Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Woodberry Kitchen Flash Back Edition

Woodberry Kitchen is one of our favorite restaurants in the country. I reposted the Slow Food blog notes from our brunch on my last SHF post for a little background about our love affair with @WKrestaurant and how it started.

We were tossing ideas of what to do on Friday night this past weekend It was after 8:30 pm and we both really wanted to go to Woodberry Kitchen. We walked in. Eyed the hostess who always greets us with a friendly, Norm-like recognition and we asked if she could squeeze us in. Miraculously two seats opened up at the bar and we got a drink. No more than ten minutes later were we seated at "our" table in the main restaurant. We've sat at this table at least five times and love it.

When the restaurant you frequent knows your water preference before you even get the menus, you know you are at a special place. I like my water avec gas. E. is a flat water kinda guy. They brought each for us without asking. I was floored. Seriously these small touches do not go unnoticed.

Spike and Amy Gjerde are the owners and are wonderful to work with and just great people to be near. They are so passionate about what they do. Spike's gone so far as to lobby congress to help support the Farm-to-Table mission. We talked to their daughter Katie about her school. Her principal is our best man Todd's mother. 

The first year when we were living fat off the hog we would go to Woodberry at least once a month. We celebrated New Years Eve under a balloon drop for 2009. Flashback series with IPhone...hence the blur.

Amy and Finn

My hair was so oh so dark and stormy!

We were seated at "our" table.

Cory and Marco take such good care of the dining room.

Patrick was our very first waiter on our first date night in Baltimore way back in December 2007.

It's been great working with Spike and Amy over the past three years. 

He does shop at the Farmer's Market too. I've seem him at Waverly.

Nancy manages all of the special events and even wrangles Finn and Katie on occasion.

So this week we splurged and went home to Woodberry after a four month hiatus. Jill Snyder a Top Chef contestant, was behind the grill.

They make all of their bread fresh. Spike started out as a pastry chef. The butter tastes like it was churned out back. It is so creamy and rich. You'd think they had a pasture with cows in the back of the restaurant.

I've been having issues forgetting to take the "pretty" food shots before I dig in. Their salads are always so flavorful. The Truck Patch Spinach, Reid's Orchard Apple, Roasted Pecan and goat's cheese salad did not disappoint. E. and I split it. 

I ordered the Marvesta Shrimp and Grits. The flavors are smokey from the Tasso ham and the grits are stone ground and cooked to perfection. The shrimp gravy makes this meal and the grits just soak in all the flavors.

E. got the polenta with black eyed peas. He was jealous of my shrimp and grits.

My favorite dessert is the chocolate pudding. There are so many amazing desserts but this is just to die for good. The chocolate is so dark it's ominous. It is so creamy and smooth. It's nearly impossible to finish. It is so rich.

Oh a whim I asked for just a scoop of the salted caramel ice cream. They brought the biggest scoop but it was such a treat.

AND...we got the pumpkin cheesecake with cranberry relish. Um, yes, you counted correctly. That is three desserts for just two people.

You can't go to Woodberry without getting their coffee. They have now added a special Barista bar so the puller's-of-coffee now have room to create their magic. As said in the previous @WKrestaurant post I just adore the latte art and "heart" my Counter Culture.

By the end of the meal E. was so over the flash on my camera that I tried to tone it down with au natural lighting. There is a golden glow in the restaurant and his coffee reflection shows this beautifully.

During our end of year "awards" program at work I received the tongue in cheek "Chef's Best Friend Award" with a subtext of "best events ever". I don't mean to stalk but I just love saying hi to the folks in the kitchen and thank them for dinner. After coffee I ventured to the hearth while E. hailed the car at valet and thanked Jill for such a delicious meal. 

The brick oven is always in full flame. They roast everything from tenderloins to flatbreads in the oven.

 Flashback to 2009

Spike opened the restaurant for a private lunch for some of our top customers. The light during the day is so beautiful.

 Spike and Jill made an amazing lunch of oyster stew, grilled tenderloin and the famous CMP dessert.

Spike taught everyone how to make the oyster stew.

They serve it in a homemade pretzel roll.

Watch Duff explain the CMP. He does it beautifully and it is the first in this series from the Food Network show, The Best I Ever Ate.

Isaiah is the pastry chef and is married to our favorite Barista Allie.

Thank you Woodberry Kitchen. Seriously, we work hard so we can come and spend time with you.

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