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Trumpeting variety: Orzo’s a foodie’s delight

by Ned Oldham

eater-orzo-1Orzo Kitchen and Wine Bar in the Main Street Market.

An elephant is like a tree—at least that’s what the blind monk who felt its leg deduced; his five fabled brethren felt differently. If Orzo Kitchen and Wine Bar in the Main Street Market can be likened to an elephant, it might have to be one of those that famously traversed the Mediterranean areas working for Greeks, Romans, and North Africans because here owners-chefs Ken Wooten and Charles Roumeliotes have created a polished paean to Mediterranean cuisine via the Market space’s top-shelf position in Charlottesville’s foodie-fantasy, at the intersection of Local and Fine Taste.

I am not a blind monk; I am The Eater. It’s the variety of the layout that got me thinking of the elephant parable as we stopped first under sleek, dangling, swirled orange-and-blue glass lights over wooden stools and bar with coat hooks underneath. Here, a few over-40, country-club types were (more)

Attentive spot: Savor’s chic with some purple surprises

by Administrator

eater-savour1Lunch at Savour might be one of the best-kept secrets in town. All lunch entrees are priced at just $9.

Formerly the Hong Kong Buffet on Emmet, Savour is a fine dining establishment with an eclectic menu. The restaurant has earthy terra cotta and sage walls and contemporary chic décor, with beaded chrome sconces, cushy leather chairs and white tablecloths. A tiled fireplace in the center of the room casts a luxurious yet relaxing glow across the room.

Both lunch and dinner begin with a basket of warm, crusty bread. Soft, whipped butter, piped into a rosette, melted nicely into the bread.

Dinner entrees (called appetites) are priced at $19, but for $30, can include appetizer (a bite) and dessert. Ordered separately, appetizers and desserts are each $7. A bite, the beef baguettini sounded cute from the name. Thick slices of baguette arrived filled with a shredded beef filling seasoned with garlic. Jus and horseradish came on the side for dipping.

I ordered the chicken and prawns in a piquant sauce with garlic, tomato, jalapeno, lime, cilantro and tequila. The chicken breast was topped (more)

Rock of Ivy: Duner’s rotates that localvore menu

by Kate Malay

food-eater-duners“Our new people have been here for six or seven years, that’s ‘new people,’” Duner’s owner Bob Caldwell tells me over the phone. “Most nights, I know almost everybody in the room.”.

When I find myself explaining my city to outsiders, I’m not just recalling the cosmopolitan restaurant scene, the organic locavore movement, or even the community’s infatuation with grocery stores.

I think of institutions, a handful of local restaurants where the cooks flatten hamburger buns, the cashier does magic tricks with spare change, and the owner visits tables to make sure customers are happy– after all, he started out as a line cook when his restaurant opened in 1983.

“Our new people have been here for six or seven years, that’s ‘new people,’” Duner’s owner Bob Caldwell tells me over the phone. “Most nights, I know almost everybody in the room.”

He estimates that his Ivy restaurant has served more than a million meals. He calls it a “neighborhood bistro,” I call it an institution.

An old friend and I met at Duner’s one Monday evening in February. It was early when we arrived, and the two small dining rooms and bar soon swelled with salt-and-pepper couples and ripe families around us. Our waitress appeared to sense that we were catching up after two years and slowed our meal to a leisurely gait. (more)

TEN review

by Kate Malay

If you haven’t had a chance to read Kate Malay’s review of TEN, be sure to take a look. It’s tasty!

“Metropolitan modern Japanese restaurants have put me in my place: bad tables at inconvenient times, with cheeky servers taking off-the-menu orders from nearby diners who have the “in.”

When Ten opened on Halloween two years ago, its understated sign and upstairs Downtown Mall location seemed to suggest that its m.o. was exclusivity. But once inside, one can appreciate the feeling of insulation from the drama of the outside world….” read on

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