As you’re out and about exploring the Piedmont, there’s a new stop on the path of food excitement: Gordonsville. Restaurant Pomme has been pleasing visitors and locals for years with its fine French cuisine and talent of Master Chef Gerard Gasparini. Now Gordonsville has attracted two additional well-trained chefs who’ve opened their own enterprises.
Gordonsville Deli owner Jonathan Hayward was formerly the executive chef at nearby Toliver House and has an impressive culinary background, Hayward has taken a quieter, more relaxed approach to dining. No less focused on local foods than at his prior kitchen, he now masters the daily special with bountiful salads, sandwiches, and soups.
Wait, there’s more good food news. The newest participant is no stranger to the food world. Not giving up his day job but indulging one of his food loves, Craig Hartman, executive chef at nearby Keswick Hall’s Fossett’s Restaurant, has turned a passion into The BBQ Exchange which is managed by his wife Donna. The slow-cooking operation has brought the smells of the countryside to life.
Chef Hartman jokes that this, too, is a tablecloth spot as an employee covers the tables with white paper, suitable for enjoying the ribs and creating your own pictorial from the basket of crayons. Nothing shabby here as this slow-cooking process needs careful monitoring to get the flavors just perfect. He believes anyone can take a good piece of meat and turn out a great steak, but barbq needs time and attention. You won’t be disappointed: Order some of the garlic pickles to accompany the great slaw and try Craig’s special North Carolina sauces. You’ll be looking at your Blackberry to figure out when you can return!
Gordonsville has emerged as Orange’s new food capital. What a treat. Trust me.