Has anyone checked this place out yet, the menu isn't slaying me.
I have a friend in Bmore who met one of the people opening it. Apparently they started a coffee shop (closed temporarily till they get the restaurant up too) that was pretty good. She made reservations for us to go on the 10th. I couldn't find a menu when I googled last night so thanks. The menu is entertaining. Looks like a lot of local stuff which is cool. If you go before me let me know how it is?
The menu to me is hilarious, you can tell they were trying to be funny. Not exactly the best food descriptions though. And I really like that they are local food based. That is pretty cool. Definately a southern and rural kind of menu though, of course Supper gives that away. Hopefully the food is good, and the place just isn't trying to be too hip. But even if you just go for drinks give me a heads up? This friend isn't known for being a chowhound, but the outlook seems to be looking up.
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I went last night. A fellow 'hound and I discussed this briefly yesterday as well. If you're going in expecting the cutting-edge, modern side of Spike, you might be surprised and/or disappointed. This definitely leans in the comfort food direction. But really well-executed comfort food, with the occassional surprising touch. And reasonable prices to match, I would add.
Based on our server's recommendation, we tried the carrots. Oven roasted until just carmelized on top, and then topped (at the table) with a very thin "jus" of pureed carrot tops (greens) and butter. Unbelievable. Really, really good.
The other big hit, as honeybee mentioned, was the chicken. Half a Springfield Farm bird, deboned and cooked "under a brick"-style with the resulting golden, crispy skin on top, and juicy, tender meat underneath. Quite possibly the best I've ever had. The accompanying grits were woefully underseasoned unfortunately, and were the only true disappointment of the night.
Roasted squash soup was nice. Clams baked with spinach, bacon, and cream were really nice. And the simple ("adolescent") salad was fine.
Riedel stemware was a welcome sight. I wish more restauranteurs cared about this one detail. Also of note was the house-carbonated sparkling water. And for us fans of the departed Artifact, it was nice to see the fancy equipment and Counter Culture beans back in use at Woodberry.
All in all, it might have been a little different than what I was expecting-- the Amish-looking dress code for female servers was curious-- but I enjoyed it very much and look forward to checking out more of the menu.
I was (am?) a big fan of Artifact coffee. Not only for their coffee, but their food (sandwiches and wraps) was well-thought-out and always delicious. Based on Artifact, my expectations for Woodberry Kitchen were high.
The restaurant is housed in a large open brick space with seating on the main level and upper balcony. Toward the back of the restaurant is a brick oven with a large wooden bread table directly in front of it. With this “hearthy/farmish” backdrop, and because the wait staff were dressed in (for lack of a better term) bohemian garb, I occasionally felt like I was sitting in some sort of country-barn kitchen (I had only one glass of CDR, I swear). I don’t know if this was an intentional effect to get at the “farm to table” theme. Anyway, on one side of the brick oven is the grill and bar, and on the other side is another area where food is prepared.
So we sat down and began to peruse the menu. At first, I was sort of annoyed at the menu’s layout and it took me a bit to get my bearings. However, because the menu is not arranged in traditional fashion (apps/soups/salads/entrees), you are forced to think differently about how to order. The nice feature is that you can order a variety of dishes if you want, which is what we did. The section of “snacks” is, I suppose, meant to be ordered and served quickly. From the snack section, we ordered deviled eggs and fried hominy with chile mayo which were both excellent. (BTW, if anyone liked the egg salad sandwiches at Artifact, you will love the deviled eggs). My wife enjoyed the various beet salad with yogurt cheese and I had the very tasty lamb meatballs. My final dish was the braised bone-in-pork shoulder served with greens (chard maybe?). The pork was slightly dryer than I thought it would be, but still tender and full o’ flavor. The sauce was excellent and I loved the greens. If not for wanting to try other things on the menu, I would order the pork again. My wife really liked the scallops with the gold rice and special sauce. She said the rice was al dente—not undercooked, but grainy in a rustic sort of way.
For dessert, due to my wife’s wheat allergy, we combined two dishes. We ordered the roasted pear (without salt or buckwheat) from the warm plate section of the menu and asked to have it topped with homemade vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. UN – F-ing –REAL. The ice cream had vanilla bean speckles and was not overbearingly sweet (even with the caramel sauce). The waiter informed us that the ice cream is made in-house. Excellent. (BTW, we asked the waiter tons of questions because of my wife’s allergy and he was very patient and helpful.)
Overall, the service was great, despite getting really busy. I was surprised about the service being good since the restaurant just opened. Another nice feature for us was that the chef was able to accommodate my wife’s allergy – (believe it or not we have been asked to leave a restaurant because of her allergy – Ramone? Ethel?). Finally, the cappuccino was prepared properly (something you don’t always find at a restaurant), a great way to end a very good meal. The prices are very reasonable. We had two of the house-bottled sparkling water and a glass of wine. Our bill was only $75. We can’t wait to go back.
Great reviews. The menu and the hound reviews have me ready to visit this place really soon, despite the fact that I'm located in NoVA. Even though it is comfort food-y, which I don't mind except at fine dining prices, they seem to have a lot of unique touches and (above all) the execution sounds right.