”

Five Finds on Friday: Elizabeth Irvin

Charitable organizations have not been immune to the effects of COVID-19, which has slowed donations and required crowd restrictions that have cancelled fundraising events vital to charities’ budgets. Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Executive Director of one such organization: Elizabeth Irvin of The Women’s Initiative, which provides mental health care services to Charlottesville area women. In lieu of their annual Barn Party, this year The Women’s Initiative is hosting a virtual Family Variety Show, where, families can enjoy, from their own homes, a petting zoo, clowns, the infamous bear (who some say talks too much), games, and even a special performance by Dave Matthews. Learn how your family can support The Women’s Initiative and enjoy the event. Irvin’s picks:

1) Chicken Sous Poulet, with kale salad, plantains and pikliz at Pearl Island Cafe. “At The Women’s Initiative we all love that this exceptional food is just steps away from our satellite office at the Jefferson School City Center, and appreciate their years of catering our Family Barn Party.”

2) Ginger Lemongrass Noodles at Vu Noodles. “I used to be so torn between Pearl Island and Vu Noodles when they shared the Jefferson School space. Now Vu is on Water Street, and I am all about their healthy and delicious options.”

3) Charcoal Rotisserie Chicken at Al Carbon. “The chicken is absolutely delicious and we love supporting this local, family owned business.”

4) Turkey on Everything w/ Pepper Spread at Bodo’s. “A parent’s dream restaurant. For maximum enjoyment, add potato chips and a Coke and head to Walnut Creek on a Saturday morning for some stand-up paddle-boarding.”

5) Dulce de Leche Gelato at Splendora’s. “They will be closing this weekend (then hoping to reopen at a new location so keep your eyes out!), but I will get by there to order one last scoop on the downtown mall. They’re also raffling off free gelato to folks who make a donation to local mental health services—including The Women’s Initiative—through this Sunday. I’m doubly grateful for the goodness they bring to our community.”

Five Finds on Friday: Courtenay Tyler

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Courtenay Tyler, co-founder of Tilman’s, which has lots of news this week. First, building on the success of the shop’s pop-ups, Tilman’s is launching a takeout menu. Today through Monday, from 12-6pm, guests will have the option of taking their order to-go or enjoying it “picnic style” on the patio. In addition to food and wine, there will be cocktails like Negronis, martinis, and sangria. Pre-ordering is preferred, but walk-ins are also welcome. Next, COVID-19 be damned, Tilman’s is planning a sister restaurant for later this year. In the former home to Tin Whistle Pub, Tonic will be a cafe and bar, with a patio and outdoor bar, offering small plates of vegetables, seafood, and fresh sandwiches, including house roast beef. Stay tuned for details and an opening date, likely this summer. Tyler’s picks, which focus on takeout and delivery options in the Culture of Takeout:

1) Tuna Avocado Carpaccio at Now & Zen. “This is probably the one dish in Charlottesville that I crave the most. It’s packed with big chunks of fresh tuna, avocado, and my favorite, tobiko. The wasabi dressing is always light, and the salad is perfectly dressed. My husband and I will wait in line for all of Chef Toshi’s small plates, but this is always the first thing that we order.”

2) Deonjang Jjigae at Maru. “Steven and Kay Kim are my next door neighbors at Tilman’s, and boy, did I luck out in that respect. They are incredibly nice. Kay has a sharp wit, and best of all Steven is an amazing chef. I love this Korean miso stew (don’t ask me how to pronounce it). It’s a big umami bomb, which I love. It has tofu and veggies and is a little spicy, and I always get it with clams. It comes with their homemade banchan, which has kim chi and other interesting things I can’t identify until I ask. I’m really happy if there’s pickled burdock that day.”

3) Any Soup at Bizou. “I have no idea how every single soup I have had from Bizou is amazing, but it is. Their shrimp bisque is actually the very first meal I ate here in Charlottesville, when I moved here in 2014. A mention on their specials board will definitely make me stop in. They have the butternut squash bisque on their to-go menu this week, and they are on my list for take-out. When things were ‘normal,’ they provided a much needed respite after a long day at Tilman’s. I enjoy sitting at that bar, and chatting with Rachel about her wine list. She has a great palate and point of view. And, she writes the best wine descriptions in town.”

4) Triple Citrus Pie at The Pie Chest. “Rachel’s pies aren’t super fancy. They are simple, and homey, and made with love, and in that, reflect Rachel’s personality. Her triple citrus is sublime. That texture! It’s such a treat.”

5) Chocolate Gelato at Splendora’s. “PK’s chocolate gelato is like no other. Deep, dark, intense. It may sound plain, but I promise you, it is not. It’s dangerous that PK is now delivering. All I have to do is call or text, and next thing you know I have my fix.”

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