DISH- Newbies: More pizza & sushi in town

Sometimes it seems like keeping track of restaurants in Charlottesville is like counting cars on Route 29– they just keep coming and going so fast that pretty soon it's just a blur. Of course, that's no excuse for letting East Garden duck under Dish's radar for so long.

The restaurant opened quietly last September in the Pantops Shopping Center near Food Lion. Owner Kynnie Hynh, who used to own the Vietnamese restaurant Crystal's on Emmet Street, moved here from California 10 years ago. Unlike Crystal's, East Garden is a buffet-style restaurant featuring a wide variety of Asian cuisine, including sushi. Hynh says most of his customers come from businesses up the hill or from Monticello, but that more people in the Downtown area are discovering the new spot.

Pizza Boli's gamble

According to Julio Arias, opening Pizza Boli on West Main "about a month ago" was a way to challenge himself. Having owned a pizzeria in Greene County for years, Arias wondered if he could make it in our restaurant-saturated town.

"There are like 200 places to eat here," he says. "It's a risk, but I decided to take it."

So far, Arias says, things seem to be going pretty well. He barely has time to talk because the phone keeps ringing, and there are orders out front waiting to be delivered.

What separates Pizza Boli's from the pack?

"We have a meal that's not so expensive," says Arias, pointing out that a large cheese pizza is only $8.50. The hours aren't bad either: 11am-11pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11am to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Kitchen History

It's worth mentioning that Charlottesville's most famous kitchen was recently overhauled. Of course, no food is prepared in the kitchen, and the French copper pots and pans are over 200 years old, but it may have been one of the first kitchens to introduce French cruise to Americans.

Of course we're talking about Jefferson's kitchen at Monticello. Finally completed last year, the project was the first thorough renovation of the space since the 1940s. The new design reflects the kitchen's appearance after 1809, when the old kitchen under the South Pavilion was moved to the South dependency wing.

"Visitors can not only see how the kitchen looked in Jefferson's time," says Susan R. Stein, Monticello's curator, "but can also get acquainted with the equipment and methods used to prepare food and learn about Monticello's cooks." Indeed, one of the coolest new features is an eight-opening stew stove, the precursor of the modern-day kitchen range, with a built in kettle that provided hot running water. It's enough to make your historical mouth water!

Buffet Asian Style: Pantoppers can now get their sushi-fix at East Garden .