Watermelon, feta, shallots, and pea tendrils.There’s an exciting restaurant newcomer in town that’s upped the ante on the local food scene. We’ve only had one meal at Brookville, but it was a delicious, memorable dinner that celebrated the best this season and area has to offer.

Brookville is located in the former Upstairs/Al Dente space above Escafé. It’s more out of the way than other mall spots that easily attract passersby, so I hope the spot won’t be tough for them. It’s a welcoming space that was far too empty for the delicious meal we were about to have. The entry room includes a large bar, exposed brick walls, bookshelves filled with cookbooks to thumb through, and a communal table beneath a chalkboard featuring the local food providers.

The space is inviting and warm it was but the menu that captured my heart. It’s simple and streamlined with no more than ten items on the entire menu, including desserts. The menu will change weekly based on the best of what’s available within 100 miles of the restaurant. Chef Harrison Keevil, a Virginia native and UVA grad who’s cooked in San Francisco and New York, was welcoming and passionate about his food.

Gooey brownie, charred marshmallow fluff, graham cracker crumbs.We started with a delicious watermelon, feta, and shallot salad with pea tendrils, and a potato cake with a poached egg and the perfect amount of gruyere. A promising start, and it only got better with an incredibly tender pork tenderloin and belly with spatzle and a peppered honey sauce. The combination of flavors was perfect, and it was one of the best entrées I’ve had in awhile. Of course we had to sample both desserts, for the sake of scientific rigor, and it was hard to pick which we loved more. The warm, gooey brownie with charred marshmallow fluff sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs elevated the noble s’more to a whole new level. And then there was the waffle. A maple and bacon waffle with the most scrumptious grilled peaches you can imagine. If Brookville starts serving brunch and that waffle is on the menu, I’m in trouble.

I’ve heard one or two grumblings that Brookville’s servings are too small for the price, but the prices were consistent with or less than any other nice restaurant in town. The appetizer portions were on the smaller size, the entrée average size, and the desserts servings generous. But no matter how big the servings, this is not some all-you-can-eat buffet that’s about quantity over quality. This is about paying a fair price for lovingly made food that comes from lovingly raised ingredients from our region, and savoring every delicious bite.

Jed says: “Possibly the perfect fine dining restaurant for Charlottesville in the 2010′s. A small menu of local flavors masterfully prepared by a personable chef as you overlook the mall from a dining room that manages to be both elegant and homey.”

award_star_gold_3 16Rating: Erin: Jed:

thumb_up 16 iconPros: Delicious food, local and seasonal menu, welcoming space and staff.

thumb_down 16 iconCons: I may develop a maple and bacon waffle addiction.

money_dollar 16 iconPrice: Appetizers $6-8, Entrées $12-17, Desserts $5.

car famfam 16 iconParking: The usual mall spots.

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