Charlottesville Breaking News
From January 23 to 29, Charlottesville will once again experience the hugely popular Restaurant Week, which draws eager diners from within Charlottesville and the surrounding area. The week of three-course, fixed price menus is sure to put an end to every citizen’s obligatory New Year’s Diet.
Held twice a year, the Hook-sponsored event has been in existence since the summer of 2009. It will boast some of the old favorites– Keswick Hall's Fossett's, the Old Mill Room at the Boar’s Head Inn, and The Melting Pot– but will also feature some new talent.
The manager and owner of Balkan Bistro, Annja Andelic, hoping to expand the reach of her Eastern European cuisine, says she's “very excited” about participating and keeping her “fingers crossed” about a possible business boom in the dreary winter month– a sentiment echoed by Anna Harrison, publisher of the Hook.
Harrison says Restaurant Week is held in January and July because these are “two of the slowest times of the year for restaurants,” so the seven days of non-stop feasting is a “good way to boost revenue and is great for the economy.”
Restaurant Week not only delights culina...
How did two Thai art students wind up taking over Monsoon, Charlottesville's oldest Asian fusion restaurant? Well, to hear 31-year-old "Kitty" Ashi tell the story, it began in Bangkok.
Kitty hails from a restaurant-running family, but it was in art school in Bangkok that she became friends with the now 29-year-old restaurant co-owner, "Pooh" Dutdao.
Starting as a dishwasher, Kitty arrived first in America and began working her way up the ranks at a corporate restaurant, Tara Thai. Last summer, while looking for an opportunity, she spotted an online ad saying that Monsoon, started over 20 years ago, was for sale. By this point, Pooh had moved to Central Virginia and Tara Thai as well.
"It's kind of like destiny," says Kitty.
Building owner Lu-Mei Chang had found a duo willing to carry on some traditions– even while revamping the menu toward Thai specialities.
Today, lunch specials are $7.99, and dinner starts at just a penny more. The restaurant at 113 Market Street, which they bought from Chang last June, is now called Monsoon Siam.
"We kept the Monsoon name," says 31-year-old Kitty, "because we wanted to give her respect."
True to their art school roots, the two have adorned the walls with some of their original artworks, including collages of stained wood, and they've installed a record player– yes, playing vinyl&...
2011 was yet another busy year for John Grisham. Not only did the master of the legal thrill produce The Litigators, but he also managed to release his second Theodore Boone young adult novel: The Abduction.
And now he wants to see what you can do. He has again accepted the challenge of wielding a gavel in the literary world by judging the Hook's annual short story contest.
Prizes and such
The idea that one of the world's top-selling authors wants to read your work should be incentive enough to enter, but wait, there's also the $1,000 in cash prizes.
The grand-prize winner receives $550, second place $275, and third place $175.
Next comes the fame. The grand prize-winning story will be published in the Hook in late March when lots of literary types are in town for the Virginia F...