The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Taste of China

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: Kelsey Naylor

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Kelsey Naylor, sous chef of Timbercreek Market, which this week launched full-service dinner three nights a week. Naylor’s picks:

1) Radish Kimchi from Sussex Farm. “By far the best and most authentic kimchi in Virginia. You can find them at the city market every Saturday and they introduce a new type of kimchi every week.”

2) Blueberry Donuts from Spudnuts. “There is nothing better than one of their blueberry cake donuts with a cup of coffee in the morning.”

3) Oh Toro at TEN. “Fatty Tuna is one of my favorite things in the world and Ten definitely does it right.”

4) Crispy Beef at Taste of China. “Crispy Beef and Scallion Bubble Pancakes are by far my favorite, but I’ve never had anything there that I didn’t love.”

5)  Hellboy Pizza at Lampo. “The perfect pizza to go along with a Narragansett Tall Boy. It really doesn’t get any better than that.”

Five Finds on Friday: Allie Redshaw

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On Fridays we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Allie Redshaw, Sous Chef of Pippin Hill. (2017 Update: After leaving Pippin Hill, Redshaw became head chef of Timbercreek Market, and now runs her own catering company and helps out at Lampo.) Redshaw’s picks:

1) Scallion Bubble Pancake at Taste of China. “We all know this is a ‘chefs’ favorite,’ so seemingly no surprise that I am giving recognition to this strip mall Chinese restaurant, but T.O.C. is so much more; always a friendly face greeting Ian and I at the door, and a pot of hot tea waiting on the table. Apart from their service, the food is impeccably authentic Szechuan cuisine. I could list at least ten dishes that are favorites of mine, but the Scallion Bubble Pancakes are golden brown and delicious with duck sauce and spicy mustard; and, the spicy, crispy duck with its whole Thai bird chilis, charred scallions, and overly crispy duck skin completes every meal!”

2) Malai Kofta at Royal Indian. “This place just having moved locations is absolutely on point. Their table service is absolutely wonderful, and the food also meets those standards. The malai kofta, which is my go-to, is a vegetarian option derived of curried vegetable ‘meatballs’ of sorts submerged into a delicious creamy sauce; accompanied with the perfectly cooked basmati rice and jasmine tea, it is a wonderful meal!”

3) Chicken at Al Carbon. “This small storefront has slowly become one of my favorite places to go, not only because of the smell and sound of fresh chicken skin crackling upon the rotisserie spit just inside the front door, but you truly get your money’s worth of food here. With a choice of either a quarter, half, or whole chicken, complete with three sides and a drink, you can easily feed two or three adults for less than $30.00. The chicken is seasoned, and perfectly juicy, the esquites (sweet corn with crema, queso, and cilantro), and the saffron rice; ALL to die for!”

4) Pork at The BBQ Exchange. “This hub of pork goodness is off the beaten path but well worth the commute. The bacon doughnuts, the dopest pulled pork, and the thick-cut house made bacon, all rock my socks off! MY favorite aspect of this restaurant is that the integrity and consistency of the food never waiver, despite their exorbitant number of customers served every day.”

5) Massaman Curry with Tofu at Monsoon Siam. “Last but not least, this Thai food has been a comfort food to me since I first moved to Charlottesville. The massaman curry with tofu is my go-to, it lends a little sweetness, with a spicy finish; and the brown rice is just as well cooked as the white. All of their food is comforting, hot, and delicious, authentic Thai. And they deliver :)”