Quite a few eyebrows were raised when the Thomas Jefferson Foundation recently announced that starting this year it will rent out the grounds of Monticello for private events. Not the house itself, but places around the grounds, including the Jefferson Library, the new Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center and the Smith Woodland Pavilion. That drunken corporate holiday parties and possible wedding receptions might soil the sanctity of our UNESCO World Heritage Site has some traditionalists around town wondering about the impact of the regime change at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and manages the plantation. Leslie Greene Bowman took over as President of the foundation in late 2008 from Daniel P. Jordan, who’d been the chief executive there since 1985. In a report last month, The Daily Progress said that Jordan declined to comment specifically on the new rental policy, but was quoted as saying, “A new administration is in place now. And I wish them well.”
Karen Laetare is diplomatic about her decision to discontinue operations at the Café at Monticello, leaving it at “it was a wonderful learning experience.”
Now, Karen Laetare, owner of Brix Terrace Café on Pantops, tells us equally as graciously that as of May she will not continue to operate the Café at Monticello, because, simply, “It’s a new administration.”
Laetare says the decision to part ways with Monticello was mutual and that her stint “was a wonderful learning experience.” She goes on to explain that the nature of her assignment simply changed in terms of the type of food she was asked to prepare and that she wants to continue in the Brix direction. Though the Café at Monticello was never a branded Brix café, Laetare strove to provide the same level of freshly made sandwiches, paninis, salads, soups and baked goods for which Brix is known.
When her contract with Monticello is up in May, Laetare’s full attention will return to high-quality, gourmet fare Brix-style, both at the restaurant on Pantops, which serves breakfast, lunch and a full-service dinner, and through her catering business. She’s already making some changes at Brix to reinvigorate her Mediterranean-inspired menu as well as to offer less expensive meals for the recession-weary. Many of her lunch items are now available through the dinner hours, and she’s planning to add full-size versions of her Mediterranean individual pizzas. She’s also added savory waffles, a Brix spin on fish tacos and free WiFi. Technically, you can camp out all day from coffee at dawn to dessert at dusk and fulfill all your work and nutrition needs.
We named Laetare as one of our 2007 C-VILLE 20 emerging players for her entrepreneurial success in launching Brix from a funky little corner store on Route 53 in 1999 to a booming catering business and freestanding flagship shop in the Pantops Shopping Center as of 2007. Laetare has since closed the Route 53 location. Right now, she says she’s focusing on continuing to build her Brix brand and make the Pantops location successful. Still, she says her “radar is always on” for additional opportunities or locations.
Why do so many chefs love Riverside Lunch? Don’t get me wrong—I love it too. Few things hit the spot like a Riverside burger. But this is the era of local food, where chefs preach the gospel of local sourcing and other responsible food practices. Yet they regularly allow themselves to “cheat”
Over the last few years, baker Arley Arrington has won our hearts with her baked goods—from her pies at the now-gone Brookville Restaurant to exquisite wedding and birthday cakes topped with flowers and fresh fruit, and (this reporter’s personal favorite) oatmeal cream pies. Now the owner of
Nonprofit Before the Flood screening Thursday, May 25 The Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) hosts a showing of this National Geographic documentary about climate change as well as a Q&A session with environmental experts. Free, 7pm. The Paramount Theater, 215 E Main St., Downtown Mall.
Fans of locally made craft beer have long felt that we had something special happening here. Now there is a book to reinforce that. Author and journalist Lee Graves has written Charlottesville Beer, documenting the history of area brewing and outlining the current state of the industry. While
NONPROFIT 33rd Eastminster Dog Show Wednesday, May 17 This annual dog show includes categories for family (dogs and humans), agility, costume, best rescue and, of course, best in show. Donations to the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA accepted; 5:30pm registration, classes at 6:30pm. Keswick Hunt
FAMILY The Festival of Cultures Saturday, May 13 This 14th annual event includes music, dance, song, storytelling, cultural activities and exhibits, food and more. Free, 10am-4pm. Lee Park, 201 Second St. NE. festivalofcultures.org NONPROFIT Charity golf tournament Tuesday, May 16 The Virginia
My patient, a 12-year-old Labrador, is showing his age. Arthritis has settled into those old bones, and he’s not as active as he used to be. But he’s still a happy dog, living out his golden years in peace with a family that loves him. We’re just finishing up, but his owners have one more […]
On Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings now through October, a luxury farmers market will take place on the open green space at The Shops at Stonefield, located at the corner of Hydraulic Road and Route 29. The Green Market Stonefield will focus on quality over quantity from hand-selected
Imagine a fitness regimen that combines the fresh air of running with the low impact of swimming. A form of recreation that can be social or solo, casual or competitive, for ages 13 to 103. Housed close to the center of town yet away from traffic or hubbub, the sport requires no prior
Joey Mirabile has been around hot dogs his entire life. His father, Tony, served them at Bacali’s Hot Dogs in Norfolk during World War II and even fed celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. when they were in town to perform. Tony and his wife, Geri, opened Tony’s Hot Dogs in Norfolk
In April, six food places in Charlottesville opened their doors: Found. Market Co., Vu Noodles and Pearl Island Catering in the Jefferson School Café, Iron Paffles and Coffee, Snowing in Space Coffee Co., Mama Meals at Charlottesville Cooking School and Oliva.
For going on a week-and-a-half we’ve been waiting, watching the weather, hoping for the perfect combination of conditions that will spark an explosion of hidden life bursting from the forest floor. “Morel mushrooms are notoriously fickle,” explains 33-year-old Loren Mendosa, Lampo Neapolitan
Join us for our annual Oyster Roast! We will be serving up bushels and bushels of fresh oysters to enjoy alongside Lemongrass Wit, our official Oyster Roast brew. Live music by Full Moon Saloon and Scott Slay and the Rail. The event will be held rain or shine (hopefully shine!) in our outdoor
It was while working at Jefferson Vineyards that Jake Busching had his aha wine moment. His epiphany, the Jefferson Vineyards 1998 cabernet franc made by Michael Shaps, remains a true bellwether for Virginia wine—“That’s the one that hooked me,” Busching says. Once he made the connection in his
Calling all cookie monsters: Found. Market Co. at 221 Carlton Rd. (the former Kathy’s Produce spot) is here for all of your cookie needs. In addition to functioning as a gathering space and remade furniture workshop, Found. is a bakehouse specializing in cookies—pick up some salted rosemary
NONPROFIT Run for Autism 5K Saturday, April 22 Families, including adults and children with disabilities, are invited to run or walk in support of the Virginia Institute of Autism. $25-45, 7:30am kids race, 8am 5K race. Charlottesville High School, 1400 Melbourne Rd. 923-8252. FAMILY Earth Day
You might say that neighborhoods are a little like snowflakes—no two are the same. At least, that’s true of Charlottesville, where you’ll find family-friendly Fry’s Spring bordering the student-lined sidewalks of JPA or the lavish homes in North Downtown near the storied streets of Starr Hill.
Fed and pampered Whoa, baby—there’s a new meal service in town. Inspired by requests from local moms who read Heng Ou’s The First Forty Days, a book about Ou’s experience being cared for post-birth by an herbalist aunt, the Charlottesville Cooking School is now offering Mama Meals, a program of
It definitely wasn’t there yesterday. She looked completely normal before bedtime, and now there’s an oozing 3″ sore over her left hip and she won’t let anybody near it. Some dog owners are all too familiar with this story, but if it’s your first time seeing a hot spot, it can be
Kathryn Matthews has been obsessed with American breakfast since she was a child, growing up in Grimsby, a small fishing town on the northeast coast of England. Her grandparents would sometimes take her on vacation to Florida, where they’d eat waffles and fluffy American pancakes, which are