By Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher
(Part 4 in a Series)
It’s easy to find the perfect adjective for our first dining experience at Winston-Salem’s hot, new culinary destination, Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar: Amazing.
The carriage ride was a perfect introduction to the equally romantic restaurant that’s located in the last grand home (dating to 1920) remaining on what was Winston-Salem’s Millionaire’s Row (where R.J. Reynolds and wife Katherine also lived before building Reynolda House outside town – we’ll cover it as part of this series).
Chef Tim Grandinetti and partner Lynette Matthews-Murphy opened their inspired eatery in April 2012. Since then, it’s been a favorite for visitors and locals alike. We can’t wait to see what these two come up with next.
The chef treated us, our VisitWinstonSalem.com host and another food writer to a VIP table where the chef himself delivered and described the simply delectable creations coming from the small kitchen and its enthusiastic team.
To hear more about how Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar came to be in Winston-Salem, be sure to watch the video. Chef Tim is both inspirational and passionate.
Our special dinner began with Dave, our server, starting us off with signature cocktails from the Spring House menu: Strawberry Gin Rickey, Cruzan Sugar Cane Mojito, Cucumber, Thyme and Lime Cooler, Moscow Mule with cucumber and ginger beer. plus a Maple Whiskey cup featuring Maker’s Mark Bourbon. (Keep in mind we were a table of four and these were just for sampling, but hey, what fun.)
Course by course was a delicious, slowly evolving discovery:
- A charcuterie of prosciutto, garlic scape, rutabaga, parsnip and carrot plus a toasted brioche.
- Gen. Tso’s Crispy Veal Sweetbreads on Ham Jam with Hot Mustard, prepared “poached, pressed and then crispy fried” (it’s featured in the video);
- Chicken-Fried Foie Gras with Brioche Crouton, Pickled Peach, Texas Pete, Rosemary and Honey Drizzle served with an outstanding Napa Valley Plumjack Merlot.
- The chef’s take on “bacon and eggs” is an artistic and scrumptious Crispy Fried Pork Belly served with smoked tomato, pimento grit cake and poached egg with a red-eye aioli so that when you cut through, all those flavors combine in one perfect bite (it’s featured in the video).
- Spring House paired this inspired appetizer with a Diane Flynt Foggy Ridge Sweet Cider. “She’s changing the way we’re looking at ciders,” Chef Grandinetti explained. “I think she’s a superstar,” he added, noting her operation is in the southwest mountains of Virginia just an hour past Mt. Airy, NC.
- Borders Spring Lamb from Craig Rogers. “He raises beautiful, beautiful hogs,” chef noted.
- A very tasty crab cake risotto.
- Another interesting twist Chef Grandinetti uses is duck neck as a sausage casing. “We do a lot of duck.” And very well, we will add.
Between courses, he told us, “I’ve always been involved in the slow food movement.”
We also learn about his alter ego Dr. Brownstone who hosts a five-day Sweet Summer Luv Luv Festival featuring fine wines, spirits and micro-brews as well as offerings like a FP&J – foie gras, peaches and jam sandwich. Be on the lookout for next year, because it sells out fast.
And for those of you with a sweet tooth, do not fret: there's plenty to satisfy it.
- Bread Pudding with pecan and brown sugar streusel finished with chocolate Kahlúa sauce
- Butterscotch Budino with salted caramel and sweet cream
- Choco S'more Goat Cheese Cake featuring Buffalo Creek Farm Goat Cheese
- Flourless Apple Pecan Torte with house made vanilla ice cream
- "Babysitter” Cake, Spring House's signature chocolate cake
The menu is changed seasonally (or even more often), because Grandinetti exemplifies the market-to-table approach to choosing what is used every day. You will likely see him early at Cobblestone Farmers Market when it is open to select the best of locally grown products. The meat served here fits into that philosophy as well, with Heritage Farms providing select cuts as well as whole animals that are used for several courses at the Chef's Table - a treat you should give yourself when you are in the mood for an epicurean evening.
If You’re Going: Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar is located in the popular West End neighborhood at 450 N. Spring Street, Winston-Salem. Here’s the dinner menu. For reservations, call 336.293.4797.
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Luxury Travel Examiners Kathy M. Newbern and spouse, J.S. Fletcher, report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and created YourSpaReport.com and YourNovel.com, their personalized romance novel business.