Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Local, fresh, slow food...yes, it has taken us by storm...things Alice Waters tried to create way back when...and the kids are finally getting it right...thank you East Coast for finally listening to our Left Coast brethren. And as tired as it seems as everyone advertises Organic and Fresh, and Local...it's the way I have always eaten out of necessity growing up (you own a garden because it's cheaper than buying or eating out), and the way we would have it if we were not tied to any family in the states.
Yes, we would move...preferably to Italy or France...possibly Australia. They do it right...seasonal, wine, work, exercise, controlled yet delectable portions. FUCK Appleschmies and TGI-McFrankfurters! There, I said it.
As we were wheeled into the ambiance that is "The Cliffton Inn" last night, the house staff suggested we might try, "The Local"...a place outside of Charlottesville proper plopped down in Belmont. And it's in short a proper locavore "Gastropub"...think great pub food with a gourmet flare, local brews, local wines...local spirits...yeah, you get the point. College aged kids behind the bar who think their food is great...and...
So stick a minute with me on this. Back in the day of Chapel Hill...college days mind you, 9 years ago...we had no such thing. Sure, we had a couple of places you would take a date when you wanted to get laid, but they were "fancy"..they weren't hip, they were just "fancy"...the bars we had were smoke laden dens full of fried food and "South Paw Light" for 2.75 a pitcher. Micro-brew? Wine? Silly talk, just silly!
Fast Forward...these post grads who are definitely wicked smart are the ones running the new food and drink movement. It's cool to be smart, goofy eclectic, driven, and "Brooklyn Sheik". These unkempt bar maids and bros are dressing in their thrift store clothes and dabbling in the philosophy of mixology and roaring 20's drinks. Matter fact', it's hip, it's cool...and goddamn it, I like it.
Step into "The Local". All red brick inside that's been so shined up it looks lacquered. The unfinished ceilings give it the polish it needs. Luckily, it was 1/2 bottle wine night upon sauntering in. And here's the thing. The folks of Charlottesville are so proud of their wines, it's really something special...ask for the wine list...the locals are in the front of the book, want something less risky, sure venture to California or France...but they are out there in front, ready to be tread on and judged...and they ain't bad. Me, being w(h)ined out took the hopville highway towards some high gravity hop resin goodness with froth topping...Meg, she took the vino to the head and bagged about 3/4 of it for safekeeping at our inn(she's a lightweight and only Jacobs via marriage).
Well, by accident and great hospitality we were "comped" two dishes.
So, that makes four apps we got into...and good golly we wanted more, but we could tamp nothing more into our stuffed gullets:
1) Cornmeal battered and fried oysters with a caviar and local vodka creme and a mixed green and red beet salad
2) Crispy Shrimp with a black sesame and ginger seaweed salad
3) Truffled Mushroom ragout with house made fettuccine and shaved Parmesan
4) Black truffle and cheddar mac and cheese
Long live the locavore movement, this could be America's saving grace...Lord knows the folks in Charlottesville are well on their way towards saving the ones who dare to care.