Best in Charlottesville, VA
NYC 'hound coming to Charlottesville for two nights over Memorial Day weekend. In need of two dinner recommendations in C'ville. One can be expensive, one moderately-priced (entrees in $15-22 range). Was hoping for one locavore and the other anything else.
We'll have been to L'Auberge Provencale the night before we hit C'ville; French restaurants fine if the compare (L'etoile?) but otherwise, we'd like to go in another direction. The girlfriend is vegetarian, but so long as there is something for her, no other constraints. We're looking for the best C'ville has to offer.
I'm a huge fan of Zocalo (http://zocalo-restaurant.com). Amazing food, upscale yet casual atmosphere. Entrees $18-25. I've been known to make a meal of appetizers, usually the mussels and the tuna tartar.
Maya sources their food locally, including trout, chicken, pork, beef, veggies, and even grits. They also carry a wonderful local beer, Full Nelson Pale Ale. (http://maya-restaurant.com).
I also like Zocalo. When we have a sitter though, we usually end up at Mas (umm - bacon wrapped dates, http://www.mastapas.com/). Orzo (http://www.orzokitchen.com/) is a favorite, although I have lunch there more frequently than dinner.
Aroma's (http://www.aromascafecville.com/) is a great morrocan restaurant, inexpensive and casual, but with one of the greatest owner/hosts - Hassan - you'll ever meet. I had a tasty homeade lamb sausage over lentils last week. They also have the best falafel I've ever had.