The Book is Out!

The book is out! Staff writer Casey did an awesome job capturing the history and modernity of Charlottesville’s local food movement. If you’re intrigued by the subject, please consider buying it one of our local bookstores or online at Amazon:


Poetry for Food & Wine at The Paramount

Calling all oenophiles and locavores and haiku writers. We have two free tickets to this fabulous food & wine event at the Paramount Theater on Sunday 9/23 at 5pm and we’re dying to give them away. With wine tastings and food provided by Fleurie, Petit Pois, Tempo, and Paradox Pastry, and a screening of the movie Sideways – “Merlot?!” – this sounds to be a delightful event.

To raise awareness about local wines, we’re awarding these tickets to the person who most eloquently waxes poetic about their favorite local wine or winery. Details below the flier.


Concert Pairings: Food for Jefferson Theater Outings

Alexandra and Paula at the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, VATwo of our favorite ladies about town, Alexandra and Paula, have taken on the ambitious and enjoyable task of attending every show at the Jefferson Theater this month and documenting it on their blog, One Month at the Jefferson. Naturally they’ll need to fuel up for all that music so we asked them to give us the rundown on their favorite places to eat pre- and post-show.

There are some great choices for food on the Downtown Mall before your show to keep you satiated through the opening and main act. Here are a few of our favorites.


Because… Read More

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Bella’s Restaurant, The Interview

Bella's Restaurant in Charlottesville, VACharlottesville’s newest and arguably “only real” Italian restaurant opens its doors in just a few weeks on March 23rd. I recently chatted at the construction site of what is soon to be Bella’s Restaurant with Chefi Austin Robbins, Valeria “Bella” Bisenti, and general manager Justin Heilbrun-Toft. Lucia Sallese, Bella’s mother, also joined us. She doesn’t speak English but gave us all a lesson in pronouncing a la parmigiana. “Mama” as she is affectionately known, is visiting from Rome to train Chef Austin.


Bella, what is the concept of your eponymous restaurant?

There is nothing like Bella’s Restaurant in the current culinary scene here in Charlottesville. For us, it was very important to have something that is really traditional, really authentic. We… Read More

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Restaurant Roundup

There are all kinds of opening and closing shenanigans as we head toward the holidays! It’s hard to keep up these days. A brief recap of the latest restaurant news in recent weeks:

Goodbye Orange Crush. We had heard rumors of Escafé shutting its doors and recently C-ville confirmed it. The good news? Rev Soup Owner Will Richey will take over the space and plans to open The Whiskey Jar in the new year. The bad news? Where in the world will we go for Red Bull-fueled bar dancing? Head to Escafé TONIGHT (Saturday) for what promises to be a bittersweet and debaucherous farewell bash.

Choppers on Meade? In an unlikely and awesome combo, The Dish reports a rumor that the creator of the… Read More

A Fond Farewell to The Tavern

You have just a few weeks left to get your fix of the best pancakes in town while saying goodbye to a local institution, as The Tavern‘s last day is officially December 24th.

It’s always sad to see a longstanding local business close, especially when the rumored backstory is that the wealthy local landlord significantly raised rent prices and wouldn’t agree to a multi-year lease. After 30 years serving the friendliest breakfast in town, The Tavern will soon close and there are whisperings a CVS will be put in its place (if true, I personally vow to never step foot in it). Love or hate The Tavern’s greasy comfort food, it’s a loss for the community… Read More


Pho Mania

After years of lamenting the lack of good Vietnamese food in Charlottesville (Saigon Cafe isn’t cutting it), we couldn’t have been more excited to learn that the fabulous Vu, owner of Zinc, is planning on opening a new pho restaurant on West Main. The delicious Vietnamese noodle soup is the perfect comfort food, and I think he is going to rock it.

No sooner had we finished celebrating that news that we heard that Ten Sushi Chef Pei Chang is planning C-ville’s first pop-up restaurant. Serving?  Pho. “Handsome Boy Noodles” will hit Ten for one night only on Sunday, December 4 from 6:00 – 11:00 pm. Let… Read More

New Treats in Town: SweetHaus Opens

Candy mural to welcome you.We were lucky enough to stumble upon a sneak preview of adorable candy and cupcake shop, SweetHaus, at the Midtown Street Fair last weekend. The new store on West Main (next to Random Row Books) officially opens tomorrow so head that way for your sugar fix.

There are whimsical touches throughout the store with jars of brightly colored candies, old doors and windows converted to banquettes and display cases, a candy mural, and my favorite chandelier of all time. So I was in love before we even tried the cupcakes and things just went up from there.

We sampled mini versions of the vanilla and chocolate made with all-natural ingredients: no glitter here. Delicious… Read More

Interview with Chef Justin Hershey of Zinc

Chef Justin Hershey from Zinc Restaurant in Charlottesville, VAJustin Hershey is executive chef of Zinc where he creates seasonally inspired, locally acquired dishes.


What was your first foray into the culinary world?

It all started when I was young. My mother often worked as a waitress and eventually as a general manager, and I would eat in her restaurants. During the summers, I would visit my uncle and grandmother, both avid diners. We would eat out as often as five days a week. I spent a lot of time in restaurants, and I liked the excitement and constant movement. So when I turned fifteen and I needed money… Read More


Interview with Chef Craig Hartman of BBQ Exchange

Chef Craig Hartman (photo courtesy of Barbeque Exchange)Chef Craig Hartman is owner of BBQ Exchange in Gordonsville. Since opening this year, he’s served 140,000 lbs of pork.


Cooking alongside of the railroad tracks is quite a scenery change from your country club days.  What inspired the transition from table cloths to picnic tables?

I hate to say that I’m starting to get older, but I actually started feeling it recently. The kitchen is like athletics – it’s a grueling kind of pace, and I spent the last 38 years really away from my family. I started feeling more sore when I woke up and more exhausted… Read More


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