Restaurantarama



Italian stylin’

Italian stylin’

Spring is upon us, and that means one thing to Restaurantarama—alfresco dining! Ah—the breeze, the buskers, the poor food servers trying to negotiate pedestrian traffic on the Mall—these are the things we dream about all winter long. One of the many popular Mall patios, of course, is the centrally located outdoor seating of Sal’s Caffe […]

Beef’d up

Beef’d up

Where’s the Prime beef? You may be asking yourself this question. Turns out, the USDA’s grading for top-quality beef—after Prime, it’s Choice, then Select, then…you don’t really want to know—isn’t readily available around here. There are probably two reasons for that: One, it’s not readily available anywhere—only about 3 percent of beef produced in this […]

Restaurant for the rest of us

Restaurant for the rest of us

By the time you read this, our newest restaurant, The Local, will have opened to the public. Restaurantarama stopped by during the final days of opening preparations to get a bit more dish on this latest dining addition to the Belmont area. Despite being bleary-eyed from his previous night’s soft opening for friends and family, […]

Just Curry to become just CVS?

Just Curry to become just CVS?

By now, you’ve probably heard that a CVS/pharmacy is looking to stake a claim on the Corner. Last week our own John Ruscher reported on c-ville.com that the owner of the Anderson Brothers Building, which houses Satellite Ballroom, Plan 9, Higher Grounds and Just Curry, confirmed that the chain store giant has been scoping out […]

Banzai!

Banzai!

We’ve been covering the coming of this tiny eatery on Second Street SE since last fall. That’s when the space’s previous iteration as Atomic Burrito closed and the business was sold, and Restaurantarama for one was really bummed. For such an itty bitty place, Atomic was generous with the portions as well as the vibe—thanks […]

Juicy fruit

Juicy fruit

The Kiki’s cat is out of the bag—yes, it has been sold by Jeannie Brown to her former partner, Michael Fitzgerald. The latter helped launch the swank spot for late-night lounging and sipping of naturally fruity cocktails back in 2005, but he left the business after about six months and has spent the last few […]

New night owl

New night owl

When economic times are tough, morals often go out the window. Think of the repeal of blue laws, for instance. Well, with the current cash crises, it’s now a little blue house that’s going to the dark side, so to speak. Martha’s Café on Elliewood Avenue is getting ready to join in the debauchery of […]

Veggin’ out

Veggin’ out

Since we’ve been talking a lot about animal parts these last weeks, we thought it probably was appropriate to spend some time on the other side of the barbed wire fence—with you non-animal-part-eating people. As luck would have it, Mellow Mushroom owner John Adamson called this week to tell us that the Charlottesville location of […]

Pupu on you

Pupu on you

Last week we brought news of chicken gizzards and livers. This week we bring tidings of beef legs and hoofs. And you thought the cast of “Survivor” ate exotic fare! She’s got the touch: Carolina Sanchez of Cazon Tropical Restaurant and Pupuseria prepares a Central American-style corn tortilla. Nope, it’s little ol’ Charlottesville that came […]

Brewing up food

Brewing up food

Some people view beer as a food group. You know the type—the ones who prefer to drink their lunches and consume a good portion of their weekly caloric intake in pale ales and porters.

Designing for diners

Designing for diners

First lesson in restaurant design: Nothing ever starts on time. Ted Nelson has that one down now. He and his partner, Ben Dagitz, of Design Build Office, are designing the new location of Aroma’s Café in the Barracks Road Shopping Center. It’s the first restaurant project for the one-and-a-half-year-old firm started by Nelson and Dagitz, […]

Kitchen kids

Kitchen kids

They aren’t top chefs just yet, but the high school kids in the Culinary Arts program at CATEC (Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center) are No. 1 in our hearts right now. Here’s why: Thanks to a class project that began in November 2007 called “One year of Blessing, Caring, and Thanksgiving to people in need, […]

Holiday hideout

Holiday hideout

We made a big mistake when we stopped by Beer Run late afternoon on Christmas Eve to chat with co-owner and daily operations guy John Woodriff. We were interested in checking out the place now that it has been open for a few weeks and finding out from Woodriff how things were going at this […]

Family affair

Family affair

We’re not ones to feed stereotypes—usually. But we think it’s a shame if a big Italian family saves all of its spaghetti for itself and doesn’t share its genetic predisposition toward premier pasta-making with the general public. So it’s about time that the Oliva family has chosen to get out of their own kitchens and […]

Republic of Belmont

Republic of Belmont

First they got themselves a coffee shop (La Taza), then a jazz club (Saxx), the Bridge/ Progressive Arts Institute, their own BBQ spot and now a neighborhood wine and cheese shop. Some call it Soho, some call them Bobos (Bourgeois Bohemians, that is)—but we just call them damn lucky for living within walking distance of […]

Let the sun shine

Let the sun shine

"Bodo’s knows nothing about ‘coming soon.’" That’s how Chaps’ owner Tony LaBua responded to us when we inquired this summer about his plans to renovate Chaps’ front façade. Of course, LaBua is referring to the now infamous sign (that, in fact, only said "Coming") indicating Bodo’s Bagel Bakery‘s pending expansion to the Corner, which remained […]

Game on

Game on

‘Tis the season for food-centered holiday rituals, most of which involve gorging on gravy-flooded, carb-infested, stick-to-your ribs, I-don’t-have-to-worry about-showing-off-my-thighs-for-another-eight-months kind of food. ‘Tis truly a wonderful, guilt-free cultural phenomenon that not even an episode of "The Biggest Loser" could impede. And for many, all of this gluttonous seasonal eating goes oh so well with another […]

Kitchen comebacks

Kitchen comebacks

Clinton Minor will be counting his blessings this Thanksgiving. Why? Because the doors of his Scottsville café, Minor’s Diner, are still open.  And if you know what’s been going on in Scottsville this past year, you know that just being open for business is cause for celebration. You see, the road has been bumpy for […]

Smell of success

Smell of success

For someone with French culinary school chops and experience running and owning restaurants all over the world—from Cape Town to Montreal and California to Hawaii—Hassan Kaisoum pretty much created a recipe for disaster at his Aroma’s Café & Catering in the Fontaine Research Park. Here were his ingredients for cooking up a Moroccan/Mediterranean dining den […]

Rumor mill

Rumor mill

As both the source and the sounding board for all things food in this town, Restaurantarama works tirelessly on your behalf to decipher inside scoop from mere scuttlebutt. Typically, we save you, the reader, from the untruths and exaggerations that little birds whisper to us, but this week, we thought we’d let you in on […]

The grape vine

It’s a wine, wine, wine, wine world out there these days. New wineries are popping up left and right (the current Monticello Wine Trail count is 24), area restaurants are getting all savvy and Wine Spectator-approved about their wine lists [see our August 14 column on the impressively long list of spots that made the […]

Primer amor

Primer amor

Melissa Easter is a bit of a victim of her own success. The owner of the 2-year-old La Taza Coffee House in Belmont has been seducing crowds with her Latin-inspired full menu—breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week—and cooking up her hot and spicy dishes for the cool jazz cats at Saxx Jazz and […]

Kickin’ butt

Kickin’ butt

It’s no secret that Northern Exposure went south this year. The 13-year old W. Main Street establishment stopped serving regular meals in January, less than a year after rolling out a new menu under the new ownership of dining darling Coran Capshaw. Back then, longtime Northern manager Jeff Hale told us that going forward the […]