Charlottesville dining is highlighted throughout the nation by food critics for having a robust and fast-paced scene. What's the latest news in Charlottesville dining? Here are some what's new in Charlotteville food:
New Life for Vivace
Vivace, an Italian staple run by Tom and Beth Lippmann for 20 years, announced their retirement this month. The restaurant will not disappear, nor will it be forgotten.
“They wanted to sell it to someone who they thought would benefit from it and keep their legacy going,” said Sobel."
Sobel is well qualified to carry on the legacy thanks to his five years as Vivace’s general manager. Joining him in the venture is chef Landon Saul, Vivace's chef for 11 years after starting in the front of the house.
Sobel wants to keep the best of the old while adding some new, although he's aware that this can be a challenge. Currently, his team is focusing on completing projects begun while the Lippmans were owners, updating the house and preparing the patiofor al fresco season.
Sobel says his priority is to encourage his chef Saul to “turn loose his creative energy”. During a recent trip to Italy, Saul spent three weeks in a cooking school and has returned inspired and ready to impress.
“Sometimes he’ll ask me, ‘You want something to eat?’ And he will whip something up and it is delicious,” Sobel said. “We can’t put them all on the menu, but I would like to see…more variety in the specials.”
The Lippmanns will still be present, however. According to Sobel, while they’re retiring to Savannah, Georgia, “They’ll be around. They put in 20 years here, and we would like to celebrate that."
“Virginia was once the epicenter [of barbeque culture], and when people moved away they did barbecue,” says The Barbeque Exchange’s Craig Hartman. “The first written advertisements in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, they all said come to Virginia for barbecue. There’s no reason Virginia can’t re-establish itself.”
Check out great Virginia BBQ at these great venues:
The Barbeque Exchange
Gordonsville's best barbeque is known far and wide. In addition to the best cuts of meat and great options like chicken, pork belly, brisket and beef BBQ, The Barbeque Exchange also features a wide range of outstanding sauces, homemade fixin's and slaws, and great desserts.
Fantastic ribs are the highlight of Belmont BBQ. Big, generously meaty and saucy, these ribs are made the way they were intended to bemade. Owner Wes Wright, an Oklahoma native, has been making barbecue since 2000 when he served customers from his smoke wagon.
This barbeque haven is the epitome of fresh and homemade. Hoo's BBQ brings back the nostalgia of the road-side joint with dishes like The Pit-Master, a bowl layered with macaroni and cheese, beans, pulled pork, sauce and coleslaw.
Jinx’s Pit’s Top
Pulled pork and ribs are available for lunch Wednesday to Sunday. Jinx Kern says “The art I do is pork, barbecued pork.” His barbeque is traditional and sauceless, smoked and cooked before adding any of the usual barbeque sauce to the meat.
PastureQ began as a place for Southern small plates, but Jason Alley’s slow-cooked pork is perfect for barbecue. The restaurant also boasts a few unique items from its past, including fried catfish and pimento cheese for some of his signature Deep South flavor.
Red Hub Food Co.
Red Hub's menu centers around classic pulled pork barbecue, brisket and fried chicken. Red Hub offers four traditional sauces and great traditional side dishes like hush puppies and house-fried potato chips.