Grand Opening set for Peter Chang's

Get ready, Charlottesville, the culinary event of the year happens Tuesday, March 1. That's when Peter Chang, the elusive chef who came and went, will have the VIP Grand Opening for Peter Chang's China Grill in the old Wild Greens space in the North Wing of the Barracks Road Shopping Center. According to Chang's partner, Gen Lee,  an impressive list of folks are coming to the invite-only affair, including a few well-known journalists and perhaps a movie star or two. But will the chef himself be there?

"Of course," says Lee. "This is Peter Chang's China Grill!"

The day after the grand opening, Chang's will be open to the public for lunch and dinner. See you there, foodies!

Update 2/28: Looks like Barracks Road Shopping Center is organizing a Grand "public" Opening at Chang's on Wednesday, March 2


So they welcome this guy with open arms, but give Padow's the boot. Nice.

Calm down everybody, it's just a restaurant. He didn't return because he loves you *so much*, he came back to see if he could make some money here.

@Caroline, exactly.

Actually, I don't believe that's true. Don't you think he could make a lot more money in DC or New York? I've spoken twice to him, and he enjoyed the kind of reception he got from folks in Charlottesville, who he felt were open to his kind of cooking. He also has a few good friends here.


So who will be the big celebrities that will be at the opening? Sissy Spacek, John Grisham, The Rock, Howie Long, Al Groh, Norm Sprouse???

Celebrities? Invite only? guess I'll have to eat at home next Tuesday... This might take years of therapy but I'm determined to get over it.

Lol...well, just thought I'd give you the news, you nutty Hook commenters.



He is a busy little chef...just opened a restaurant in Atlanta area in Dec....

Well Dave, I suppose YOU'LL be invited! Do you need a date for dinner?

Seriously though, I'm excited he's finally opening. I imagine it's going to be rough going at first because of the crowds. Just hope that he can keep up the quality control from Atlanta.

Will you be there Dave?? Make sure you order a lot then you can have leftovers and take them home with you so you can feast on it for days.

I for one am very glad the General Lee will once again be there. Those Duke boys around here love them some spicy style cooking.

I myself never tried the other restaurant because he was already gone and what's the point then? I will try this place out but only for take out or we can all have a meet up there and people can buy me dinner.

Come on, people: this is a win-win for everyone. If you're a happy foodie-snobby type, you're happy because you can go eat there and tell everyone how good it is. If you're a grumpy foodie-snobby type, you're happy because you can go eat there and tell everyone how overrated it is and how you've had better. If you hate foodie-snobby types, you can complain about how duped the masses are and how you're so much smarter to stick to Applebee's. And if you're Dave, you've got a goldmine of writing material for the next couple months (and, with any luck, an invite to the grand opening!).

I'll try to time my visit just right: after the crowds have thinned a bit, but before the Master decides to move on to greener pastures (Asheville? Burlington?).

really how many ways can you cook rice. whats this one number 40. lets get something else olive garden friendlys dennys

Really, the food at TOC is the same goodness it was when he was there. It's not a big deal if he moves on. guys all crack me up. What great comments. I especially like what Hoolarious had to say. Bravo. Will I be going to the Grand Opening? Yes, well, strictly in the line of duty. :)


Rambo will be first in line when the restaurant opens up. Remember to ask if they serve pizza

Bye-bye, Rambo.

I hope Clayton Stiver will be there.

So much for free speech. Hope you are happy Dave

Dave, you are so right. I apologize.

So who are the well known journalists that were invited? Bob Woodward, Edward R Murrow, Peter Arnet, Peter King, Anderson Cooper??

Rambi apologized!

@ Orchid-- I beg to disagree. I had high hopes that the quality at ToC would remain the same, but for me it hasn't.

That would be something if Edward R Murrow showed up. I think that might eclipse the Chang hype.

I wonder if the celebrity will be a big name like Jim J. Bullock. We can only hope that it will be.

If his mom will let him stay out that late, I hope Henry Graff is there.

Wow, a whole day of posts without the wackos from both sides making this political - you know, from the left "It's Bush's fault he left in the first place.", and from the right "Obama promised Perrellio he could lure Chang with stimulus money."

Good food is good food. I'm looking forward to it!

Will they be serving RAT-a-touille How about chicken-MEOW main ? All the cat and rats near the barracks shopping center Look Out !!!
Will the whole Newsplex staff attend They can just record the news share it with each other and no one will know the difference.

If they have a table for 12 I will bring my entourage.

I love Chinese food, as well as the many facets of Asian culture in general! this is VERY exciting news...

I'm sure he does like it here and I look forward to tasting his legendary food. There's just this funny assumption (I've lived in the area for almost 30 years now, for what it's worth) that businesses come here solely because Charlottesville is so magically awesome. And while that is true to some extent, any smart entrepreneur is looking at his bottom line...and knows people here will follow the buzz and open their wallets accordingly.

Do people here ever eat twice at the same Chinese restaurant?
I have pretty low standards for Chinese, but I can't imagine it.

Oh sure they do. It's not Chinese, it's Vietnamese, but I could eat at Mekong in Richmond every day of my life. Or Tara Thai. *sigh*

Best chow-mein east of Memphis. Quote me.

Everyone knows Olive Garden has the best chow-mein.

So I wonder how expensive the meals will be. Speaking of Olive Garden I use to love going there all the time. When will they build one in Cville? The soup and salad deal can't be beat. Better yet they should build a Maggianos here in Charlottesville. Any of you nuts been there?? It's pretty good for italian and they give you a ton of food. Come on someone take me out for dinner.

I just looked up Mekong on yelp and that place has good reviews. I'll have to try that place out next time I'm down in Richmond.

Yes, Thanks Katherine for the word on those spots in Richmond.
Frankly, I don't have much hope for Chang's. Sure, the people who are eating in Taiwan Garden and Flaming Wok are gonna love it.

What's the point of going to a renowned chef's restaurant if you don't even know what to order? When Chang was at TOC I heard people ordering the same American-Chinese food you find at any crappy chinese restaurant. Chang's thing is cooking Chinese, not Chinese-American, so don't bother going if you plan on ordering crag rangoon and sweet and sour chicken. And TOC is still fantastic.

mudge: you are 100% correct on both counts. If you are just planning order the American Chinese stuff, you might as well go to the other absolute crap Chinese restaurants that Cville has been cursed with over the years. And yes, ToC is still very very good.

I was disappointed I never got a chance to go to TOC while Change was still there. Definitely looking forward to trying this place. I just wish I got an invite to the private grand opening. I Pee U Poo seems to think Norm Sprouse might be there!!!!!

Most Chinese restaurants outside of real Chinatowns serve crap food. Ifyou want good Chinese food you have to eat at restaurants where you see Chinese people eating. I am excited to try Chang's new place and I will continue to eat at TOC.

@Red Fields - you are absolutely right, good Chinese food is found where Chinese people are eating, but it goes beyond that - you have to order what they are eating as well. It's a shame most of the would-be Chang foodies don't even know what a hot-pot is.

I think some good chinese food is dim sum. Who in here has had dim sum??? That stuff is great as you get all types of different types of food. It's like tapas. I doubt this place will have that but I love it. So who is the big celebrity that will be there? Schylyer Fisk and the SPCA? Jack Fisk?

Not really a "Grand Opening" if it's only open to a few people that day. I've lived here all my life, and I have never heard of a restaurant publicizing a private opening, this is not NYC.
The real Grand Opening is March 2nd.

I have eaten at Taste of China, Peter Chang's previous Charlottesville (ad)venture at least 20 times since he scuttled off to generate buzz elsewhere, and it is still an excellent Szechuan-style restaurant. Chang strikes me as neurotic and manipulative. Big fish in a little pond.

iobehmom what do you recommend to get from there??

@ Red Fields

"If you want good Chinese food you have to eat at restaurants where you see Chinese people eating."

Not necessarily. Chinese people eat some scary stuff. I'm not so sure I want to eat *real* Chinese food for that reason. ;D I'll continue being a delusional white American who's happy with my buffets full of fake Chinese food. :D

Update 2/28: Looks like Barracks Road Shopping Center is organizing a Grand "public" Opening at Chang's on Wednesday, March 2

What luck! I just drove by Peter Chang's and found the place open for a soft opening. Probably the only time I won't have to wait for a table for the next few weeks. Food was great.

Charlie C- Were you hungry an hour later? Think about it, now, were you?

Outside at the place in Barracks Road it says on the front of the building "Peter Chang China Grill" it Peter Chang's China Grill? And the service is deplorable there. Worst I have ever seen in Charlottesville... Food is delicious... I hope they figure it out!

Service, the restaurant has been officially open for three days. Believe me, no new restaurant could handle the attention this one has received in their first three days...

"Kitchen Nightmares" 2011...

The Charlottesville hipster dbag crowd overrates Chang and the service was horrible at his last restaurant.

What is it with the headlines on the front page? Every other time I load the Hook page it seems like the main headlines revert back to what the headlines were a week ago. All the "current" headlines up there now, including this story, Padows, the Ragged Mountain fire, Donald Trump, Corsair, etc. are old news. Then I reload the page again and it's the current headlines. Then I reload again and it's back to the headlines from 1-2 weeks ago. Is this something on The Hook's end, or is it my computer cookies or something??

@ I Pee -- MEKONG in Richmond, absolutely fabulous. Worth the drive.

Haven't eaten at Chang's yet, just waiting for the hype to die down. My understanding is that the man himself has already headed back to Atlanta. Not sure what impact if any this will have on the quality of food there. As I said initially, he came to C'ville to open a restaurant and make money...not because he loves us special.

Finally ate @ Chang's yesterday. Honestly? It was good/very good, but I can't say excellent. Pork buns were pretty much like dumplings you find anywhere with the caveat that the wrapper was a very nice texture. The fried eggplant appetizer, while seasoned well, was too salty in some bites and not salty at all in others. Also, the cornstarch breading was too thick/not quite right....I've made this at home with better results. Seafood pot w/ numbing sauce was tasty -- difficult to get cellophane noodles up from the bottom of the pot and the sauce itself was super OILY! The food was tasty enough to go back for, but I can't say it's the "best" Asian cuisine I've ever had. Perhaps Chang should have hung around longer to train the chefs? Also, the waiter and maitre d' acted like we were visiting the White House or something: "Is this the first time you've been here??!!" repeated several times. Yes I will go back to give it another shot. (p.s. no full BAR? seriously...)