FOOD-THE DISH- Bastille Day at Zinc: Gastropub promises reign of <i>tartare</i>

Zinc's Thomas Leroy and Vu Nguyen are doing it up right for Bastille Day.

As Dish suspected, Zinc will turn its little section of West Main into the Champs-Elysées Saturday, July 14. Yes, it's Bastille Day and, according to owners Thomas Leroy (a bona fide Frenchman!) and Vu Nguyen, the European gastropub promises to celebrate the French equivalent of July 4 with an appropriately riotous evening.

In 1789, an angry mob stormed the Bastille prison, a powerful symbol of the corrupt monarchy of King Louis XVI and his wife... what was her name? For the French, taking their cue from our own Revolution, it represents the beginning of democracy. Of course, the French Revolution turned a little violent, as revolutions tend to do, but in the end all that beheading gave the French a government by the people, for the people.

For freedom lovers in Charlottesville, what better way to celebrate than a raucous evening at Zinc, inspired as it is by popular French bistros, which in turn were inspired by popular French home-cooking. Add an English pub atmosphere, and you have the ingredients of a great party.

In addition to drink specials, onion soup, vichyssois, and steak tartare, someone named DJ IZM– an R2 regular who serves up old skool and new R&B– will be rocking the house through dinner and into the wee hours.

A shout out to Waynesboro

Dish has to admit we've been unforgivably neglectful of restaurants in Waynesboro. In fact, we can't even remember the last time we mentioned one! Well, consider this a promise to change, as we plan to focus on restaurants over the mountain in upcoming columns.

First up is the popular South River Restaurant and Wine Shop at 23 Windgrove Drive, which serves up fresh seafood, homemade soups and breads, and Angus steaks. The wine shop offers selections from over 30 wineries in Virginia, as well as a large selection from around the world.

First Fridays in Waynesboro these days means special "Cooking with Linda" classes at the restaurant, when chef Linda Roland, who runs the place with her husband, Jim (the two have a combined 50 years in the restaurant biz!), offers healthy cooking classes.

"You'll be in and out in about an one hour," says Roland. "It's a great way to end the work week!"

There's time to get a reservation for next month's class– but hurry. Roland says the classes fill up fast. Call 540-942-5567 and show Waynesboro some love. Tell 'em Dish sent you.

Still more to learn... and eat!

Speaking of cooking classes, Mona Lisa Pasta chef/owner Jim Winecoff and Charlottesville Wine & Culinary have teamed up again to teach cooking with flair this summer. Has Dish spotted a trend? Seems restaurants these days aren't satisfied just to serve food– they want to teach you how to make it yourself!

On Friday, July 13 the duo will offer tips on how to throw a deck party, creating apps like asiago cheese crostini, gazpacho parfaits, and curried beef triangles. On August 1, it's supper salads for hot weather dining, like grilled shitake, white corn & chili crouton salad, and grilled vegetable salad with tortilla threads. On August 23, it's an al fresco Italian seafood dinner, with seared tuna with new potatoes, white beans, and olive thyme vinaigrette, freeform lasagna of asparagus, and shrimp and pesto.

Classes meet at Mona Lisa Pasta on Preston Avenue and last a little over two hours. Of course, a light meal of prepared food is always included, as well as a complimentary beverage. You can give the two a call at 434-295-2494.