When a new restaurant opens, I get really, really excited. When one as highly anticipated as Cask & Larder opens, it’s like Christmas morning.
Cask & Larder is the second restaurant by the highly acclaimed husband and wife duo James and Julie Petrakis, chefs and owners of my favorite restaurant, The Ravenous Pig. They also happen to be James Beard award nominees. Cask & Larder serves southern food and in-house brews.
They only opened a week ago, so I was excited that one of our friends got a reservation for a bunch of us to try it out on Saturday evening. I instantly fell in love with the décor. Everything is dressed in pale blues and crisp whites with a few rustic touches. With their simple plates and platters, you really feel like you’re in someone’s southern kitchen. I want to decorate our home in the same style. It’s elegant, quaint and inviting.
Kevin started out with one of their beers that they brew on site, but I went with the C & L Lemonade. It is vodka infused with tea and sage mixed with homemade pink lemonade and ginger beer.
It tasted just like pink lemonade and went back a little too easily. Sometimes I forgot I was drinking alcohol!
We ordered a lot of different items at our table. Below are some of our wonderful eats from the evening. First up are the appetizers.
Country Ham Tasting
They have a large sign in the dining room telling you where everything is from. That evening we got Benton from Madisonville, Tennessee, C&L Berkshire from Winter Park, Florida, and Rufus Brown from Johnston County, North Carolina. The hams came with farmers cheese, pepper jam and some of the most delicious biscuits I’ve ever had.
Topped with hominy and charred jalapeno relish.
Topped with chicken liver gravy, buttermilk cheese curds, and pickled scallions.
They also offer a large selection of raw oysters that constantly changes.
Served with picked egg, cornichons and mustard.
Smoked Chicken Wings
Now onto the main courses!
Kevin ordered the beef brisket, which he really enjoyed. Although Kevin got his plain, it can come with horseradish-dill pickles and mustard. It also comes with homemade yeast rolls.
Heritage Fried Chicken
I was able to sneak a few bites of the fried chicken, and it was wonderful. The chicken was incredibly crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It was also drizzled with honey, giving it a nice sticky glaze.
Mac & Cheese
With pickled mustard seeds and ham-cheddar crumble. How could that not be good? It was creamy and decadent.
Our friend Judy ordered the snapper stew, which I came close to ordering as well. It came with blue crab, shrimp and roasted potatoes.
Smoked Oyster & Crawfish Pot Pie
This was my meal, and I’m so happy I ordered it. The crawfish and oysters came in a cornbread crust. Everything was slightly sweet, fresh and wonderful.
Made with “wit” beer and served with citrus-caramel glaze. Amazing.
Mud Pie in a Jar
Layers of chocolate crème, cream custard and raspberry glaze served with chocolate crisps.
Needless to say, my evening was spectacular. The food lived up to the hype, and I can’t wait to return. The only bizarre thing that happened that evening was an older gentleman approached our table while we were paying our bills and asked if we were almost done because his party was waiting at the bar and was trying to decide if they should wait any longer. I didn’t feel like we were lingering, and we had made reservations. I was so taken aback that he actually approached our table that I couldn’t even respond. Luckily, a woman who appeared to work there quickly came up to him and steered him away from our table and told us to take our time. For the record, we did leave promptly after paying our bills. He wasn’t being rude, just a little pushy, and I don’t think I had ever experienced that type of behavior in a restaurant. Maybe I’m the only one?
PS-Kevin got glasses! What do you think?