Teddy & The Bully Bar is like taking a step back into history. Named after the 26th President, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, this establishment reflected the hunter and naturalist’s lifestyle. One word to describe this restaurant? Sustainability. With décor ranging from a monocle chandelier to a Mt. Rushmore wall containing 480 3-D heads, to even accents of his two favorite colors; navy blue and iridescent silver. It is clear that this restaurant takes on the character of such a trailblazer as President Roosevelt. Two private dining areas located in the back are dedicated to the two most important women in President Roosevelt’s life, his mother and his wife; both who died on the same day within hours of one another. In the Elkhorn Room, each table has one red cloth napkin to represent the Rough Riders and the red scarfs they wore on their necks. Up front, there is a light fixture donning original Edison bulbs hanging from the steering wheel of the first Ford Model T car. It’s safe to say that Teddy & The Bully Bar is like dining in a culinary museum.
Coming off of their one year anniversary at the end of July, Teddy & The Bully Bar is very intentional. Located directly across from where President Roosevelt used to live, the locations proximity adds to their already ingrained character. Teddy & The Bully Bar takes pride in making several of their ingredients in house from pickling their own vegetables, homemade breads and cornbread muffin purée, to even their ice cream. They also have four large barrels filled with aged bourbon that tastes outstanding in a cocktail or all by itself.
Service: Upon arrival, management and staff were visible and engaged with the patrons as well as one another. There was an immediate sense of camaraderie and the open floor plan accommodated that nicely. Kia, an extremely knowledgeable waitress made it incredibly easy to learn facts about the restaurant that felt like an exhibit in the Smithsonian!
Lobster Hushpuppies: Fresh Maine lobster and roasted corn was what made these hushpuppies stand out from the rest. Laying a top of a green goddess type sauce and fresh heirloom tomatoes on each side of the plate, this appetizer was a great first taste.
Loaded Ed Rich Farm Corn on the Cob: This is the best corn on the cob, period. Seasoned to perfection with a candied bacon and deliciously rich crème fraiche on the bottom, this corn on the cobb was an easy way to forget you’re even eating a vegetable!
Roasted Eggplant: This deliciously prepared eggplant sits in a water bath infused with local honeycomb and served over yogurt that has been cold smoked with their in house smoker. This is a new and surprisingly delightful way to enjoy a vegetable that can sometimes be seen as mundane.
Crispy Kale & Brussels Sprouts: Take whatever you thought of brussels sprouts and forget them because after anyone tries this dish, it quickly becomes a table topic as well as all around favorite. The sweetness from the maple poppy seed vinaigrette and house made pickled nectarines balanced out the naturally earthy taste of the sprouts.
Coffee BBQ Virginia Pork Ribs: Known to love his coffee, this dish is brined in coffee then sits in a dry rub before being finished with a BBQ sauce. With each bite a “melt in your mouth” feeling came. It’s no wonder President Roosevelt coined the ever so popular Maxwell House motto, “Good to the last drop”, so was this dish.
Roasted Chicken Breast: Juicy and tender from the sous-vide method, this chicken dish is unlike any other. Paired with oyster mushrooms and topped with a mustard jus, this dish is showstopper!
Mac & Cheese: Cheddar bread crumbs top al dente elbow macaroni covered in smoked gouda, gruyere, goat and parmesan cheeses. This mac and cheese was a flavorful and comforting side to pair with the delicious entrées.
Cornbread Funnel Cake: An adult version of the sweet childhood treat, this funnel cake had a crunchy first bite but soft inside. Presented on top of homemade spiked blueberry jam as well as a scoop of homemade Chai tea ice cream, this dessert please the palette all the way around.
Grilled Olive Oil Pound Cake: This dessert was light and just the right ending to the meal. The grilled pound cake paired perfectly with the roasted strawberries, strawberry purée, and the homemade cream cheese graham cracker crust made this dish very easy to indulge in.
Strawberry Mint Julep: Taking a page out of the Old Kentucky handbook, Teddy & The Bully Bar creates a fresh take on the old classic. Strawberry shrub, Woodford Reserve, a homemade Woodford reduction made with honey and of course a sprig of mint to top it off made up this delicious cocktail. All the flavors worked together and created a fresh and delectable drink.
Barrel #4 The Lion: A sweeter Bourbon cocktail, this simple drink included whiskey, brandy, and ginger liqueur. This was a delicious drink to enjoy alone or with dessert.
Blueberry Lemonade: This non-alcoholic drink was made with homemade lemonade and freshly made blueberry shrub. Its refreshing taste almost made relaxing a priority.
Atmosphere: The crisp lighting and reupholstered seats at each table made diners feel presidential. Elk shaped heads refurbished with different materials added to the depth of the atmosphere. Lively chatter keeps this establishment light and relaxing. With a bar up front that includes a raw bar, and high tables and chairs dominating the bar area, Teddy & The Bully Bar is a great spot to spend time with the ones you care about over a most memorable meal.
Overall Experience: Teddy & The Bully Bar has true character, with indoor and outdoor seating, two private dining areas, and décor that would even make Martha Stewart jealous. The wait staff does an excellent job of making diners feel “at home” and like they have made a new friend. Having an establishment that is dedicated to any one person or idea is usually a lofty goal, but Teddy & The Bully Bar impressively exceeds this goal and beyond.
If a place full of character and history is something on your radar, this should be one of the first places you go, and if you cannot make it in for dinner, brunch is offered on Sundays as well. Whether looking for a new place to dine, or an after work drink, Teddy & The Bully Bar has you covered!