[embed-2] A projector plays farm scenes on the white wall to the left of the slate gray bar. A diorama of tiny trees juts out from a wall behind a community table — zoom in and you’ll see half of a plastic cow smiling at you, tucked into the greenery. Herd Provisions Restaurant is finally open at 106 Grove St. — serving lunch and dinner Tues.-Sat. (Be aware, but overlook the messy sidewalk construction happening out front for the time being.)
Side step the orange cones and hurry inside for the burger and poutine (you may have tried these items street-side from the Herd food truck) and restaurant-only items, like the Smoke Signal. Made with Elijah Craig bourbon, smoked sweet vermouth, dried sour cherries, and Peychaud bitters, this riff on a Manhattan is just the right amount of campfire, served in a coupe glass.
[image-2] From food truck to pop-ups, Herd has come a long way in a couple of years. The restaurant space is open and airy, with shiny wooden tables and even a second story with dining space. On the first floor there are views into the kitchen, depending on where you sit.
When we chatted with owner Alec Bradford at the end of last year, he described the restaurant’s cuisine as “a rustic version of neo-American bistro fare,” highlighting, of course, the animal products from Bradford’s Virginia farm, Leaping Waters.
When we visit, bar manager Josh Reynolds notes that the menus we were looking at for both lunch and dinner are not set in stone.
For now at least, the lunch menu is divided into starters — poutine, Brussels sprouts with black garlic shoyu, cauliflower leek soup — and a handful of sandwiches from the Herd burger with pickle, Bibb lettuce, white cheddar, caramelized onions, and Herd sauce, to our server’s “favorite,” the chicken salad melt with curry and white cheddar served on rye.
The dinner menu is a bit more expansive than the midday one-sheeter. There are starters like beef carpaccio and chicken liver mousse; salad and sides including sauteed broccolini, baby squash casserole, and those same Brussels; and hearty-leaning entrees like the roasted half-chicken, Leaping Waters Farm steak, chicken pot pie, and meatloaf.
“I don’t want to characterize it as a steakhouse, and I don’t like the word farm-to-table, even though we do own a farm. I think it puts the food in a box when we do that,” said Bradford in December. “We’ll stand apart in terms of quality of meats, traceability of meats, as well as the cuts and creativity of preparation. There’s no place [that has] like what we’ll be able to do, especially with meats.”
The butcher shop in the front of the building is all about the meat — you can purchase cuts of goat, lamb, beef, rabbit, chicken, goose, and turkey, depending on availability.
The shop is open Tues.-Sat. from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The restaurant is now open Tues.-Sat. for lunch from 11 am.-3 p.m., happy hour from 3-5 p.m., and dinner from 5-10 p.m.
Check out the drink menus below:[image-5] [image-6]