The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Zocalo

Five Finds on Friday: Lindsay Dorrier

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Bold Rock Hard Cider’s Lindsay Dorrier, who will compete next week in the 2017 Shop to Stop Hunger, benefiting the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. At 10 am on December 7 at the Barracks Road Kroger, Dorrier and four other beverage insiders will each have one minute to fill their shopping carts with as much food as they can, all for the food bank. Visit the event page to survey the competitors and donate in the name of your pick to win. As cold weather approaches, your donations are more important than ever. So, go! Dorrier’s picks:

1) Dealer’s Choice at Cicchetti Bar at Tavola. “It’s been mentioned before but worth mentioning again: the Cicchetti Bar at Tavola features the best cocktails in town. I mostly drink hard cider followed by wine and some beer but Tavola’s Maiale Milanese wouldn’t be a complete meal without a Dealer’s Choice cocktail from the Cicchetti Bar to start. The talented bartenders are always able to take my vague suggestions on taste (something fresh, vodka, maybe a touch of sweetness) and turn it into an amazing cocktail. Fellow Scottsville Elementary School alum and longtime friend Christian Johnston did an awesome job building the Cicchetti Bar from the ground up, and Steve Yang has ably grabbed the torch and continued to push it forward. Kudos to both for running an operation that is distinctively next level in terms of quality and even showmanship with their approach to crafting the cocktails.”

2) Made To Order Mozzarella at Fry’s Spring Station. “I live a stone’s throw away from Fry’s Spring Station and am grateful to have such awesome food and ambiance in my backyard. One of my new favorite appetizer’s is the Made To Order Mozzarella. If the mozzarella is Batman then the flatbread is Robin. They go perfectly together and I’m confident I have not had better flatbread. Top with roasted tomatoes and you are cooking with gas.”

3) Shaved Salad at Oakhart Social. “The perfect start to any culinary adventure at Oakhart where you literally can’t go wrong with the menu selections. The shaved salad has varied textures, tastes and colors that combine together to create a beautifully simple yet complex dish. Arugula, watermelon radish, medjool date and a few other interesting veggies tossed in a creamy garlic dressing will keep you going back for a second or third scoop. Make sure you order more than one for larger groups!”

4) Sweet Heat Wings at Fardowners. “Just a touch outside of Charlottesville but worth the drive, Fardowners in Crozet dishes out an amazing house made wing sauce in the Sweet Heat which has a perfect dose of habanero spice blended with a delicious honey and raspberry sweetness. The wings are never scrawny or dried out and always thoroughly coated with this sweet and fiery deliciousness. I don’t dream about wings too often but my mouth has definitively started to water just thinking about this dish.”

5) Chili Dusted Sea Scallops at Zocalo. “I’ve had a longstanding aversion towards seafood, which is why extra weight should be given to the Chili Dusted Sea Scallops at Zocalo making this list. These scallops are flat out amazing, perfectly seared and served on a bed of sautéed spinach and fried plantains. I’ve tried to replicate them at home but have come to realize that there is just no matching this excellence at Zocalo.”

 

 

 

Five Finds on Friday: The Dennisons

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Five Finds on Friday is a weekly feature where area chefs and personalities name five favorite food/drink items in the area. In appreciation of readers of The Charlottesville 29 over the years, last week’s Five Finds on Friday came from the winner of a reader random drawing, Jason Boorman of Kardinal Hall. But, non-industry readers deserve appreciation, too, and so this week’s random drawing winner is Rebekah Dennison, of PRW Laboratories. Rebekah was entered by her husband Mark, of Musictoday, and she returned the favor by sharing her picks with him. Five Finds on Friday from Charlottesville natives Rebekah and Mark Dennison:

1) Smorgasbord of Slices To-Go from Downtown Christians Pizza. “After a long week this is our ultimate Friday night treat, the key is to have someone to share a few slices with so you get to taste as many of their incredible combinations as possible. Our current favorites to share are Chicken & Black Bean, Fresh mozz/tomato/basil, buffalo chicken & blue cheese, and spinach/artichoke/pesto.”

2) Hummus on an Everything bagel with Sprouts, Cucumber, Onion, Feta spread, and Kalamata Olive Spread, Cut from Bodo’s Bagels. “There are so many sandwiches that we could have picked from Bodo’s, but this Mediterranean spin, a mouthful to order and to eat, always seems to make it on our tray.” 

3) Quiche from MarieBette Cafe and Bakery. “The perfect breakfast is only a three minute walk from our house. Each variety is amazing but when the mushroom quiche is available we can’t resist getting a slice every time we swing by for our favorite morning coffee, a large iced red-eye.”

4) Grilled Salmon at Zocalo. “We had our wedding reception here 8 years ago, so Zocalo has a special place in our hearts.  We still go back to get this piping hot dish which the kitchen will split perfectly for two, served with green chili and goat cheese couscous.”

5) Spam Musubi and Pork Lau Lau from Mochiko. “Riki Tanabe is always cooking up amazing Hawaiian street food that is the perfect City Market treat. Mark always goes for the Spam Musubi while Rebekah gets the Pork Lau Lau  platter accompanied by the best mac salad ever.”

Five Finds on Friday: Jason Boorman

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jason Boorman, General Manager of Kardinal Hall, and winner of this week’s reader drawing to participate in Five Finds.* “Picking just five things in this town is extremely difficult,” says Boorman. “The amount of talent and offerings in Charlottesville are deserving of their own novel, each chapter dedicated to one restaurant or menu. I was tempted to do my five finds on just fried chicken alone! If it was my last day in this town though and I had to choose, these would be the first five things I would have to check off my list.”

1) Pastrami, Swiss and Mustard on Everything Bagel at Bodo’s. “You can put just about anything on a Bodo’s everything bagel and I will eat it, but I will wait in line on a Saturday morning for this sandwich!”

2) Tuna Tartare at Zocalo. “One of my favorite things to do is app hop on the downtown mall and it always starts with the tuna tartare. I’ve tried to duplicate this at home and gave up.”

3) Capellini Frutti Di Mare “Fra Diavolo” at Tavola. “Seafood is fresh, pasta is cooked perfectly, and that sauce . .. . my favorite pasta dish hands down. Order a side of bread with it, because leaving any sauce in the bowl is an absolute sin!”

4) Porchetta Panuozzi at Lampo. “I could do a five finds on just Lampo, but I’ve had dreams about this sandwich before. The house made porchetta is phenomenal, house bread is the perfect vessel and the crunch from the broccoli rabe ties it all together. If you haven’t had it yet, go there now, it will change your life.”

5) Nachos with Beef and Extra Tomatillo Salsa at Beer Run. “I started dating my girlfriend right around the time Beer Run opened. This was the first dish we had there and now we can’t go there without ordering it. It’s pretty bad when the bartender doesn’t even have to ask how you want them.”

*(The random drawing was open to all readers, whether in the restaurant industry or not. But, non-industry readers deserve appreciation, too, and so next week’s Five Finds on Friday will come from a non-industry winner of the drawing.)