Having jumped the gun on visiting uber-popular Moto Pho Co during its earliest days, I decided to wait a couple months before reviewing One Meatball Place, Moto Pho’s sister restaurant in both mien and conjoined location. On first sight, the space appears more cozy and contained than the pho restaurant to which One Meatball Place attaches, even sharing restroom facilities. The actual layout of the restaurant is relatively small, housing a long bar but only five tables. The combination of exposed brick, light wood accents, and large-screen TVs made for an elegantly simple yet comfortable atmosphere. The window booth in which my friends and I sat took in a… Read More
Posts Tagged Cuisine: Italian
Charlottesville’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
When we last visited Blue Mountain Brewery, we made the mistake of ordering only beer. We thought the food, though more creative than expected, was there for no other reason than to anchor the beer drinking. How naive we were!
Though our waiter eagerly pointed out the veggie pizza as his favorite item on the menu, we were inexorably drawn again and again to the brat pizza. We both spent a good chunk of our formative years in the mid-west, so sausage rarely gets past us uneaten, especially if it has wurst in its name. Besides, pizza with apples, balsamic… Read More
For years, Christian’s has been the undisputed champ of the by-the-slice division. With four stores in the Charlottesville area and a following so rabid that there is at least one vanity license plate around town that features the name of a signature slice,* Christian’s is Charlottesville’s own Italian Stallion.
In the last few years, however, a new contender entered the ring, threatening to topple the aging giant. Its name was Vita Nova – “New Life” – and with its youthful energy and ravenous appetite, not to mention a manager who had previously… Read More
This isn’t exactly a dining-out food find, but it’s so good we had to talk about it. For those of you who are self-proclaimed honorary Italians like my wife Erin, who is freakishly obsessed with meatballs and mob movies and James Gandolfini, and even for the rest of us who enjoy but don’t go nuts over Italian food, Mona Lisa on Preston is an amazing resource. They have all kinds of Italian imports and local goodies but the crown jewels in their Italian arsenal are the many varieties of fresh raw pasta that they’ll hand-cut for you in whatever quantity you want. If you think you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between fresh and… Read More
My nominee for the most underutilized bar in Charlottesville goes to Vivace, hands down and with great enthusiasm. Yes, the Ivy Road location is a slight drive from downtown. But the reward upon arrival is great. First of all, there’s the popcorn machine where you can fill up old school popcorn baskets as much as you’d like. They… Read More