A City with “Real” Food and Historic Charm

by Lauren on November 14, 2011

Sorry to leave you hanging for a few days, but I was finally able to upload the pictures from our latest weekend getaway.

From all of the subtle hints I gave, I’m sure you were able to figure out our location….

That’s right, we spent two wonderful days in the newest hometown of this lovely lady, Charlottesville.

Toly and I had a few days off from work and decided to cash in some of our Marriott Rewards points for an impromptu getaway.  For many years, CVille has been on my list to visit but for some reason, we’ve never made the short road trip down.

We left late Thursday morning and arrived around lunch time.  Our first stop….Great Harvest of course!

Just as I imagined, we found this guy hard at work….

After spending some time chatting with Matt, we decided to grab something to eat before heading off to check into our hotel.

I knew exactly what I wanted.  The Curried Tuna intrigues me every single time Kath posts about it so I knew I had to try it.

Delicious and not overly “sauced” with mayo.  My kind of tuna salad!

After lunch, we checked into our hotel and then quickly headed out to venture the sites of the city.  We had been told by many to make sure we visited Monticello.  Toly and I are suckers for group tours so we decided to sign up for one that showed us all around T. Jefferson’s estate.

We wern’t allowed to photograph the inside, but as you can tell, the outside was gorgeous!

We actually enjoyed the tour way more than we thought and learned more about T.J then we ever imagined.

We then headed into town to grab dinner and walk around.

Zocalo is rated high on the list of places to eat in Charlottesville.  The menu is small but the dishes are anything but.

I starte with a glass of Shriaz.

And ordered the scallops for my entree.

Served of tostadas (plantains) with sauteed spinach and cooked in a carrot vanilla sauce

They were amazing!

Toly had the Drunken NY Strip.

Both meals were fantastic!

We were offered dessert but turned it down for something more appealing in my mind.

Self serve fro-yo makes me happy, especially since we don’t have any around us.  It makes it such a special treat.

The next morning, we woke up, ate breakfast, and then went straight into the mountains to do a little hiking.

Humpback Rock is popular hike in Blue Ridge Parkway. We hard that it was short but very difficult and if you can do it, the views are remarkable.

Toly and I were up for the challenge!  I didn’t prepare myself for the cold.  It was only 32* up in the mountains and we both didn’t dress for freezing temps.

The 1.5 mile hike up was intense.  At one point, I didn’t think it was even possible to climb such a steep incline without some kind of support; however, we managed to make it to the top in one piece.

And boy was it worth it!

Going down was much more difficult.

The hike caused us to work up an appetite for lunch.  We headed back into town and found a nice little coffee shop where we settled in with something warm to drink and a bite to eat.

After lunch, we drove around for awhile before finding a few wineries.  Since Toly and I are both pros at the wine tasting, we thought we’d give them a try.

I was so excited to find out that the one winery we visited is a favorite of Dave Matthews.  Apparently he is from Charlottesville and often comes back to visit.  He’s been known to make an appearance in this winery and actually pour tasting for his fans. Clearly, the BEST thing I learned on this trip and even one more reason to love Dave more than I already do.

With a few glasses of wine in our system, we decided to rest a little before dinner.

Which brings me back to one exciting highlight of our trip.  Toly and I had the pleasure of hanging out dining with two famous locals, Kath and Matt.

We first met for drinks at their house and then walked into town to grab something to eat at one of the many places they recommended.

This modern French restaurant is sits in the heart of historic downtown and as the appeal of a quaint little bistro with a bold and vibrant menu.

I ordered a wonderful seafood medley for my meal. Full of scallops, calamari, mussels, clams, and shrimp all cooked in a light wine sauce.

So good!  I was first thinking this would be cooked in a red broth (similar to cioppino) but the white sauce was a nice change.  Not too heavy and compliment the seafood well.

We all decided to split dessert 4 ways.

A classic apple crisp

And this incredible Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse

This was the perfect way to end our trip.  Although short-lived, we enjoyed every moment of our CVille getaway.  It was great to see Kath again and definitely nice to have so many wonderful recommendations from a true local.

Sometimes, these little escapes are just what we need in the middle of a crazy season.

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