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Charlottesville Restaurants and Date Night: Skybar and Bang #wiaw

We all know that right now, I am focused on quality over quantity, but I had to stop and write up a post about our dinner and drinks from Monday night. Alex and I did date night UP for real on Monday (and Tuesday… but that will get its own post, because we went to a place VERY special to me), returning to 2 of our favorite Charlottesville restaurants: Skybar and Bang.


We were going to go to a brewery but we were still so full from lunch that we decided to do our regular date night thing instead and headed to the hotel, for a walk, and then happy hour and dinner early. To start off, we headed down the Downtown Mall, checking out what had changed and what hadn’t, before ending up at Skybar, the bar and happy hour spot atop the fabulous Commonwealth restaurant.

skybar charlottesville

Gotta love the ambiance! And it was a nice night but a bit chilly, so sitting outside under the heat lamps was perfect.

skybar cocktails

Red Riding Hood Absolut Orient Apple, Domaine De Canton, Cranberry, Orange Twist

Even minus the simple syrup, this was a bit sweet for me. That said, I thought it had fabulous flavor! A fantastic holiday drink–like a more flavorful cosmo.

Ginger Buck Jim Beam, Ginger Beer, Bitters and Shrub, Lime

We both LOVED this. Perfectly balanced, nicely gingered, but still layered. Not sweet, just right!

Alex also got a Three Notched Brewery No Veto Brown, which tasted just like coffee (seriously, if you mixed this with iced coffee, you would never know!), and we demolished some tortilla chips and fresh pico de gallo.

Then it was off to Bang for dinner!

bang sign

Bang is Asian Fusion tapas, and one of our absolute favorite Cville spots–incredible for both its expansive artisan crafted cocktails as well as its fabulous dishes. We went with some old favorites as well as new successes! Seriously, everything we ordered was delicious, and we ended up staying there 2-3 hours!


bang edamame

Edamame with ginger-soy sauce

Another must order–you get so much, it is the perfect start to the meal, and this is the best edamame starter I’ve yet found at any restaurant. The sauce poured over them is so good that I would drink it if it wasn’t rude!

pulled pork tacos bang

Pulled Pork Tacos with Wasabi Cabbage Slaw

So delicious, and perfectly done–salty sweet, rich pulled pork, the crispy wonton taco shell, wasabi slaw…. just delicious.

chickpea rolls bang

Chickpea spring rolls with AMAZEBALLS dipping sauce

This is a go-to of ours. Not only are the chickpea egg rolls incredible (and I love the carrot slaw), but the dipping sauce is unimaginably good. It is like a curry mustard sauce, and with something else that I have never been able to put my finger on to identify. Believe me, I have tried! A MUST order!

Sweet Potato and soy bean samosas with yogurt sauce (apparently I didn’t save the picture, though I know I took it!)

Really tasty, but at that point I was a bit soy bean-ed out! A cucumbery-cilantro-wasabi sauce brought everything together, and the samosa dough was fab (nice and flaky, just the right density and amount. Great flavors inside too!


Beef and Shrimp Pho with Rice Noodles

I loved this. The broth was perfection from flavor standpoint–not to salty, or too spicy–I might have even liked it a bit more so!–and the beef and shrimp cooked perfectly in it. This was probably by favorite!

warm beets bang

Warm Beet Salad with Ginger dressing (on side)

Surprisingly, this came last, but it was so amazing! Loved the crunchy wontons–a great touch, but I didn’t get much ginger at all from the dressing–it pretty much just tasted of sesame oil to me. But Alex really liked it. I just used the edamame dressing dregs instead!



Esquire Makers Mark + Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka 

Delicious!!! A bit sweet, thanks to the Firefly, but perfectly made and oh, so good!

Afterglow Knob Creek with Sweetened Lemongrass (Again, what happened to my picture???? Picture the one before this, with a lime)

Described as “Simple and strong,” this was the favorite for me of the 3 cocktails that we got at Bang. Strong, but right on–you could taste what you were drinking, but everything blended so well. Perfectly balanced flavors, and the lemongrass only gave it a lift and citrus note.


Boutineer A Jack Daniels Old Fashioned + St. Germaine

Our least favorite. I’m not really one for Old Fashioned’s in general, so it didn’t really surprise me that I wasn’t so into it. It was a great drink, just not for me.


Pot of Decaf + Baileys (x2!)

We were having such a good time just talking that ever after we paid the bill, we decided to go for more! AND THEN MORE!!! You can imagine how good French Press + Baileys is. I don’t need to tell you NUTHIN.

In all, it was just an incredible night, and I felt like we were making up so much ground that we had “lost” over the past few weeks of hardly seeing each other. We talked about the present and the future, where we might be, and the shape of our lives to come. I wouldn’t trade this night for anything.

In case you were wondering: Ginger Buck and Afterglow won out in my opinion on the drinks, and the Beef Pho was probably my favorite entire dish of the night, though closely followed by the beets and the chickpea rolls (with what is one of the best sauces I’ve ever had!).

We are literally getting a greatest hits of our favorite Charlottesville spots–be sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook!

What looks good to you? Spanish or Asian tapas?

When was the last time that you went to a very nostalgic place and what did you do?

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  • Reply Sara @ Lake Shore Runner

    That edamame looks sooooo good! And you know I am lovin that Bailey’s 🙂
    Sara @ Lake Shore Runner recently posted…Tips & Tricks on Making Your Presents Look BeautifulMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 5:51 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hahahaa I made sure to take a pic for you!!

      December 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm
  • Reply Jessie

    What a fun date! I’d go to Bang just for the name.. and the drinks look pretty good too 🙂
    Jessie recently posted…Chocolate Covered Anything Day + A GiveawayMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 6:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Go for the name, stay for the drinks and food!

      December 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm
  • Reply Heather @Fit n Cookies

    I just love that you guys are getting some time together! With his crazy work schedules, I know it’s hard! Enjoy it darling!
    Heather @Fit n Cookies recently posted…A Day In the Life: A SundayMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 6:26 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thanks boo, we certainly are!

      December 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm
  • Reply Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie

    This place looks fun! I love tapa style restaurants in general, so this looks right up my alley. And those drinks are so pretty! Half the fun of getting a drink is seeing how pretty it looks.
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted…WIAW: Work Christmas Dinner and Arctic Zero ReviewMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 6:28 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Haha so true. And then eating the garnish

      December 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    I really like tapas, but have never tried an Asian version like this. I’m sure I’d love it though- the food looks amazing.
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Mustache Questions- Blog SurveyMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 6:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I love asian fusion tapas–so much room for creativity!

      December 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm
  • Reply Juli @1000lovelythings

    Everything looks so cool! I wish I were there right now!

    December 17, 2014 at 7:08 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I will willingly return with you!

      December 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm
  • Reply Michele

    All I saw was the pretty drinks! Yum and so festive! Also the pulled pork tacos, those sound awesome too 🙂
    Michele recently posted…Do You Think I “Eat Like a Man?” WIAWMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 7:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You would die over them! Seriously they are straight up your alley!

      December 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    i want those pulled pork tacos!!!! yum!
    Rachel recently posted…WIAW- First Eats at the New Apartment!!!My Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 7:22 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      A very very good choice

      December 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner

    Looks like you are having a blast in VA. I’m going with the edamame 🙂
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Be Your Own Master Chef with Hello FreshMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 7:23 am
    • Reply suzlyfe


      December 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm
  • Reply cait @pieceofcait

    looks like a fun date night! I love a good ambiance too, takes it over the top!
    cait @pieceofcait recently posted…3 LAST minute DIY Christmas decorations!My Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 7:29 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Skybar really has some of the best ambiance!

      December 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm
  • Reply Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment

    What a fun night! Your cocktails look delicious. I always have memories associated with certain restaurants – I have a real fondness for this little Italian place my mom and I go to when I am home in NJ. It’s the best pizza!
    Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment recently posted…WIAW #20: Eats & Health CoachingMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 7:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      mmmmmmmm pizza. There are so many places that I associate with people. And then I feel guilty if I don’t go with them!

      December 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    Sounds like such a great night! I love dinners/nights out like that. I think that Flemings is pretty nostalgic for Rob and I because we have been going there for so many years and have a lot of good memories there celebrating special events.
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Fruits And Veggies And Weird Eating Habits (WIAW)My Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 7:48 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I would agree–there are definitely those places that just make for instant connection. LIke you know that when you walk through the front door, it is all about YOU.

      December 18, 2014 at 2:07 pm
  • Reply Desi @ A Northern Girl

    Bang was one of my favorite places in Cville. Especially on Wednesdays and during restaurant week!

    December 17, 2014 at 8:06 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Woooooo! Another Cvillian! When were you here??

      December 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm
      • Reply Desi @ A Northern Girl

        I moved earlier this year, but I lived next to Jesse Matthew for two years eep! I’m in Nashville now but I really miss Bodo’s. There are no good bagels here.
        Desi @ A Northern Girl recently posted…tune tuesday / best of 2014My Profile

        December 18, 2014 at 2:13 pm
        • Reply suzlyfe

          Well that is just tragic. Pure tragedy.

          December 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm
  • Reply Jill

    Allllll the drinks! Haha love it. I’m so glad you guys are spending QT together. You sound so happy and content right now. I love edamame and I’m going to give pho another try!
    Jill recently posted…My Christmas Wish ListMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 8:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Really good pho is amazing. But I have had it where it isn’t so great. I love veggie pho too–I”ve not had the best luck with tofu pho (I find it falls apart). You need something in there that is meaty, like a enoki mushroom or something. ANd I’m am so happy that we are getting the time together as well. We really needed it.

      December 18, 2014 at 2:05 pm
  • Reply Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I love tapas! I like anything you can pick at and eat lots of.
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on Blueberry and Fudge Muffins by DanniiMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 8:38 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Most definitely. TRY ALL THE THINGS

      December 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply Lacey@fairytalesandfitness

    I am not a fan of tapas. But your food looks very tasty. And those drinks look so fun!
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…The OTHER Charcter meal at DisneyMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 9:04 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Then we just need to get you larger portions! 😀

      December 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply Lauren @ ihadabiglunch

    Coffee and Bailey’s is my favorite this time of year! Well, it comes second to Bailey’s and hot chocolate 🙂 I’m so glad you and Alex got to go spend so much time with his family after your test (congrats, by the way!). That way there’s no stress on you guys and you could just be present 😀 “I was soybeaned out at that point.” Such a casual phrase.

    Skybar looks awesome! I love when bars/restaurants are lit like that.
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch recently posted…I am woman: FEED MEMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 9:12 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Skybar is so fab, and between the two of the restaurants, it was all the cocktails, and I was down. Though I totally was soybeaned out.
      But thank you my friend, it was such a necessary night for us.

      December 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm
  • Reply Annmarie

    Ermahgerd! I LOVE Asian Fusion food! #GETINMYBELLY!
    Annmarie recently posted…Gift Guide for the Fit Foodie + GiveawayMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 9:31 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I will turn this plane around and we will go.

      December 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm
  • Reply Anna @ Piper's Run

    Looks fancy! This just reminds me that my husband and I need to get out more when we are in the city visiting my parents. We have some nice places here to eat but Halifax just has so much more diversity! My husband and I don’t have a lot of time together so when we do, it’s just THAT much better. I can totally relate. Happy for you both.
    Sounds like a great time!
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted…Injured and Fit Fab Fuel Swap 2014My Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 9:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Plus, it can just be nice to get out of dodge every now and then, get something different and reconnect over that. This was the best of all worlds because it was familiar and new all at the same time.

      December 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm
  • Reply Shawna

    mmmm looks good. love the ginger drink! i had a ginger bourbon lemon honey thing last night at a cocktail bar in the FiDi and it was awesome, too. we so connected. 🙂
    Shawna recently posted…Weekend RecapMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 9:45 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      mmmmmmmmmm I want. Glad you connected with it 😀

      December 18, 2014 at 2:01 pm
  • Reply Ursula

    I’m such a fan of both Spanish and Asian tapas but I really love Asian fusion restaurants. This all looks amazing and washabi slaw is right up my alley. Sounds like the perfect ideal date night 🙂
    Ursula recently posted…Holiday Love, Part IIIMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 10:23 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I too am a fan of Spanish tapas, but I feel like people don’t take enough liberties with them! Asian fusion allows for so much creativity!

      December 18, 2014 at 2:01 pm
  • Reply Erin @ Erin's Inside Job

    Man, I just ate lunch and all that is making me hungry again! I love those times when you are able to connect and just talk about all sorts of things and your lives together. Looks like you had a great time!!
    Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job recently posted…WIAW: Bars on Bars on BarsMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 12:13 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It was just that. We haven’t had that for a long, long time, and it was like making up for serious lost time.

      December 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm
  • Reply Mar @ Mar on the Run

    Red Riding Hood – sign me up! I just want to jump in your post and eat all the things and drink all the things. YUM!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…DC’s Holiday Trees {Blogmas} Day 5My Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      If you can find a way, let me know! And the Red Riding hood was a perfect seasonal cocktail–must try to make it again, though a bit less sweet this time.

      December 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm
  • Reply Ange @ Cowgirl Runs

    Chickpea spring rolls?! WHAAAAA! Those sound amazing.

    What a great evening you and Alex had eating and catching up. Love.
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Tuesday TruthsMy Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      So good. And that freaking sauce. You can’t stop with it. It was such a great night. We have literally gorged every night since we’ve been here!

      December 18, 2014 at 1:59 pm
  • Reply Emily @SinfulNutrition

    All of those drinks look & sound amazing! Although I’m a sucker for most any cocktail 😉
    Emily @SinfulNutrition recently posted…WIAW, Winter Glow, & Tiny Tim.My Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh, me too. I love a craft cocktail–the layering of flavor, the idiosyncracies of–I will go all nerd on you.

      December 18, 2014 at 1:58 pm
  • Reply Farrah

    I’ve never been to Bang, but I definitely need to try that the next time I’m passing through there! (It’s on the way to where I go for my powerlifting competitions! <3 ) I wants Asian tapas! <3!!!
    Farrah recently posted…#FitFabFuelSwap 2014 Reveal!My Profile

    December 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe


      December 18, 2014 at 1:58 pm
  • Reply Dana | fresh simple five

    Everything looks delicious! I’ve heard so many good things about Cville’s food scene. I’d love to plan a trip there someday and eat my way through the city.
    Dana | fresh simple five recently posted…What I Ate WednesdayMy Profile

    December 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm
  • Reply Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC

    we’ve already discussed my love and nostalgia for cville on instagram so i’ll just say that i love this post and LOVE traveling to cville!
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…Friday Five: Holiday TraditionsMy Profile

    December 19, 2014 at 7:53 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      😀 it is a place that warrants such feelings!

      December 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm
  • Reply My New Year's Resolution: How You Treat Yourself - Suzlyfe

    […] Charlottesville Restaurants and Date Night: Skybar and Bang #wiaw […]

    December 22, 2014 at 5:34 am
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