Overheard on the restaurant scene…This week’s food news (September 9)


Pad ped from Thai '99. Photo: Elli Williams. Pad ped from Thai ’99. Photo: Elli Williams.

Let’s get right to the national buzz meter: Six Charlottesville restaurants have been accepted to participate in this fall’s Taste America Local Dish event, held by the James Beard Foundation, one of the nation’s premier culinary organizations. Throughout September and October, select restaurants around the country will create one dish that conveys their area’s local cuisine, and donate the proceeds from sales to the James Beard Foundation’s educational efforts. The Charlottesville restaurants are: Brookville, Clifton Inn, Fossett’s, Glass Haus Kitchen, Ivy Inn, and Tempo. Details of each dish will appear on the food website The Charlottesville 29 (charlottesville29.com).

The duo behind Boylan Heights, JR Hadley and Alan Taylor, recently opened Toro’s Tacos on The Corner. The concept includes 30 tequilas, tacos (duh), Luchador matches, and margaritas from 4pm-2am, Monday through Sunday. Ben Loquet is managing the bar and is the man behind the margarita and cocktail list, which boasts potential. No website yet, but it’s on Facebook.

Eddie Keomahathai, owner of the popular Thai ’99 on Fontaine Avenue and Bangkok ’99 in Crozet, recently opened Bangkok ’99 II Thai Cuisine & Bar in the Village Green Shopping Center, where he’ll be serving the same authentic Thai cuisine that put his previous restaurants high on the list of local favorites. Check it out at bangkok99usa.com.

Now & Zen will host another pop-up noodle bar where chef Toshi Sato will be slinging his addictive ramen on Sunday, September 22 and Monday, September 23. Prepare for it to be busy as he makes a damn good bowl of noodles. Hopefully the back dining room will be open again by that time.

Speaking of legends of their craft, Nick Crutchfield of Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar has outdone himself behind the bar again, serving nitrous cocktails on draft. He’s tried a few thus far, including a cuba libre, dark & stormy, and currently the El Diablo, which is comprised of tequila blanco, hellfire shrub, lime, cassis, and fresh jalapeno. The nitrous pour gives the cocktail a unique freshness and light spritz. Do you really need another excuse to visit their bar?