When John Corbett left the downtown dining scene two years ago, no one was sure– Corbett himself included– whether his culinary talents would please local palates again.
For years, first as Memory & Co. and then as Corbett’s Bistro, Corbett’s historic house at the corner of Second and South streets provided an upscale and romantic spot where UVA grads and their parents dined, where marriage proposals were made, and where well-heeled silver hairs had regular tables.
But the restaurant trade is fickle, Corbett found, and though business boomed during certain times of year, the slow times proved to be a little too slow.
Frustrated, Corbett closed up shop, disappeared from the public eye, and took up work as a private chef around the area. (Meanwhile, just this spring, Metropolitain and Bizou owners Vincent Derquenne and Tim Burgess opened Bang, a dim sum restaurant, in the completely renovated building.)
Opportunity knocked for Corbett earlier this year, though, and on May 14 he emerged in Nelson County as head chef at the Mark Addy Inn, a nine-room bed and breakfast at the foot of Wintergreen.
The Inn, built in 1890, is named for owner John Storck Maddox’s grandparents. As head chef, Corbett says he’ll be expanding the Inn’s dining options, adding dinner for the public Thursday through Saturday nights.
The prix fixe menu will feature three courses on Thursday for $30, Corbett says, and five on Friday and Saturday for $50. Fans of the Memory & Co. menu will find the familiar tastes of classical country French and Italian at the Mark Addy.
This fall, Corbett says, he’ll add cooking classes and wine tasting dinners to the schedule, giving Charlottesvillians more than enough reason to make the trek down to scenic Nellysford.
Did someone say vente skinny double latte? If you know what that means, you have Starbuck’s to thank for bringing coffee lingo into your life.
And come mid-June, you can become even more java-savvy as Charlottesville welcomes our third Starbucks, this one next to the Mattress King in the Shoppers World shopping center on 29 North.
Anyone who keeps an eye on development knows that Shoppers World has undergone a significant transformation of late: China King Buffet moved in after Katie’s Country Club shut down in the wake of one shooting too many. Then, a new section was built that now houses Men’s Wearhouse, Reine’s Jeweler, and the Market Street Wineshop. Next, a brand new and state-of-the-art McDonald’s (complete with Monticello Brick) went up. Finally, the parking lot of the shopping center proper was connected to the strip that once contained the now-defunct Color Tile, a pet store, and the still-open Mattress King.
Along with the Starbucks, look for Radio Shack, Music and Arts instrument repair and music store, and a yet-to-be-named business to move in.
East to West on Water Street
Dining on Water Street has taken a new direction with the opening of East to West in the former Farruggio’s/Petra/Silver Fox space, and owned by the husband/wife team of Stephanie Nixon and Justin Martin.
Serving dinner seven nights a week, East to West will offer a menu of western-style dishes (meat with side veggie and side starch) with an Asian influence.
And as for the location’s less than successful history, Nixon says she thinks this time’s the charm.
“I don’t think it’s the space,” she explains. “We’re really excited about it.”Read more on: bang