The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: The Bebedero

Five Finds on Friday: Cheley Napoli

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Cheley Napoli of The Bebedero, which is among the participants in this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day Downtown. During Saturday’s Shamrock Crawl, a green wristband earns you discounts and specials throughout the day at downtown restaurants and shops, including The Bebedero. Free with a suggested donation to PB&J Fund, wristbands are available at Citizen Burger Bar, Spring Street Boutique, and The Hip Joint. For Sunday’s Paint the Town Green, there will be more specials and discounts, decked out shops and restaurants, and children’s fun like balloons, chalk, and activity stations. Event details here. Napoli’s picks:

1) Wasabi Roll at TEN. “I love seafood, especially when it comes to sushi. The wasabi roll is always my go-to because I love tuna and spicy/hot foods. It’s the perfect amount of heat, especially when you pair it with a great cocktail to cool you off. This is one of my favorite places to visit regularly as the staff, ambiance, and food are always great.”

2) Pepper and Garlic Shrimp at Peter Chang’s. “Is my absolute favorite! The steamed snow peas, hot peppers, leeks, red bell peppers, and asparagus make it spicy, light, and earthy. I always feel good after that particular dish. I love the Nigori Cold Sake with it. Perfect combination.”

3) Vegetarian Omelette at Commonwealth Restaurant and Skybar. “Commonwealth is one of the best places to go to brunch. I love Chef Shanesy’s new brunch menu. The vegetarian omelette (with a side of bacon) is one of my favorite brunch dishes. I like vegetables, but I am by no means a vegetarian, so it’s a great balance. Pair that with a Bloody Mary and you have a well-balanced meal.”

4) Smoked Chicken Wings at The Whiskey Jar. “I love The Whiskey Jar because I am a hard-core bourbon fan. I love trying the different varieties and being able to get flights. They also just started barreling their own bourbons with Elijah Craig, which is super cool. Their wings are the best wings in Charlottesville hands down. It’s great place to just chill and feel comfort.”

5) Braised Lamb Shank at The Bebedero. “I am not trying to be biased but The Bebedero is the most beautiful, and passionately driven restaurant I have ever been a part of. From River’s art, incredible bartending, and beautifully crafted cocktails, to Chef Kelvino’s gorgeous and delicious plates it is a place unlike any other. My favorite things from here are the mezcals, one of my favorites being the Del Maguey Pechuga, and chef’s Lamb Shank. I love lamb, and he knocks it out of the park. So tender, it falls right off the bone. Yum. I also enjoy a scorpion shot every now and then. Feels like vacation whenever I am there.”

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St. Paddy's Day

Five Finds on Friday: Stephanie DeVaux

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Photo by Tiffany Sun.

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from The Alley Light cook Stephanie DeVaux, who is also a private chef behind Holmes Dinner Club, which she calls an intimate, themed meal gathering “friends and strangers for an evening of food and drink – including a full hour of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a coursed dinner with beverage pairing.” Interested in becoming a member? Visit here. And for her private chef and catering services, visit here. DeVaux’s picks:

1) Tamarind Margarita at Milan. “Though I’m generally attracted to a more bitter profile when ordering cocktails, the Tamarind Margarita at Milan remains my most marvelous exception. It’s a wonderful balance of sweet and sour and provides an ultra-refreshing respite to some of the heat from my favorite Indian dishes there.”

2) La Chicana Burger at The Bebedero. “I have a thing for burgers, and after a personal, multi-year-long journey of citywide consumption, I really do have to settle on the La Chicana Burger at The Bebedero as the top of my list. It just gives me everything I want in a burger: locally sourced beef from Timbercreek, just enough spiciness without being overwhelming, lots of fat (in the form of guacamole and a super creamy mayo), acidic pickled veg to balance it out, and a generous dose of cheese.”

3) Mr. Rech at The Alley Light. “I may be biased since I’ve also worked in Chef Robin’s kitchen, but the Mr. Rech objectively remains the best dessert I’ve ever eaten in Charlottesville. Two dacquoise cookies surround a hazelnut semifreddo and the entire thing is drenched in hot chocolate sauce. It is the most elevated ice cream sandwich in town, and hands down the most delicious.”

4) Reserve Wine Pairing at Fleurie. “Most people already know that Fleurie is French fare at its best, but what I find even more standout than their food alone is its added nuances alongside the perfectly paired beverage. The reserve wine pairing option with their tasting menu is nothing less than a transformative experience, which I think most wine pairing programs try to be, but few actually succeed. In this case, the wine is excellent and the food is excellent, but together they change so much in their depth and intensity in the most stunning ways.”

5) Two Poached Eggs with Home Fries and Toast at Tip Top Restaurant. “There are a seemingly unlimited number of amazing breakfasts in Charlottesville, but I never crave anything like I crave a classic diner-style breakfast, so Tip Top is a frequent stop on my weekly breakfast rotation. It’s exactly what you expect it to be, so it’s partly the casual consistency I love most, but it’s also the buzzing, no-nonsense atmosphere there on weekend mornings. I will unabashedly push my breakfast partner into getting the biscuits and sausage gravy (so I can steal a bite), but my tried-and-true is the classic: two poached eggs with home fries and toast with butter.”

Five Finds on Friday: Melissa Boardman

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Photo by Amy Jackson

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Melissa Boardman, Wine Director of Fleurie, which is celebrating Virginia Wine Month with a very special meal. On October 21, Fleurie welcomes Lovingston Winery for a multi-course feast by Chef Jose de Brito, paired with Lovingston wines. Details here. Braised beef cheeks, celery root, rigatoni stuffed with oxtail, red wine & cacao reduction with a pine nut & raisin condiment? Reserve at (434) 9710-1800 or fleuriecville@gmail.com. Boardman’s picks:

1) Nachos and Margaritas at The Bebedero. “These nachos are a meal and a half. The chorizo meat topping is the way to go. The mornay cheese sauce is so flavorful. You can’t beat River’s selection of mezcal. I have him pick one for my margarita, which I also add jalapenos and cilantro to. The best part about all of this is that they serve a limited menu until 1 am. Perfect for an after-service snack.”

2) Foie Gras and Sauternes at Fleurie. “Chef Jose de Brito prepares this healthy portion of seared foie to perfection. It’s a great way to start a dining experience. You can also belly up to the bar for a quick decadent snack. However, it’s not foie gras without Sauternes. I’m loving the Sauternes from Rousset Peyraguey called Atropos. This unique, natural sticky spends six years in barrel before it is bottle. It’s a sweet treat that borders on savory.”

3) Sucuk Platter and a Glass of Emir at Sultan Kebab. “Sucuk is a Turkish sausage that reminds me of a spicy kielbasa, without the grease. In fact this sausage has a bit of a crunch. If you are really hungry or are there with a couple friends, add a plate of the Manti.  Turkish marinated ground beef dumplings served with homemade garlicky yogurt, drizzle of crushed red pepper butter sauce and dry mint. My meal here is not complete unless I have a glass or two of Doluca’s Emir. It’s a super dry, mineral driven white wine from Turkey.”

4) Weisswurst and Hefeweizen at Court Square Tavern. “I like the platter with their potato salad. This veal sausage is light, airy and heavenly. They have a great selection of German beers. Ask Jeff to pick you out a good one. Hefeweizen and weisswurst use similar spices in their recipes, so it’s a natural pairing.”

5) Cheese Plate and a Bottle of Vouvray at Tilman’s.  “I am a cheese freak! I could live on it (and wine) alone. I love Tilman’s because Courtney only picks the best of the best. I give the cheese monger on duty carte blanche to customize a plate for me. They know I like the powerful stuff. The other thing I love about Tilman’s is the retail pricing on bottles and minimal corkage fee.”