The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Vita Nova

Five Finds on Friday: Kate Ellwood


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Kate Ellwood, GM of Citizen Burger Bar, who juggles a full-time restaurant job with being a mother to her daughter Avery. “Family is a big part of my life and what keeps me grounded in this industry,” says Ellwood. “My husband and my daughter are what keep me going. Avery is growing up in the restaurant world, and it’s so fun sharing this special lifestyle with her. She lights up my life.” Ellwood’s picks:

1) A.M. Biscuit at Beer Run. “My go-to day off spot. A place that feels like home. My daughter loves the basket of toys they keep on hand, and the kids’ menu is pretty awesome. The A.M Biscuit has been my breakfast staple for years. It’s a house baked cheddar scallion biscuit with scrambled eggs and your choice of cheese (the Gouda is amazing), and I always top it with bacon. They have a great selection of dark beers and, with the new addition of the back bar, there’s always a large selection of brews to choose from.”

2) Iced Mocha at Splendora’s. “I know it’s going to be a great day when it starts with a cup of coffee from Splendora’s. Most days I’m here twice a day. Coffee in the morning and an iced coffee in the afternoon. I had the iced mocha recently and it was out of this world. Of course the gelato is something special. I love when PK does the beerlato. From the bright yellow building on the way in and the friendly staff, I would challenge someone to leave there without a smile on their face.”

3) White Pizza at Vita Nova. “Favorite pizza spot on the mall. There’s never a long line and the staff is super-friendly and efficient. We order their pizza for our employee meetings, and our staff is hooked. They have this delicious white sauce, cheese pizza that is, hands down, the best slice of pizza I’ve experienced. It tastes like you’re eating pasta on a pizza.”

4) Hand Pie w/ Scrambled Egg, Yukon Potato, Cheddar, and Gravy at The Pie Chest. “I’ve always been a huge fan of the sweet pies, the dark chocolate cream pie especially. I would eat it for breakfast at least once a week. Then I discovered the breakfast hand pies and that was a game changer. The Yukon potato, cheddar, gravy, & egg is my fave! Super delicious. It always brightens my day to see Tina and Rachel in the shop. Great people, great pies.”

5) Double Bass Chocolate Stout from Starr Hill Brewery. “My favorite brewery in town, since the beginning. I love visiting the tap room in Crozet on my days off. It’s a short drive, and a nice escape. Their Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout is my favorite seasonal beer. They do this fun seasonal Box of Chocolates 12 pack. It’s released in November, and I’ll be drinking those for the next few months.”

Five Finds on Friday: Kevin McElroy


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Kevin McElroy, Brewer and co-founder of Randow Row Brewing Co., the new brewery on Preston Ave. whose Grand Opening is today at 4:30 pm, with Moe’s Original BBQ food truck. Details here! A beer lover, McElroy went the extra mile and included a pairing with each of his picks.

1) Vella Jack Cheese Fritters and Black Bean and Corn Relleno at ZoCaLo. “The cheese fritters are crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, and come with an awesome raspberry chili sauce and I save the leftovers for the rest of the meal. Each time you get the relleno, the spice level of the pepper varies, so its a different experience each time. Beer pairing: Bell’s Two Hearted Ale to go with the spiciness of everything.”

2) Plain Bagel with Turkey and Veggie Cream Cheese at Bodo’s. “If I’m feeling adventurous I’ll add tomato and sprouts. Hands down the best bagel in Charlottesville.  With the brewery across the street, I eat plenty of meals here. Haven’t gotten tired of it yet. Beer pairing: all the beers at Random Row that I ‘have’ to test each day. Someone’s gotta do it.”

3) Cheese Pizza at Vita Nova. “Having two toddlers and a third baby on the way, I use the excuse that it’s for the kids, but Vita Nova is the best pizza in town for your money. Won’t break the bank and is a good New York style pizza with a creamy cheese topping. Beer pairing: Six pack of Hydraulion Red from Three Notch’d.”

4) Pulled Pork Sandwich with Fries at Ace Biscuit and BBQ. “As you can probably tell, I have a pretty simple palate. But the pork here doesn’t need much else. A dash of Carolina style sauce and it’s good to go. Beer pairing: PBR or Natty Boh.”

5) Red Hot Blues with “Wait a Minute” Hot Sauce at Continental Divide. “Just the right amount of heat to start your meal. Every entree I’ve had here I’ve been impressed with. Beer pairing: Sierra Nevada Pale ale, followed by one of the best margaritas in town!”

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