RockSalt in Charlottesville, VA

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Address: 2075 Bond Street, Suite 180, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Latitude/Longitude: 38.065727, -78.493231

Web site: click here

Phone: (434) 326-5665

Pricing: $$$


New restaurants open frequently in Charlottesville, VA, but they normally take a few months to get their sea-legs working well.  RockSalt, a new seafood restaurant in the Shops at Stonefield, opened a short time ago and has come on strong from its beginning.  We normally do not go to new restaurants until they have been open a few months but we were so hungry for a great seafood restaurant here that we had to try it within one month of its opening and we were not disappointed.

The decor of RockSalt is modern, industrial chic, which of course means that it is slightly noisy but you can still have a conversation with the person next to you without having to shout.  The bar is beautiful to say the least – gorgeous counter and stools.  We chose to sit at the bar instead of one of the tables so that we could talk with the bartenders and the people next to us if they were willing.  Little did we know when we chose our places that the person sitting next to us was the chef going over some new ideas for the menu.  Jesse Fultineer, the chef, was very willing to answer any of our questions about the menu and to make suggestions.  I did find out that their Rice Grits is made from white rice that they coarse grind and then cook as one would for corn grits.

The raw bar consists of some wonderfully sweet and briny oysters (Rappahannocks, Stingray and Olde Salts), Olde Salt Clams, mussels, shrimp and caviar.  I highly recommend getting at least one of each.  If you order appetizers and raw bar make sure you let your server know that you want them served at the same time.  The raw bar is served immediately while the appetizers come later.

The entrées include not only seafood (wonderful scallops and crab cakes!) but also includes locally sourced woodfired meats – including chicken and pork from Timbercreek Organic Farms in Charlottesville.

Would we go again?  You betch-ya.


From the Author: The Rice Grits is a very interesting take on grits. Many who do not like traditional grits should enjoy these. Definitely try the oysters - very sweet, mild with just a hint of briny-ness. The scallops are absolutely wonderful! The crab-cake is full of crab meat and very little filler. Well worth the cost of the meal. No dessert was needed to fill us up - did not even look at what they offered for dessert.

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