MarieBetter: Bakery adds downtown location

Petite MarieBette debuts downtown with a new co-owner, Will Darsie, and lovely baked goods. 
Photo: Corbett Smithson Petite MarieBette debuts downtown with a new co-owner, Will Darsie, and lovely baked goods. Photo: Corbett Smithson

MarieBette Café & Bakery spin-off Petite MarieBette is now open at 105 E. Water St., offering coffee and baked goods (of course!), as well as breakfast sandwiches and grab-and-go lunch. Longtime MarieBette employee Will Darsie co-owns the new spot, and will manage it. The son of a chef (mom) and a farmer (dad), Darsie moved from his native California to Charlottesville in 2015. He found work at MarieBette, starting as a busboy and rising to general manager. “I never had any intention of working in this industry, but now I can’t see myself doing anything else,” Darsie says.

Music to your mouth

Prime 109 has a new menu available Wednesday nights to accompany weekly live jazz. Guests can enjoy a more casual midweek bite, while the cooks get to create “experimental dishes that don’t necessarily fit the structure of the dining room,” Executive Chef Ian Redshaw says. In keeping with the improvisational theme, the menu changes weekly. Past offerings have included housemade pastrami banh mi and an “octo dog”—octopus poached in olive oil and served on a Parker House-style hot dog bun with shishito peppers, shallots, harissa, and cilantro. Music, from 6-9pm, is courtesy of jazz trio Adam Larrabee, Brian Caputo, and Randall Pharr.

Winning spirit

For the third year in a row, Lovingston’s Virginia Distillery Co. has taken home a top prize at the U.K.-based World Whiskies Awards. The distillery’s Port Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky earned a medal for Best American Blended Malt, the same award it won in 2018. Aged in Virginia port-style wine barrels, the spirit blends American single-malt whiskey distilled on-site with single-malt whiskey from Scotland. In 2017, the distillery’s flagship Virginia-Highland Malt won Best American Single Malt.