Jenny Gardiner



“I met a man who had worked in restaurants his whole life but had had a stroke and lost all ability to use his hands. This struck me to the core—this could be me," says Duner’s executive chef Laura Fonner, who recently launched a program to provide PACEM clients with home-cooked dinners every Tuesday night. Photo by Jackson Smith

Dinner is served: Chef brings women together to help the homeless

Duner’s executive chef Laura Fonner has spearheaded a drive to provide chef-driven, home-cooked suppers for PACEM—an organization that provides cold-weather shelter for the homeless—each Tuesday throughout the winter months. She was inspired to take action after helping to serve at a PACEM dinner late last winter. “I met a man who had worked in restaurants […]

Charlottesville native Angelic Jenkins is selling crave-worthy fried fish from her new food truck.
Photo: Amy Jackson Smith

Fried fish on the go: A new business takes off

Angelic’s Kitchen On Wheels food truck has taken to the streets, a mere four years since owner Angelic Jenkins began cooking professionally, after her husband urged her to find a hobby other than shopping. “I love cooking for people and always wanted to sell fried fish at a festival,” Jenkins says, “So I started off […]

North American Sake Brewery co-owners Jeremy Goldstein and Andrew Centofante go through roughly 6,000 pounds of rice a month to brew their specialty sake. Photo by Amy Jackson Smith

Sake to me: Falling in love with rice wine

For North American Sake Brewery co-owner Jeremy Goldstein, it wasn’t a trip to Japan but a visit back home to California that inspired his new venture. “I’d never had ‘craft’ sake, but I went to this amazing restaurant with a sake sommelier and had a whole different experience than I’d had before with the heated […]

Chicken and waffles with a habanero-maple syrup are on the brunch menu at Junction, which will serve brunch from 10:30am to 2:30pm Saturdays and Sundays. Photo by Morgan Salyer

Egging ’em on: Junction’s now serving a bruncheon

Belmont’s Junction is delving into the weekend world of bracing bloodies and merciful mimosas with the launch of a brunch service. Executive chef Melissa Close-Hart says the demand was there for it, and the timing right. “We thought about doing brunch from the beginning,” she says. “We tried it out on holidays, like Easter and […]

Prime 109, the Downtown Mall steakhouse that’s the brainchild of the team behind Lampo Neapolitan Pizzeria, is slated to open later this month. Image: Signe Clayton

Raising the steaks: Downtown steakhouse is primed for launch

Prime 109, the much-anticipated local-farm-centered steakhouse located in the former Bank of America building on the Downtown Mall, opens this month after nearly two years of planning and design. The restaurant is the brainchild of the Lampo Neapolitan Pizzeria team of Ian Redshaw, Loren Mendosa, Andrew Cole, Shelly Robb, and Mitchell Beerens, and it will […]

Bryant’s Cider officially opens its production and tasting room this weekend. Bryant's crafts its cider using traditional methods, with natural carbonation and no artificial ingredients. Photo by Jerry Thornton

We’ll toast to that: New cidery set to open in September

Bryant’s Cider will open a production and tasting room Labor Day weekend in Roseland. Set amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains in a rustic, all-original 19th-century barn with hand-carved logs and original architectural features, the tasting room will feature Bryant’s hand-crafted hard ciders, which are produced using fresh-pressed Nelson County apples from the cidery’s own farm. […]

Sicily Rose, which opens at IX Art Park in September, will feature made-to-order cannoli and a full-scale Italian coffee bar. Photo by Tom McGovern

Take the cannoli: A New York state of mind leads to Sicily Rose

Milli Joe owner Nick Leichtentritt has always had a special place in his heart for simple Italian cannoli, and he’s planning to bring his favorite dessert to Charlottesville at Sicily Rose, an Italian coffee and cannoli bar opening in September in the Studio IX space. “Sicily Rose is a project I’ve actually been working on […]

Timbercreek Market and its affiliated restaurant, Back 40, have closed, but chef Tucker Yoder (pictured) has turned his attention to a big bike ride. Photo by Amy Jackson

On to greener pastures?

Was it really only a year ago that Timbercreek Market in the old Coca-Cola building on Preston Avenue was revamped, split into a retail farm store on one end and Back 40, the farm-to-fork restaurant manned by chef Tucker Yoder, on the other? Both spots have closed, and there’s no word yet on what’s next […]

With Patisserie Torres, Fleurie’s Serge Torres (right) and Brian Helleberg have joined forces to raise the stakes in the bakery game. Photo by Tom McGovern.

A French-inspired patisserie opens on the Downtown Mall

Serge Torres and Brian Helleberg are joining forces to bring a taste of Provence to the Downtown Mall. The Fleurie pastry chef (Torres) and owner (Helleberg) have opened Patisserie Torres on Third Street NE, directly across from Fleurie Restaurant, in the space once occupied by Cappellino’s Crazy Cakes. The patisserie is the culmination of Helleberg’s […]

Each Tuesday at New Roots Farm, a group of IRC volunteers works together to cultivate 
a community garden that supports refugee food security. Recent heavy rains have taken a hard toll on the farm.
Photo by Eze Amos

Dinner fundraiser to recoup New Roots’ flood loss

A crowning achievement for the International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville has been the New Roots urban farm, the more than eight-acre stretch of land abutting Azalea Park that has served as a resource for many refugees who have resettled in the Charlottesville community in recent years. But the heavy rains that plagued Charlottesville in late May […]

Photo by Eze Amos.

New owner at Tavern & Grocery and more restaurant news

New owner at Tavern & Grocery Tavern & Grocery has changed hands, with its recent acquisition by Ashley Sieg, whose family has had a hand in the local food and hospitality scene over the years, including the now-shuttered Water Street and its predecessor, Tempo. Sieg, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, has been involved […]

Free Union Grass Farm's duck features prominently in a new dish at The Clifton. Photo by Tom McGovern

The Clifton’s facelift includes a renewed focus on the food

By Jenny Gardiner The Clifton Inn is undergoing a season of renewal—and a name change to The Clifton. New owners the Westmont Capital Group brought in the coveted design team from Tennessee’s posh Blackberry Farm to put a fresh face on the property, and capped it off by hiring Michelin-starred executive chef Matthew Bousquet, who […]