Hornsby Farm Spring Harvest Dinner

Last night we attended the Spring Harvest Dinner at Hornsby Farms in Auburn, Alabama. The farm is a short drive from Auburn,  located just south of town off College Street. After turning off the main highway, you make a short drive down a dirt road and you land in what feels like the middle of the country. The weather was mild and enjoyable, and there was not a cloud in the sky. The beautiful orange and blue sunset sky that is the embodiment of life on the plains was a beautiful backdrop for the commencement of our evening.

The chef for this particular dinner was Caleb Fischer of Acre in Auburn, Alabama. The chef for these dinners rotates around, and we were really pleased to have to opportunity to enjoy some of Caleb’s cooking. He is currently the Chef de Cuisine at Acre, and he will be the Executive Chef at their new restaurant Bow & Arrow when they open later this year. We were able to celebrate a little bit Caleb making it to the finale of the Spring Baking Championship on the Food Network last evening. I know the entire community has enjoyed watching him succeed in the competition, and cannot wait to see what other great things are in the future for him.

All the food that was served for this event came directly from the farm, including the pork. Truly farm to table. Hornsby Farms grows over one hundred varieties of fruits and vegetables on their farm year round. They offer weekly produce basket deliveries in the local area. They also work with many of the local restaurants that you may have dined in, such as, Acre, Moores Mill Club, Amsterdam Café, and SpringHouse, to name a few. We were able to tour the farm prior to dinner, and I really enjoyed getting to see all the chickens, ducks, pigs (Okra and Squash), and hear Josh tell us about what he had planted for the upcoming summer months.

After the sun had set, we all gathered around the barn. The Hornsby family welcomed everyone out for the evening, and Chef Caleb discussed his preparation of all the food we were about to eat. It was interesting to hear his story of harvesting the pig and the care and consideration they took in the butchery of the animal. The event was very reminiscent of a boucherie in Lousiana, which Caleb made reference to, full of food, libations, and fellowship.

Along with the savory pork we were served stewed cabbage with radishes, succotash full of limas & corn, a roasted cauliflower and broccoli crudité salad, and very tasty dirty rice. Instead of providing the traditional, typical sauces served with barbecue, we were offered a variation of their farm made jams and jellies, my favorite being the peach habañero jelly. I also put a dollop of the jelly in my succotash, like you would a chow- chow. The meal was soulfully delicious and getting to know all the other people at our table made the evening that much more interesting.

For dessert, Caleb finished the meal with a cornbread cake with strawberry preserves. The cornbread cake was divine, and Caleb incorporated some of Beth’s Sweet Heat Pepper Jelly into the strawberry mix, adding a little bit of a surprising heat to the dessert. The only thing that could have made it better, would have been a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

As the night dwindled down we gathered around the bonfire while we finished our desserts and sipped on what wine we had left. I could have stayed in that exact spot all evening if my schedule would have allowed. The peaceful silence, cool air, and the starlit skies almost made me want to consider farm living. If you ever have the chance check out Hornsby Farms and all the wonderful things they have to offer!

Beautiful skies over the farm.
Farm tables made by Josh Hornsby.
Campfire seating area.
All food, minus the pig, this evening was cooked in cast iron on the open fire.
This little piggy went to market.
Happy plate full of dirty rice, succotash, pork with Beth’s pepper jelly, cabbage with radishes, and broccoli & cabbage crudité salad.

Iron Chef Wine Dinner

Last evening we were able to attend the Iron Chef Wine Dinner at Acre in Auburn, Alabama. David Bancroft, chef and restaurant owner, won the Iron Chef battle on the Food Network back in December. Our community could not be more proud or happy for him, his family, and his team. The dinner featured a five course menu based around the dishes that helped David win the competition on Iron Chef. Tickets for this event sold out in minutes. We felt very fortunate to be able to attend.

The wines paired with each course were from the Honig Winery out of Rutherford, California. Michael Honig was in attendance and spoke about the winery and the wines that were paired with each course. I was lucky enough to visit this picturesque winery with my husband a few years back. We attended a wine dinner in their vineyards for the summer solstice. It is an exquisite property, and I strongly encourage you to visit if you are ever in the area.

Cocktails started at 6 PM. Guests were welcomed into the dining area by servers carrying trays of the first wine pairing, which was as 2017 Napa Sauvignon Blanc. This was paired with a short rib tartare, which was served on a crostini with an oyster mayo, lime, and radish greens. They were also passing around a delectable lagniappe David had prepared, a Conecuh sausage and oyster donut with a cheesy mustard sauce on top. They were absolutely divine! I hope to see these on the menu in the future.

The dinner was assembled in the bar area of the restaurant.  Two long tables were lined up in a farm table style setting. We had a great time getting to know our companions at the table who shared our love for food and wine. Christin, David’s wife, did an a marvelous job with the decor for the dinner. I loved the personal touches used for the place cards. They were Honig wine corks that had been halved and held the place card for each seat. The flowers arranged down the center of the tables were exquisite. C. Wayman Floral & Events  did the floral arrangements for this event, and also keep the restaurant regularly styled with beautiful bouquets of flowers. I have been a long time follower of theirs on social media and have always admired their striking floral designs.

As everyone took their seats, Christin welcomed and thanked everyone for attending. David came out and talked about the preparation for all the dishes. Listening to him describe his food is absolutely captivating. You can easily see and hear his excitement for his thoughtfully constructed dishes. He is genuinely excited for you to eat his food, and the excitement is contagious. Caleb Fischer, the Chef de Cuisine at Acre and future Executive Chef at the soon to open sister property Bow and Arrow, spoke on the final course, the bone marrow pots de crème. Caleb is also a local celebrity. We have thoroughly enjoyed watching him compete on the Spring Baking Championship, also on  Food Network. We hope he can too bring back a win for our hometown!

For the second course, we were served David’s famous Alabama tamales. He makes them with a sweet potato masa, spicy chorizo, and wraps them in collard greens, versus the traditional corn husk. On this particular evening, he had the tamales atop a bed of a melon vinaigrette. Listening to him describe the preparation of the vinaigrette had my mouth watering. The delicate sweetness of the melon vinaigrette paired perfectly with the spiciness of the chorizo. The 2016 Rutherford Reserve Sauvignon Blanc paired sublimely with these flavors as well.

The third course was a St. Louis style rib that had been coated in a chicken skin streusel and blackberry preserves. Being a true southerner, they won my heart at chicken skin; Yummy, crispy chicken skin. These were by far the best ribs I have ever had. The deep, rich flavors of the preserves coating the rib, and the subtle crunch of the delicious chicken skins were mind blowing. This course was the introduction to the red wine pairings. The pairing for this courses was a 2015 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.

The fourth course consisted of another style of rib, a slow smoked beef short rib. The wine pairing for this dish was my favorite of the dinner. The bold, robust flavor of the 2014 Bartolucci Cabernet Sauvignon stood up to the rich, complex flavors of this rib dish. The beef rib was covered in a roasted beet gravy and Alabama morel jam. There was a little bit of raw celery and peas atop the rib that added a little extra crunch and texture to the savory, fall-apart rib. The beet gravy and morel jam were out of this world good! I hope these two items will be a mainstay on the menu at Acre as well.

The final course was a heavenly dessert, which was paired with a 2016 Napa Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. The dessert was a bone marrow pots de crème that had a toasted hazelnut sprinkled atop a lemon curd with a red ribbon sorrel garnish. This pairing and dish was the favorite of our dinner companions. The bright lemon was subdued by the bone marrow, and the hazelnut crunch on top added texture to the dish. Caleb really has a knack for making incredible desserts.

We had a delightful evening at the Iron Chef Dinner. The food and wine pairings were sheer perfection. We enjoyed getting to meet the other diners and share with them our love of food and wine. We are so proud of Acre and their team. They do an exemplary job of demonstrating true Southern hospitality, and we are truly blessed to have them in our community.

Beautiful tablescape.
David Bancroft (right) and Caleb Fischer (left) talking about the menu.
Michael Honig talking about his winery and wines.
Short Rib Tartare.
Conecuh sausage and oyster donut with a cheesy mustard sauce on top.
Alabama tamales.
St. Louis Style Rib with chicken skin streusel.
Personal touches!
Slow Smoked Beef Short Rib.
Bone Marrow Pot de Crème.
(L-R) David Bancroft of Acre, John Mark Davis of International Wines, Michael Honig of Honig Winery.

 

 

Cart Barn Grille

Just a short drive from Opelika, Alabama up I-85 north, you will find some of the best seafood in the south at The Cart Barn Grille in LaGrange, Georgia.

There are zero frills and no pretentiousness, just plain good food. We were introduced to The Cart Barn Grille a few years ago by a dear friend of ours who frequented the restaurant so much they named a dish after him, the Grouper Willi. We were told that they had incredible seafood dishes, and a laid back atmosphere that could not be beat.

The original Cart Barn was located just off Exit 13 on interstate I-85 in Georgia. They were forced out of that location due to the construction of the new, large Great Wolf Lodge. Originally, owner Tony Bishop, thought this might be his time to retire, but the demand for his food was too strong. Thankfully, the stars aligned and an even better location was found. Now the new and improved Cart Barn Grille is located at 625 Jefferson Street in the historic Hillside neighborhood of LaGrange, Georgia. The neighborhood is up and coming, with Beacon Brewery going in just across the street from the Cart Barn’s new location. I am excited to see the progress these new businesses will bring to the area. I love to see a town embrace their historic buildings and neighborhoods.

We arrived at The Cart Barn Friday evening to find a wait. Expect to find a wait most any time you go here. I consider a wait a good thing. It usually is a good indication of the quality of food you are going to get. The wait has never been unbearable, and we enjoy ‘tailgating’ in the parking lot talking with friends while we wait. They serve lunch on Monday, and have dinner and lunch service Tuesday-Friday. They are closed on the weekends. Even with atypical hours, this place is booming nonstop, and it is due to one simple reason, delicious food.

For appetizers we took a non-traditional route and ordered “off the menu” starters. We ordered one of their delicious cheeseburgers and split it with the table. For some added tastiness, we also ordered the fried shrimp a la carte. Their fried shrimp is some of the best I have ever had. The batter is light and crispy, and the shrimp is fresh and tender. If you order this combination, they will definitely know who sent you.

My favorite entrée on the menu is the Grouper Willi. The grouper is sauteed in lemon pepper, served over a bed of mashed potatoes, with lump crab meat, broccolini, and covered in a delicious beurre blanc and avocado aoili. The fish is fresh and flaky, and all the seasonings combined make this a bright and tasteful dish. I have ordered this dish more times than I can count, and it is consistently good every time.

My husband ordered the veal prime rib this particular evening. The veal chop was a bone in roast, with a demi-glace sauce, tobacco onions, all served over a bed of mashed potatoes and broccolini. He raved about this dish for days. I am sure he will be ordering this again if it is on the menu next time we return.

We adore The Cart Barn and do not hesitate in making the short drive to LaGrange. I do not consider myself a huge fan of seafood. However, the seafood here is so fresh and delicious, that I have discovered many seafood dishes that I now love. Not only is the food delicious, but the hospitality is second to none. From the first time I visited the Cart Barn, Tony and his son Shawn, made us feel like locals.

Hope you make the trip to The Cart Barn soon and enjoy a delicious meal. Tell Tony the Dining Winos sent you! 😉

George’s Farmers Market

It is my favorite time of year. The weather has started to warm up. The sun shines a little bit longer every afternoon. The azaleas and dogwoods are abundant, and they are blooming. There is a haze of yellow dust from all the pollen in the air, and the grass is getting greener. I eagerly bring out the Birkenstock sandals, paint my toes, and start enjoying an Alabama spring!

Another favorite part of this season is the beginning of planting the garden in our back yard, flowers in my pots on the front porch, and being able to buy some of our favorite produce of the season that we’ve missed over the colder months. One of our favorite places to stock up on local produce, meat, and all other things local is just a short drive from Auburn and Opelika, George’s Farmers Market off Highway 431 in LaFayette, Sturkey proper.

This Sunday, my husband and one of his good buddies went turkey hunting at our family’s place in LaFayette. Since the weather was so incredibly beautiful I suggested that we meet in the middle at George’s Farmers Market, and I would bring a picnic lunch. It was a perfect day for a picnic. The sun was warm, but there was a nice cool breeze. There are several picnic tables, a sandbox, and monkey bars for the little ones to play on just to the side of George’s Market. I have also witnessed many beautiful sunsets at this exact spot. It is a great spot to have a picnic whether it is for lunch or dinner.

After we finished our lunch, I did some grocery shopping for dinner. George’s Farmers Market has all the necessities to stock your pantry, and for a delicious dinner. Some of the things we bought included: Alabama tomato basil pork sausage out of Eclectic, two beautiful Georgia raised pork chops, plenty of sweet baby squash, sweet potatoes, local lettuce from Selma, cheddar cheese out of North Carolina, and I also stocked up on local Auburn honey while we were there, harvested by  Jesse’s Girls Honey. Wild honey is great to add to your diet during allergy season. It is believed that eating local honey helps you build up resistance to the pollen, easing allergy symptoms. Plus, it just makes everything taste yummy. It is a great alternative to other sugars as well.

With our finds we were able to create delicious appetizers and dinner. We grilled the Alabama tomato basil pork sausage, and used the cheddar cheese to make pimento cheese. In my opinion, any southern appetizer platter must have pickles, so we added some canned pickles as well. We ended up with a beautiful local, homemade-style charcuterie board. We paired this with a 2016 Schloss Vollrads Estate Riesling. The Riesling was sweet, crisp, and delicate. It reminded me of wild southern honeysuckle. This pairing was a great juxtaposition to the savoriness of the sausage and pimento cheese. What a great way to start the evening, and dinner.

For the main course, we cooked the pork chops. We first rubbed the pork chops in Uncle Clyde’s Gold Dust Seasoning, out of Selma, and put them on the hot grill. We took the sweet potatoes, diced them up, tossed them in a light dusting of cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, paprika, salt, and pepper and baked them until tender. Right before serving we drizzled the honey over the sweet potatoes. The sweetness of the honey played well with the spices on the sweet potatoes. This is absolutely my most favorite way to eat sweet potatoes! With the baby squash, I sliced it in half and lightly salted the squash halves. Let them sit for about five minutes and sweat. I, then, heated about two tablespoons of butter in a skillet, put the squash halves face down in the butter, and sautéed the squash, flipping occasionally, until the butter starts to brown the squash and a slight char is achieved. I had an elderly lady teach me this preparation a long time ago, and it became the only way I want to eat squash. We put together a salad with our fresh local lettuce and tomatoes. It was the perfect meal. The pork was juicy, tender, and flavorful. The sweet potatoes were delicious and savory. The squash was sweet, soft, yet crispy. We amazingly had enough left over for lunch for one the next day. For the entree, we paired a 2011 Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-Du-Pape with the pork. The rich, complex flavors of this wine paired nicely with the well-seasoned pork.

George’s Farmer’s Market is open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM and 1 PM until 5 PM on Sunday. Hours may vary if weather is inclement. The drive from Auburn or Opelika is short and scenic. Pack a picnic, and go enjoy their outdoor space. If you are social media savvy follow their Instagram and Facebook pages to stay up-to-date with the events, special hours, and other things they have going on at the market. Some of the events they host throughout the year range from farm to table dinners, sunflower fields, pumpkin patches, Christmas trees, and pie tastings. You definitely can have a good time while grocery shopping at George’s, make new friends, and discover new local products that you will not want to live without.

Pro tip: If you are fortunate enough to catch them with a stock of their fresh homemade sourdough bread, buy it! It is amazing!

Easter Brunch

Easter was incredibly beautiful this year. We had sunny skies, blooming azaleas, and warm weather that had everyone breaking out their summer wardrobes early.

We were fortunate enough to snag a coveted reservation at The Hound in downtown Auburn, Alabama. We have tried going to brunch here several times to only decide to not make the wait, which can sometimes reach an hour. The Hound is a very popular restaurant and bar in the heart of downtown Auburn, just a block away from Auburn University’s campus.

Outside the front entrance of The Hound there are a number of picnic tables for an outdoor seating area. I did not see anyone eating outside on this particular day. Even though it was only April 1st, the weather was already considerably warm. Eating outside could have worked, but why not enjoy the air conditioning when available?

It did not take long for us to be seated since we had a reservation. There was still a little wait, but we easily understood this because Easter is one of the busiest times for brunch services for most restaurants. We were seated in the main dining room, just beyond the bar area. The dining room is decorated in an urban rustic style. Deer antler chandeliers, minnow bucket lights, solid wood tables, and a mixture of new and old elements. The atmosphere is very relaxed and comfortable.

We were promptly served once seated. We had already decided what we wanted to eat while we were waiting to be seated, so we were anxious to order our food and get to eating!

For starters, we shared as a table the Hound’s spicy po’ cheese and Mama Sue’s pepper jelly and crackers. The Hound’s spicy po’ cheese is a house-made pimento cheese. Pimento cheese as a starter is what I consider a staple at southern gatherings; that and a pickle platter. You cannot go wrong with either of these items to calm those hungry stomachs. I loved the sharp cheese used in their recipe, and I also loved that it wasn’t extra creamy and full of cream cheese or mayo. Mama Sue’s pepper jelly was a real hit with my father. He probably could have eat the entire basket of crackers and jelly by himself.

For entrees, we all ordered something different. I ordered the Redneck Benedict, my father ordered the BLT, my mother ordered the Hound Burger, and my hubby ordered the Meatloaf Burger. I love Eggs Benedict. You can about guarantee that if it is on the brunch or breakfast menu and I am ordering, that I will most likely order the Benedict. The Hound’s Benedict, the redneck Benedict, is very unique and delicious. Instead of the classic English muffin, ham, and hollandaise sauce, the “redneck” version consists of a bed of biscuits, bacon, scrambled eggs, all covered in their house sausage gravy. It was very savory, and more than I could eat in one sitting. I took half of my meal home to reheat for the following day’s breakfast, which was equally yummy.

We all left full and happy! We hope to return soon for lunch, dinner or drinks. The food, service, and atmosphere were all stellar as usual at this downtown hot spot!

The only other item that I was able to get a taste of was my dad’s BLT. I know a BLT sounds simple, but without fresh, quality ingredients, a simple dish can become a disaster. The fresh arugula, bacon, and what I believe was house-made sourdough bread was bright, fresh, and delicious!

SpringHouse Sunsets

We had the most perfect evening the other night at SpringHouse on Lake Martin. During the last wine dinner we attended at Café 123 in Opelika, we discussed with some friends about taking advantage of the Wednesday and Thursday night special that SpringHouse offers. You can order an appetizer, entree, and dessert for $40 per person.

I have written about SpringHouse before and probably will do so many more times. It is one of our favorite places to dine. In the summers when we have to chance to spend time on the lake, not only do we enjoy dinners here, but we really love to have brunch there on Saturday or Sunday mornings too. You can even arrive on your boat if you want. The restaurant is not water side, but they have a golf cart service during the summer that will transport you to the restaurant. Riding through the property is beautiful. You get to take in the rolling hills, the stables, the beautiful horses, and the other wildlife that this property offers.

We arrived at 6:30 in the evening so that we would have time for a cocktail and a gorgeous SpringHouse sunset. We ordered our cocktails at the upstairs bar. I always like to try something new off their specialty cocktail menu. Tonight I tried the Tee Time cocktail, which consisted of Bombay dry gin, a yummy mint, cucumber puree, salt and lime. It was bright and refreshing. After getting our cocktails we made our way outside to see the sunset. Off the back of the restaurant are rolling hills that eventually make their way down to the lake. I have witnessed numerous breathtaking sunsets here. It is an incredible way to start your evening. The upper patio was closed this particular evening, so we were welcomed to go out back to the little garden off of the well house.

As soon as you walk out onto the garden, you are immediately greeted with nature’s beauty. The mini garden itself is so picturesque. I have had friends that have gotten married in this little spot and have had their dinners in the well house afterwards. My husband celebrated his bachelor weekend here with a group of his guy friends in the well house. It is a perfect place for celebrations. Not only are you provided with a beautiful back drop, but you also have incredible food and libations. What else do you need?

We timed everything perfect. We were able to finish our cocktails and take some beautiful photos of the sunset. After the sun had dropped out of sight, we made our way back up stairs to begin dinner. The dining room of SpringHouse is large and open. The open kitchen, and stately fireplace are definitely focal points of the restaurant. We were seated in the front of the restaurant near the wall of windows.

The kitchen sent out one of my favorite small bites, the pimento cheese stuff peppadew peppers. I had never had a peppadew before having them the first time at a wine dinner months back at SpringHouse. It was love at first bite. They are briny and sweet, and with the creamy pimento cheese stuffed inside, they are divine. They also sent out the wood oven roasted beef marrow with short rib marmalade, celery salad, and grilled ciabatta. Everyone loved the marrow and short rib marmalade, but I just could not get enough of the celery salad. It was crispy, and had the best flavors. Celery salad is not something you typically see on a menu, and I was delightfully pleased with how delicious it was. We also ordered the deviled eggs and shared as a table. Rob’s deviled eggs are delicious! I do not normally like anyone’s deviled eggs besides my own, but his have this creamy, whip to them that I adore.

For our entrees, I ordered the duck dish and my husband ordered the pork chops. We like to order different dishes and then share. The Jurgielewics Farm Duck was served on top of a spring vidalia onion romesco that was superb, along with roasted beets that had been preserved in an orange vinaigrette. The duck was tasty, tender, and delicious, although I must say I would have thoroughly enjoyed this dish minus the duck. The spring vidalia romesco puree was so tasteful and bright, and the beets were tender and slightly sweet. Marvelous! My husband ordered the Hickory Grilled Bone In Pork Chops served with green rice and a sweet onion gravy. This is a dish we have shared before, and it is delicious. The bone in pork is full of flavor that the wood fired grill enhances with a touch of smoke. This is one of those dishes that reminds you of something your mom would make. We shared a bottle of the 2016 Raeburn Pinot Noir. It had lush notes of strawberry, raspberry, cherry, and a touch of spice that all paired wonderfully with my duck and his pork.

I was beyond full at this point, but we still had desserts to order as part of our dinner deal. Can you ever really say no to dessert? I had a little bit of the pinot left and craved something chocolate. I just ordered a scoop of the chocolate ice cream, which was plenty enough for my full stomach. My husband tried the strawberry shortcake, and another guest had the buttermilk panna cotta.

Everything was delicious, as anticipated. We were planning our next visit before we left the table. Definitely give SpringHouse a try if you are truly wanting an all around memorable dining experience.

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Tee Time cocktail
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Sunset off the back of the well house.

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Wood Oven Roasted Beef Marrow w/ short rib marmalade, celery salad, grilled ciabatta
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Jurgielewics Farm Duck spring vidalia onion romesco, roasted beets, preserved orange vinaigrette.
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Hickory Grilled Bone In Pork Chops w/ green rice and sweet onion gravy.
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Pan Seared American Red Snapper w/ charred broccoli, cauliflower, garlic breadcrumbs, pecan vinaigrette.

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Strawberry Shortcake

The Waverly Local

Make plans to say goodbye to Auburn/Opelika for the evening, and head northwest up highway 280 towards Lake Martin. Once you exit off the highway, you will be transported into a place of an era gone by in Waverly, Alabama. As you drive down the (only) main street in Waverly, you’ll know you are entering town as you pass the cemetery on your left and the legendary Standard Deluxe to your right. Just beyond this point you will see the newest addition to town, The Waverly Local on your left. Some of you may remember this location being the Yellow Hammer Restaurant many years ago, or even a Ford dealership even further back than that. The location is the same, but the building has gone through renovations, and it is better than you could ever imagine.

Saturday evening, we met a group of friends here for an early evening dinner. While we were waiting for our friends to arrive we started off with cocktails in the bar, which is directly right of the main dining room when entering the restaurant. I started with a glass of the Veuve du Vernay, and my husband started with his usual, a Maker’s Mark on the rocks. The new bar area is very inviting and would be a great spot to grab drinks and appetizers with a friend.

Once our friends arrived, we took our seats in the main dining room. I think you will be equally impressed with what the new owners have done with the decor of this building. The outside still maintains much of its same look and appeal, but upon entering the building, you will be delightfully surprised by the design of the interior. It is what I would call industrial and modern, while keeping it’s historic elements. One wall is lined with these large, green round banquette booths. I haven’t yet had the chance to sit at one of these tables, but they are screaming my name for a special occasion. This wall is also marked with pieces from one of my favorite artists, RC Hagans. Most of the work, if not all of it, was done by local craftsman and artists. I love that this restaurant works hard to not only support local farmers, but also artists and craftsmen.

Between our entire group I believe we tried absolutely everything on the menu. No one in our group had a single thing that they did not enjoy. For appetizers, each couple at table ordered the bacon- wrapped Wickle’s okra and the dirty rice fritters. Within a blink of a eye we all had clean, happy plates.

For our entrees, I ordered what is becoming my usual, the heirloom pork with butterbean gnocchi. I could eat an entire bowl of the butterbean gnocchi with just the delicious broth base of the pork. The flavors of this dish are stupefying. My husband ordered the fresh catch of the day, the grouper. This was atop Bradley’s (of George’s Farmers Market) creamy grits, greens, and the Mayor’s mushroom butter. The fish was sweet and perfectly cooked. The grits and greens give the dish some soul, and the mushroom butter adds a lovely umami compliment.

For dessert, our table shared all three options, the coconut cake, the flour-less chocolate torte, and the classic cheesecake. I’m partial to the coconut cake myself. It is not something you find on every restaurant’s dessert menu, and it is simply divine.

We have already returned to The Waverly Local since this dining experience with our friends. They are starting to have live music during the week and are running different specials. We have also heard talk of seasonal menu changes, a broader wine selection, and the possibility of brunches on the weekends. We cannot wait to see this restaurant thrive in one of our favorite places on earth.

Dirty Rice Fritters
Roasted Heirloom Pork, butterbean dumplings, stewed greens, ham hock jus, pone bread crumbs
Grouper over Bradley’s creamy grits, wilted greens, pot likker, and the mayor’s mushroom butter

R

Cheesecake
Flourless Chocolate Torte with orange caramel sauce
Amanda’s Coconut Cake with vanilla cream