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Oct 23, 2012 02:02 PM

is there a do-not-miss in Charlottesville, VA?

I'm going to be in Charlottesville for 2 days. Don't know it at all. Is there, especially on the way from/to the airport from the University a restaurant that one should not miss? Not just really great but to be regretted if one leaves and hasn't gotten to it. It would help for it to be open on Sunday at lunch or on a weekday for early dinner (before flying out of the airport).


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  1. Lots of posts for Charlottesville on the Mid-Atlantic Board, such as:

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. When my wife and I are in that area, we like the brewerys nearby. There are several to choose from, and they also serve food. Fresh beer and good food; need I say more. There are several good winerys also, but not sure about the eats there.

        1. Normally & a few months ago I would have said "Peter Chang China Grill" across from the Barracks Road shopping Center, but the last couple of times we've been it's been a little disappointing. But it's still a good bet if you know what to order & really enjoy authentic Szechuan cuisine (although they seem to be dumbing that down a bit these days. :( )

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bacardi1

            I'd heard he was down there a coupla years ago, but then he's known for setting up an operation and not sticking around for too long. by reputation any place he's been is smokin' for a while and then after he leaves starts sliding, although is still better than most. I haven't been to this one.

            1. re: hill food

              Well, he originally was just working at a restaurant owned by others - "Taste of China" - in Charlottesville, but currently he himself (along with a partner) owns "Peter Chang China Grill", so he really can't just abandon it without selling the business or closing up shop.

              Again - it's not bad, but we eat there fairly frequently & have just noticed that a few favorite dishes of ours simply haven't been as good as they were, say, 6 months ago, & that a few of the signature "Szechuan" specialties haven't been as spicy as they were originally. And one new dish that I tried last time - "Grandma's Pork",coming highly recommended by the waiter - was inedibly salty. Where before you could order pretty much anything on the menu & be pleased even if it wasn't a favorite, it seems like now one has to choose carefully or have a somewhat "Russian Roulette" experience.

          2. I wouldn't say there is anything that meets your criteria here. There are about 10 really great places, but nothing regrettable, and nothing much on 29 on the way to the airport. If I were you, I would probably go to Taste of China, or Milan.

            Taste of China was Peter Changs last stop before franchising himself out. Their food is fantastic and consistent. I recommend the ma la combination soup or the beef with green chile. Both are rather spicy, especially the beef.

            Milan is a standout Indian restaurant, although they do a buffet at lunch that is pretty average. I usually get the chicken chettnandu or the lamb/goat vin d'aho (vindaloo) native spiced (hot) and an order of garlic naan. I've eaten Indian all over the world, and these are the two best renditions I have had anywhere.

            9 Replies
            1. re: BrisketBreath

              Thanks for the heads up re: "Milan". We've driven by it several times, but were always headed to Chang's. May now have to give Chang's a pass & give "Milan" a try the next time we're in Charlottesville.

              1. re: Bacardi1

                IMHO the finest restaurant in all of C-ville is the French charmer Fleurie.
                Not to be missed.

                1. re: arepo

                  We've never been to "Fleurie", but can only hope it's better than it's sister "Petit Pois". Ate there once & the meal was fairly horrid. (See Bonnie C. review.)


                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    Obviously I cannot respond to the food at sister Petit Pois because I have not been there but according to 90% of the reviews, they were very positive.
                    Because 1 person found it not to be to his/her taste does not necessarily mean that it is the gospel.
                    I would have to bet that the food is actually very good there only because the Fleurie chef is a cut above every other chef in C-ville (IMO of course)

                    1. re: arepo

                      Thanks - & I respect your opinion. We may have to give Fleur a try the next time we're down Charlottesville way.

                      (But honestly - I swear to God that my review of our experience at Petit Pois was spot on. Maybe it was an off night (except for one other table, we were the only ones there & it was late), but the tiny little 1" x 1" steak pieces for what was listed as "Hanger Steak", & the eye-tearing amount of Tarragon in the crab cake couldn't be exaggerated if one tried.)

                      1. re: Bacardi1

                        Oops! I didn't realize that the one negative post was yours. Please forgive me.
                        I am thinking that the chef at Petit Pois is probably not the same person.
                        Face it, he can't be at 2 places at one time. Possibly whoever he trained just doesn't have the "delicate hand" at cooking that he obviously has.
                        Do try it sometime. It IS a bit more upscale, however and not cheap.

                        1. re: arepo

                          Oh goodness Arepo - no worries & no forgiveness necessary. I don't offend that easily - lol!!

                          And let's face it - food is & always will be a matter of PERSONAL PREFERENCE.
                          It's always going to be an individual thing. What I hate, a dozen or more people will love, & vice versa. And really - that's the way it should be.

                          1. re: Bacardi1

                            Did you ever hear of Pomme in Gordonsville?
                            If you are ever passing through on the way to C-ville I suggest you give it a try. Quite a pleasant surprise.

                            1. re: arepo

                              Thanks! I've heard of it, but have yet to visit. I do have their website bookmarked, & it's definitely on our "to try" list. :)