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

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

Say goodbye to Positively 4th Street. The Downtown Mall spot that’s been serving up appetizers, sandwiches, and brunch since April 2011, will serve its last customers on Saturday, February 1. P4 will be replaced by Red Pump Kitchen, a Tuscan and Mediterranean restaurant featuring a classic Italian wood-burning oven. According to a press release from Easton & Porter Group LLC, Pippin Hill Farm owners Lynn Easton Andrews and Dean Porter Andrews—who also own Easton Events, an event planning company with locations in Charlottesville and Charleston, South Carolina—are joining forces with Coran Capshaw and Riverbend Management Inc.’s Alan Taylor, the owner of P4. The press release said the restaurant will feature local farm products, house-made pastas, charcuterie, and breads “to create dishes that are rooted in contemporary Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.” As for the beverages, expect a curated wine list featuring small production vineyards from around the world, especially local Virginia wineries. Red Pump’s projected opening is late April, 2014.

An acclaimed whiskey has arrived in Charlottesville. Belle Meade Bourbon was originally made at Charles Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Tennessee, before prohibition brought its production to an end nearly 100 years ago. Nelson’s great-great-great grandsons recently revived the brand, using a blend from the same distillery used by critics’ favorites like High West and Bulleit. Virginia has just become the 15th state in which Belle Meade is available. In addition to select ABC stores (including the Barracks Road Shopping Center location), Belle Meade will also appear at local restaurants like Beer Run and The Whiskey Jar.

Chef Ian Boden is back at it. Three months after bowing out of Glass Haus Kitchen (which now operates solely as an event venue), the chef recognized by The Washington Post last year as a “compelling case for plugging Charlottesville into your GPS” has opened up a new restaurant in Staunton. As of Friday, January 24, The Shack is officially open for business. On the menu are a grass-fed burger, a pastured lamb pastrami burger, yellow mustard sardinian gnocchi, and an array of sides like crispy Brussels sprouts and sweet potato tostones. No booze yet, but Boden is in the process of applying for a beer and wine license and hopes to have it by the middle of February. For more information about Staunton’s newest burger joint, visit www.facebook.com/theshacksva.

Don’t just set out any old crackers and hunks of fermented milk next time you’re hosting a house party. Wow your guests with a cheese plate specially curated to go with whatever wines you’re pouring. On Sunday, February 9, Blenheim Vineyards is hosting a workshop featuring cheesemonger Nadjeeb Chouaf of Flora Artisanal Cheese, who will teach the art of crafting the perfect cheese plate. The event begins at 3pm, and attendees will receive a slate cheese board, plus a 10 percent off coupon to Flora Artisanal Cheese. Regular priced tickets are $45, and it’s $35 for wine club members. E-mail tracey@blenheim vineyards.com to make reservations.

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.