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

Matt Greene of JM Stock Provisions & Supply, a local butcher shop that works with nearby farmers. Photo: Martyn Kyle/Pernmoot Photography Matt Greene of JM Stock Provisions & Supply, a local butcher shop that works with nearby farmers. Photo: Martyn Kyle/Pernmoot Photography

Ever wonder what exactly goes into sausage casings at your favorite butcher shop? On Sunday, April 6, the guys from JM Stock Provisions & Supply are teaming up with Blenheim Vineyards to share their secrets. The sausage-making class begins at 3pm at Blenheim, and the cost is $90 per person ($85 for wine club members). Buy your tickets ahead of time at www.blenheimvineyards.com.

On Friday, April 11, tavola is collaborating with Blenheim VineyardsStinson Vineyards, and Ankida Ridge for a winemaker dinner. The meal in tavola’s new 25-person event space will feature wines from each winery, starting with canapés for cocktail hour (6:30-7:30pm) and a three-course dinner. Tickets are $85 per person, and can be reserved at 972-9463 or at info@tavolavino.com.

It might be springtime, but it’s never too warm outside for chili. On Saturday, April 12, Main Street Arena is hosting the first annual Downtown Chili Showdown, a Tom Tom Founders Festival event that will raise funds for the new Ronald McDonald House of Charlottesville. Beginning at 11:30am, chili experts, from leading restaurant chefs to at-home cooks, will come together to compete for a chance to win titles in categories like audience choice, best booth, and best name. Trophies are designed by the children and families of the Ronald McDonald House. For more information, visit www.mainstarena.com. 

Shadwells Restaurant hasn’t been around that long, but it’s already teaming up with Keswick Vineyards for a “Taste of the Monticello Wine Trail Festival” winemaker’s dinner. On Friday, April 11, chef Travis Dotson and winemaker Stephen Barnard will present a four-course meal, paired with wines from Keswick. Tickets are $75 per person. For reservations call 202-2568.

Tom Tom Founders Festival is just around the corner, and the five days of festivities will not leave you hungry. Brookville, C&O, and The Ivy Inn will each offer special menus featuring local ingredients for Farm-to-table Restaurant Week. Block parties, like the one at McGuffey Art Center on Friday, April 11, will include local food trucks and a beer garden with Wild Wolf and New Belgium on tap. The next day, meet a group of local chefs at BON, adjacent to the City Market, and sample fresh juices and granola while learning about the local food industry. Tom Tom events also include a 2pm Friday discussion at The Haven on how Charlottesville’s food brand should look, and a presentation on Virginia’s craft beers at 2pm at The Haven on Saturday.

Well Hung Vineyard is finally able to show off its fruits. Wine tastings and products from Well Hung have previously been exclusive to festivals, the winery’s website, and local spots like Take It Away Sandwich Shop, Tastings, and Michie Tavern. But as of April 1, Well Hung wines will be available in the tasting room at Honah Lee Vineyard, located off Route 15 near Gordonsville. For more information visit www.wellhungvineyard.com.

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.

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