3. The Whiskey Jar
The Whiskey Jar is such a fun place to visit with friends when you’re looking for a casual experience that still has excellent food and a top-notch bar. If you’re looking for classic southern staples that seriously deliver, then you need to have a meal here.
I’ve checked out The Whiskey Jar for both brunch and dinner. Their brunch gets quite busy, so make sure to snag a table early! Whether you’re ordering avocado toast or their house-made waffles, you’ll have a satisfying meal. If you prefer to stop by for dinner, I highly recommend trying their hush puppies and cornbread. YUM.
The mastermind behind The Whiskey Jar is Will Richey, who is both a chef and a farmer. Will’s farm, Red Row Farm, provides organic produce for the restaurant throughout the summer months. He thinks of all the details, stating that he has “commissioned a highly-skilled group of foragers to bring you the wild bounty of Virginia's Piedmont region like ramps, morels, fern heads, and other fine delicacies.”
I’ve been to C&O, but I quickly stopped in after Friday’s After Five and had a salad, so I don’t think I’ve gotten the full experience yet. I know, I know—I’m embarrassed.
I found the atmosphere to be elegant and sexy with dimmed lights and fancy entrees (that I saw from afar since I’m horrible). Located right on the downtown mall in a historic brick building (watch out, The Local), C&O has some prime real estate. They source veggies and cheese from local farmers, along with wines from local vineyards, and meats from nearby ranchers.
Next time I visit, I’ll treat myself to the Pecorino & Pear Ravioli, along with both the Creme Brulee and the Chocolate Bread Pudding because life is short.
5. Mas Tapas
Last but certainly not least, Mas Tapas is the restaurant that everyone loves and constantly talks about. A Savvy Rest (and Charlottesville) favorite, their flavorful and sophisticated Spanish tapas will keep you coming back for more.
Chef Tomas Rahal created Mas Tapas with the goal of offering food that was organic and significantly healthier than corporate fast-food establishments. They list all of the local farmers they work with at the top of their menu, such as Silky Cow Farm, Deep Rock Farm, and Hungry Hill Farm. They’re also incredibly vegetarian-friendly, so if you’re like me and don’t eat meat, there are still plenty of options! From their house-made brick oven breads, to their roasted veggies with a kick, you’ll find plenty of reasons to return.
If you haven’t tried one of these favorites yet, I hope you venture over soon. Enjoy your meal, and make sure to keep exploring everything Charlottesville has to offer!