The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: 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.)

Zocalo Introduces Jazz Nights

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When news broke that co-founder Andrew Silver had left Zocalo, his longtime business partner Ivan Rekosh assured regulars that the restaurant would continue largely unchanged, although he did say that he had some interesting tweaks planned as well. First up, weekly jazz nights.

Starting October 24, Zocalo will host live jazz every Tuesday night from 7:30 – 11:00. The relatively early start time is by design, to allow folks other than night owls to catch some good live music. For the first set, from 7:30 – 9:00, music will be on the quieter side, Rekosh says, so guests can enjoy jazz during dinner from one of Charlottesville’s most reliably excellent kitchens. Then, from 9:30 – 11:00, they’ll turn up the volume. The jazz is the brainchild of Zocalo staff members Peter Larson and Jack Sheehan, both graduates of the Berklee College of Music. Larson and Sheehan wanted to provide guests a way to enjoy some of the great local jazz scene, without having to stay up into the wee hours of the night. Stalwarts like John D’earth and the Kane-West Organ Trio are already on the schedule, which launches in just two weeks.