Monday, August 23, 2010
Empire State South Grand Opening
I have been excited for quite some time about the proposed restaurant Empire State South restaurant with chef/partner Hugh Acheson at the helm. I love his style and sensibility when it comes to food and gathering. His respect for the seasons in his approach to local produce prepared simply and pure creates dishes without pretense. It is admirable as well as delicious. I love the juxtaposition, or rather that it does not seem to be a juxtaposition when you are eating his refined comfort food.
When I found out that the Chef de Cuisine was to be Nick Melvin of Parish and formerly The Inn at Serenbe, I was uber excited. Nick is passionate about his craft, about veggies fresh from the garden, trout fresh from local waters, pickling, local, seasonal, whole animal...I could go on and on. He is profoundly passionate about Empire State South and I can't wait to taste what comes from this motivation.
I am ready for the soft opening this weekend and the grand opening next week. I have talked with Nick about the menu (which he elucidates in great detail) and now I can see versions on the website. I took a tour and oh my is it lovely. The dark wood, the milk paint, the dishes, the antique lighting, the kitchen, the garden, the a la Marzocco GB-5 for espresso, the small batch bourbons, the bocce court. It is all so composed and speaks of a vision.
There are already events like the Farm, Fork and Cork dinner benefiting the Southeastern Horticultural Society whose mission it is to build and maintain learning gardens throughout the Southeast. Empire State South is already reaching out, strengthening the southern community and living up to its moniker.
But wait, there's more...
(isn't she lovely?)
I wasn't aware of the boxed lunch menu! You can pick them up or have them delivered. A twelve dollar adorable and yummy lunch in a tiffin. What a fun idea and what a yummy bunch of choices. The tiffins make me smile because I have a pie carrier that I take with me everywhere that looks very similar. My mom had one. My grandmother had one. My friends love to make fun of it at our annual cookie swap UNTIL they see how neatly my cookies are stored and carried away.
You can get a tiffin too. Look at this one from Ten Thousand Villages. Adorable.