Kari had to talk me into choosing this as our last Restaurant Week visit. I'm glad she did because we were treated to an inviting, well-designed restaurant with lots of cool features, great staff and awesome food. I think we agree that this was one of the best restaurants we've been to. We parked around the back so we slipped through the giant open air seating area and bar they have outside. We also saw their garden where we heard that they participate with Thornhill Farms in a program to teach adaptive gardening to developmentally challenged children. They had a roaring fire going in a fire pit right near the bar.
The only downside to the outside seating is that when it started raining, they're abundance of seating was drastically reduced as everyone ran inside. I didn't see any unhappy customers, so they must have handled it well. Since we were so pleased with our experience, I'll start with the only minor negative of the whole experience. They have a small bar inside with a TV, so I think some of the guests thought that meant it was a sports bar, making loud drunken outbursts okay. It didn't happen often, and wasn't rude or crude, just a weird counterpoint to a great, well presented meal.
End of negatives...
I had a Short Rib appetizer that was luscious, tender and huge (for an appetizer. The sauce was very nice and the meat perfectly cooked. I scored it a 3.5. Kari had the Beet Salad, which was two different kinds of beets, spinach and basil from their garden, accompanied with house made mozzarella. She gave it a 4.5, and I agree. Fresh!
Kari went big for dinner and got the NY Strip topped with a poached egg and sitting on a bed of sweet potato hash. The hash had a Cajun flavor that went very well. with the steak. Kari loved this and I agreed. We would have given it a 5.0, but that requires perfection and the poached egg was just a little short of perfect (surprisingly, the yolk was slightly overcooked and the white SLIGHTLY undercooked.) We settled on a very impressive 4.5.
I had Smoked Pork Butt with a sunny side up egg, collards and grits. If you read this column, you know I'm a pulled pork fan. I can't say how the pulled pork compares to my favorites, but the entire dish was perfect. The grits were perfectly prepared and seasoned, the collards had tons of flavor and the egg was fresh and scrumptious. This is the best dish I had all week. It gets a perfect 5.0!
I had a Cheesecake with Toasted Coconut Crust and Chocolate Chips for dessert. I gave it a 3.75. Kari had a Red Velvet Cupcake that was served with a glass of milk. This got a 4.25.
Some other items of note: Kari got the wine pairing with her meal and they refilled her wine for no charge - I like that. They have the 3 for $30 menu Monday through Thursday.
The staff was universally good. Everyone from the Water Guy to the Manager made sure to verify that we were happy. The manager stopped by several times to check on us and answer our many questions about the food sources.
We will be back, regularly.