Can you imagine a more bucolic name for a place than Nellysford? Just the name of the little hamlet conjures visions of green pastures with cows and goats, long slow days and country stores. In fact, it is the home of Wintergreen Resort, a four-season resort in the mountains of Virginia. While being near Wintergreen and its winery is a nice part of Nellysford, our favorite part is a tiny vine-covered building that houses Basic Necessities, a combination cheese-wine shop and cafe that has become part of our routine when we head to the mountains to camp. Our love affair with Basic Necessities started when we began heading to Crozet for lunch at La Coccina del Sol on our way to Crabtree Falls. Nearly halfway between Crozet and Crabtree, we found this lovely little shop and stopped to check it out.
When walking in, you are immediately assailed by the smell of freshly baked breads and whatever soups and specials are on the menu for the day. While Basic Necessities is tiny, it is packed with culinary treasures from their assortment of outstanding cheeses, to their fresh-baked breads, to their wine room- the focus is on offering customers the best of the best. We got a bottle of wine, some cheeses and a baguette that was still warm and decided to forego the dinner we had planned and instead have fruit, cheese and bread after we set up camp.
The staff at Basic Necessities is always helpful, no matter how busy they are. When they had run out of a cheese we had had before, they took the time to write down the name for our friends so they could look for it in their own area. Owners Kay Pfaltz, Bev Lacey and Keith Dix are a part of the slow food movement and in the summer months offer organic produce for their customers as well. Their affiliation with Blue Heron Farm, a pesticide-free farm less than two miles away enables them to provide local produce to their many devotees.
I can't imagine a more delicious meal than being surrounded by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, ripping into a fresh baguette and slathering it with soft and creamy Tallegio cheese. It has become part of camping routine, and now we have taken to stopping on the way down the mountain so that we can bring a bit of Basic Necessities home. If you live near Nellysford or travel to the area, be sure to check it out- you will not be disappointed. They offer high quality, delicious food in a warm, friendly atmosphere. And try the cafe - my family has not done so yet because of our Coccina del Sol addiction, but people line up to eat in their cozy back room, and if the food tastes as good as it smells- you are in for a real experience! If you are near Nellysford, stopping by this shop is a basic necessity!