a month ago i had the privilege of dining with my wife and friends at dc’s highly regarded “komi” restaurant. it is a small, sparsely decorated place that once housed Roberto Donna’s “Il Radicchio”. the focus is entirely on the food and wine service. this is not a place to go to see and be seen, or for it’s happening atmosphere. their reverence toward the dining experience is unrivaled, they take this very seriously… komi offers a tasting menu only, and you simply select your pasta course, and main course (from just a few selections), chef Johnny Monis does the rest.
we were treated to 20 different plates, all of which were thoughtfully presented, and elegant, but not overdone. everything was served intimately on plates meant for couples to share. highlights include the miniature pita bread sandwiches of abalone mushroom (they resembled tiny gyros);and the main courses of whole grilled seabass, whole spitroast leg of suckling pig, and shoulder of baby goat served with a condiment tray of various sauces, relishes and salts to season with, as well as homemade pita bread and cucmber-yogurt salad. hands down this was one of the best meals ive ever experienced. i was embarassed to use my camera in the small dining room, so the only photo i took was of our wine flight at the end of the night, when we were the only remaining guests. sorry i can’t show you more. visit their website at
Published in: on September 24, 2008 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Scallops revisited…

scallop starter course

scallop starter course


pan seared sea scallops, homemade potato gnocchi, sweet corn puree, baby squash, black truffle butter sauce…


note to the home cook: always ask your fish monger for ‘dry pack’ scallops… they are sweeter and tastier, as they dont have any added preservatives (read:tripolyphosphates) that extend shelf life, and cause them to absorb water, thereby diluting their flavor, and causing them to release liquid when they are cooked. good cooking starts with good products. period.

Published in: on September 24, 2008 at 9:53 am  Leave a Comment  

“Bacon ‘n Eggs”

fresh bacon

fresh bacon


Bourbon-Molasses Braised Double H Farms Fresh Pork Belly, Pickled Peaches, Sauteed Quail Egg, Micro Arugula, Espelette, Mustard & Maker’s Mark Jus… who says bacon & eggs is just for breakfast?!

Published in: on September 18, 2008 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

kuntry ham…

pork goodness fryin' up in the pan...

pork goodness fryin


kite’s hams of wolftown, virginia, just outside of madison. quite possibly one of the best signature foods of our region… i have always enjoyed eating it on sliced bread with mayo and good tomatoes, but now we are working with it to share with our customers here at the restaurant. polyface farms (visit provides the fresh hams, and jim kite does the salting and aging. this is not your typical large scale factory type operation here, it is a small business that has been operating for almost 50 years, and still uses the old school,  time tested technique of producing artisanal country hams. if you shop or eat anywhere that serves kite’s, be sure to check it out, it’s a real treat… they can be reached at 540-948-4742.

Published in: on September 16, 2008 at 10:23 am  Comments (1)  

i think he liked the lamb…

Published in: on September 14, 2008 at 12:39 am  Leave a Comment  

pan-seared sea scallops

new scallop dish 9/13/08

new scallop dish 9/13/08

pan-seared sea scallops, leek & potato coulis, baby squashes, amaranth, tomato confit, tomato gels, mustard-bacon sauce

Published in: on September 14, 2008 at 12:35 am  Leave a Comment  

baby squash flowers a’la harvest thyme

deirdre & phil armstrong

deirdre & phil armstrong

dierdre & phil armstrong of harvest thyme herbs in staunton ( are quite possibly the nicest people we’ve ever come across. their dedication to their craft is unsurpassed by anyone. they are big supporters of slow food usa, and grow everything they can from “the ark of taste”… (see after a recent trip to lucca, italy they brought back samples of some of the fall beans and things they would grow for us this year. by staying small they are able to give the few places they supply like us, the attention to detail we crave.

these squash are just a small example of the beautiful produce they grow… they made their way onto a lobster and corn agnolotti dish yesterday, and fritters with grilled trout today… mmmm good!

Published in: on September 12, 2008 at 6:37 pm  Comments (2)  

Randy’s Produce

Randy Leyshon and Anne-Marie Parrish are two more of our local growers who specialize in produce, and provide us with some of the best lettuces, potatoes, onions and tomatoes we’ve ever seen. add to that list: okra, peppers, sunchokes, garlic, shallots, and you’ll see why they are some of the most consistent and reliable people we’ve gotten to know and grow with. please find Randy at the Charlottesville City Market on Saturdays from April ’til October.

check out the “matt’s wild cherry tomato” a variety recently discovered growing wild in eastern mexico, now being cultivated and kept from extinction by growers like Randy. it is the tomato with the highest brix (measure of sweetness) content ever found. theyre delicious!

Published in: on September 10, 2008 at 10:48 am  Leave a Comment  

flour, eggs, beets, chevre, butter, sage

beet tortelloni

beet tortelloni

just a few ingredients, some care, and attention to detail can sometimes be all you need to create a dish that is greater than just the sum of its parts. we’ve enjoyed these beets from randy’s produce this summer, and i look forward to them coming around again next spring. simple, sweet, and luxurious.

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 11:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Richard & Jean of Double H Farms

you can find richard bean and jean rinaldi weekly at the c-ville market from april until october. engage richard in any sort of conversation, be it political, environmental, or philosophical and be ready to get an earful… he is the most fun and engaging person to talk to of all our farmers. opinionated, proud, and always a laugh; richard makes a sport out of verbal harrassment. sometimes i wonder if we but more produce from him simply because we like to hear from him each week. jean is a bit more reserved, (or is polite the better choice of word) and is simply an awesome person everyone should get to know.

In a time when even our soil and air might not know the truth, the only solace we can take in decision-making about our inner peace is through honest, organic and sustainable farming. I guarantee that if you know the name of the person who picks your carrots and peas, you will feel better and so will your grandchildren.” -Mario Batali – Chef, author and host of Molto Mario and Mario Eats Italy on the Food Network.

on that note- if you ever have a chance to visit double h, they are gracious hosts and will share with you their love and passion for the animals they raise and foods they grow. somehow, things just taste better that way…

for more about double h, richard and jean, read this link from

Published in: on September 3, 2008 at 10:26 am  Comments (1)