The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Tavern & Grocery

Five Finds on Friday: Ashley Williams


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Ashley Williams, new owner of Tavern & Grocery. Williams’ picks:

1) Charred Carrots at Oakhart Social. “I can’t get enough of these. Something about them just hits all the right chords. They are still crispy, and charred, and richly seasoned, all at the same time. Bold, balanced, perfect.”

2) Skillet Roasted Mussels at Tavola. “Whenever I go to Tavola, I have to order the mussels. Skillet roasted with just some garlic, they are indulgent and just plain FAB. Throw in a good crisp Italian white wine, and I’m good.”

3) Santa Fe Enchiladas at Continental Divide. “I can’t even think about going to Continental Divide without ordering the Santa Fe Enchiladas. I mean, as many times as I try to order something else, I just can’t do it. And with the pumpkin muffins on there, just doesn’t get better. (Not to date myself, but I’ve been ordering this for close to 20 years, and they are perfect every time.)”

4) Turkey on an Everything Bagel at Bodo’s. “A simple turkey sandwich on an everything bagel at Bodo’s is beyond a must. Lettuce, tomato, onion, light mayo, and you’ve done it. I lived in NYC for ten years and there was that deli that always just got it ‘right.’ Bodo’s gets this right, on another level. And how it’s less than $5 and you get it in less than 5 minutes . . it’s a simple miracle and gets me through a tough morning every time.”

5) Tuna Tartare at Now & Zen. “I don’t know how Toshi puts out food as good as he does in such a tiny spot, but he does. Now & Zen delivers with the tuna tartare. Fresh, seasoned perfectly, and beautiful. Any time I think of sushi, this is the dish I want.”

Tavern & Grocery

333 West Main Street. Charlottesville, VA . (434) 293-7403

Why Tavern & Grocery?

With Citizen Burger BarThe Virginian, and The Biltmore all to his name, serial restaurateur Andy McClure is well-proven at watering holes. Tavern & Grocery, opened in 2016, has shown that McClure can excel at more refined dining as well. It’s his best restaurant yet.

The talented young kitchen is led by David Morgan, former sous chef at acclaimed restaurants like Clifton Inn and Ian Boden’s Staunton Grocery, who is equally adept at elaborate dishes as he is at comforting, gussied-up versions of tavern classics. The drink program is overseen by McClure’s brother Patrick, a certified cicerone with experience at some of Washington D.C.’s top bars, who also runs the restaurant’s downstairs speakeasy, Lost Saint.

But, fancy résumés aside, McClure is still a bar-lover at heart. And, Tavern & Grocery is no frou-frou place. It’s a versatile, jeans-friendly tavern where you can choose your own adventure – from a leisurely evening of drinks and snacks with friends, to family night, to an elaborate meal for a date night or business dinner. It also offers one of the tastiest and most convivial brunches in town.

What to Order

From spot-hitting sandwiches to cheffy specials, it’s hard to go wrong. Below are our picks, the chef’s picks, and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where a local chef or personality has named an item from Tavern & Grocery as one of the best in Charlottesville.

Our Picks

  • Steak & Fromage 
  • Crispy Chicken Sandwich
  • Burger
  • Braised Baby Squid
  • Specials
  • Croque Madame (brunch)

Chef’s Picks

  • Steak & Fromage
  • Crispy Chicken Sandwich
  • Burger
  • Specials

Five Finds on Friday Picks

  • Steak & Fromage Steve Yang (Tavola Cicchetti Bar)
  • MartinezRyan Collins (formerly, Early Mountain Vineyard)

Five Finds on Friday: Steve Yang

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Steve Yang, bar manager of Tavola Cicchetti Bar, which now offers a late-night menu, Thursday-Saturday at 10 pm. Tavola after Ten’s menu will change each month to showcase favorites of a different Tavola staff member. Last month it was New England clam shack food from chef-owner Michael Keaveny, and this month it’s Yang, himself, with pork dumplings based on his mother’s recipe. Yang’s picks:

1) Torta Al Pastor at Tacos Gomez.”If you’ve ever talked tacos with me you’ve probably heard me rave about the cabeza tacos. But if you haven’t tried their tortas, you’re really missing out. They are probably the best sandwich in Charlottesville. Shout out to the late Luke Smith for introducing me not only to this place, but to a deep love for tacos.”

2) Steak and Fromage at Tavern & Grocery. “If you need any more indication of my opinions on this sandwich, I had two of them for brunch last Sunday. The staff upstairs at Tavern & Grocery and downstairs at Lost Saint are all fantastic and can always guarantee a good time. I also seem to have a reputation as a giant eater there. When I asked for a box last time I had dinner there, I could hear cheering from the kitchen.”

3) Chicken Philly at Beer Run. “This has to be my most eaten item on this list. I live right around the corner from Beer Run, and it’s an easy and delicious item to grab before I head into work. Plus, it was my first restaurant job in town and I can always see people I know when I go there. As a bartender, I know I have many bars I frequent but sitting at the Beer Run bar always feels like home.”

4) Milanesa Cemitas at Al Carbon. “People rave about the chicken and for very good reason, but the cemitas (a specific type of torta) are fantastic, especially when papalo is in season. Also, don’t miss out on their two styles of street corn. They just moved into their new location next door and everything about an already great experience is now even better.”

5) Polpettine Panuozzo at Lampo. “The beauty of a place that serves food until midnight is that I get off work before then in the early half of the week. If I haven’t had enough staff meal or am just particularly hungry after a shift, the meatball sandwich always hits the spot. My girlfriend and assistant bar manager Rebecca Edwards is particularly attached to the Margherita Pizza with a side of calabrian chili oil.”

Yang: “I just realized I accidentally did entirely sandwiches and I’m pretty okay with that.”


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