Brookville in Charlottesville, VA
Finally made it to the new restaurant on the downtown mall, above Escafe, across from the ice skating park. Brookville is located in what has become a rather cursed location, mainly due to the fact that it isn't located on the same level as the mall; a number of restaurants have come and gone in that location. You have to walk up a flight of stairs to get a look at the place. Luckily, they post a menu outside in a glass covered box out front. Since the menu changes frequently, do be sure to check it out. The interior is modern classic with comfy brown leather chairs and white table cloths. But it's not stuffy! Our server was dressed in shorts. We felt comfortable there in jeans. There is a beautiful u-shaped bar that the previous owner installed. It takes up a good portion of the front room. The back room is a little more quiet with a couple of window tables for two as well as many 4-top tables.
We went there for dinner on a Wednesday night. No problem at all walking in and getting a table. We started with the pork rillettes, served with cornichons, mustard and toasted French bread. Splendid! While we could have used more toast (since we were intent on eating every last bite), as bread was also brought to the table at the same time, we merely switched to that after the toast was gone. I have no doubt that the friendly, helpful and fun server would have gotten us more toast, had we asked, but we were fine finishing with fresh bread. For main courses, I had a perfectly cooked medium rare steak served with potato salad that my date could not stop stealing from me. It had a tiny bit of kick to it. Perhaps some cayenne? At any rate, it was excellent. My date had pork two ways. I only tried a bit of the meat myself (served with micro greens and an apple reduction of some sort), but it was amazingly moist. Astonishingly moist. Made me wonder if it wasn't cooked sous vide and finished on the grill. We both agreed that the best part of the meal was how simple it was. Simple food which doesn't rely on showy plating with unnecessary extras or heavy sauces is incredibly difficult to pull off. Any mistakes become glaringly obvious. Here, the food was allowed to speak for itself. Thank heavens. The meats were perfectly cooked. The sides supported them without overpowering, each a simple study in how to make something familiar just a little better than you've ever had it before. There is also a good beer list and plenty to choose from in affordable, drinkable wines by the glass (as well as by the bottle). The food, too, was very affordable. Main courses topped out at $15. Apps around $8 or so. Since they source locally, it's a limited menu that changes based upon availability. And the proof is on the plate that it makes a difference. One of the best dinners we have had in quite some time. We'll certainly be back!