David McNair

Archive for the ‘Food & Wine’ Category

Instant Karma: Shine On at Fellini’s Live Band Karoke

In Events, Food & Wine, Music on March 27, 2014 at 9:00 am

fellini-karaoke“Who in the hell d’you think you are/ A super star/Well, right you are” – John Lennon

Live Band Karaoke is starting up again at Fellini’s # 9 Restaurant every Thursday now starting next week, April 3, with the introduction of Tanya and the Rockstars, featuring guitarist Tanya Manwill, Nate West on drums, and Thomas Gunn on bass.

“Fellini’s owner Jacie Dunkle’s idea is to create a user-friendly, interactive evening with an emphasis on fun,” says Manwill. “Karoke Thursdays are geared for locals and out-of-towners who want to get together over food, drink, and song.”

Manwill says the band is developing a song list to accommodate various musical leanings and to provide a “rock star for an evening” type of experience.

“Beyond the basic Karoke list, we will be building song selections based on requests from both the audience and the vocalists,” says Manwill. ” So please come by and put a title in the suggestion box.”

Better yet, bring your talent, or mere enthusiasm, to Fellini’s on April 3. And remember, this is fun, and if you’ve ever been to one these things at Fellini’s before, you know you can get up there and belt one out and everyone will be cheering you on.

Here’s a sampling of some songs/artists: “Wagon Wheel” – Old Crow Medicine Show; “Rolling In the Deep” – Adele; “Hot Stuff” – Donna Summer; “American Girl” – Tom Petty; “Crazy Love” – Van Morrison; “Blister in the Sun” – Violent Femmes; “Evil Ways” – Santana; “Born to be Wild” – Steppenwolf; “Ain’t No Sunshine” – Bill Withers. “Gimme Three Steps” – Lynard Skynard; “Bad Moon on the Rise”- CCR; “Brick House” – Commodores; “Arms of the Angels” – Sara MacLauchlan; “Get It While You Can” – Janis Joplin; “Creep” – RadioHead


Warning: The Alley Light’s Happy Hour could actually, well, make you happy

In Events, Food & Wine on March 23, 2014 at 10:45 am

Happy-2In an alley on Second Street, right between Rev Soup and Downtown Thai, there’s an amber light over a low-hung door that’s on in the evenings from Wednesday through Sunday. The alley certainly doesn’t look like much. And it’s a dead end. You may have seen The Alley Light as you walked by. You may have wondered what it was. You may have asked yourself, “I should check that place out.”

Well, now, here’s a good reason to: $2 drafts and apéritifs from 4:30 to 6:30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. It all kicks off this Wednesday, March 26.

Kind of like a secret club, The Alley Light, which opened in February,  is not exactly your typical happy hour spot. So, of course, it won’t be your typical happy hour. This is a happy hour for people interested in a creative, interesting list of apéritifs, who like relaxing stylishly in some big, comfy chairs and couches, and who would like to end their day, or start their evening, with a civilized buzz on.

After that, well, there’s no telling what could happen. 😉

Is the Continental Divide Going to Join Christian’s Pizza in Richmond?

In Food & Wine, Restaurant opening on March 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm

continental divideThe Continental Divide occupies a sliver of a room on a nearly desolate corner of W. Main Street right before the bridge that crosses in front of the Amtrak station. It’s next to another restaurant, the exquisite L’Etoile, and close to a pawn shop, and easy to miss if not for the neon sign that whispers Get In Here from the front window.

It’s also frequently packed with folks lined up to and beyond the entrance. It’s first come, first serve for the Tex-Mex inspired cuisine—the flank steak has always been a personal favorite, and on a recent visit the fried tomatillo salad really hit the spot—and a place that seems unique to Charlottesville. There’s only one location and you better get there early if you want one of the high seated booths or the rectangle cocktail tables near the front or, if you’re fortunate, a seat at the bar.

Unlike other Charlottesville food staples like Bodos, Christian’s, Sticks (which already has a Richmond site), or Marco and Luca’s, the Divide has never replicated, and that’s always been part of its appeal. Even though it’s a favorite of so many residents, the Divide still has a way of feeling like a personal secret, so it was surprising to read in Richmond’s Style Weekly that they are opening a branch in RVA at 2501 W. Main St.

The reaction from Charlottesville expatriates must have overwhelmed because the Divide felt compelled to temper the news on their Facebook page: “Ok ok ok ok! Hold the phones! While no deal has been signed in Richmond as of now, we are very excited to see what the future may hold, and appreciate the enthusiasm of the Richmond community!”

Reached by phone, a representative of the restaurant said much the same, that the news was mere “word of mouth” and that “nothing has been signed.” To be clear, the Divide has not denied they are opening a new place, and contacted by e-mail, Style Weekly reports that an official announcement is expected in the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, the weekly’s short piece also mentioned that a Christian’s Pizza is opening in the west end of Richmond. First reported in Richmond BizSense, the restaurant is set to debut sometime this spring at 7003-A Three Chopt Road inside the Village Shopping Center. “The beginning of next month is the most likely scenario,” said Andrew Vaughn by phone in Richmond where he is currently spending much of his time trying to pull everything together.

The founder and still co-owner of Rapture said he was “looking for something to sink his teeth into” when he decided to open a Christian’s in Richmond, seemingly the next logical step not only for him but a franchise that already has four locations in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Vaughn hopes that the pizzeria’s ornate and diversely topped pizza by the slice will captivate west end RVA as it did downtown Charlottesville more than a decade ago. To that end, the new Christian’s will be offering a few new types of pizza (and salads), as well as resurrecting the Sicilian, a thick-crusted former feature at the original downtown location.

That task will fall to Christian Tamm, the founder and owner of the downtown Christian’s (the others are privately owned), and Vaughn’s business associate in this newest chapter of the popular pizza place. In the mid-2000s, the two opened the Christian’s on UVA’s corner before selling it in 2009, and have decided to partner once again. “I missed the fun of it and the whole concept,” Vaughn explained. “I love Christian’s.”

Updated 3/12/2014

Bean Buzz: Mudhouse one of 10 best coffeehouses in the country

In business, Food & Wine on February 28, 2014 at 4:14 pm

WMudhouse carte remember Lynelle and John wheeling out their coffee cart on to the DTM in late 1993. You’ve come a long way, Guys. Congrats!

USAToday–It takes more than beans to serve a great cup of coffee. The country’s best coffeehouses also specialize in hospitality, says David Heilbrunn, who runs Coffee Fest, a trade show that promotes specialty coffee: “They know their customers. You feel like family when you walk in the door.” He works with industry expert Chris Deferio on an annual competition to find the country’s top coffeehouses. They share some of their favorite spots with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.

Mudhouse Coffee
Charlottesville, Va.: “
It’s not surprising to find a busy shop in a university town, but it’s much rarer to find good coffee, Deferio says. “Mudhouse has both. It has the local art and the quintessential coffeehouse feel — and they have amazing coffee.”

Photo from Mudhouse website

Music heads up! Eight new shows, events at the Jefferson and the Southern just announced

In Events, Food & Wine, Music on February 26, 2014 at 4:02 pm


WHAT: Kap Slap
WHERE: The Jefferson Theater
WHEN: Saturday, March 22, 2014 – Doors 8:00 PM, Show 9:00 PM
TICKET PRICE: $17 Advance / $20 Day Of Show
ON SALE: On Sale Now

Jared Lucas is a 24 year old DJ/Producer based outside of New York City. Initially recognized for his signature EDM/top 40 bootlegs that tailor to the college scene, Kap Slap now begins a new chapter of his career. Now that he has graduated from Lehigh University, Jared has the time and resources needed to pursue his dream and create his own original productions. His substantial fan base gained through mashups anxiously await his debut single, which is sure to exceed expectations.

WHAT: Monticello Cup Awards
WHERE: The Jefferson Theater
WHEN: Thursday, April 10, 2014 – Doors 6:00 PM
TICKET PRICE: $90 Advance/ $90 Day Of Show
ON SALE: Friday, February 28 at 10 AM

As a part of The Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Wine Festival, the Jefferson Theater is proud to host the Monticello Cup Awards. This exclusive event honors the best wines of Central Virginia. Come and enjoy wine and food pairing at various stations throughout the Jefferson along with music and mingling. Tickets are limited for this black-tie optional event.

Vineyards participating in the Monticello Cup Awards Ceremony:

Afton Mountain Vineyards, Barboursville Winery, Delfosse Vineyards & Winery, Democracy Vineyards, First Colony Winery, Flying Fox Vineyards, Grace Estate Winery, Glass House Winery, Jefferson Vineyards, Keswick Vineyards, King Family Winery, Pippin Hill Winery, Pollak Vineyards, Reynard Florence Vineyard, Stinson Vineyards, Stone Mountain Winery, Trump Winery, Veritas Vineyards, Virginia Wineworks/Michael Shaps and White Hall Vineyards.

WHAT: Easy Star All-Stars ‘Dub Side Of The Moon’ Anniversary Tour with Cas Haley & Big Hope
WHERE: The Jefferson Theater
WHEN: Saturday, May 3, 2014 – Doors: 8:00 PM, Show 9:00 PM
TICKET PRICE: $18 Advance / $20 Day Of Show
ON SALE: On Sale Now

The Easy Star All-Stars have established themselves as one of the top international reggae acts since their live debut in 2003. Thanks to their best-selling tribute album releases, Dub Side of the Moon (2003), Radiodread (2006), Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band (2009), Dubber Side of the Moon (2010), and Easy Star’s Thrillah (2012), as well as original albums First Light (2011) and Until That Day (2008), the Easy Star All-Stars have built a growing, dedicated fan base throughout the world, bringing together fans of reggae, classic rock, dub and indie rock into one big family. Since 2009, the All-Stars have played over 350 shows in over 30 different countries on 6 different continents, truly establishing themselves as one of the top reggae touring acts in the world.

WHAT: Charlottesville Jazz Society 2014 Fundraiser
WHERE: The Southern Café & Music Hall
WHEN: Sunday, March 9, 2014 – Dinner Service 5:00 PM, Show 6:15 PM
TICKET PRICE: $20 Advance / $20 Day Of Show
ON SALE: On Sale Now

A fundraiser for the Charlottesville Jazz Society’s master class and education funds!

5:30 – Peter Richardson’s Alegria Latin Combo (Bar Set)
6:15 – The Charlottesville Allstar Guitar Sextet
6:50 – Alderson, Jospe, Owens, Larrabee and Taylor
7:40 – CHARST!
8:20 – The Erin Lunsford Group featuring Charles Owens and John D’earth
9:00 – Jim Wray’s FUSE (Bar Set)

WHAT: Future Islands
WHERE: The Southern Café & Music Hall
WHEN: Sunday, March 23, 2014 – Dinner Service 5:00 PM, Show 8:30 PM
TICKET PRICE: $13 Advance / $15 Day Of Show
ON SALE: Wednesday, February 26 at 2 PM

Future Islands believe in true love, you can tell that because their songs speak through our lives. It’s as if their music has always been with us, soundtracking every great hope, dawning realization and broken promise. Every fond embrace, each leap of faith. Over the last eight years Baltimore’s most quixotic and emotionally involving trio have maintained an admirable level of skill and pace, never slowing down for the corners. It’s vocalist Samuel T. Herring, William Cashion (bass, guitars), and Gerrit Welmers (keyboards, programming, guitars) who find themselves responsible. Their sound is at once beguiling and irresistible. It’s one part melancholic, one part euphoric; full of animated bass lines, robust drum machines and questing keyboards, all set off by Sam’s remarkably distinct, soaring vocals.

WHAT: The Judy Chops & Sally Rose Band with Lost Indian
WHERE: The Southern Café & Music Hall
WHEN: Saturday, March 29, 2014 – Dinner Service 5:00 PM, Show 7:45 PM
TICKET PRICE: $6 Advance / $8 Day Of Show
ON SALE: Friday, February 28 at 10 AM

More About The Judy Chops: The Judy Chops have been an indomitable force in the VA music scene since 2008. Averaging over 150 shows a year, this high-energy Americana group has been wowing audiences throughout the Mid-Atlantic, and beyond. From their numerous festival appearances, to their opening spots for acts like Lake Street Dive, Miss Tess & the Talkbacks, David Mayfield Parade,  and J.P. Harris & the Tough Choices the Chops have proven themselves to be consummate musicians, and performers. The band’s sound is built around strong three part harmony vocals, acoustic guitar and banjolele, searing electric guitar and fiddle solos, and a unique rhythm section featuring upright bass, and cocktail drums, with the occasional horn player to round out the mix.

More About Sally Rose Band: The Sally Rose band is a duop, honky-tonk music machine. Led by vivacious front woman Sally Rose, the family band tells stories. Catherine “Shootin Moon” Monnes sews in colorful textures with cello and electric fiddle. Sweet Pete Stallings adds undeniable funk/punk undertones on electric guitar and co writes a handful of the songs. Benjamin Jensen and Chris Dammann tighten the mix with a jazz influenced rhythm section. Together, mother and daughter sing haunting, blood harmonies that intertwine seamlessly.

WHAT: Guerilla Tactics – Guerillas do Gorillaz with The Beetnix
WHERE: The Southern Café & Music Hall
WHEN: Saturday, April 5, 2014 – Dinner Service 5:00 PM, Show 9:00 PM
TICKET PRICE: $6 Advance / $8 Day Of Show
ON SALE: Friday, February 28 at 10 AM

Armed with a desire to leave a large impact with a small footprint, Guerilla Tactics initiated their current musical project in the depths of space. Their highly improvisational music uses live sampling informed by good musicianship and the raw nature of the Blues and the Guitar to make music that resonates and moves. Ranging from pop up funk party to lounge experience, this duo tries to keep it fresh and fun.

April 1st, 2013, Guerillas Do Gorillaz performed the cartoon band’s debut album. Wielding kazoos and combining acoustic and electronic instruments with beautiful results, the eight piece band packed the house and put on a nearly perfect show with inspired takes on the seminal body of work. The duo will reprise their ongoing tribute to the vast eclectic musical landscape created by the Gorillaz, collaborating again with a large cast of local talent on the Southern’s stage on April 5th and calling upon local hip hop visionaries, the Beetnix, to add their energy and take this exploration to a different level.

WHAT: Ki: Theory
WHERE: The Southern Café & Music Hall
WHEN: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 – Dinner Service 5:00 PM, Show 9:00 PM
TICKET PRICE: $10 Advance / $12 Day Of Show
ON SALE: Friday, February 28 at 10 AM

Ki:Theory (pronounced “Key Theory”) is the alias for American recording artist and producer, Joel Burleson, who specializes in alternative rock and electronic. He and his band have toured nationwide US, Canada, Japan and Korea.

Ki:Theory has done commissioned remixes for Daft Punk/Tron: Legacy, Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age, Cypress Hill, Rob Zombie, ODESZA, UNKLE, Rodrigo y Gabriela with Hans Zimmer, Brazilian Girls, Kasabian and MuteMath amongst others. Ki:Theory’s remix for Daft Punk’s “The Son Of Flynn” for Tron: Legacy was featured on the official remix album, Tron Legacy R3C0NF1GUR3D.

New DTM restaurant: P4 to become Red Pump, A Tuscan Kitchen

In Food & Wine, Restaurant closing, Restaurant opening on February 14, 2014 at 9:02 pm
Red Pump Tuscan Kitchen Facebook page.

Red Pump Tuscan Kitchen Facebook page.

You’ve probably noticed that Positively 4th Street has been closed and gutted. That’s because its going to become the Red Pump Tuscan Kitchen. Looks like there are some heavy hitters behind the venture, too, namely DMB manager Coran Capshaw and P4 owner Alan Taylor, along with Pippin Hill Farm owners Lynn and Dean Andrews. No wonder a recent post on the “Red Pump” (we predict people will just naturally shorten it to this, a la Skybar) Facebook page has the new owners down in San Miguel, Mexico (again) having custom-made tables and chairs built for the new restaurant. They’re going for a sophisticated, yet casual trattoria vibe (though inspiration for dishes will come from other Mediterranean regions) , complete with a wood-fired pizza oven, home-made pasta, tasty cured meats and cheeses, and a focus on locally sourced foods, of course.  They promise a “lively social atmosphere where family and friends can gather,” and are shooting for an May 2014 opening. Stay tuned.

Correction: 2/21/2014: According to the folks at Red Pump, the official name will be “Red Pump, A Tuscan Kitchen.”

“We hope to take fine dining on the downtown mall to the next level,”says Peter de Saint Phalle, the marketing director for the restaurant group.  “We will focus on supporting local farms and featuring organic meats and produce in our menu. Pizza here is thin crusted, wood fired, and topped with fresh ingredients of the highest quality.”

Saint Phalle emphasized that the Red Pump will not be a late night bar, but rather a “elegant atmosphere where family and friends can gather and feel at home with our staff.”

Quality will be an emphasis as well, from their signature cocktails and local wines, to their house made pastas.

“We are dedicated living up to their expectations. Our inspiration is in our name. Tuscan cooking relies on hardy food that won’t weigh you down. Fresh vegetables, olive oil rather than butter, baked rather than fried. For us, healthy plus hardy equals happiness.”

New place! The Alley Light shines on Second Street

In Food & Wine, Restaurant opening on February 7, 2014 at 11:38 am
Alley light

The Alley Light is tucked away on Second Street NW between Rev Soup and Downtown Thai. Photo from The Alley Light Facebook page.

Update 3.23.14: check out this new Happy Hour deal at The Alley Light!   $2 drafts and apéritifs from 4:30 to 6:30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

Had a chance to check out The Alley Light, a new place on the DTM opened by Will Richey of Rev Soup and the Whiskey Jar. As one person with us said when we walked in, “I don’t feel like we’re in Charlottesville anymore.” Indeed, tucked away in an actual alley on 2nd Street NW, in-between Rev Soup and Downtown Thai, Will says the place was inspired by places like the Algonquin Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, a kind of restaurant/lounge that has a high-end yet comfortable vibe. There’s a main room with big, comfortable chairs around low-set coffee tables, perfect for a serious meeting of the minds or a late-night drink. This is a cool, grown-up place to hang out, read the paper, bring a date for a real intimate evening, or just escape from your typical DTM venue.

You’ll find local beer and wine, a menu of specialty cocktails, reasonably priced small-plate dishes like pork belly, mussels on the half shell, marinated calamari, and mushroom crepes. There’s also a selection of larger, shared dishes, like a big cheese board or veggie board, a seafood plate that includes shrimp, cod, scallops, salmon and squid, plus beef tartare, octopus, a veal, foie gras and sweet bread terrine, and much more. Seriously, check this place out on their official opening night, Wednesday, February 12.

Bengali-Indian cooking class at The Haven

In Events, Food & Wine on February 5, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Please join the Haven Cooking Series Fundraiser with Bengali-Indian cooking class to benefit programs for reducing homelessness.

February 8th (Saturday) 11am to 1pm

112 West Market St, Charlottesville, VA 22901 (Market St Entrance)

Learn to COOK & EAT Bengali-Indian VEGAN Cuisine with Mahabuba & Tonu

We will prepare these VEGAN dishes:
1) Niramish (Bengali Vegetable Curry Stew)
2) Cholar Dal Lentil w/tomato
3) Rice with Coconut Milk
4) Papor Lentil Chips
5) Hot Darjeeling Tea

Participation is limited to 15 & Registration deadline is Feb.7

Registration fee is $20/per person. PROCEEDS WILL GO TO THE HAVEN.

Please register here: https://co.clickandpledge.com/advanced/default.aspx?wid=63965

Contact for more information 4342270208 by phone or email msnaua@gmail.com

Check out & LIKE Our Facebook Page @ www.facebook.com/Cooking.With.Mahabuba

SPONSORED BY: The Haven and Campus Kitchens at UVA

Public Fish & Oyster to open on West Main

In Food & Wine, Restaurant closing, Restaurant opening on January 29, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Oyster placeAs some of you might know, the DTM’s neighbor One Meatball Place at 513 West Main Street has closed, giving way to a place called Public Fish & Oyster, an East Coast seafood and raw bar place. Now they’ve announced they will be opening on February 4. Former Camino chef Matt Turner is in the kitchen and former Farmington Country Club manager Daniel Kaufman is the GM. Check out the menu below. Oh, they are also looking for bartenders, servers, and experienced oyster shuckers.

•    Raw Bar
◦    Oysters on the Half Shelldaily selection
◦    Middleneck Clams on the Half Shell 1/2 doz.daily selection
◦    Chilled Shrimp Cocktail 1/2 doz.cocktail sauce

•    Salads
◦    Beetsheirloom beets, orange, pistachio, orange vinaigrette, Greek yogurt 
◦    Baby Greenshot house cucumber, sesame vinaigrette

•    Starters
◦    Seared Yellowfin Tuna Carpaccioseeded crust, olive tapenade citronette, roasted pepper scapece, basil 
◦    Clam ChowderVirginia clams, sherry, leeks, cream, fingerling potato, crispy pancetta 
◦    Broiled Virginia Oysterslocal cheek bacon, celery leaf, fennel, herbs, panko
◦    Salmon Rillettessmoked and roasted salmon pâte, pernod, crème fraiche, yogurt flatbread
◦    Pork Belly Sausagelocal sausage, stewed lentils, root vegetables, apple mostarda 

•    Moules Frites
◦    Mediterranean smoked Spanish chorizo, saffron, fennel, roast tomato 
◦    Marinierewhite wine, shallot, lemon, parsley, splash of cream
◦    Provençal white wine, garlic, tomato, capers, herbs, olive oil
◦    Bangkokred curry, coconut milk, kafir lime leaf, basil, crispy shallots

•    Entrees
◦    Roasted Whole Fishdaily preparation
 Market Price
◦    Virginia Rockfishfennel pollen crust, shellfish ragu, creamy stone ground grits
◦    Crab Cakeswinter radish-carrot salad, hazelnut, mustard sauce, leek–potato gratin
◦    Virginia Trout Filetfrench lentils, smoked bacon, cider braised kale, pippin apple vinaigrette
◦    Seafood Stewmelange of fish and shellfish, butternut squash, chickpeas, Sicilian style spicy broth, thyme pangrattato 
◦    Half Roasted Chickenpotato gratin, glazed root vegetables, ham hock gastrique 
◦    Composed Vegetablesdaily preparation
◦    Steak FritesNY Strip, green peppercorn sauce, ham-hock gastrique

•    Something Extra for the Table
◦    Benne BeansFrench green beans, sesame seeds, shallot, sorghum butter 
◦    Leek-Potato Gratingruyere cheese 
◦    House Cut Belgian Friestwice cooked, sea salt, aioli
◦    Stewed LentilsFrench green lentils, pancetta, apple, carrot

•    Desserts
◦    Homemade Chocolate Gelatonuts and cherries 6
◦    Pippin Apple Gallettevanilla bean gelato, salted caramel
◦    Orange-Cinnamon Crème Brûlée 7
◦    Beignetsmeyer lemon crème filling, stewed blueberries

Feast on the DTM: Charlottesville Restaurant Week is here

In Events, Food & Wine on January 25, 2014 at 3:13 pm
Enjoy a three-course meal at the C & O for $36.

Enjoy a three-course meal at the C & O for $36.

It might just as well be called The DTM Restaurant Week, as more than half of the participating restaurants in Charlottesville Restaurant Week, a concept invented by the former staff of The Hook, and later co-opted by Cville Weekly, are on or very near the Downtown Mall. It all begins tomorrow, January 26, and runs through February 1.

For just $16, $26 or $36 you can enjoy three-course meals at some of the area’s finest restaurants. Here are a list of participating restaurant on or near the DTM: Himalayan Fusion, The Southern, Ristorante Al Dente, Bang!, Blue Light Grill, The Melting Pot, the C&O, Tempo, TEN, Zocolo, Sal’s Caffe Italia, Brookville, Caffe Bocce, Fleurie, Taste of India, Rapture, and The Pointe at the Omni, and Shebeen. Up on West Main, Orzo, Maya, and L’etoile will have special menus as well. For a full list of DTM restaurants, with links to reviews, check out The DTM Food page.

For a full list of participating restaurants, and other information, visit the Charlottesville Restaurant Week website.

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