Knife & Fork | Spring 2024

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Taste is everything.










3. .

plenty of recipes to inspire you and a market full of delectable ingredients to help you prepare fantastic seafood dishes at home! Fresh catch delivered throughout the week!
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Amuse Bouche









The Last Bite

Knife&Fork 5 (434) 817-2749 n TABLE OF CONTENTS KNIFE & FORK, a supplement to C-VILLE Weekly, is distributed in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the Shenandoah Valley. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Knife & Fork Editor Caite Hamilton. Copy Editor Susan Sorensen. Contributors Carol Diggs, Laura Drummond, Mary Esselman, Shea Gibbs, Maeve Hayden, Erika Howsare, Rachael Kesler, and Sarah Lawson Art Director Max March. Graphic Designer Tracy Federico. Account Executives Brittany Keller, Gabby Kirk, Stephanie Vogtman. Production Coordinator Faith Gibson. Publisher Anna Harrison. Chief Financial Officer Debbie Miller. A/R Specialist Nanci Winter. Circulation Manager Billy Dempsey. ©2024 C-VILLE Weekly
home Laura
settles in at Common House.
For summer
The late Will Richey’s tomato sando.
Fresh sips Bold Rock’s newest offering and more. Feature PAGE 22 In a foodie town like Charlottesville, we sometimes take for granted all the cuisines on offer—not to mention the local shelves stocked with hard-to-get ingredients. These four grocers make it easy to cook up something special, with flavors from Africa, Pakistan, India, and beyond.
amount of oxtail Chef Jonathan Wright sold in
six-day week at
his new
a slow week!
The Dish
Caribbean flavor
on 434th Street.
Chef Jonathan Wright
Deep cuts
meat counter draws a crowd.
That’s good Family-run Thai spot heats up Emmet.
Mais oui!
Light celebrates 10 years.
The Alley
Prague. PAGE 38 On the cover: African Market Place brings Ghanaian goods to Charlottesville.Photo: Eze Amos EZE AMOS
Straight from
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Thank you, next Chef Laura Fonner makes another unexpected move

Laura Fonner is the new head chef at Charlottesville’s Common House Supper Club. And if that doesn’t blow your mind, you haven’t been following Laura Fonner.

Fonner, the longtime Duner’s head chef who won the “Guy’s Grocery Games Tournament of Champions” in 2020, has

been through a lot in the past two years. First, there was her public falling out with the Champion Hospitality Group. Then, the restaurant she salvaged from the relationship’s ruins closed its doors.

But through it all, Fonner has fought fiercely, openly, and loudly. That’s who she is: a fighter.

Common House is less wont to make waves. The club’s unassuming storefront, members-only attitude, and franchise-ready branding come together for a buttoned-up customer-facing product. Still, the way Fonner tells it, a perfect storm of factors made the opposites attract.

After Siren closed in July of 2023, Fonner bounced around part-time gigs, filling in at friends’ restaurants where she could. She flirted with a second shot at her own place, this time in the former Passiflora space, but the opportunity didn’t fit her timeline. What’s more, she was wary of another passion project on the heels of Siren’s downfall.

Then, restaurateur Wilson Richey died. It hit Fonner hard. She has kids near in age to Richey’s, and his unexpected death made stability feel more critical than ever.

“He was so amazing and such a good influence,” Fonner says. “We never worked together [but] had a level of respect that was pretty amazing. Our visions were the same: You set other people up for success.”

At about the same time, another industry friend asked Fonner if she knew anyone who could fill an open sous chef role at Common House. Fonner thought of herself. She met with the general manager and learned the restaurant was also a teaching kitchen. It was a unique opportunity to fulfill her mission.

Since settling in at Common House, Fonner’s put her stamp on things, overhauling event menus and adding her own daily favorites like Mom’s Meatloaf. She and management have also agreed to open to the public for Saturday brunch—a brunch she calls the “Laura Fonner I Hate Brunch Experience.”

a few false (but

Perhaps most importantly, Fonner says she already feels at home with the Common House clientele. “I like cooking the things that have made me happy throughout my life,” Fonner says. “If it makes me happy, people will be happy eating it. Food doesn’t have to be plated with tweezers. It is about connecting.”—Shea Gibbs

AmuseBouche NEW HOME
After buzzy) starts elsewhere, local chef Laura Fonner has happily landed in the Common House kitchen.
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By the slice

Anyone who knew Will Richey, the beloved local chef who tragically passed away in late December of 2023, knew he loved tomatoes. In 2016, we asked him to share the recipe he used for the tomato sammy at The Whiskey Jar—a staple menu item that shows up in late July when the ’maters are just right for the picking—and he gladly obliged. “It is the one item on the menu that is most talked about and craved by all,” he told us then.

Check out the recipe, and Richey’s charming idiosyncrasies, below. Clip it out and save it for summer!—CH

“The three most important parts I think are undebatable: First is the perfect tomato. The tomato must be perfectly ripened and fresh, preferably an heirloom variety (of which I believe the Cherokee Purple to be the most flavorful and the best for the perfect tomato sandwich). One wants a firm-fleshed tomato with good texture, not too watery or sweet flesh. They must be sliced fresh to order and never refrigerated.

Secondly, and equally undeniable as the perfect tomato, is the seasoning of the tomato. It must be salted evenly. A little black pepper is optional.

Third on the list of undeniable truths of the perfect tomato sandwich is Duke’s mayonnaise. This must be applied to the bread thickly and evenly to the edges.

The debate revolves around the bread. Classicists will most often say plain white bread. The bread must be white bread for certain, but we use a really good locally made country white bread from Goodwin Creek Farm, and we griddle the bread lightly in butter to give it some crunch and texture. Perhaps not ideally classic, but we think it makes for the perfect Tomato Sandwich.”

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Main squeeze

Nellysford-based Bold Rock Cider in February announced a new addition to its lineup of hard cider: Strawberry Lime, a blend of “crisp apples from the Blue Ridge Mountains and fresh strawberries, with a zesty punch of lime,” according to a press release.

The seasonal flavor replaces Prosecco Cider, the winter offering, and is available on draught at the Nelson County taproom and select locations.

“We are always thrilled to bring innovation to our Bold Rock family,” says Courtnie Harrell, Bold Rock’s VP of marketing. “The team created Strawberry Lime with springtime sipping in mind. With its refreshing fruit notes and delightful bright color, it is the perfect flavor to cross from winter to spring.”—CH

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Serving award winning Roast Prime Rib, Certified Angus steaks cooked over a live charcoal hearth, succulent seafood, classic cocktails, and exceptional wines. Join us WednesdaySaturday from 5 pm. Reservations 434-296-4630 2018 Holiday Drive


Storied sips

Three Notch’d Brewing and Ivy Creek Foundation teamed up to release a collaborative brew in support of the Historic Riv er View Farm and the Carr/Greer family. The farm land was purchased by Hugh Carr, a formerly enslaved man, in 1870. His family would go on to play influential roles in advocating for the education of African American farmers and children in Albemarle County.

After touring the 219-acre farm and preserve, Three Notch’d brewers created the River View Farm Legacy Ale, a golden ale brewed with oats, wheat, and corn—all crops that Carr grew at River View. Sample it at Three Notch’d, or snag a four-pack to take home—a portion of proceeds go to the Ivy Creek Foundation.

And more...

Sandwich-lovers rejoice—Littlejohn’s is back. New owners are reopening the iconic delicatessen in its original spot on the Corner, with a menu that includes nostalgic favorites like the Nuclear, Wild Turkey, Five Easy Pieces, and the Sampson. Keep an eye on @ljs_on_the_corner on Instagram for the official opening date.

In ’cue news, Vision BBQ moved its smokers next door, into the vacated Siren space. The

larger venue means the Southern eatery can now offer table service, an expanded menu, live music, and bevvies from the full bar. Guajiros Miami Eatery has settled into its new spot at 114 10th St. NW. Swing by Wednesday through Friday from 5-10pm to try an all-new food and drink menu at Guajiros After Dark. Kick back with a frozen marg and nachos from the expanded menu at Fiesta Azteca Tap House and Mexican Kitchen. The fami-

Rosé all day

If you like seeing wine through rosé-colored glasses, this spring event will tickle you pink: From Castle Hill Cider and Harmony Wine comes the second annual Daze of Rosé, an all-day festival to “showcase the finest in Virginia wine culture.”

The event, which is set from 1-6pm Saturday, March 30, at Castle Hill, will include a People’s Choice Wine Competition, where participants will sample rosé from around the state and cast their vote for the best one; wine education sessions with industry winemakers, sommeliers, and changemakers; an art installation from internationally renowned artist Beatrix Ost; a live DJ set and shopping experience; and upscale eats from The Catering Outfit.

Full access tickets are $58 at—CH

ly-owned eatery changed names and moved from its previous spot in Crozet to the former Ivy Road House building off route 250.

In Charlottesville, the team behind Tacos Gomez food truck is serving up sweet and savory Mexican bites at Desayuna Con Gomez, a Pantops brick-and-mortar breakfast and lunch spot. Try fresh-from-the-oven pan dulce, including polvorones, naranja mantecada, and conchas.

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We are truly humbled and grateful to receive the 2023 Best of Cville Award, and for all of the continued support from our guests over the past year. Love, The Team at Ten Open for Dinner Every Tuesday - Saturday at 5:00 PM Reserve your table today by calling us at 434 295 6691 or by finding us on OpenTable 120B E. Main Street on the Downtown Mall BEST SUSHI WINNER FOOD TRUCK AND CATERING Farmacy Cafe Farmacy Cafe 222 west main st charlottesville,va EMAIL US FOR OUR CATERING MENU AT FARMACY.CVILLE@GMAIL.COM 85% of our ingredients are ORganic, all our meat is locally sourced and hormone free and we use other locally sourced ingredients On downtown mall in code building courtyard

The Dish

TRENDS, TASTEMAKERS, AND FOODS WE LOVE Knife&Fork 13 Island time New Dairy Market spot offers Caribbean flavor with Southern twang By Shea Gibbs
For more information visit
| Charlottesville, Virginia | (434) 996-3307 |
Thibaut-Janisson Winery Thibaut-Janisson was born from a long friendship that began in a Grand Cru village in the Champagne region of France and continues today in Blue Ridge Mountains of Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I took the Caribbean main dishes and a lot of the curries and island spice and incorporated that with Southern American side dishes like mac and cheese and greens.”

They say everything moves slower in the islands. But that does not include chef Jonathan Wright Jr., who’s been serving Caribbean fusion out of his 434th Street restaurant and catering group since 2020. From his first jobs in fast food, to early mornings at City Market, to long days in a manufacturing plant, Wright’s been on the move since he was a teenager.

The hard work paid off on January 7, when he officially launched his Caribbean concept in a permanent Dairy Market location. Last month, the chef took some time out of his busy day to tell Knife & Fork all about the move, his family’s culinary traditions, and what’s next.

Knife & Fork: How has business been in your first few months?

Wright: It’s been really consistent for the last five weeks. I’ve seen some great new faces along with my regulars from the last three years. I started this concept at the City Market in 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic.

Where were you before that?

For the past 20-plus years I’ve been in a lot of kitchens around Charlottesville. I started when I was 14 or 15 in fast food restaurants and just worked my way up the charts. After fast food, it was Red Robin and Ruby Tuesday. Then I moved to Farmington Country Club and Boar’s Head. Then in 2019, I took a job in advanced manufacturing at Emerson. I was succeeding in that, but it got slow, and I was laid off.

That’s an impressive resume.

I’m mostly self-taught, but there were most definitely some great people along the way. The other piece of my background is that my grandmother was the head chef at Martha Jefferson House in the ’80s and ’90s. She also worked at a restaurant called La Hacienda in Charlottesville. According to some people, she was the first woman head chef in any kitchen in town. She died in 1990, three years before I was born, but we always had that family tradition of gathering in the kitchen—from her and from my other grandmother.

What got you into Caribbean food?

I was born and raised in Earlysville. My dad’s side is from West Virginia, and my mom’s is from here. I saw that we didn’t have that type of cuisine here, and I knew I was capable of

cooking it well. Caribbean flavors and cuisines inspire me. I love traveling to the Caribbean, and every time I go I discover something new. I took the Caribbean main dishes and a lot of the curries and island spice and incorporated that with Southern American side dishes like mac and cheese and greens. That’s where the “Virginia twist” on my sign comes in.

How does the Dairy Market scene compare to what you had been doing?

It’s actually the same type of setting but with no 4am wake up calls and a parking lot. The move wasn’t really in my plans, but people wanted it. Demand was high, people got familiar with the food, the catering grew, I contracted with UVA for some things and met a lot of good people there. Everyone kept asking: “When are you going to have a location?” Dairy Market reached out and wanted to know if I wanted to be a vendor. We had a nice sit down, I cooked some food, and they loved it. But yeah, it’s a great environment. This is my first place, but they treat me like I am home. The owners and other vendors have greeted me with nothing but love and respect.

What are some of your favorites and bestsellers?

The seafood dishes—those are my favorite. The

coconut curry seafood platter consists of whatever fresh fish I have as far as market price and availability. Right now, it’s red snapper, which is pan seared with shrimp and crab cake, mixed with the coconut curry sauce and accompanied by the island rice. But the number-one seller is oxtail. I’ve run through about 140 pounds of oxtail in a six-day week, and that was during the slow season. People also love the jerk dishes.

How is the oxtail prepared?

We season the oxtails and marinate them overnight, pan sear them, then after that, we slow braise them in the oven. Then I make a nice savory coconut gravy—a brown gravy with coconut and pineapple. They go absolutely perfectly together. That’s served with plantains and red beans and rice.

What’s the future look like for 434th Street and Chef Wright?

I’m very passionate about what I do. This is just a bonus; the thing that built the company the most is the catering. We did six weddings last year and want to do more this year, but it’s sporadic. At the Dairy Market, I have a staff of four, one full-time and three part-time. They’re all from different nationalities, genders, and ages. They have so much versatility. We’ve become a really strong team.

Knife&Fork 15 The Dish
Jonathan Wright’s 434th Street started as a popular City Market booth—so popular, in fact, that he had no other choice than to turn it into a restaurant. “The move wasn’t really in my plans, but people wanted it,” he says.
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A cut above

Reid’s Market has the meats

From the outside, Reid’s Super-Save Market looks like what it is—a momand-pop grocery and Charlottesville institution that’s been serving the neighborhoods along Preston Avenue for decades. The store was in the news last winter, as the community rallied to help it survive changing demographics, post-COVID supply challenges, and inflation hitting food prices hard.

But for foodies in the know, Reid’s has always been a mecca for those who love their meats. What makes Reid’s stand out? It’s one of the few places in the Charlottesville area that has its own butchers.

“We’ve always been known for our meat department,” says operations manager Billy Clements, who’s been working at Reid’s for

more than 35 years (his wife Sue and her sister took over the store after their father’s death). “Most stores have moved away from fresh-cut meat. But here, that’s what draws people in.”

The meat department takes up the store’s entire back wall, with packed shelves of carnivore’s delights. Its beef offerings run from minute steaks and ground-in-store hamburger to New York strip, T-bones, filets, and every cut in between; “we sell a lot of carne asada,” notes Sue. Long-time butchers Domingo (15-plus years at Reid’s) and Robert (at least 10 years) are happy to have customers call ahead to get their meat cut to order. “You want your steak two inches thick? No problem,” says Billy.

As for pork, Reid’s offers cuts from the head to the toes—literally; “we sell everything but the squeal,” in Billy’s words. If you’re craving pork loin or short ribs, great; or you can pick up some pig’s knuckles, hog maws, trotters, or pig’s ears. And when you can’t find a Kite’s Virginia ham anywhere in town, Reid’s stocks them.

If you’re shopping for chicken, look over a good 8 feet of shelf space, with everything from roasters to wings and feet (if you’re into dim sum). Sue Clements says the poultry comes pre-cut, but Reid’s packages all its meats in store.

Reid’s gets fresh fish delivered once a week, but its selection doesn’t compare to the acres of meat. One of the hard lessons Sue has learned

is that while the grocery business used to be about options, “people don’t shop the way they used to.” She’s working to cut back to a smaller number of low-, mid-, and higher-price options for the staples her customers need. “We’re trying to serve all the genres of our neighborhood,” she says. The shelf labels letting shoppers know what’s eligible for SNAP benefits will stay, and so will the butchers behind the counter.

The Clementses are committed to keep meat and produce the heart of the store, which serves an area of town that would otherwise be a food desert. And it’s appreciated. Longtime customer Norman Lamson, who has shopped at Reid’s for more than 30 years, says, “I live five minutes away—I would rather get everything there than [run around town] trying to save money. And Reid’s has the best meats in town.”

Gordon Sutton agrees. Sutton is president of Tiger Fuel, which owns The Market across the street from Reid’s and donated to the GoFundMe page customers set up to support the store.

“I live downtown, and I shop there all the time,” he says. “The people are really friendly and service-oriented. It’s one of the few places that has an old-school butcher.” Sutton especially appreciates that service; he’s a hunter, and says he stops by Reid’s to get fat trimmings for his ground venison.

Knife&Fork 17 The Dish
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Family style

A legacy of cooking fuels the bustling Chang Thai

In a location on Emmet Street that has seen many iterations over the years, Chang Thai restaurant may be the newest occupant, but the team inside, and the food they’re preparing, is a time-tested combination of experience and loyalty. A family-run business that puts an emphasis on authentic cuisine, Chang Thai’s menu is a reflection of decades of experience gained in kitchens both in the U.S. and Thailand.

Since opening in 2022, Chang Thai has quickly grown in popularity, with help from an existing loyal customer base that followed the family from the now-shuttered Tara Thai in the Barracks Road Shopping Center.

The brother and sister team at the front of house, Boyd and Benny Phuangsub, have enjoyed seeing the newest chapter in their restaurateur careers take root in the community. Boyd says as soon as the sign went up, people were anxious for the doors to open, frequently popping in to check on the renovations and permit-approval progress as the family prepared to launch. The initial enthusiasm hasn’t waned— regulars often wait in Chang Thai’s parking lot with takeout orders already printed and clipped before the open light is switched on.

A family affair steered under the watchful eyes of Boyd and Benny’s parents, the restaurant’s operations flow easier due to being interconnected with family life. “When you have members of your family responsible for getting things done, everyone is more invested because it’s about more than just a business,” says Boyd. “There is a lot of pride that we have in doing this together.”

Boyd explains that cooking has run in the Phuangsub family for generations. Their father learned how to run a kitchen from his own mother while growing up in central Thailand. She was responsible for preparing all the meals for the workers in their village’s timber industry. Bringing his experience stateside in 2007, and enlisting more and more members of the

family into the businesses didn’t mean it was time to relax on the details.

Boyd and Benny say their parents are still running things in the kitchen. Days off together aren’t a frequent occurrence, with one or both of the spouses in the kitchen for every service. Building their staff with careful guidance has been a crucial part of the restaurant’s success, according to the siblings. “Our dad doesn’t let anyone prepare a dish until he is certain they have it right,” says Boyd.

Attention to detail extends to the Chang Thai logo, created from a place of connection, and designed by a close friend in Thailand. The family wanted to incorporate the elephant, the national animal of Thailand, but in a way that blended seamlessly with their name. The eye-catching design scrolled across the exterior of the building has proven to be a helpful draw, standing out on a busy stretch of the city.

When it comes to sourcing ingredients, a task that has gotten significantly easier in recent years, even the chili peppers are brought in fresh and then roasted and dried to ensure the optimal flavor and aroma. Benny says that process is most notable in their chili oil and chili flakes. The family, which makes all its sauces from scratch, believes this is a crucial component to their dishes’ authenticity and flavors.

Describing central Thai cuisine as the great culinary unifier of the country, Boyd explains that there is a holy culinary trinity of sweet, salt, and sour, which is approachable and consumed by residents across the country, where more regional specialties can be divisive when it comes to appealing to the masses. This has helped secure central Thailand’s crowd-pleas-

ing cuisine as a staple throughout the United States. When asked about the most popular dishes, it was no surprise that pad Thai is Chang Thai’s most frequent order.

While pad Thai is the quintessential dish when it comes to the American consumer, several other dishes hold a place in the hearts and stomachs of Chang Thai patrons. Citing the drunken noodle, crispy chicken with cashew, and the Panang curry as consistent favorites, Benny says the crispy pork belly is an underrated menu item that wins over diners whenever she recommends it.

The kanom jeeb appetizer, unknown to this writer before seeing it on the menu, brought out a spark of pride with the siblings. These dumplings are a specialty that is far less likely to make an appearance on Thai menus in the states. A key selling point for this dish: They’re using real crab meat. Another sleeper not to be overlooked, according to the family, is the arkannay noodle dish, a wide-noodle stir fry that also incorporates the crab.

Those who have dietary concerns and restrictions have numerous options. Diners can request that fish sauce (a common ingredient in Thai cooking) be left out of certain dishes, and Thai cuisine rarely involves the use of dairy.

The family has found a foothold in Charlottesville that they are excited to grow, but they aren’t stopping with Virginia: 2024 plans include an expansion to Boise, Idaho. It will mean a lot of travel back and forth between the two cities, but Boyd smiles and says he’s certain the family is up to the challenge.

This story originally ran in C-VILLE Weekly.

Knife&Fork 19 The Dish
The arkannay noodle dish at Chang Thai. TRISTAN WILLIAMS

The Dish Dining adventures

The Alley Light celebrates 10 years of creativity

Small and unassuming, the original Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, has served classic cocktails to celebrities and locals since 1931. The Alley Light restaurant owners, Chris Dunbar and Robin McDaniel, say it inspired Charlottesville restaurateur Wilson Richey when developing their intimate spot on Second Street SW.

“Will went to Europe a lot, and … Harry’s Bar is a place that he used to always reference. I think that was where the no sign thing kind of originated,” says Dunbar. “He always talked about how he wanted a place to have a proper cocktail, kind of a lounge setting, a little private, sort of off the path.”

It all took shape, “likely at a dinner party” with renowned chef José DeBrito, who quickly refined the menu concept from lounge fare to skillfully composed country French dishes, says Dunbar. Married couple McDaniel and Dunbar, along with DeBrito, joined The Alley Light team at the beginning. The three worked together at Fleurie, and when The Alley Light’s doors opened in February 2014, McDaniel was its pastry chef, and Dunbar took frontof-house duties a few months later.

Also on the opening staff was bartender Micah Lemon who, despite having an undergrad degree in science and a master’s in linguistics, says he sought out bartending. Lemon had been developing his mixology through experimentation and intensive projects, (such as bottle-conditioning ginger beer for Blue Light Grill). Once tipped off to Richey’s plans, he told him: “I’m into cocktails, and I kind of like to make things yummy and spend hours doing it.”

The opening of The Alley Light was a move that brought new energy to local upscale drinking and dining. DeBrito’s culinary talent had followers, and craft-cocktail lists had been shaking things up on metro scenes since the early 2000s. DeBrito’s elegant petit plats paired with Lemon’s innovative drinks created an immediate buzz.

Then in 2015, the James Beard Foundation nominated The Alley Light for Best New Restaurant, and Washington Post food critic Todd Kliman came to town to see what the fuss was about—and left a three-star

review. The attention was a game changer. “Once we got the JB award nomination, it codified that we were good at something, and established a reputation that we made good things,” says Lemon.

Richey was a skilled restaurateur, who, to the devastation of the area’s food community, lost his life in a December 2023 car accident. At the time of his passing, he had nurtured several notable restaurant concepts into service, and fostered many careers. A big-idea man, Richey was a vivacious collaborator who believed in his people, tapped their talent, and gave them opportunities. In 2016, he sold The Alley Light to Dunbar and McDaniel.

“Will had established a pattern of opening up ownership to his restaurant team,” says Dunbar. “He had other projects and sped up the process to allow [our] buying Alley Light.”

Just a few months into new ownership DeBrito left for an opportunity at triple-Michelin-star legend The Inn at Little Washington, and McDaniel stepped into her first job as head chef.

McDaniel studied art and design, but always felt the pull of restaurant kitchens. “The running joke in art school was that I should be in culinary school,” she says. After graduating, she returned to Charlottesville, looking to cook and learn solid technique. It was as front-ofhouse manager at TEN, where McDaniel says

20 Knife&Fork

she worked a few sushi bar shifts, and made her foray into cooking.

Focused and calm, McDaniel credits her natural ability to a balance of versatility and perfectionism, plus working under DeBrito, who taught her that “things are never fast, and the more work it is, the better it’s going to be,” she says. The evidence is all over her menu, where she pushes beyond pastiche with dishes such as chilled jumbo lump crab, watermelon, heirloom tomato, and prosciutto with lime-basil sorbet. A seasonal dish she runs only when she “can get the good tomatoes.”

Ten years in, it’s hard to decide what’s most alluring about The Alley Light. Is it seeking out the restaurant in its titular location? Or perhaps it’s the warm welcome into its cozy, loungelike dining room. But maybe it’s scanning the chalkboard of rotating menu items that reads like culinary poetry, or perusing the sophisticated cocktail list curated by Lemon and his team.

“There’s a lot of things that go into The Alley Light,” says Dunbar. “The atmosphere, cocktails. The attention to detail. Micah’s attention to detail. Robin’s attention to detail.” Mostly, he says, the restaurant works because The Alley Light asks its patrons to be adventurous. McDaniel says diners have grown into the food— beef cheeks and sweetbreads are popular. One young regular often dines on the bone marrow.

Sometimes it’s a customer who asks the staff to be adventurous. “The first couple years we were open, people just brought us weird things,” says Lemon. “One day, some dude brought José bear meat and wanted him to cook a bear steak.” The bear meat didn’t make it onto the menu, but DeBrito did oblige the patron.

Back-of-the-house adventures are more likely to be controlled chaos. “I think that’s what I find so exciting,” says McDaniel, whose tiny kitchen went without a stove for the first five years. “There are so many things that can go wrong.” For example? “The radish snack,” she says. “It’s the most simple, but it has to be perfect, and it will put you in the weeds. Everything is cut to order.”

After discussing drink recipes that include a calamondin sour, a ramp martini, and a stick cocktail, Lemon downplays his process. “Whatever bells and whistles you have on your plate or in your cocktail, it has to be fundamentally, unimpeachably tasty, or what’s the point?”

It’s about “tasting a time and a place,” he says. “I want people to appreciate coming here in June, and having a bourbon peach sour from The Alley Light.”

This story originally ran in C-VILLE Weekly.

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22 Knife&Fork Visit our locations in Charlottesville & Crozet, VA. We offer a 100% vegan menu, full espresso bar, craft cocktails, and a green atmosphere. WWW.BOTANICALFARE.COM + @botanical.fare @bar.botanical.crozet For updates on seasonal menus, events, & partnerships visit The Taste of Turkey, Experience a world renowned delicacy from Turkey in the heart of downtown Charlottesville. Our authentic and delicious Döner Kebab is prepared in the Turkish street food tradition with homemade falafel. They are served in pita sandwiches, in wraps and in bowls. It is healthy, affordable and delicious. dine in, take out or delivery options. 111 W Water St, Charlottesville (434) 328-8786 CATERING AVAILABLE FOR YOUR SPECIAL EVENT! LOOK FOR OUR FOOD TRUCK! Also... TAKE OUT / PATIO SEATING Monday/Thursday: 11:30 AM to 3PM; 5PM to 8:30 PM Tuesday/Wednesday: Closed FRI/SAT: 11:30-3; 5-9:30 Sunday: 11:30AM to 8:30PM 412 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902 434-956-4110 AUTHENTIC AND MODERN Korean Food SERVING LUNCH AND DINNER FREE 1 st hour parking Market and Water Street Garage
Farm to Table steakhouse, highlighting seasonal produce and vibrant cooking that reimagines the abundant riches of our state. | 540 Massie Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903 Expertly-crafted cocktails, local beers & ciders with elevated bar fare. Watch the game, grab a quick bite, or enjoy a moment among friends - It’s all good here at The Good Sport. | 540 Massie Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903

When Fred and Fatima moved to Charlottesville, none of the grocery stores had what they were looking for. Originally from Ghana, the couple couldn’t find any of the ingredients they needed to make the authentic, West African cuisine that tasted like home.

Their only option was packing up the car and road-tripping hours away to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and sometimes even New York to stock up on goods from African markets. With young kids, the drive got old fast.

“We were tired of traveling two and a half, four hours, sometimes more to get our produce and food,” says Fatima. “We had to take our kids and we were just tired of doing that. Looking around this community, we wanted to bring things—to bring a bit of us to the community.”

In 2012, the couple opened African Market Place—their way of bringing home to Charlottesville. Housed in a small end-cap space on Commonwealth Drive, the shop’s shelves are full of fresh flavors, produce, and foods from all across Africa.

One of Market Place’s largest sections is dedicated to grains. According to Fatima, African breads are a must-try.

“They’re different, not as much sugar or preservatives,” she says. “Better.”

Beginners can start with a loaf of agege bread, a dense white bread from Nigeria, or a bag of Effie’s International pull-off rolls, made by an authentic African bakery in Alexandria. If you’re interested in getting your

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“We wanted to bring...a bit of us to the community,” says Fatima, who with her husband Fred owns African Marketplace.

hands dirty and kneading your own dough, there are plenty of flour options to choose from.

Maskal teff flour can be used to make injera, a spongy Ethiopian flatbread, and there’s an entire shelf dedicated to varieties of fufu flour.

One of West Africa’s best-known dishes, fufu is a pounded, starchy side dish that can be made with cassava, plantain, cocoyam, and more. It pairs well with flavorful meats or soups.

If you’re new to African cuisine, or any international cuisine, shopping for it for the first

time can be overwhelming. Soup is a great place to start.

“When it’s cold, we Africans like soup,” says Fatima. “We can have palm soup, peanut soup, soup with cassava leaves. There’s a lot of different soups, it depends.”

Just come in with a general idea of what you want, and Fatima can help you round out your list. Stock up on the essentials, like palm oil (“We use it for everything,” she says.), herbs, spices, and Nina Groundnut Paste (African

peanut butter, “No additives, it’s better.”), then pick your meats and veggies. There’s smoked dried fish, flavorful bone-in meats (“It has hard bones, it doesn’t fall apart in soup.”), jumbo snails (“Steam them first.”), massive African yams, and fresh cassava. It’s hearty, starchy, and, in the words of Fatima, “different. It’s better.”

On the way out, grab a bag of plantain chips or a box of McVitie’s Digestives for the road, and make sure to snag a bar or two of African black soap. It’s just better.

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26 Knife&Fork ABOUT OUR RESTAURANT | 434.465.6131 | 421 Monticello Road Feeding the soul with southern charm and the bounty of Virginia. Open Wed-Sun at 5pm Reservations available on, walk-ins welcome.

Is there anything more satisfying than a simmering bowl of homemade curry or masala?

We don’t think so. And Express Grocery Store probably has all the authentic ingredients you need to make a delicious meal inspired by your choice of South Asian cuisine.

The family-owned shop has been around for a while, but its current owner, Prashanna Sangroula, took over two years ago. Despite running a new business in the middle of the pandemic, Sangroula has been slowly working on expanding the shop’s offerings with the help of family member and longtime business partner Utsav Gautam.

“When we moved here there wasn’t really a store like it,” says Gautam. “We drove to northern Virginia to get our supplies.”

To save others from making the trek north, Express regularly gets shipments of fresh produce, and frequently rotates its stock to keep things novel for customers, who can find items from India, Nepal, Pakistan, and more.

If you have a hankering for curry, make sure to buy dal, rice, spices, paratha (an Indian flatbread), and your choice of meat— chicken, bone-in lamb, or goat, when it’s in stock. There are also plenty of authentic paneers if you want to go vegetarian, and seasonal veggies like pumpkin leaf, bathua saag, tori ko saag, and rukh tamatar.

If it’s a frozen dinner kind of night, Express has you covered. Gautam keeps multiple freezers full of every kind of samosa imaginable, plus mattar paneer, chicken tikka masala, and pakoras.

Finish up your shopping with something to sip on and a sweet treat. Express stocks a

nice selection of wines and Indian beers, including Taj Mahal, Flying Horse, and Haywards 5000, and has an impressive dessert selection. Sate your sweet tooth with some mango or falooda ice cream, chikki peanut brittle, punjabi cookies, or chocolate burfees.

The sweets—and the snacks—are favorites of UVA students, who get free delivery within a five-mile radius.

Gautam recommends the Kurkure chips, which come in flavors like masala munch, chilli chatka, and naughty tomato, and Maggi instant noodles, Express’ best-selling item.

Depending on the time of year, you might also find seasonal goods. In October, you can find everything you need for a Diwali celebration, including diyas, incense, and makhamali mala.

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Prashanna Sangroula took over Express Grocery Store two years ago, and works to stock fresh South Asian flavors.

Small business owners push hard to keep the gears of entrepreneurship moving and oiled, and Mohammed Alazazi is no exception.

Originally from Iraq, Alazazi doesn’t have a background in the grocery business—encouragement from his culture, wife, sons, and in-laws inspired him to represent and sell the food that feeds them.

Hummus Grocery is his first business venture, and he spent a long time debating whether or not to open it.

“My wife supports me so much,” Alazazi says. “Without her, I wouldn’t be able to open this business—or do anything else.”

Alazazi brings most of the inventory from Michigan, where larger Middle Eastern distributors are thriving. He makes the trip—a

10-hour drive one way—once a month.

Hummus Grocery has been open for two years, selling varieties of Middle Eastern beverages, tahinis, spices, dry goods, frozen items. But the real showstoppers are his fresh hummus (obviously) and tabbouleh, which he plans to eventually expand into a full menu.

“Once I get the proper licenses I want to

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EZE AMOS Originally from Iraq, Mohammed Alazazi brings most of the inventory for Hummus Grocery from Michigan, where larger Middle Eastern distributors are thriving.

start selling sandwiches, like shawarma and falafel,” he says.

Considering the cost of commercial sinks and other equipment necessities as well as the time for a kitchen buildout, Alazizi is taking the time to learn about his business in the Charlottesville economy. “I’m going to start step by step,” he says. “I’m giving it my best.”—Christina

In 1994, Xiaonan Wang and Hui Qiao moved to Charlottesville from California.

In California, the Asian community makes up more than 15 percent of the population, and Asian grocery stores are abundant. In Charlottesville in the ’90s—not so much.

“We realized we couldn’t find any Asian grocery stores,” says Qiao. “Coming from California, that was so inconvenient to the Asian community especially. We had to go to Richmond or D.C. to get our items.”

Wang and Qiao would drive far away to get basic items like vinegar and soy sauce. It’s an unfair experience that’s all too familiar for people of international cultures who move to C’ville. Qiao and Wang immediately started thinking of opening their own store.

“I just thought that this is a must,” says Qiao.

That same year they opened C’ville Oriental. Qiao had just started a job at UVA, so Wang took on the day-to-day operations.

“We started in a much smaller space and we just kept expanding and moved three times until our current location at Seminole Trail,” says Qiao. “This is our biggest space so far, and we like the location because of the parking and the space inside.”

The inside is a treasure trove of goods from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Thailand, India, and more. It’s easy to get lost in the aisles of savory sauces, sweet snacks, and fresh produce.

“[Customers] really like our fresh vegetables,” says Qiao. “We have about 20 different kinds of greens. It’s healthy, easy to cook, and cheap.”

Bok Choy, taro, and bean sprouts are a few of the veggies you’ll find, alongside plenty of meat and tofu options, and fun snacks like Pocky and mochi. Every week, Wang

makes the drive to D.C. to pick up items a supplier can’t ship to Charlottesville.

“Originally, the store was for the Asian community, but now we have more and more Americans come in,” says Qiao. “Because of the University town, a lot of people have exposure to international cultures. They want to learn how to eat and cook.”

This year marks 30 years in business. Qiao, who recently retired from her UVA position, is now helping out more and more at the shop, which is open 365 days a year.

Qiao and Wang know first-hand how hard it can be to find specialty items, so they want to be there for C’ville residents whenever they need anything, big or small.

“We are very happy that we are able to help the community,” says Qiao. “We feel like we are a part of their life. We don’t have any days off because we feel that’s how important grocery stores are.”

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30 Knife&Fork A burger joint with a passion for craft beer: A big shout out to those who voted for us, we love beer, burgers, and you! 109 2nd St SE. - (434) 244-0073 - Best Burger more YUM! to come! C RW WeeK BURGeR April 22-28 September 16-20 July 15-21
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All you can eat

Asian Cuisine

Akira Level Ramen & Sushi Japanese cuisine. 3912 Lenox Ave., Ste. 320. $

Asian Express Chinese and Japanese with healthy options. 909 W. Main St. newasian $

Bad Luck Ramen Bar A restaurant and bar built directly into North American Sake Brewery. 522 Second St. SE., Unit E. $

Bamboo House Korean and Chinese options. 4831 Seminole Trail. 9739211. $$

Bang! Asian-inspired tapas and inventive martinis. 213 Second St. SW. $$

Bulpan Korean BBQ An authentic Korean BBQ experience. The Shops at Stonefield. $$$

Chang Thai Traditional and innovative dishes. 1232 Emmet St. changthaicville. com. $$

Chimm Thai Thai street food. 5th Street Station; Dairy Market. $$

Coconut Thai Kitchen Thai favorites from the Monsoon Siam team. 1015 Heathercroft Ln., Crozet. coconutcrozet. com. $$

Doma Korean-style barbecue, kimchi, and more. 701 W. Main St. domakorean $

Himalayan Fusion Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan cuisine. 520 E. Main St. $

Kanak Indian Kitchen Offering traditional homemade Indian food, plus cocktails. 5th Street Station. $

Lemongrass Vietnam meets Thailand. 104 14th St. NW. 244-THAI. $$

Lime Leaf Thai An upscale Thai experience. Rio Hill Shopping Center. 245-8884. $$

Maple Pine Breakfast & Thai The newest spot from the Coconut and Pineapples Thai family. 630 Riverside Shops Way. $$

Marco & Luca Chinese snack food, including dumplings, sesame noodles, and pork buns. 112 W. Main St., Downtown Mall; 107 Elliewood Ave.; Seminole Square Shopping Center. $

Maru Korean BBQ & Grill Traditional Korean food with modern additions. 412 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. $

Mashu Festival Authentic Asian festival food. Dairy Market. $

Milan Indian Cuisine Authentic Indian cuisine with all the standards. 1817 Emmet St. milan-indian- $$

Mochiko Hawaiian eats and suggested Hawaiian beer pairings. 5th Street Station. hawaiianfood $

Monsoon Siam Original Thai cuisine. 113 W. Market St. monsoonsiamcville. com. $$

Mashumen Japanese ramen and rice bowls. 2208 Fontaine Ave. mashumen. com. $$

Now & Zen Gourmet Japanese and sushi. 202 Second St. NW. nowand $$

Pad Thai Homestyle Thai cooking from an experienced chef. 156 Carlton Rd. $$

Pineapples Thai Kitchen Thai favorites from the Monsoon Siam team. 722 Preston Ave. pineapples $$

Peter Chang China Grill Authentic Sichuan cuisine by a renowned chef. Barracks Road Shopping Center North Wing. peterchang $$

Red Lantern Chinese cuisine by the pint or quart. 221 Carlton Rd. $

Seoul Korean BBQ & Hotpot

All you can eat hotpot and Korean BBQ. 100 Zan Rd. $$

Silk Thai Fresh, authentic Thai. 2210 Fontaine Ave. $$

Taste of China Chinese standards from a lengthy menu. Albemarle Square Shopping Center. taste $$

Ten Upscale second-floor spot serving modern Japanese. 120 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. ten- $$$

Thai ’99 II Thai noodle and rice dishes, curries, and stirfrys. Albemarle Square. $

Thai Cuisine & Noodle House Traditional Thai food, noodle dishes, and vegetarian specials. 2005 Commonwealth Dr. $$

Umma’s Korean and Japanese- American cuisine. 200 W. Water St. $$

Vu Noodles Fresh, vegetarian Vietnamese noodles, pho, bahn mi, and more. 111 E. Water St. $


Albemarle Baking Company Breads, cakes, and pastries. 418 W. Main St. $

Caked Up Cville Small-batch cupcakes and cakes. $

Cake Bloom A cake and bubbles bar with freshly-baked treats by the slice or whole. 705 W. Main St. cakebloom. com. $$

Cou Cou Rachou Croissants, tatins, financiers, danishes, cake slices, muffins, and more. 917 Preston Ave. Suite B; 1837 Broadway St. cou courachou. com. $

Cumbre Bakery Italian and Argentinian flavors in fresh-baked treats. 820 E. Jefferson St. $

Gearharts Fine Chocolates Freshly baked pastries, cakes, cookies, brownies, and chocolates. 243 Ridge McIntire Rd. $

Great Harvest Bread Co. Sandwiches, sweets, and bread baked from scratch every day. McIntire Plaza. $

Krissy Cakes Sweet treats and custom cakes. Dairy Market. dairymarketcville. com. $

MarieBette Café & Bakery European-inspired fare. 700 Rose Hill Dr. $

Petite MarieBette MarieBette’s little sister. 105 E. Water St. $

Quality Pie Ex-Mas chef Tomas Rahal serves Spanish-inspired fare. 309 Avon St. $$

Sliced. cake bar Mobile bakery offering whole cakes, cake flights, cake pops, and buttercream shots. slicedcakebar. com. $

Bars and Grills

Alamo Drafthouse Burgers, pizzas, salads, snacks, and desserts prepared fresh from locally sourced ingredients. 5th Street Station. $

Bar Botanical Vegan bar bites, cocktails, draft beers, and wine. 2025 Library Ave., Crozet. $$

Beer Run Massive tap and packaged beer offerings, plus food. 156 Carlton Rd. $$

Bobboo A curated list of whiskeys from Virginia and around the world, with bespoke charcuterie boards and classic, hand-crafted cocktails. 499 W. Main St. $$

Bonefish Grill A seafood-centric menu, plus steaks and cocktails. Hollymead Town Center. $$

Brightside Beach Pub Bar with appetizers and bites. 225 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. 202-8122. $$

Burton’s Grill & Bar Upscale bar and grill chain featuring an extensive menu of American fare. The Shops at Stonefield. $$

The Château Lobby Bar Creative cocktails, wine, craft beer, and small plates sourced from local purveyors. 122 Oakhurst Cir. $$

The Copper Bar A sophisticated and chic cocktail bar. The Clifton Inn, 1296 Clifton Inn Dr. $$$

Dürty Nelly’s Pub—Deli Subs and sandwiches, with a late-night pub menu. 2200 Jefferson Park Ave. $

Fardowners Local ingredients liven up pub fare like sliders and sandwiches. 5773 The Square, Crozet. fardowners. com. $$

Firefly Craft beer, burgers, salads, vegetarian- friendly menu. 1304 E. Market St. $

The Fitzroy A kitchen and bar offering updates of comforting classics. 120 E. Main St. thefitzroy $$

Glass Half Full Taproom A large selection of beers, wines, and spirits. 5th Street Station. $

The Good Sport Taproom Tavern fare alongside a wide array of local and hardto-find beers. The Forum Hotel, 540 Massie Rd. $$

Högwaller Brewing A brewpub serving smash burgers and craft bevvies. 1518 E. High St. $

Kardinal Hall An extensive list of brews. 722 Preston Ave. kardinalhall. com. $$

The Lobby Bar Playful takes on classic cocktails and mocktails, with a menu of bar snacks. 499 W. Main St. $

Lucky Blue’s Bar Fast-casual bowls, burritos, and cheesesteaks. 223 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. $

Matchbox Wood-fired pizzas, salads, salmon, steak dinners, and gourmet burgers. 2055 Bond St. match $$

Michie Tavern Southern midday fare from an 18th-century tavern. 683 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy. $$

The Milkman’s Bar Led by mixologist River Hawkins, the joint serves creative cocktails that pay homage to the ‘50s. Dairy Market. $$

Miller’s Old-school bar serving up elevated Southern pub fare. 109 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. millersdowntown. com. $

32 Knife&Fork

Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ onions and giant steaks. 1101 Seminole Trl. $$

Ralph Sampson’s American Taproom An upscale sports bar experience. 973 Emmet St. N. $$

Rapture Playful Southern cuisine. 300 E. Main St. $$

Red Crab Seafood Seafood boils, po boys, and more. 905 Twentyninth Pl. Ct. $

The Rooftop Bar Serving up pizzas, alongside cocktails, locally-sourced craft beers, and local wine. 499 W. Main St. $

Sedona Taphouse Lots of craft beers and an all-American menu. 1035 Millmont St. sedona $$

Selvedge Brewing Small-batch craft brews. 2415 Ivy Rd. $$

Skrimp Shack Shrimp, fish, and chicken tacos, sandwiches, and baskets. 1970 Rio Hill Center. theskrimpshack. $

South Street Brewery Draft brews, cocktails, wine, and an extensive food list. 106 South St. W. $$

SuperFly Brewing Co. A small, funky independent brewery. 943 Preston Ave. $

Texas Roadhouse Steaks, ribs, and from-scratch sides. Albemarle Square. $$

Timberwood Grill All-American eatery and after-work watering hole. 3311 Worth Crossing. $$

Three Notch’d Craft Kitchen & Brewery Locally sourced, beer-infused dishes including Southern classics and a kids menu. 520 Second St. SE. $$

The Whiskey Jar Saloon-style Southern spot with more than 90 varieties of whiskey. 227 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. $$

Whistlestop Grill American comfort food. 1200 Crozet Ave., Crozet. $

Breakfast Joints and Diners

Belle Breakfast and lunch sandwiches, pastries, and coffee. belle-cville.square. site. $$

Blue Moon Diner Serving breakfast and lunch options like pancakes, breakfast burritos, burgers, and BLTs. 600 W. Main St. $

Chickadee Comfort food crafted with care. The Glass Building, 313 Second St. SE. $

Doodle’s Diner Country cookin’ from breakfast to burgers. 1305 Long St. $

Farm Bell Kitchen New-Southern cuisine with local farm-to-table ingredients. 1209 W. Main St. farmbellkitchen. com. $$

First Watch Breakfast, brunch, and lunch chain with locally grown ingredients. Barracks Road Shopping Center. $$

The Hillock Neighborhood Kitchen Breakfast and lunch fare. Omni Hotel, 212 Ridge McIntire Rd. omnihotels. com. $$

Holly’s Diner A locally-owned joint serving food until 1am, with live music and a happy hour. 1221 E. Market St. 234-4436. $$

Mel’s Café Southern soul food, including all day breakfast. 719 W. Main St. 971-8819. $

Mod Pod Breakfast, tacos, smoothies, and loaded waffle cones. 207 14th St. NW. $

Moose’s by the Creek All day breakfast and lunch favorites. 1710 Monticello Rd. 977-4150. $

The Nook All day diner classics. 415 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. $

Timberlake’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain A variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, and old fashioned milkshakes. 322 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. 296-1191. $

Tip Top A wide range of diner staples, including all day breakfast. 1420 Richmond Rd. tiptop $

Villa Diner Mainstay with housemade pancakes, biscuits, and more. 1250 Emmet St. N. $

Burgers, BBQ, and Chicken

Birdhouse Serving chicken and small plates. 711 Henry Ave. $

Brown’s Fried chicken and sides. 1218 Avon St. 295-4911. $

Burger Bach New Zealand-inspired gastropub. The Shops at Stonefield. $$

Citizen Burger Burgers, salads, and other favorites. 212 E. Main St., Downtown Mall; Dairy Market. $$

Five Guys Fast-casual hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries. Barracks Road Shopping Center; Hollymead Town Center. $$

GRN Burger Griddle smashed burgers, salty fries, and crunchy nuggets, all meat free. Dairy Market. grnburger. com. $

Hangry Hut American Mediterranean, and Indian food. Pantops Shopping Center. $

Lazy Parrot Wings and Brews Ribs, chicken, and brisket served in a tropics-themed space. Pantops Shopping Center. $$

Luv’n Oven Gizzards, livers, fries, and shakes. 162 Village Sq., Scottsville. $

Martin’s Grill Hamburgers, veggie burgers, and fries. Forest Lakes Shopping Center. martins $

Mission BBQ Pulled turkey, pork, and chicken, plus racks by the bone. The Shops at Stonefield. $$

Moe’s Original BBQ Alabama-style pulled pork smoked in-house. 2119 Ivy Rd. moesoriginal $

Multiverse Kitchens A digital food hall home to seven different restaurants—

Fowl Mouthed Chicken, Firebox, Brookville Biscuit + Brunch, Keevil Tea Room, Smashing Salads, Long Strange Chip, and Toad in the Hole. McIntire Plaza. $-$$

Riverside Lunch Smashburgers, dogs, and fries. 1429 Hazel St., 971-3546; 1770 Timberwood Blvd., 979-1000. $

Royalty Eats Soul food staples, including chicken and waffles, plenty of sides, and desserts. 820 Cherry Ave. 9233287. $

Soul Food Joint A homecooked meal made up of your favorite Southern staples, sides, and fixins. 300 E. Market St. $

Vision BBQ Meats smoked the old fashioned way. 247 Ridge McIntire Rd. $

Wayside Takeout & Catering Fried chicken and barbecue sandwiches. 2203 Jefferson Park Ave. $

Italian and Pizza

Basta Pasta Homemade pasta dishes from the team at Dino’s Pizza. Dairy Market. $$

Belmont Pizza and Pub Fresh, stonebaked pizza. 211 Carlton Rd., Ste. 10. belmontpizza $

Billy Pie at Random Row Brewing Stone oven Neapolian style pizza in a brewery taproom. 608 Preston Ave. $

Christian’s Pizza Fresh pies, by-theslice or whole. Multiple locations. $ Crozet Pizza Family-owned pizza parlor. 5794 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet; 20 Elliewood Ave. 601 Fifth St. SW. $

Dino’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Rotisserie Chicken A selection of wood-fired artisan pizzas and rotisserie chicken with flavors from around the world. Dairy Market. $$

DIY Pie Pizza, pasta, and cheesy breadsticks. 1880 Abbey Rd. $

Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie The alternative pizza. 4916 Plank Rd., North Garden. $$

Fabio’s New York Pizza Pizza, subs, salads, and calzones made by natives of Naples. 1551 E. High St. $

Lampo Neapolitan-style pizza and snacks. 205 Monticello Rd. lampopizza. com. $$

Lampo2go Lampo’s to go location. 929 Second St. SE. $$

Luce Literal hole in the wall serving fresh, handmade pasta to go. 110 Second St. NW. $$

Mellow Mushroom Trippy-themed franchise, with pizza and beers. 1321 W. Main St. mellow $$

Popitos Pizza Serving classic and specialty pies. 1966 Rio Hill Center. $$

Sal’s Cafe Italia Family owned and operated, from Sicily and Brooklyn. 221 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. $

Tavola Rustic Italian with housemade pastas, craft cocktails, and a Wine Spectator award-winning list. 826 Hinton Ave. $$

Vita Nova Creative ingredients on hearty pizza by the slice. 321 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. $

Vinny’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria This regional chain has pies plus a slew of subs, pastas, and stromboli. Hollymead Town Center. $$

Vivace Every kind of pasta imaginable, plus seafood. 2244 Ivy Rd. vivacecville. com. $$

Vocelli Pizza Pizza, pasta, paninis, salads, stromboli, and antipasti. Woodbrook Shopping Center. $

Spring Knife&Fork 33 Knife&Fork 33 CONTINUED ON PAGE 34 All you can eat

Latin American

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 South and Central Latin Grill Small plates, steaks, sides, and more. Dairy Market. $$

Al Carbon Coal-fire prepared chicken, plus plenty of sides. 1875 Seminole Trl.; 5th Street Station. alcarbonchicken. com. $

Brazos Tacos Austin, Texas-style breakfast, lunch, early dinner, and brunch tacos. 925 Second St. SE. and Barracks Road Shopping Center. brazostacos. com. $

The Bebedero Upscale, authentic Mexican. 201 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. $$

Chipotle Made-to-order burritos and tacos. Barracks Road Shopping Center; 2040 Abbey Rd., Ste. 101. $

Cinema Taco A movie-themed joint offering tacos, burritos, empanadas, and margaritas. 110 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. $

Continental Divide Tacos and enchiladas. 811 W. Main St. continental-divide. $$

Desayuna Con Gomez Pan dulce and breakfast and lunch eats. 1305 Long St. B. @desayuna.con.gomez. $

Farmacy Café Organic, local superfood Mexican fusion. The CODE Building. $$

Fiesta Azteca Tap House and Mexican Kitchen Authentic eats, with lots of vegetarian options. 4300 Three Notch’d Rd. $

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Baja-style tacos and other Mexican eats. 5th Street Station. $

Guadalajara Family-run authentic Mexican food. Multiple locations. $

Guajiros Miami Eatery Miami-inspired, with strong Cuban influence as well as Central and Southern American dishes. 114 10th St. NW. guajiroscville. com. $

La Michoacana Taqueria & Restaurant Hearty Mexican standards, including tacos, tamales, and tortas. 1138 E. High St. 202-1336. $

Maizal Street food, from arepas to empanadas. Dairy Market. maizalgrill. com. $$

Mas Spanish tapas and wines. 904 Monticello Rd. $$

Qdoba Mexican Grill Spicy burritos, quesadillas, and Mexican salads. 3918 Lenox Ave. $

Sombrero’s Mexican Cuisine & Café Authentic Mexican cuisine. 112 W. Main St., Ste. 6. $

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Torchy’s Tacos Mexican street-foodstyle tacos. The Shops at Stonefield. $

Mediterranean and Caribbean

434th Street Authentic Caribbean with a Southern twist. Dairy Market. $

Al Basha Family-style, made-fromscratch Mediterranean cuisine. Dairy Market. $

Afghan Kabob Authentic Afghan cuisine. 400 Emmet St. N. $$

Aromas Café & Catering Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare. 900 Natural Resources Dr. $

Cava Fast-casual Mediterranean with lots of vegetarian options. 1200 Emmet St. N, #110. $

Fig Southern and Mediterranean bistro fare. 1331 W. Main St. $

Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar Dishes from Spain to Greece and wines of the world. 416 W. Main St. $$

Otto Turkish Street Food Go for the doner kebabs and stay for the rosemary fries. 111 W. Water St. otto-cville. com. $

Pearl Island Cafe Caribbean-inspired lunch spot with vegan options. 233 Fourth St. NW. pearlisland catering. $

Smyrna Simple, locally sourced dishes from a Mediterranean, Aegean cuisine. 707 W. Main St. $$ Sticks Kebob Shop Kebobs, bowls, and more. 917 Preston Ave.; 1820 Abbey Rd. stickskebob $

Sultan Kebab Authentic Turkish cuisine with vegetarian options. 333 Second St. SE. sultan kebabcville. com. $

Thyme & Co. Lebanese flatbread, dips, salads, bowls, and desserts. 104 14th St. NW., Ste. 2. $

Soups, Salads, and Sandwiches

Baggby’s Gourmet Sandwiches Sandwiches, salads, and soups. 512 E Main St. Downtown Mall. baggbys. com. $

Bodo’s Bagels Sandwiches on bagels made in-house daily. 1418 N. Emmet St.; 505 Preston Ave.; 1609 University Ave. $

Botanical Plant-Based Fare Sandwiches, bowls, mac and cheese, and shareables, all meat and dairy free. 421 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. $$

The Bradbury Cafe Serving breakfast, brick oven pizza, sandwiches, and salads, with coffee and espresso. 300 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. $

Chopt Creative salad chain with ingredients from local purveyors. Barracks Road Shopping Center. choptsalad. com. $

Iron Paffles & Coffee Sweet and savory puff pastry waffle sandwiches, with vegan options. 214 W. Water St. $

Ivy Provisions Deli and retail food shop offering fresh, housemade breakfast and lunch all day. 2206 Ivy Rd. $

Jersey Mike’s Subs Subs, salads, and wraps. 2040 Abbey Rd., Ste. 104; 5th Street Station. $

Jimmy John’s Sandwiches and gourmet subs. 1650 E. Rio Rd.; Rivanna Ridge Shopping Center. jimmy johns. com. $

Kitchenette Sandwich Shop Sandwiches, soups, and salads made fresh. 920 9 1/2 St. NE. $

Mane Course Sandwiches A fast-casual, equestrian themed restaurant. 179 Connor Dr. manecourse sandwiches. com. $

Panera Bread Chain with casual fare. Barracks Road Shopping Center; 5th Street Station. panera $$

Revolutionary Soup Soups and sandwiches. 108 Second St. SW., Downtown Mall. revolutionary $

Roots Natural Kitchen Fast-casual salads and grain bowls. 1329 W. Main St. rootsnatural $

Take It Away Sandwiches on freshly baked breads. Dairy Market; 115 Elliewood Ave. takeit awaysandwichshop. com. $

Taste Shack Fast-casual soups, sandwiches, burgers, and more. 2291 Seminole Ln. 956-4782. $

Sweet Treats and Sips

Ben & Jerry’s Premium ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and non-dairy options. Barracks Road Shopping Center. $

Bluegrass Creamery Grassfed soft serve, scooped, and vegan ice cream, pies, and cookies. Ix Art Park. (202) 643-2286. $

Carpe Donut Organic donuts and beverages. McIntire Plaza. $

Chandler’s Ice Cream Small roadside ice cream joint. 921 River Rd. $

Chaps Gourmet homemade ice cream and diner fare. 223 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. $

Clean Juice Organic juice and healthy eats. The Shops at Stonefield. $$

Cocoa & Spice A family-owned chocolate business. 112 W. Main St., Ste. 3, Downtown Mall. $

Cold Stone Creamery Ice cream chain offering design-your-own creations hand-mixed on a granite slab, plus shakes and more. 1709 Emmet St. N. $

Corner Juice UVA alum-owned juice spot with cold-pressed options and smoothies. 1509 University Ave.; 201 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. $

Crumbl A rotating menu of five specialty flavors. Hollymead Shopping Center. $$

Dejua’s Creationz A rotating selection of sweet treats, including ice cream, smoothies, cupcakes, and cakes. Fashion Square Mall. $

The Donut Kitchen Fresh baked donuts. Pantops Shopping Center. @ thedonutkitchen. $

Duck Donuts Sweet and savory customizable donuts. The Shops at Stonefield. $

Dunkin’ Donuts Donuts and beverages. Rivanna Plaza. $

Insomnia Cookies Chain that specializes in delivering warm cookies, baked goods, and ice cream. 1409 University Ave. $

The Juice Laundry Smoothies, juices, and bowls. 722 Preston Ave., Ste. 105. $

Kilwins Old-fashioned confectionery chain selling chocolates, ice cream, handmade sweets, and gift baskets. 313 E Main St., Downtown Mall. $

Kohr Bros. Frozen custard. 1881 Seminole Trl. $

Krispy Kreme Longtime chain serving a variety of donuts, plus coffee and frozen drinks. 5th Street Station. $

La Flor Michoacana Homemade paletas (popsicles), ice cream, ice cream cakes, and other treats. 601A Cherry Ave. $

Moo Thru Cups, cones, milkshakes, and more. Dairy Market. $

Smoothie King Serving smoothies, supplements, and healthy snacks. Barracks Road Shopping Center. $

Splendora’s Gelato Seasonally-inspired gelato and espresso drinks. The Shops at Stonefield. $

Upscale Casual

1799 Restaurant Seasonal menus with dishes showcasing local ingredients. The Clifton Inn, 1296 Clifton Inn Dr. $$$

Aberdeen Barn A classic steakhouse. 2018 Holiday Dr. $$$

The Alley Light Classic, French, shared plates, craft cocktails and small grower wines. 108 Second St. SW. alleylight. com. $$

Birch & Bloom A modern farm-to-table steakhouse. The Forum Hotel, 540 Massie Rd. birchandbloomrestaurant. com. $$$

Bizou Playful French-American bistro. 119 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. $$

Black Cow Chophouse Wood-fired meats from Daniel Kaufman and Gregg Dionne. 420 W. Main St. $$$

Bonny & Read Chef Chris Humphrey’s seafood restaurant. 111 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. 424–1244. $$$

C&O Restaurant An a la carte menu, with must-try cocktails. 515 E. Water St. $$$

Café Frank Chef Jose De Brito brings everyday food from a classic French kitchen. 317 E. Main St. cafefrankcville. com. $$

The Conservatory Shareable plates, larger bites, and innovative cocktails. Omni Hotel, 212 Ridge McIntire Rd. $$.

Fleurie Upscale, modern French cuisine with à la carte and tasting menus. 108 Third St. NE. $$$

Hamiltons’ at First & Main Contemporary American cuisine with a full bar and extensive wine list. 110 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. hamiltons $$$

Ivy Inn Fine dining in a charming tollhouse. 2244 Old Ivy Rd. $$$

The Local New American cuisine and wine. 824 Hinton Ave. thelocal-cville. com. $$

Marigold by Jean-Georges Committed to sustainable and seasonal dishes by an acclaimed chef. 701 Club Dr. $$$

Maya Locally sourced Southern fare and imaginative cocktails. 633 W. Main St. $$

The Melting Pot Fondue fun for all. 501 E. Water St. $$$

The Mill Room An upscale, resort eatery with an American menu. 200 Ednam Dr. boarshead $$$

Mockingbird A dinner only menu with a modern take on Southern classics. 421 Monticello Rd. mockingbird-cville. com. $$

Oakhart Social Seasonal, creative, modern American food for sharing. 511 W. Main St. $$

Petit Pois Locally sourced French dishes paired with wine in cute bistro quarters. 201 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. $$

Pink Grouse A game-forward menu and a curated wine list with highlights from across Virginia and Europe. 499 W. Main St. $$

Public Fish & Oyster East Coast seafood, including a raw bar, craft cocktails, and microbrews. 513 W. Main St. $$

Restoration Great views and American fare. 5494 Golf Dr., Crozet. oldtrailclub. com. $$

The Ridley Black-owned experiential Southern cuisine and craft cocktails. 1106 W. Main St. $$

Southern Crescent Cajun and Creole fare. 814 Hinton Ave. $$

Tonic Seasonal, local café fare with craft cocktails and curated wine list. 609 E. Market St. tonic- $$

Zocalo Flavorful, high-end, Latin-inspired cuisine. 201 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. zocalo- $$

Coffee Places and Cafés

Atlas Coffee Espresso, coffee, tea, and fresh-baked pastries. 2206 Fontaine Ave. $

Baine’s Books & Coffee Wide selection of coffee, tea, pastries, and paninis. 485 Valley St., Scottsville. bainesbooks. com. $

C’ville Coffee & Wine Full menu of coffee, sandwiches, and wines. 1301 Harris St. $

Daily Grind Coffee & Creamery Family-owned and operated, serving coffee and espresso drinks, all-fruit smoothies, milkshakes, and ice cream scoops. 3450 Seminole Trl. $

Future Coffee Co. Drive through drinks and eats. 406 10th St. NE. $

Greenberry’s Java, specialty drinks, and fresh baked goods. Barracks Road Shopping Center. $

Grit Coffee Espresso beverages, with breakfast and lunch fare. 610 Riverside Shops Way; The Shops at Stonefield; 112 Main St., Downtown Mall; 19 Elliewood Ave.; 1110 Old Trail Dr., Crozet. $

Higher Grounds Serving Trager Brother’s coffee. 1215 Lee St., UVA. hg-uva. com. $

JBird Supply Coffee Roaster Ethically sourced, specialty coffee. 969 Second St. SE. $

Lone Light Coffee Quality coffee drinks. 119 Fourth St. NE. $

Milli Coffee Roasters Espresso drinks, waffles, paninis, and more. 400 Preston Ave., Ste. 150. millicoffeeroasters. com. $

Milli Second Cafe & Wine Bar An offshoot of Milli Coffee Roasters. The CODE Building. @milliCafe. $

Mudhouse Coffee and pastries. 213 W. Main St., Downtown Mall; 116 10th St. NW.; 5793 The Square, Crozet. $

Oakhurst Inn Cafe A contemporary eatery with freshly baked treats and artisanal coffee. 122 Oakhurst Cir. $

Poindexter Coffee All-day breakfast, lunch, and coffee. The Graduate, 1309 W. Main St. $

Quirk Cafe Serving locally-roasted selections from Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Company, cold brew on tap, and other beverages and bites. 499 W. Main St. $$

Shenandoah Joe Local roaster with a coffee bar and pastries. 945 Preston Ave.; 2214 Ivy Rd. shenandoahjoe. com. $

SK Coffee & Co Drinks and paninis. 1325 W. Main St. $

Starbucks Coffee and tea drinks, pastries, and sandwiches. Multiple locations. $

The Workshop A coffee and wine shop featuring Grit Coffee and pastries from Cou Cou Rachou. The Wool Factory. $

The Yellow Mug Cozy coffee shop serving beverages and pastries. 1260 Crozet Ave., Crozet. @yellowmugcoffee. $

All you can eat

Gourmet Groceries and Gas Stations

Batesville Market Sandwiches to order, salads, and baked goods plus cheeses, produce, and packaged goods. 6624 Plank Rd., Batesville. $

Bellair Market Gourmet sandwich spot. 2401 Ivy Rd. tigerfuelmarkets. com. $

Blue Ridge Bottle Shop Craft beer store with bottles and growlers. 2025 Library Ave, Crozet. $$

Brownsville Market Breakfast starting at 5am, plus burgers, sides, and fried chicken. 5995 Rockfish Gap Tpke., Crozet. 823-5251. $

Feast! Cheese, wine, and specialty foods. 416 W. Main St. feastvirginia. com. $$

Foods of All Nations Sandwiches, deli fare, and salads. 2121 Ivy Rd. $$

Greenwood Gourmet Grocery Madeto-order sandwiches, fresh soup, and a deli with rotating dishes. 6701 Rockfish Gap Tpke., Crozet. greenwoodva. com. $$

Hunt Country Market & Deli Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 2048 Garth Rd. 296-1648. $

Integral Yoga Natural Foods All-natural food, organic produce, supplements, plus a deli and juice smoothie bar. 923 Preston Ave. $$

J.M. Stock Provisions Whole-animal butcher shop with sandwiches to go, craft beer, and wines. 709 W. Main St. $$

Market Street Market Full service grocery store with a deli, local produce, freshly baked breads, cheeses, health and beauty items, beers, and wines. 400 E. Market St. $$ Market Street Wine An independent shop for wine, beer, and gourmet products. 311 E. Market St. marketstwine. com. $$

Mill Creek Market The Southern sister of Bellair Market. 1345 Parham Cir. $

Trader Joe’s Grocery chain that boasts top quality at low cost. The Shops at Stonefield. $$

Whole Foods Market Eco-minded chain with natural and organic grocery items, housewares, and other products. 1797 Hydraulic Rd. wholefoodsmarket. com. $$

Wyant’s Store Home-cooked country fare. 4696 Garth Rd., Crozet. 8237299. $

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Pour me another

Breweries and cideries

Albemarle CiderWorks What started as an orchard for rare and heirloom apples grew into a popular area cidery. Tastings and tours are available for $5-10 per person. 2550 Rural Ridge Ln., North Garden. 297-2326.

Blue Mountain Brewery Well-liked brewery serves up its local drafts, plus light fare for lunch and dinner. 9519 Critzers Shop Rd., Afton. (540) 456-8020.

Blue Toad Hard Cider Large outdoor space, classic pub food and, of course, hard cider. 9278 Rockfish Valley Hwy., Afton. 996-6992.

Bold Rock Cidery Virginia’s largest (and growing!) cidery. Free tours and tastings daily. 1020 Rockfish Valley Hwy., Nellysford. 361-1030.

Bold Rock Distillery at the Barrel Barn Multiple rare styles on tap at this creative space. 1020 Rockfish Valley Hwy. Suite A, Nellysford. 361-1030.

Brewing Tree Beer Company Artisanal Brew Trail spot from the founder of Starr Hill. 9278 Rockfish Valley Hwy., Afton. (540) 381-0990.ww

Bryant’s Hard Cider & Brewery Gluten-free, sugar-free ciders with history dating to 1865. 3224 E. Branch Loop, Roseland.

Castle Hill Cider Enjoy a glass of Terrestrial on the octagonal porch or explore the grounds. Open for tastings daily. 6065 Turkey Sag Rd., Keswick. 296-0047.

Champion Brewing Company Beerfocused kitchen offerings, plus five ales on tap. 324 Sixth St. SE. 295-2739.

Coyote Hole Craft Beverages Cider and sangria in Lake Anna. 225 Oak Grove Dr., Mineral. (540) 894-1053.

Decipher Brewing Company Veteran-owned and operated, with awardwinning craft beers. 1740 Broadway St. 995-5777.

Devils Backbone Brewing Company Nelson’s hip brewpub—award-winning craft beers, lunch and dinner. 200 Mosbys Run, Roseland. 361-1001.

James River Brewing Co. There’s only beer here. 561 Valley St., Scottsville. 286-7837.

Octania Stone Brew Works Ruckersville’s own alehouse celebrating “Octoney” (look it up). 14902 Spotswood Trail, Ruckersville. 939-9678.

Patch Brewing Company From the owners of Cville Hop On Tours. 10271 W. Gordon Ave., Gordonsville. (540) 466-8536.

Potter’s Craft Cider Handcrafted cider out of Free Union, with a city tasting room. 209 Monticello Rd. 964-0271.

Pro Re Nata Brewery A farm brewery and food truck offering up to 12 craft beers and live music. 6135 Rockfish Gap Tpke., Crozet. 823-4878.

Random Row Brewing Co. No food (but there are food trucks!), but nearly 12 beers on tap. 608 Preston Ave. 284-8466.

Rockfish Brewing Nano-brewery with two location. 201 W. Main St., Downtown Mall; 900 Preston Ave., 566-0969.

Selvedge Brewing Unique small-batch wine in a converted factory setting. 1837 Broadway St. 270-0555.

South Street Brewery Brews and food from the folks at Blue Mountain. 106 W. South St. 293-6550.

Southern Revere Cellars Craft beer and blended wines in Louisa. Open Thursday-Sunday. 1100 E. Jack Jouett Rd., Louisa. (540) 260-5494

Starr Hill Brewery A can’t-miss spot since 1999. 5391 Three Notched Rd., Crozet. 823-5671.

Three Notch’d Craft Kitchen & Brewery Craft beers and beer-infused pub food. 520 Second St. SE. 956-3141. Sour house: 946 Grady Ave. 293-0610.

Wood Ridge Farm Brewery “From the dirt to the glass” brewery 165 Old Ridge Rd., Lovingston. 422-6225.


Devils Backbone Distilling Co. Virginia straight bourbon whiskey with views of Ragged Mountain. 35 Mosbys Run, Roseland. (540) 602-6018.

Ragged Branch Distillery Virginia straight bourbon whiskey with views of Ragged Mountain. 1075 Taylors Gap Rd. 244-2600.

Silverback Distillery Rye whiskey, monkey gin and Beringei vodka. 9374 Rockfish Valley Hwy., Afton. (540) 456-7070.

Spirit Lab Distilling Single-malt whiskey and amaro behind a red door. 1503 Sixth St. SE. 218-2605.

Virginia Distillery Co. Single-malt whiskey from the Blue Ridge. 299 Eades Ln., Lovingston. 285-2900.

Vitae Spirits Award-winning rum and gin in a hip spot for sipping. 715 Henry Ave. 270-0317.

Waterbird Spirits No tasting room, but catch these canned cocktails in stores nationwide. 201 W. Water St.


Afton Mountain Vineyards Try the Albarino, a limited-production, estate- grown white only available in the summer. Tastings are $15 per person for five wines. 234 Vineyard Ln., Afton. (540) 456-8667.

Ankida Ridge Vineyards A Sumerian word that means “where heaven and earth join,” Ankida marks the spot—at 1,800’ on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 1304 Franklin Creek Rd., Amherst. 922-7678.

Barboursville Vineyards Routinely listed on national “best winery” lists, Barboursville is a true destination—for the wines and the scenery. Open for tastings ($15 for six wines). 17655 Winery Rd., Barboursville. (540) 832-3824.

Blenheim Vineyards Established in 2000 by owner Dave Matthews (yep, that Dave Matthews), Blenheim’s timber-frame tasting room looks down into the barrel room. Tours and tastings are $25 per person. 31 Blenheim Farm. 293-5366.

Bluestone Vineyard Award-winning small-batch wines in the Shenandoah Valley. Open daily for tastings. 4828 Spring Creek Rd., Bridgewater. (540) 828-0099.

Brent Manor Vineyards Sample wines from the vineyard and a selection of nearby Virginia wines. Tastings are $12 per person. 100 Brent Manor Ln., Faber. 826-0722.

Burnley Vineyards One of the oldest vineyards in the Monticello Viticultural Area. Tastings are $4 per person. 4500 Winery Ln., Barboursville. (540) 832-2828.

Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery Try the Quattro—a blend of riesling, gewurztraminer, viognier, and traminette—at this spare but relaxing spot. Open for tours and flights. 9423 Batesville Rd., Afton. (540) 456-8400.

Chateau MerrillAnne The wines at this Orange spot are award-winning, but don’t skip the Vinocello either. 16234 Marquis Rd., Orange. (540) 656-6177

Chestnut Oak Vineyard Single-varietal, single-vineyard wines from Petit Manseng to Chardonnay. Weekend tastings from noon-5pm. 5050 Stony Point Rd., Barboursville. 964-9104.

Chisholm Vineyards at Adventure Farm Beef meets wine at this familyowned winery. 1135 Clan Chisholm Ln., Earlysville. 971-8796.

Chiswell Farm & Vineyard Locally crafted vintages from the folks behind Chiles Family Orchards. 430 Greenwood Rd., Greenwood. 252-2947.

Cunningham Creek Winery Once a working cow farm, this winery offers Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Cab Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. 3304 Ruritan Lake Rd., Palmyra. 207-3907.

DelFosse Vineyards & Winery Try the reds at this off-the-beaten-path spot 30 minutes from Charlottesville. $22 for a classic tasting, $12 for a wine flight. 500 DelFosse Winery Ln., Faber. 263-6100.

DuCard Vineyards A successful grape-growing business bloomed into what’s now this boutique winery. Tastings are $10 per person. 40 Gibson Hollow Ln., Etlan. (540) 923-4206.

Early Mountain Vineyards Beautifully appointed facility, with a terrace for mountain and vineyard views while sipping. 6109 Wolftown-Hood Rd., Madison. (540) 948-9005.

Eastwood Farm & Winery Governor’s Cup gold medalists mix delicious wine with a stunning setting. 2531 Scottsville Rd. 264-6727.

Everleigh Vineyards & Brewing Company

Two collectors of fine wine started this vineyard in 2015. Find wine, beer, and cider. 9845 Jefferson Hwy., Mineral. (804) 356-0059.

Fifty-Third Winery & Vineyard

There’s something for everyone—including sangria—under Fifty-Third’s LEED-certified roof. Open for tastings daily. 13372 Shannon Hill Rd., Louisa. (540) 894-5253.

Flying Fox Vineyard Named after the weather vane on the vineyard’s main building, Flying Fox boasts a limited production of merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot, viognier and pinot gris. Highway 151 and Chapel Hollow Road, Afton. 361-1692.

Gabriele Rausse Winery The Father of Virginia Wine’s eponymous winery still sets the standard. 3247 Carters Mountain Rd. 981-1677.

Glass House Winery Don’t miss the tropical conservatory next to the tasting room—or the handcrafted chocolates! 5898 Free Union Rd., Free Union. 975-0094.

Grace Estate Winery This 50-acre vineyard on scenic Mount Juliet Farm produces 14 varietals .5273 Mount Juliet Farm, Crozet. 823-1486.

Hardware Hills Vineyard Formerly known at Thistle Gate Vineyard, this Fluvanna spot still boasts a lively lineup. 5199 W. River Rd., Scottsville. 286-4710.

Hark Vineyards Beautiful views and delicious wine? We’re set. 1465 Davis Shop Rd., Earlysville. 964-9463.

Hazy Mountain Vineyards and Brewery With 86 acres under vine, there’s a little something for everyone at this Afton winery—including beer! Tastings are $14-20. 240 Hazy Mountain Ln., Afton. Tastings $15-20. (540) 302-2529.

Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery The bread and butter at this medievalthemed winery is the authentic honey meads. Try the Dragon’s Blood. Open for tours and tasting. 2800 Berry Hill Rd., Nellysford. 361-1266.

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Honah Lee Vineyard Tastings are $15 at this award-winning (dog-friendly!) Gordonsville spot. 13443 Honah Lee Farm Dr., Gordonsville. (540) 406-1313.

Horton Vineyards More than 40 different dry, fruit and dessert wines abound at this winery just outside of Barboursville. 6399 Spotswood Trail, Gordonsville. (540) 832-7440.

Jefferson Vineyards Grab a bottle of meritage and get a spot on the tree deck for a picturesque afternoon. Tastings are $12. 1353 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy. 977-3042.

Keswick Vineyards Dog-friendly tasting spot located at the historic 400-acre Edgewood Estate. Tastings daily. 1575 Keswick Winery Dr., Keswick. 244-3341.

Kilaurwen Winery Artisanal wines near Shenandoah National Park. 1543 Evergreen Church Rd., Stanardsville. 985-2535.

King Family Vineyards Frequent Governor’s Cup award winner, King Family is also the site of polo matches every Sunday from Memorial Day weekend to mid-October. Tastings are $15-20. 6550 Roseland Farm, Crozet. 823-7800.

Knight’s Gambit Vineyard More than five acres of petit verdot, pinot grigio, merlot and cabernet franc located on a rolling hillside near Whitehall. 2218 Lake Albemarle Rd. 566-1168.

Lazy Days Winery A boutique winery that’s home to local festivals like the Virginia Summer Solstice Wine Festival. Open for tastings. 1351 N. Amherst Hwy., Amherst. 381-6088.

Loving Cup Vineyard & Winery A certified-organic vineyard and winery tucked away in the hills. Open Friday- Sunday, 11am-5pm (March-December). 3340 Sutherland Rd., North Garden. 984-0774.

Lovingston Winery A densely planted 8.5 acres yields wine of high-quality fruit. (Word to the wise: Leave your pups at home; there are two here already!) 885 Freshwater Cove Ln., Lovingston. 263-8467.

Meriwether Springs Vineyard The post-and-beam event space is just the beginning—there are also two ponds, a three-acre lake and beautiful Ivy Creek here, which flanks the property. Open for tours and tastings. 1040 Owensville Rd. 270-4299.

Merrie Mill Farm & Vineyard Creativity abounds at this weird and wonderful spot—from the décor to the wine. Tastings are $25. 594 Merrie Mill Farm, Keswick. 365-3006.

Michael Shaps Wineworks Sample

Virginia wines in the spare but stylish tasting room, as well as the Premiere Cru burgundies, grown and bottled in France by owner Michael Shaps. $10 for

Southwest Mountains Vineyards

While Southwest Mountains Vineyards has been harvesting grapes in the Monticello AVA since 2016, in fall of 2023 owners Paul and Diane Manning opened the winery’s Keswick tasting room. Situated in a restored 1900s pole barn, the winery offers by-the-glass pours and a menu from chef Gregory Lewis—not to mention an idyllic spot near what Thomas Jefferson once called “the Eden of the United States.”

The Mannings, whose name locals might recognize for having founded PBM Products, the world’s largest store-branded baby food company, have about 80 acres under vine across three properties, and are already producing a variety of wines from grapes grown on site.

The couple brought on Boela Gerber, a renowned winemaker in his native South Africa, to serve as SMV’s head winemaker. Gerber gained international recognition working in five countries across three continents, and for 20 years at Groot Constantia Wine Farm, South Africa’s first wine farm. Cheers!

a tasting of 12 wines. 1781 Harris Creek Way, 296-3438; 1585 Avon St. Ext. (Wineworks Extended), 529-6848.

Montifalco Vineyard If “falco” means hawk in Italian, you could say this winery is one to watch. 1800 Fray Rd., Ruckersville. 989-9115.

Tasting Room & Taphouse at Mount Ida Reserve Find wine, craft beer, and a full restaurant at this Scottsville spot. 5600 Moonlight Dr., Scottsville. 286-4282.

Mountain Cove Vineyards Even better with age? The first batch of wine here was made in 1976. Open for tours and tastings. 1362 Fortunes Cove Ln., Lovingston. 263-5392.

Moss Vineyards Fifty-two acres with views of the Blue Ridge, including nine under vine with cabernet sauvignon, cabernet Franc, merlot, petit verdot and viognier grapes. Open for tastings Friday-Sunday. 1849 Simmons Gap Rd., Nortonsville. 990-0111.

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards Try a glass of the Merlot Reserve while having lunch at the Farm Table & Wine Bar. 5022 Plank Rd., North Garden. 202-8063.

Pour me another

Septenary Winery Seven acres under vine at this stunning property, where Old World winemaking techniques abound. 200 Seven Oaks Farm, Greenwood. (540) 471-4282.

Sharp Rock Vineyards Once a working family farm, Sharp Rock is now a vineyard, winery and bed and breakfast. Tastings and self- guided tours available. 5 Sharp Rock Rd., Sperryville. (540) 987-8020.

Stinson Vineyards The cozy tasting room opens to a quaint patio for sipping award- winning wines and noshing on farm-fresh snacks. Tastings are $7, $10 per person for groups of 10 or more. 4744 Sugar Hollow Rd., Crozet. 823-7300.

Stone Mountain Vineyards A rustic winery offers panoramic views of the surrounding counties from 1,700’. Wine flights available. 1376 Wyatt Mountain Rd., Dyke. 990-9463.

The Barn at 678 Vineyard Have a seat on the porch of this charming barn and watch the world go by. Tastings are $12-16. 6045 Governor Barbour St., Barboursville.

Trump Winery Virginia’s largest vineyard, Trump offers 200 acres of French vinifera varieties. Tastings are $22-32. 3550 Blenheim Rd., 984-4855.

Pollak Vineyards Located between Charlottesville and Wintergreen, this 98-acre farm produces 27 acres of French vinifera. Open Wednesday-Sunday. 330 Newtown Rd., Greenwood. (540) 456-8844.

Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery Sip a glass of chardonnay in Prince Michel’s tasting room, above the barrel cave and tank room. Tastings and self-guided tours. 154 Winery Ln., Leon. (540) 547-3707.

Rappahannock Cellars West Coast wine on the East: A desire to raise their 12 children in Virginia led Rappahannock’s owners to relocate from California. Open year-round for $15 tastings. 14437 Hume Rd., Huntly. (540) 635-9398.

Rassawek Vineyards No tasting room; these folks grow grapes for other wineries. 6276 River Rd. W, Columbia. (804) 396-3098.

Revalation Vineyards A horse farmturned-small-batch vineyard from two scientists by trade. 2710 Hebron Valley Rd., Madison. (540) 407-1236.

Reynard Florence Vineyards These folks bottle wines in the style of France’s Loire and Burgundy regions. Tasting flights are $12. 16109 Burnley Rd,, Barboursville. (540) 832-3895.

Valley Road Vineyards Vineyard and tasting room at the head of the Rockfish Valley. Tastings are $28 per person for six wines. 9264 Critzers Shop Rd., Afton. (540) 456-6350.

Veritas Vineyard & Winery Awardwinning wines at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Bring a picnic basket! 145 Saddleback Farm, Afton. (540) 456-8000.

Weston Farm Vineyard & Winery Small, family-owned winery. Must love dogs: Charlie and Suzie, the owners’ French bulldogs, often roam the property. $10 tastings. 206 Harris Creek Rd., Louisa. (540) 967-4647.

White Hall Vineyards Call ahead to reserve a cheese plate from the neighboring monastery to enjoy with your tasting. 5282 Sugar Ridge Rd., White Hall. 823-8615.

Wisdom Oak Winery Make your way down the long gravel road to get to an intimate tasting room and outdoor picnic area. 3613 Walnut Branch Ln., North Garden. 984-4272.

Woodbrook Farm & Vineyard Near James Madison’s Montpelier, this family-owned vineyard celebrates horse country. 11461 Spicers Mill Rd., Orange. (540) 219-1874.

Knife&Fork 37

The Last Bite

Take the wheel

By the time it makes it to your mouth, Praha Bakery’s Koláč has been in the works for several days. That’s because, says co-owner Markéta Johnson, the Crozet bakery crafts each of its traditional Czech treats from scratch, from the sweet dough to the tvaroh (farmer’s cheese) filling.

The round pastry (the name evolved from the Czech “kola” meaning “wheels”) originated centuries ago as a semisweet wedding dessert, but today can be found at any time of day— and in many flavors—at markets and bakeries throughout the Czech Republic, Johnson says. At Praha, blueberry and cherry top the list of sweet bestsellers, but Johnson is partial to the walnut, which errs more on the savory side. Either way, they’re worth the wait.

38 Knife&Fork

Dine with us 7 days a week! Sweeping Blue Ridge Mountain views, weekly menu specials, Wednesday wine specials, Make Reservations on RESY



Located in the heart of Boar’s Head Resort, The Mill Room is a place to gather with friends and family for a casual drink or celebratory meal. This unique locale celebrates a rich history while infusing old-world cuisine with modern techniques and sophisticated plating. If you have not visited lately, now is the time to come back to experience Chef Butcher’s new menu.

Located in the heart of Boar’s Head Resort, The Mill Room is a place to gather with friends and family for a casual drink or celebratory meal. This unique locale celebrates a rich history while infusing old-world cuisine with modern techniques and sophisticated plating. If you have not visited lately, now is the time to come back to experience Chef Butcher’s new menu.

Reserve your table: www.BoarsHeadResort/Dining or (434) 972-2230

Reserve your table: www.BoarsHeadResort/Dining or (434) 972-2230

Owned and operated by the University of Virginia Foundation
Owned and operated by the University of Virginia Foundation
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