I’ve been dreaming about the crispy ham-cured pork ribs from Pasture, the Southern small-plates restaurant by co-owner and Executive Chef Jason Alley, ever since visiting the Richmond location this past spring. On my recent trip to Charlottesville, my wish was granted, and I was able to have pork ribs part deux at his newest restaurant, Pasture Charlottesville.
WHAT DOES THE RESTAURANT LOOK LIKE?
Pasture Charlottesville is all about clean lines and bright colors. I love the wooden tables that define the bar area, and found the minimalist vibe to be friendly and welcoming. Waiters in plaid (obviously) bring a hip feeling of down-home comfort that fits particularly well with the menu of some very good comfort food.
WHEN I WENT
I visited Pasture Charlottesville two weekends ago, around 9 pm on a Saturday night.
WHO I WENT WITH
For this dinner (the 2nd of the night!), I was joined by some very special twitter friends. John Park, a local foodie based out of Roanoke with a big presence on social media (@HungryAsianRke), his wife Sharon (@MrsHungryAsian) and Amy Balfour, a freelance travel and guidebook writer (@AmyCBalfour).
DESCRIBE THE CROWD
As this was our 2nd dinner of the night (our first was at the Alley Light in downtown C’ville), we got there just a little bit before closing. So the crowd was a little sparse. However, this was a good thing because this meant we got to eat with Chef Jason Alley himself, as well as Pasture’s co-owner and manager, Michele Jones. (Lucky us!!!)
WHAT WE ORDERED
It was one of those meals where it felt like we ordered the whole menu! Here’s what we got:
- Pimento Cheese and Ritz Crackers — $5
- House Pickles — $5
- Pork rinds, homemade cream cheese, red pepper jelly — $5
- House-cured duck prosciutto with melon salad — I didn’t write down the price (sorry!)
- Crispy ham cured pork ribs, Alabama white sauce — $11
- Burger, special sauce, house dill pickles, lettuce, onion, American cheese, fries — $13
- House made noodles, mustard greens, potlikker, bacon, Pecorino — $17
- Boston Cream “pie” in mason jar — I didn’t write down the price (sorry!)
- Lemon Buttermilk Pie — I didn’t write down the price (sorry!)
THE BEST THING I ATE
The crispy ham-cured pork ribs were as good as I remembered, as was the pimento cheese. The burger (which we split into 4’s… don’t go thinking I ate all this myself!) was like the best, most high-end Big Mac you’ve ever had, which means that I obviously loved it.
The duck prosciutto salad was surprisingly delicious (I had never heard of duck prosciutto before… and now I want more!), as were the pickles. I mean, I tend to be a freak for pickles anyway, but the spicy dilly beans were tangy, spicy, crunchy deliciousness. I. Want. More. Pasture. Dilly Beans.
Everything was so delicious, but I was a little lukewarm on the pasta dish. It was still tasty, but mixed amongst so many other standout dishes, it kind of blended into the background.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
While Pasture Charlottesville may be a little tricky to find for out-of-towners (it’s located in an upscale outdoor shopping area) it’s a fun, palate-pleasing, belly-filling restaurant. The team there really aims to please, and after breaking bread with them can attest that they are some of the truly nicest and hardest working people in the business. Go! Eat great Southern food and enjoy yourself!
Name: Pasture Charlottesville
Address: The Shops at Stonefield, 2050 Bond St., Suite 180, Charlottesville, VA 22901
Dollar amount: $$
My star rating: 4 out of 5
Reservations: It couldn’t hurt, but you’ll likely be accommodated as a walk-in, too