An old friend recently asked me to recommend restaurants in Charlottesville for her foodie friends that were coming to town for their anniversary. The list I compiled included the following establishments. What do you think, friends? What are your favorite places to eat in Cville and why?
I’d recommend Fossett’s out at Keswick. It’s pricey, but really good, lots of local, organic food, yummy wines, and amazing desserts. I think they have a sticky toffee pudding that’s out of this world.http://www.keswick.com/fossetts.aspx
I can also recommend Commonwealth – it’s on the downtown mall, sort of new, been there about two years and it’s super yummy plus they have AWESOME drinks and AMAZING charcuterie plates. You get to pick your meats and cheeses and it comes with all kinds of goodies. Such a treat!! Christie and I just discovered it recently and we’ve been back twice already – that’s saying a lot for two people who NEVER get out. http://www.commonwealthskybar.com
If they’re looking for a less expensive option – Zocalo is also on the downtown mall and is quite good. We just had a charity event there for Courtland’s school and the food was delicious, so are the drinks. http://zocalo-restaurant.com
If they’re into southern food, Maya is really good – ribs, amazing grits, greens, macncheese, pork loin, short ribs, I’ve never had a bad meal there. http://www.maya-restaurant.com
I’ve had a few good meals at The Local –http://www.thelocal-cville.com – and you can never go wrong with tapas at Mas –http://www.mastapas.com. Both are in Belmont just off the downtown area.
You can’t go wrong with the C&O also downtown – they have a phenomenal steak chinoise. My friend used to be a chef there and he can still make it when he comes over – it’s SO DAMN GOOD. http://www.candorestaurant.com
Christie says I should also tell you that the fried oysters are so delicious at Three Notched in Crozet – it’s fifteen minutes out of town, but yummy and friendly. http://www.threenotchedgrill.com
Your friends can get a great brunch at Bluegrass Grill & Bakery OR Horse and Hound. BGB is low-key, small, usually very busy and H&H has more room, more options and delicious Bellinis and Bloodies. Also, if they do the H&H they should definitely have the shrimp and grits – it’s done with a veal reduction – AMAZING. http://horseandhoundgastropub.com
ALSO, a lot of people will say they love Blue Light or Ten – both on the downtown mall, seafood and sushi respectively, but I have eaten at both many times and I haven’t had a good meal there in years. I’ve been disappointed every time. Another place I think is overrated at the moment is the Clifton Inn. I used to love it but we went there for my birthday and did the chef’s tasting and it was SERIOUSLY lacking. We sat down at 8:00 and though that seems a little late – it was as if we’d sat down at 10:00 and the chef had decided to use the remnants of that night’s side dishes for our tasting menu. Creative, but not delicious. That’s my 2 cents.