Overheard on the restaurant scene… This week’s foodie news (August 12)

SMALL BITES

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File photo. File photo.

We’ve been so focused on what’s on our plates recently that we’ve missed a few openings and closings. For starters, Shadwells Restaurant is open at 1791 Richmond Rd. (in front of the Hilton Garden Inn). Chef Jabari Wadlington’s menu is focused on Chesapeake seafood and hand-cut steaks, and draws inspiration from Thomas Jefferson’s local food affinities. The menu and mission are driven by quality at affordable prices, with nothing more than $25. The grand opening was Sunday, August 11, but lasts another 10 days in an effort to spread the word about lunch, brunch, and dinner service seven days a week. Try the notable Arrak punch, which is another story altogether. Call 202-2568 for details.

And speaking of Shadwell, Mulberry Station—The General Store at Shadwell opened August 5 and is fully stocked with convenience items, fresh deli selections, specialty sandwiches, rotisserie chickens, salads, and whole pizzas. It’s open at 5am for the early-morning commute, too, fueling you with coffee, made-to-order omelets, and pre-made breakfast biscuits. The gas station will stay open 24 hours, and the store from 5am-8pm daily. The team of owners—John Nelson, Kent Hoy, and Jeff Sprouse, who also owns the Brownsville Store and Tavern on the James—bring many years of expertise to the business.

And as for closings, we’ve recently said goodbye to Camino, next to Vinegar Hill Theatre (which is, sadly, also now closed). Ann Porotti put the building up for sale, making lease renewal difficult for restaurant owner Drew Hart.

Also closed is gourmet hot dog spot Big Dawgz on the Corner. The restaurant’s Facebook page says it’s not giving up, though, and will try the concept again at a later date.

Flora Artisanal Cheese is joining forces with Nick Leichtentritt, owner and head barista at Milli Joe Coffee & Gelato, where Whole Foods cheesemonger Nadjeeb Chouaf will open an artisanal cheese counter in the back of the shop. Chouaf was inspired by Leichtentritt’s passion for serving the best quality coffee, and decided to follow suit with a fresh cheese counter, with all cheeses cut and wrapped to order. His mission is to “broaden the cheese horizons of the people of Charlottesville, raise appreciation and understanding of good cheeses, how they are made and how they are best presented and paired.” The counter will open August 31 at 400 Preston Ave. The website is coming soon, but call (703) 505-9396 if you want more info.

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