For anyone who’s been following on me on Instagram these past few days (sorry for the non-veganness!), you already know that G & spent the weekend getting away from it all in Charlottesville. We both love Cville and visit fairly often to catch shows for an evening, but rarely do we ever get the chance to spend more than just a few hours, so it was a pretty unique/fun weekend for us.
Although we’d been planning on spending the weekend with our friends, one came down with Hand Foot Mouth disease (only Google that if you’re into weird disease stuff), so we moved on to Plan B–renting a spot through AirBnB. We totally lucked out a scored a loft less than a 10 minute walk from downtown Charlottesville and, better yet, the loft itself was incredibly comfortable with a great vibe. The complex even guarantees owners a garden spot in the community garden on-premises, so the loft overlooked a community vegetable and flower garden. Totally awesome, right?
Even better, the loft was situated in the Belmont district of Charlottesville, an up-and-coming area with some great restaurants. Beer Run, a specialty beer store and restaurant was only about 10 minutes from the loft, so we headed there after dropping off our bags to try some of the special casks they’d tapped for the weekend. Smuttynose & Stone Breweries both had representives at the restaurant and we were able to catch tastes of both Smuttynose Short Batch Series #18 Durty Imperial Brown Ale and the Stone/Drew Curtis/Will Wheaton Collaboration Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout Ale Brewed with Pecans, Wheat, & Rye with One Quarter Aged in Bourbon Barrels. Say that last one 10x fast. The collab beer was incredibly delicious and incredibly deceptive with it’s smooth, light drinkability and 13% ABV. 13% yo. That’s crazy for something to easy to drink. The Imperial Brown was awesome too–definitely more of a sipping brew though.
Afterwards we headed farther into Belmont proper for dinner at Mas Tapas a tapas restaurant I’d been meaning to visit for years and hadn’t until now. With a seat on the patio overlooking the neighborhood, it really did feel like we were back in Barcelona, especially with glasses of cava and olives to nibble on before dinner arrived.
Out of the five dishes we ordered, two were vegan, the first being this late summer gazpacho. Sweet and acidic, the gazpacho was a great blend of tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic, and some other goodness that I failed to write down. Though I’m not the biggest gazpacho fan, I did like this one, especially when paired with the crisp, dry cava.
The other vegan dish was this one of trumpet and porcini mushrooms with spelt in a mushroom stock. Nutty, rich, and with the most varied earthy and intense umami flavors, this dish was one that any meat eater would fall in love with. It was also a perfect introduction to fall, a balance to the remainder of tomatoes evident in dishes like the gazpacho.
After dinner, we walked over to the downtown pedestrian mall to catch the main reason we were in town–the XX playing at the Pavilion, the city’s outdoor venue. Even though rain threatened, we lucked out and the evening was crystal clear with a slight cool breeze with the just-past-full moon rising above the venue. Perfect weather to spread a picnic basket on the lawn and enjoy an awesome show.
The next day we jetted around the area exploring vineyards and breweries, but you’ll have to tune in tomorrow for that!
156 Carlton Rd.
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
(434) 984-BEER (2337)
501 Monticello Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22902