Posts Tagged ‘ eats ’

Tavola

What it is: Relatively new restaurant in Belmont specializing in rustic Italian food, open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner, starting at 5pm.  Focuses on local and seasonal foods, so menu sometimes varies slightly.  They also have an extensive wine list.  See their website for a sample menu.

http://www.tavolavino.com/

Why it’s rad: Charlottesville has no other good Italian food.  In fact, I’m not even going to give Charlottesville that much credit.  We have terrible Italian food, unless you go to Tavola.  Delicious antipasti, especially the antipasti misti (meat and cheese plate), and consistantly well prepared pasta and entrees, such as the  hanger steak and fried veal chop.  The dining area is small and comfortable, and also includes an awesome bar if you just want to go for drinks.   The staff is also made up of extremely nice people who do nothing but be awesome.  Tavola is not exactly cheap, but you are paying for good Italian food made out of good and often ingredients, not a mess of cheese and red sauce.  Don’t eat Italian food out anywhere else in Charlottesville unless you want to make me and yourself sad.

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TACOS!-La Michoacana

What it is: A small taqueria (really small, as in pretty much just this window and a door and a continually packed, equally tiny parking lot) that serves authentic tacos, burritos, and quesadillas (and inauthentic ones too, if that’s your thing).  Located at 1138 E High St, not far from the downtown mall. Open Tuesday through Saturday–I have been disappointed many a Monday.

Why it’s rad: There isn’t too much to say about this charming hole in the wall taqueria except for TWO DOLLAR TACOS!  Which are some of the best, most satisfying things I’ve ever eaten.  A variety of meats and vegetarian fillings and toppings to choose from, though I usually get them Mexicana style, which is just onions, cilantro and lime.  They also make their own tortillas, which are available to purchase on Saturdays only, if you want to have your own taco night.  They also have Mexican coke for sale (Coke made from real sugar, no corn syrup, bottled in Mexico), which is delicious and kills the heat perfectly if you choose an overly-spicy salsa.

Mas

What it is: A restaurant serving a varied menu of Spanish tapas (small plates), focusing on slow food, and organic and locally sourced food.  Located in Belmont at 501 Monticello Road.  Check out there menu here:

http://www.mastapas.com/tapas/

Why it’s rad: I have never felt sad when eating something at Mas.  From the start of the meal (always a plate of assorted olives), to whatever dishes I end up selecting, I never feel let down.  Their dishes are unique and good quality. I don’t want to eat food in a restaurant that tastes like I could have made it.  Anything beyond that, atmosphere, appearance, are all superfluous, really, but I must admit, I love the dining style at Mas.  You order as many small dishes as appeal to you, and they are put on the table and shared by everyone, which is arguably the best way to eat–it’s intimate, casual, and lets everyone enjoy whatever dishes they like most.

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Blue Moon Diner

What It Is: A hipster-fabulous restaurant parading as a diner, with a solid selection or burgers, sandwiches, and breakfast foods.  Located on West Main Street (not too far from the ABC store, maybe you’ve seen it.)

Why It’s Rad: I have to confess.  There is a part of me that hates this place.  It’s the shameful, secret, hidden hipster part of me.  A “diner” decorated with retro editions of board games, local art, and vinyl galore and too much chrome, AND serves PBR AND hosts local musicians for small, intimate shows?  It’s all too telling.  Blue Moon Diner reflects too clearly what I am and what I enjoy,* and I am ashamed.

All that being said, it’s a goddamn adorable place.  Just look at this picture, which is poorly representative but still manages to be appealing enough:

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