Local juice goes national, Savour relocates, and other restaurant news

File photo. File photo.

Cold-pressed is hot 

It’s been less than a year since 28-year-old Darden grad Hillary Lewis sold her first bottle of cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juice, and her products are already making their way to grocery shelves nationwide. Crafted here in Charlottesville, Lumi (which stands for Love yoU Mean It) Juice is 100 percent organic juice made from cold-pressed fruits and vegetables. A system called high-pressure processing uses extreme water pressure to preserve the nutrients and flavor of the ingredients, while giving the juice a a 40-day shelf life. Lumi hit the market in November 2013, and the company announced last week that as of September 1, it is the only cold-pressed juice offered at more than 100 Fresh Market grocery stores across the U.S. including the one in the Albemarle Square Shopping Center. It’s also offered in Safeways on the East Coast, Mid-Atlantic Whole Foods, and through Relay Foods, the Charlottesville-based online grocery service. But no matter how wide Lumi’s distribution circle gets, juice names like Belmont Beet and Wahoo Orange keep it close to home.

Beer and a movie

For the fifth year in a row, New Belgium Brewing Company is traveling around the U.S., showcasing its most esoteric beers paired with short films created by fans in the New Belgium Clips Beer and Film Tour. The stop in Charlottesville is Friday, September 12, at Washington Park. It begins at 7:30pm, and all proceeds will benefit Better World Betty and the Charlottesville Area Mountain Biking Club.

Savour scales down

Savour Restaurant owner-chef Ed Nafei closed the doors of his 140-seat Emmet Street space this past spring. A nebulous outgoing message on the gourmet restaurant’s voicemail implied that a new endeavor may be on the horizon, but we haven’t heard much from the guys over there since the April closing. But last week we caught wind of Nafei’s plan for Savour, and it turns out he’s moving it east to join forces with a nearby bed and breakfast.

Doc and Paula Findley, owners of Prospect Hill Plantation Inn Bed and Breakfast in Louisa County, were searching for a way to revamp the 18th century inn’s restaurant, which traditionally only served meals two nights a week.

“That model lends itself well to being a special occasion-type restaurant,” Doc Findley said. “Our overnight guests love it, but Prospect Hill is too beautiful of a location with too fabulous of a history to only be serving dinner two nights a week.”

Findley said the goal was to drum up enough bed and breakfast business to warrant a nightly dinner service. When he and Nafei met this summer, the timing seemed right for everyone involved.

“I wanted something smaller, more intimate,” Nafei said.

The restaurant located inside the inn will be rebranded as Savour Prospect Hill, and Nafei said guests will recognize a lot of menu items and concepts from the original restaurant, like couscous-stuffed quail, North African Merguez lamb sausage, and curry scallops.

Nafei’s first day in the new space’s kitchen was Friday, August 29. For the remainder of September the restaurant will maintain its Friday-Saturday schedule, but starting in October, the new Savour will serve dinner seven nights a week.

Buffet blues? 

Peking Chinese Restaurant was the only Downtown spot that offered a cheap pan-Asian lunch buffet, offering all the classics like miso soup, sushi rolls, vegetable lo mein, and General Tso’s chicken, plus fruit, dessert, and sodas. A sign appeared in the window last week announcing that Peking has closed, and the space is available for lease. The good news is, it’s relocating and rebranding. Keep an eye on the old Dragon Lady Chinese location on Ivy Road, where Osaka Eastern Hibachi officially opened for business on Saturday, September 6.

Hot off the presses

Our Local Commons, an online food resource for Charlottesville that reaches “beyond the flavor” to tell the stories behind local food, has just published its second book. Co-founders and photographers Andrea Hubbell and Sarah Cramer Shields work with a team of writers and food enthusiasts to compile narratives about local chefs, farmers, bakers, and other craftspeople in the food and drink world. Our Local Commons—Charlottesville, is a softbound book with 160 pages of photographs, recipes, interviews, and stories. It includes feature-length stories about grass-fed beef, the relationship between a farmer and a caterer, a local nonprofit that teaches city youth about nutrition and cooking skills, coffee roasting, and Piedmont Virginia Community College’s culinary arts program. To order the book (or last year’s Volume I), visit www.ourlocalcommons.com/book.


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