"There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me."
— Thomas Jefferson
— Thomas Jefferson
Unpretentious but upscale is what comes to mind when I think of Sprig and to me that is the best of both worlds when dining. This new local restaurant comes to us via owner Daniel Morrison and executive chef Robert Elliott both alums of the James Beard winning restaurant Watershed. Juxtaposition is a delightful theme that carries on throughout your experience at Sprig. The decor is chic yet rustic; very leather and lace but in this case Stevie would be singing barnwood and polished steel. The atmosphere is cool and hip but at the same time friendly and warm. It is sophisticated but takes the time to thank farmers on a chalkboard above the bar: Moore Farms & Friends, The Turnip Truck, Crystal Organics, Springer Mountain, Dillwood farms, Eden Farms, White Oak Pastures, and Sweetgrass Dairy to name a few.
I have tried the restaurant many times. I have been there during the week, on a crowded weekend night, for lunch, with one friend, with 10 friends and with a foursome. I have had tables in the front, back and even the bar. I haven't had a dish I didn't like and I had excellent, welcoming service each time. On each visit my table was visited either by Mr. Morrison or Chef Elliott, a treat.
The chef-driven menu is built upon scratch regional cuisine that is staunchly local, seasonal and simple. appetizer favorites of mine include the steamed mussels with Sweetwater Sch'wheat beer, tomato, basil, orange & shallot sopping sauce, the fried pickles with beer cheese sauce, the local cheese plate and the crusty cornbread shmeared avocado butter. Standout entrees are the Venison with rosemary-lemon risotto and the pan seared chicken breast with ham bread pudding. Chicken, you ask? This chicken is perfection. It had me wondering if Thomas Keller was in the kitchen. It arrived at the table piping hot, tender, juicy, salt and peppered with crispy skin and pan juices. It was gorgeous, delicious and I knew the chicken was from Springer Mountain and the tasso from a local Berkshire hog. Spreading the local love feels good and tastes even better!
Come for the food and stick around for the drinks. Morrison's attention to the drink menu stands out. There are creative, seasonal cocktails, many craft beers and a delightful wine list that does not exist at any of the restaurants nearby.
No detail was spared in the creation of Sprig. I can't wait to see the Spring menu when local farms give us there best goods. Think fiddleheads will make it to the menu?