Seasonal and Festive Charlottesville Dining
Numerous Charlottesville restaurants have responded to the restrictions of the pandemic by offering unprecedented takeout service in combination with reduced indoor capacity and improvised outdoor space. The result? Charlottesvilll restuarants welcome the seasonal and festive dining experience we crave. Here are some of our favorites.
Never has a year needed the uplift of holiday celebration and joy more than this one. Whether you’re lighting candles on your Advent Wreath, Menorah, or Kinara, filling your stockings, or just happy to be nearing 2021, there’s one way that all of Charlottesville can be counted on to enjoy the season–with food.
This West Main Italian joint took over the former Bellas location, and continued the family-sized portions. This season, specials include a divine Wild Boar and Gnocchi dish, winter salads, and hearty winter soups – available in single, double, or double-double servings to keep everyone well fed. Reservations are required for their dining room, and they’re keeping seating limited for everyone’s safety. Prefer to eat at home? Mangione’s is available for takeout and delivery.
Michie Tavern’s Yuletide dinners are a tradition for many visitors and Charlottesvillians alike. This year, they’ve made the hard decision to suspend the in-person affairs until December 2021. Luckily, they’re offering a Yuletide Dinner To-Go menu, portioned for two, so you can still enjoy the Tavern’s traditional Christmastime fare, including their classic Virginia Ham and wine by the bottle, at home.
Fleurie on the Downtown Mall is one of the finest restaurants in Charlottesville, and has reopened for indoor and patio service. Their three course prix-fixe menu ($75) is discounted to $50 a person for takeout and currently features favorites like their Polyface chicken liver & cognac mousse tart and their free-range veal chop. Reservations required.
If any restaurant has lived up to its name this year, it’s The Local. They quickly adapted to a simple, locally sourced $10 free delivery menu and had donated over 350 meals to the community by April 15, when most of us were still waiting for our masks and hand sanitizer to arrive. Now, they’re reopened for indoor and patio dining, along with pickup and delivery options, so you can enjoy the lobster mac & cheese and truffled mushroom ragout at their table or yours. Editor’s Note: The Local has earned a break and will be closed from December 14-28.
Tavern and Grocery boasts one of the coolest buildings of any Charlottesville restaurant, and the cozy, historic space full of twinkling lights and bubbling spirits lends itself especially well to seasonal celebrations. The restaurant was originally constructed in 1820 as Inges Grocery and has survived fires, a stint as a tavern and boarding house, and many UVA graduation dinners. This season, look out for dine-in and takeout options of their locally sourced fare–and try a seasonal cocktail in the speakeasy below the restaurant.
This hyperseasonal eatery at the Quirk Hotel on West Main has you covered on Christmas Day, offering a 4-course dinner ($70) from 5 to 9 PM on Christmas Day. Or, enjoy a 2- or 4-person family meal carry-out option. They’re also streaming the Nutcracker in the lobby from December 20th-27th, and serving holiday cocktails and mocktails.
Maurice Kelly is a focused chef-entrepreneur, and his eclectic brasserie in Stonefield has pulled out all the pandemic stops to treat its clientele this Christmas. Whether you’re bringing it home for the team or heading back to the hotel for the game, you gotta check out Matchbox’s Family Package that includes your choice of roasted chicken, racks of pork ribs, miso salmon, or prime rib, plus sides of sweet potato casserole, garlic buttered asparagus, honey chipotle cornbread, and more. The family package costs $135 and will feed 4-6 people. Desserts and wine pairings are extra. Order by the 20th for pick-up at noon on Christmas Eve.