FOOD- THE DISH- Fall classic: Nook serves up breakfast, baseball

During October, the Nook on the Downtown Mall promises to be the place to watch the Fall classic.

For years, The Nook on the Downtown Mall has been listed as a "burger place" in our print and online food listings, and although current Nook co-owner Stu Rifkin admits they serve a darn good burger, his partner, Mark Mascotte, says he'd like the new Nook– the two reopened the restaurant earlier this year– to be known more as a family restaurant and a breakfast place. 


"The Nook is family, chicken tenders, buttered noodles, and the best grilled cheese for the kids," says Mascotte. "Plus, ice cold beers, steaks, and dinner specials for mom and dad to get in and out fast." For breakfast, Mascotte touts the French toast, the "fog-lifting cup of Joe," and their eggs Chesapeake (crab cakes and poached eggs).

Be that as it may, if you're a baseball fan, it won't matter what the Nook is serving this October. While football rules most bar TVs around town, and Zinc has European sports coverage, Mascotte and Rifkin are promising to devote themselves to the Fall Classic, the World Series.

"You want soccer, go to Zinc," says Mascotte. "You want ice cold beer and America's pastime, head to the Nook."

Rifkin says that the restaurant's two 32-inch flat-screen TVs will be showing every game in the MLB playoffs in October, as the Red Sox, Indians, Rockies, and Diamondbacks battle to get to the World Series. 

Rifkin, a life-long "Sawx" fan, offers a bold prediction, one that should get Indians fans riled up:  "The Red Sox have never lost a playoff game when it was shown, in its entirety, at the Nook," he says.

What say you, Tribe?


J.P. Ale belongs to Landry

While brewmaster Taylor Smack was pleased we wrote last week about the opening of his long-envisioned Blue Mountain Brewery, a German-style beer garden and hops farm he plans to operate on four scenic acres just 15 miles from Wintergreen Resort, he points out that Dish got it wrong when we said that Smack had created South Street's popular Satan's Pony and J.P. Ale. 

"That honor goes to South Street's Jacque Landry," says Smack, noting that Landry is an owner of South Street, "...the guy who taught me how to brew."

Indeed, Landry took home a Gold Medal for his J.P. Ale at the 2000 World Beer Cup, and although Smack is a graduate of Chicago's Siebel Institute, the country's oldest brewmaster's school, and is destined to win praise for his fine brews in the future, he owes a debt of gratitude to Landry for showing him the practical ropes.    


Drink some art

Once again, the Second Street Gallery is making use of our rich restaurant culture to raise money. 

The popular Artini event in the Ix building was a Gallery inspiration, and now the non-profit is hosting a Sake Dinner on October 24 at 6pm as part of its annual Drink New Art fundraising campaign. 

In keeping with the urban-cool Artini theme, SSG will host its sake dinner at Ten on the Downtown Mall, and guests will enjoy a five-course meal prepared by Chef Bryan Emperor and sake wisdom from Michael Simkin, one of the nation's leading experts on sake. 

Tickets are $95 per person and proceeds benefit the Gallery's 2007-2008 exhibition programs.  Space is limited to 80 guests, so call SSG at 434-977-7284 to grab your spot.


Revolving restaurants

Charlottesville newbie and Dish reader Tony Russell reports that he and his wife decided to celebrate their wedding anniversary by going out to eat at the Indian restaurant Maruthi in Preston Plaza after reading a write-up in the Hook. 

"We like Indian food, and Maruthi in the Preston Plaza sounded like someplace worth trying," said Russell in an email.

Unfortunately, Maruthi had been replaced months ago by Café 88, a new Chinese restaurant cooked up by former Ming Dynasty owner Li Chen, a change not reflected in our listings. Granted, keeping track of the 300-plus restaurants in the area isn't easy, especially when they close– as it's not something restaurateurs are inclined to advertise– but Dish still regrets sending the Russells on a wild Indian chase.