A little over a 2 hour drive from my previous home in West Virginia is the historic city of Charlottesville, Va. Charlottesville is an independent city located at the foothills of the Blueridge mountains and has an incredible rich history that draws millions of visitors each year. This city is also the home to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Monroe’s Ashlawn Highlands, James Madisons Montepelier, and lastly is a college town belonging to the University of Virginia. A few months back Brandon and I wanted to take a day trip somewhere nearby with new culture outside of our little mountain town. A fellow co-worker of mine was from that area and always talked about how cool of a city it is and told me I just had to go. She recommended a few of the bars and restaurants to check out while visiting. Brandon and I packed our overnight bags and decided to make the short trip.
After walking around the downtown mall area on a beautiful sunny afternoon I was amazed with all the outdoor seating each of the restaurants had. Many locals residents were all sitting in the center of the mall area having an ice cold beer or a glass of wine while snacking on some appetizers and enjoying the company of their friends. We had 2 hours to kill before our dinner reservations at Ten, a popular Japanese sushi bar. We stopped to grab a drink and an aperitif at an elegant wine bar called Siips. Looking over the wine list I felt it was a little pricey for what they were offering but I stuck with getting an Italian wine and a baked brie appetizer. The brie appetizer had to be one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while. It was savory and accompanied by kalamata olives, wheat and plain crackers to spread the cheese on, roasted garlic, and lastly a small lightly seasoned arugula salad. Over all perfect pairing with my wine. After having a very delicious appetizer it was time for some sushi.
The Japanese word ten can mean heaven or above and ten is both of these. Ten approaches traditional Japanese dishes as if they were works of art and the plates are crafted to please both the palate and the eye. The colors inside the restaurant were breathtaking with one side of the room being light and the other dark. It was a very classy place for sushi and I was in love as soon as I walked up the stairs. The menu was very complex and offered everything you could want in a Japanese style restaurant. Starting with a seaweed salad which Ive never had before was blown away by the crunch and flavor. Next came the edamame which is always a must have when getting sushi. The only problem I had with this is it could’ve used more salt. The sushi roll I ordered was much bigger than I had expected but was by far the best sushi I’ve eaten. I eat a lot of sushi and after eating this roll, its going to make going anywhere else for sushi hard. Nothing can compare to the crunch, spice, flavor, and presentation that one roll gave me. To end the meal I had a tuna steak that was very tender and delicious. Over all rating for this restaurant is a ten out of ten. The only minor problem was our server who was very knowledgeable about the menu was not good at checking back when I needed him.
Down the street from Ten is a small gelato place where I stopped in to get some dessert. There were so many flavors to choose from and while I have only had three kinds of gelato before I was very indecisive about which flavor to choose. I sampled a few and decided to get two kinds, the chocolate hazelnut and vanilla . As for the rest of Charlotesville outside the mall area It is a very quiet city even with a college around. It is in a very beautiful part of Virginia and would consider living there in the future. With having such a wonderful first experience of the little city I would love to go back soon to check out more restaurants and bars. Everything from the food, to shopping, scenery, and hotel stay were exactly what I was looking for. I recommend this small town if you have not been, to check out. I am already looking forward to my next visit.