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

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File photo. File photo.

Korean BBQ taco joint in the making on Emmet

The owner of sweetFrog is moving into the old Arch’s spot on Emmet Street, but he’s not bringing frozen yogurt. Founder of the nation-wide froyo empire with the name that stands for “Fully Rely On God,” Derek Cha plans to unveil Zzaam! Fresh Korean Grill by the end of July.

Zzaam! will serve up freshly grilled meats (and tofu) in tacos, rice bowls, salads, noodle bowls, lettuce wraps, and even sliders. The free-range chicken, beef, and pork will be cooked in traditional Korean marinades, and, “similar to the Chipotle model,” guests will move on down the line, choosing from different vegetables, toppings, and sauces to build their meals. Toppings will include Chinese-style broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, carrots, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and spicy sauces that Cha promises have a “light kick that goes away quickly and doesn’t linger.”

“It’s authentic Korean food with a slightly Mexican twist,” Cha said. “Charlottesville is into new, fresh concepts, and quick-serve healthy food with a lot of taste. It’s the perfect market to start this.”

If you absolutely can’t wait another three months before getting your hands on some Korean tacos at the restaurant, Cha has already launched a Zzaam! food truck. It’s currently making a name for itself in Richmond, but keep an eye out for it on the Charlottesville streets between now and July.

Early Mountain Vineyards rolls out new summer wine

Looking for something new to sip on a sunny weekend? Early Mountain Vineyards announced last week that it is now serving its 2013 merlot rosé, which features notes of strawberries, melon, and fresh fennel. It’s available by the bottle at the Marketplace and at www.store.earlymountain.com for $18. The rosé is the first of a long line of new wines coming from Early Mountain, including a late spring release of a 2013 pinot gris, an early summer debut of a 2012 eluvium, and a 2013 merlot coming in mid-summer.

Early Mountain’s chef Jenn Crovato is also introducing new springtime menu options, like a Tall Cotton Farms chicken panini with Moonshiner’s BBQ sauce, grilled red onions, and Mountain View cheddar.

Richmond to host regional food writing workshop

Calling all aspiring food writers! Real Richmond Food Tours owners Susan Winiecki and Maureen Egan will host the Mid-Atlantic Food Writers Symposium June 20-22, which will feature panels of nationally known cookbook authors, bloggers, and food stylists, like Matt Gross from Bon Apetit and Bonnie Benwick of the Washington Post. Panel topics include “how to cook up a book” and “feeding the beast that is social media,” plus a few lucky attendees will get to take a master class with James Beard finalist Todd Kliman. Tickets cost $350. To order online, visit www.midatlanticfoodwriters. com/register.

We’re always keeping our eyes and ears out for the latest news on 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.

  • RO

    looks like C’vill-ian brewing is now open?

    • FSB

      Yeah… don’t be in a hurry to go there. Really nice guy, but he’s got absolutely no idea what he’s doing operating a brewery. The beer is… um…. interesting?

      Shame, really. Coulda been so much more.

  • leTigre

    How, pray tell, are Korean Tacos a “new, fresh concept.” Every day, this “world class city” looks more and more like Fairfax’s dorky country cousin who is a few years behind in its fashion tastes.

    Next thing you know our “foodie” writers will be raving about some new “small plates” joint….

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