Overheard on the restaurant scene: this week’s food and drink news

Mudhouse is offering behind-the-scenes access for five lucky winners who find golden tickets in their bags of whole bean coffee. File photo Mudhouse is offering behind-the-scenes access for five lucky winners who find golden tickets in their bags of whole bean coffee. File photo

We’re always keeping our eyes and ears out for the latest news in Charlottesville’s food and drink scene, so pick up a paper and check c-ville.com/living each week for the latest Small Bites. Have a scoop for Small Bites? E-mail us at bites@c-ville.com.

You probably won’t find Oompa Loompas or a chocolate river at any of Charlottesville’s coffee shops, but what you might find is a golden ticket inside a bag of whole bean coffee from Mudhouse. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Mudhouse is hiding Wonka-style golden tickets in five coffee bags, each entitling the winner to free whole bean coffee for one year and a private cupping with Mudhouse owners John and Lynelle Lawrence. The five lucky ticket finders will also be invited to the Mudhouse roasting lab in Charlottesville for a behind-the-scenes tour and private roasting demonstration.

Remember when we announced that Ian Boden was leaving town and Glass Haus would close its restaurant doors? Now, two weeks later, there’s talk of a pop-up restaurant an hour down I-64. According to The Richmond Times Dispatch, Glass Haus’ former sous chef Mike Yager—who left Charlottesville and relocated to Richmond this summer—said two different Richmond restaurants have offered up their kitchens to Boden for a pop-up in December. This wouldn’t be Boden’s first time in Richmond; he participated in a group chef dinner at Richmond’s Secco Wine Bar earlier this year, and worked with The Roosevelt’s Lee Gregory at a spring winery dinner.

It’s been a year since The Shops at Stonefield made its debut with a small handful of restaurants and retailers. On Saturday, November 9, Palette—a local lifestyle shop featuring area artisans—will open its doors in the shopping center. Designed as an “incubator space,” Palette’s first round of local retailers include Sweet Haus Cupcakes and Family Ties and Pies. Some stores may ask you to pitch the coffee cup before coming inside, but Palette encourages shoppers to sip coffee or enjoy a pastry while browsing. Cider Week Virginia (November 15-24) is just around the corner, and apple enthusiasts from Ashland to Roanoke are prepping for pairings, workshops, and sit-down dinners. The first event in Charlottesville will be on Sunday, November 17 at Meriwether Vineyards. Event company Hill & Holler, along with Pippin Hill chef Amalia Scatena will bring you an array of dim sum-style small plates with ciders from Foggy Ridge, Albemarle Ciderworks, Castle Hill, Blue Bee, and Potter’s Craft.