'It's a good thing'

Tony Bonanno has staying power. Sure, he’s been out of the restaurant game for three years, but the one-time Northern Exposure chef has spent two months renovating his new Ruckersville restaurant, Tony Gees. 

Tony Gees’ owner Tony Bonanno is back in the restaurant biz after a long stint at Northern Exposure as executive chef. Bonanno says his new eatery brings some stiff competition for other Greene County restaurants.

Longtime locals remember Bonanno’s former post for its Big Apple-themed décor and its Italian-American cuisine. And some may even remember that the restaurant was sold to Coran Capshaw, who backed Chuck Adcock’s renovation of the space to transform it into 12th Street Taphouse.

But, that’s history. Bonanno says Tony Gees will be something new for him. Hoping to give Greene County folks more dining options, the longtime restaurateur will offer Italian food with a Continental infusion. There’ll be sandwiches and burgers, but Bonanno also plans to throw in steaks and seafood and traditional Italian treats like tiramisu and cannoli. 

By the time you read this, Tony Gees should be open for business. And, if Northern Exposure’s 13-year run is any indication, it’s here to stay. “Coming back,” Bonannon says, “for me, it’s a good thing.”

Stonefired up

And in other new restaurant news, former Palladio Restaurant sous chef Jeremy Butterfield left the Barboursville restaurant to start his own business. Butterfield’s latest project, Stonefire Kitchen, is a deli and wine bar at the intersection of Rtes. 20 and 33. Backed by Butterfield and former Oregano Joe’s owner Carl Tremaglio, Stonefire offers Italian cuisine, patio seating and picnic basket lunches. For more information, visit stonefirestation.com.

See food?

Listen up, local foodies: Think you know your Charlottesville restaurants inside and out? The Seasonal Cook is putting us all—Restaurantarama included—to the test with its “Name That Restaurant” competition. The folks at Seasonal Cook show you a picture from inside a local eatery and you guess the location. If you’re right, you could win gift certificates and store discounts. Once TSC’s blog is up and running, you can learn more there. But, for now, visit The Seasonal Cook on Facebook to get a leg up on the competition.

No wining…yet

Here’s a bit of news from the Corner: Café Europa, the Greek/Mediterranean restaurant on West Main, will soon serve wine. Currently, the café offers a selection of beer, but owner Fotio Vavelidis says he’s applied for a license to serve vino as well. We wonder, does moussaka pair better with red or white?

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