Farm-to-table catering at its best

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written and was to be published just as the pandemic demanded businesses shut down, which was right when Barn8 was supposed to open. However, the restaurant is now open and the article has been updated accordingly.

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Tucked away on a quiet street in Goshen, Ky. Is a 19th-century structure originally used as a farmhouse warehouse. It was then turned into a dairy barn and eventually became building number eight of Hermitage farmhorse stables. The beautifully restored barn has since received a new coat of black paint, and a bright red “8” is affixed just above the upstairs window.

Now known as Restaurant Grange8, the carefully designed building features an aesthetic chosen to reflect the heritage of Hermitage Farm, which owners Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown purchased to prevent the 683 acres of land from being developed. Exposed timber and a wrought-iron handrail, combined with the barn’s original tin roof and rafters, provide an authentic farmhouse feel, while artwork from the personal collection of Steve and Laura Lee is featured. dotted, enhancing the appearance of the space.

Sitting inside an old stall now transformed into a dining room, Barn8 co-founder Steve Wilson and executive chef Alison Settle hope the renovated dairy barn turned into a bourbon restaurant and lounge sparks more agritourism. Image: Pierre Matt

With one of the property’s three-zone air-conditioned greenhouses just steps away, Barn8 is a true farm-to-table restaurant. Inside the nursery, the citrus scents of Calamondin orange trees permeate the air, while a living wall adorns the space above a set of living room doors.

Designed by Josh Samples, a London, KY-based horticulturist, the wall features everything from ivy and fern to asparagus to spider plants and pothos. Most of Barn8’s flora, however, is a room above; Horticulturist Stephanie Tittle ensures that the plant life here provides the restaurant’s kitchen staff with plenty of fresh ingredient options. “This is where we’ll be growing things for the restaurant,” she said, pointing to the rows of various herbs, teas and other potted plants, including bay leaves. “The kitchen staff can come in and pop a leaf. “

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Tight

Barn8 is proud to be recognized as a true farm-to-table restaurant. Image: Pierre Matt

Barn8 Executive Chef Alison Settle

“[The greenhouse] that’s where we’re going to grow things for the restaurant, ”explains horticulturalist Stephanie Tittle. “The kitchen staff can come in and pop a leaf. »Image: Grange8

Stephanie says some of the greenhouse plants will eventually be planted, while others will operate on a rotating schedule, providing the kitchen with a constant and variable supply. “We really wanted to try and highlight what we’re doing,” she says. “I hope we can provide [the restaurant with] more options and ingredients. She adds that with plans to add so many different fruits and vegetables over time, greenhouses will be constantly evolving for at least the next five years. “Every time you come to visit us,” she said, “it should be more and more lush and you should see the change.”

“Summer will be fun,” Steve adds, “because everything is going to grow. It’s exciting to finally get together.”

“Depending on what develops, it’s the way they are going to design their menu,” explains Stéphanie. This means that customers can try new flavors and fun new dishes, with changes not only seasonal, but almost daily. While focusing on sustainable ingredients from the property’s gardens and greenhouse, Executive Chef Alison Settle also works with neighboring farms to incorporate bison, beef, pork and chicken into the ever-changing menu.

Seating options at Barn8 Restaurant include long common reclaimed wood farm tables in the center of the barn, individual dining areas adapted from the original barn stalls, a private dining area, and an open kitchen with a chef’s bar.

Dining room Grange8

Inside Barn8 there are individual dining rooms that once served as stalls. Image: Pierre Matt

Common dining table

The restaurant offers long shared reclaimed wood tables as well as an open kitchen with a chef’s bar. Image: Pierre Matt

Dinner can start with a vadouvan sweet potato bisque, with cellar potatoes, parsnip, homemade vadouvan, crispy lentils and nasturtium and watercress raita. The savory soup could then be followed by Wiesenberger Grits campanelle, sherry roasted oyster mushrooms, fermented shiitake, greenhouse marjoram and Parmigiano. Finally, for the main course, Alison can make a seared Groce Family Farm pork chop with a salad of fingerling duck fat potatoes, tarragon and Italian salsa verde. For dessert, a tahini cheesecake with oat crust, candied lime, crunchy cinnamon spices, Thai basil and mint.

Of course, a meal here wouldn’t be complete without a libation. The Bourbon Bar & Lounge at Barn8 features rare whiskeys, select spirits – and of course – bourbon. In addition to guided bourbon tastings offered throughout the day, full bottles of whiskey are available for purchase from the one-of-a-kind bourbon library. This curated collection contains all of the brands available on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, as well as select selections from craft distilleries and other popular brands.

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Hayloft

In the second floor hayloft, there is a large Venetian chandelier amid the original wooden beams and a hand-drawn illustration by Kentucky artist Monica Mahoney. There is also a staircase leading to the second floor lined with 100 barrels of bourbon. Image: Pierre Matt

There’s also an innovative cocktail program that uses filling ingredients that Alison also incorporated into her dishes. Guests can enjoy Southern themed cocktails such as ‘The Hissy Fit’, featuring El Jimador Reposado, lime, acacia honey syrup, grapefruit liqueur, Himalayan pink sea salt and bittersweet. cinnamon; or a “Bless Your Heart”, with vodka, cava and Calamondin orange syrup made from greenhouse fruits.

After postponing its grand opening to March due to COVID-19 and then offering curbside delivery in April, Barn8 finally welcomed its first in-person restaurant customers on May 22. “We’re excited to be open now,” Steve said. “It’s a great time of year to go out in the country – and it’s important to realize that the country is not that far away.”

He thinks Barn8 has a social distancing advantage because of its partitioned horse dining rooms and patio picnic tables are particularly beneficial. “The restrictions on outdoor dining are not that strict,” he explains.

Steve adds that all staff members follow regulations carefully, including checking temperatures, wearing masks and providing masks to guests who do not have them. “We’re doing everything we can to make sure it’s a healthy atmosphere.”

Barn8 Restaurant and Bourbon Bar are located at 10510 West Highway 42 in Goshen, KY. Hours of operation are Wednesday to Sunday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations can be made in line or by calling (502) 398-9289.

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