After a consulting gig at Commonwealth Restaurant & Sky Bar, Harrison Keevil is back full-time at Keevil & Keevil, with some new ideas for the store he co-owns with his wife Jennifer.
“We’re bringing back the guest sandwiches —where I ask friends what their dream sandwich is and try to make it come to life with local ingredients,” Keevil says. He’ll start with a take on Charlottesville native/UVA grad Mason Hereford’s famed bologna sandwich.
Hereford’s New Orleans sandwich shop, Turkey and the Wolf, was voted Bon Appetit’s best restaurant in America in 2017, and was also a James Beard finalist for best new restaurant that year. He’s famed for turning your average sandwich into a work of wonder.
“Mason asked us to make an all-Virginia version of his fried bologna sandwich,” Keevil says. Hereford shared a family recipe for mustard, which will be mixed with Duke’s mayonnaise. The bologna is made from local grass-fed beef, the bread comes from Albemarle Baking Company, and it’s all topped off with Route 11 Potato Chips.
Other chefs with guest sandwich offerings in the months to come will include Jason Alley, owner of Pasture and Comfort in Richmond, and Trigg Brown, formerly of Ten and Blue Light, and now co-owner of Win Son, a Taiwanese-American restaurant in Brooklyn.
The chef whose sandwiches sell the most during this multi-month smackdown will make a $500 donation to the charity of his choice, and Keevil & Keevil will then match the donation for Therapeutic Adventures, in honor of a friend of Harrison’s who passed away last summer and had lived a very full life with only one leg.
Keevil says they’ve got some other new things brewing at the shop, including seasonally focused sandwiches and pick up/takeaway dinners.
“We’ll do some beef bourguignon, lasagna, and some more heartier stuff during the winter, keeping an eye on the weather,” he says. “If it’s going to warm up, we’ll do some lighter stuff, and if it’s colder, we’ll do more braising. We’ll have delicious stuff people can grab and take home to feed their family. Now that I’m back in the kitchen full-time, I have a lot of ideas and energy and a lot of new time to dedicate to creating delicious food here.”
So long, farewell to Jose De Brito
After a year at the helm of Fleurie’s kitchen, esteemed local chef Jose De Brito is leaving to return home to Washington, Virginia, where he and his wife settled when he worked at the Inn at Little Washington.
De Brito, who at times could be as professionally elusive as Peter Chang once was, rose to prominence when he headed the kitchen at The Alley Light, earning praise in the food world with his French cuisine.
Fleurie owner Brian Helleberg says he hates to lose a gifted chef but understood his need to return home.
“Chef Jose had been keeping an apartment in Charlottesville for the work week and was missing his wife and home in Little Washington,” he says. “It was certainly a privilege to have him as the chef and although I’ll miss his presence, I’ll look forward to continuing our friendship.”
Helleberg says Fleurie is in good hands with Joe Walker, the new chef de cuisine.
“Walker is going to surprise some people when they see just how good he is,” he says. “Chef Joe has been immersed in great kitchen culture and Michelin star food his whole career, and I think Jose would be the first to agree that his ceiling isn’t even visible from here.”
No sweet ending for Sweethaus
Sweethaus, the sole remaining cupcakery in Charlottesville, unceremoniously closed its doors days before Christmas with no explanation. The store’s other two locations, in Ivy and Brooklyn, appear to have closed as well.
A little nookie
The Nook is under new management, sort of, after owner Stu Rifkin sold his share of the business to longtime co-owner Gina Wood.
More downtown pastries on the way
Looks like MarieBette’s satellite shop on Water Street should be opened by the end of the month. Co-owner Jason Becton said they fell behind due to some contractor issues, but are hoping for a late-January launch.