Tag Archives: Hotel Restaurant

The Katharine Brasserie & Bar

Okay okay…I KNOW that technically a restaurant inside a major hotel that’s part of a major hotel chain doesn’t exactly fit my “all local all the time” mantra.  But…this was for research, foodies…and if I’m being honest, for YES! Weekly.  But I would’ve attended this tasting at The Katharine Brasserie & Bar even if I wasn’t a full-fledged legit food writer for a legit publication. Why? Well, have you SEEN the place? And all of us in Winston-Salem have been stoked to see the iconic Reynolds Building turned into something other than its previous dormant, sad (yet beautiful) self. The Reynolds Building was yearning for the right tenant and I think they’ve found it.

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No matter what you think about big hotels, people gotta have a place to sleep when they come here and The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel raises the bar here. And The Katharine will only add to the “scene” here in WS. It makes us raise our game on 4th Street, Liberty, Main, The Arts District, etc.

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So with that, we welcome you, Lady Katharine. And you too, Chef Ed Witt….

keep reading below 🙂 from YES! Weekly  ..

After all the excitement and hype, it’s finally here. The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel. And with it, The Katharine Brasserie…a hotel restaurant that doesn’t exactly act like a hotel restaurant. We already enjoy a fabulous one here in downtown Winston-Salem, Graze (part of the Marriott). Like its neighbor, The Katharine acts quite independently from the normal status quo hotel food fare that might cause someone like me to begrudgingly use the restaurant out of convenience, offering locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. And the space is  beautiful. The hotel still looks like the Reynolds Building. Many features of the iconic office building still remain. They say every guest room is different. There’s a slide in the rec room. And then there’s The Katharine, with its mix of modern and art deco…brass and copper and marble…beautiful light and ambiance…if you don’t get ambiance right the first time, many a chef will tell you, good luck with the rest.

I visited The Katharine last week during a private chef tasting for media. They kept our group small, limiting to a max of six, over the course of three separate evenings. That was a great call. It allowed us to have a quiet, intimate tasting with fellow curious media people, and we were all allowed to just have a conversation, hear the server describe the plate, and overall enjoy our evening even more. Our tasting was literally just that… it included singular plates of several appetizers and entrees that we basically all just shared. And there were wine pairings for each round that came to the table. If there’s one thing I walked away with, the folks at The Katharine absolutely know their pairings and with each delivery of appetizer or entree, the match of wine to food was spot on.

What was served:

Chilled Melon Soup, Cardamom, Country Ham & Pink Peppercorn: This is an item I did not see on the menu. I’m not a fan of chilled soup, but this was light and refreshing and the saltiness from the ham, spicy bite of the peppercorns was really great with the cantaloupe puree.  I don’t know about you, but this Southern girl loves pepper on cantaloupe.

Rappahannock Oysters with Minuet and a House Cocktails Sauce

Beef Tartare with mustard seeds, jalapeño, quail egg (as in nearly raw): Quite delicious actually. Not everyone has the stomach for tartare but it was delicate and flavorful.

Seared Sea Scallops with an incredible pea risotto and a black truffle butter. One of my faves.


Escargot was a huge hit and these got a little Southern top hat of hushpuppies.

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Rounding out what came to the table: Beet Salad, Trio de Pate and for entrees a wonderful Bistro Filet with Fries, Hen of the Woods (a type of mushroom and served as a vegetarian dish)  Pork tenderloin, and Grouper.

For dessert, a frozen lemon soufflé with fresh berries and lemon curd, the Katharine cookie plate and the sweet potato creme brûlée with benne wafer.  Typically, I like my creme brûlée unfooled-around with, but this incarnation had a lovely autumnal flavor, not too sweet…in fact there was a slight savoriness that was delicious.

We were all impressed with the execution of the dishes. My favorite dish had to be the the escargot (surprisingly) and the scallops were a close second because the black truffle butter on the risotto was divine. Fellow diner, Chef Harrison Littell, said the maitre’ d butter on the escargot was what set it apart for him. And though we’re having dinner in a Kimpton Hotel, he feels the restaurant will raise the game for all locally-owned restaurants in the area…and that’s a good thing. His wife, Andrea, of the blog TowniesWS, agreed. “It’s a beautiful space and really adds to the fabric of our city.” The hotel and restaurant do make you forget that you aren’t in a more metropolitan city, meanwhile it’s comfortable enough that no one feels out of place.

General Manager Herbie Gimmel says it’s important for the Kimpton to identify with the city and building that they are becoming part of. “Katharine Reynolds exemplifies the past and future of Winston-Salem. As a brasserie, we want to become part of the culture here.”

A brasserie is not supposed to be a fancy French restaurant, but rather be quite comfortable. Executive Chef Ed Witt, who moved to Winston-Salem from D.C., says the goal of the menu is approachability. “We want you to be able to come in and have a burger or steak and frittes or a Caesar salad. It’s a little bit of something for everyone and we want everyone to feel comfortable enough after the end of a long day to just hang out.”

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Chef Ed Witt places a finishing touch

Wanna go? The Katharine Brasserie & Bar  is located at 4th and Main Street in Winston-Salem. Open for breakfast and dinner. Lunch hours will be added in the coming weeks. katharinebrasserie.com

 

 

foodie b’eat: The Katharine to Open in the Reynolds Building

So things are really happening quickly at the new The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel in downtown Winston-Salem. The  boutique hotel will open next year and we just received a press release from the folks regarding the new name of the restaurant that will be housed in the iconic building.  We can only hope that this particular restaurant will source local ingredients like our other downtown hotel restaurant, Graze. One will see… until then, here’s the scoop!

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The Katharine to Bring Traditional Brasserie with Southern Influences to Winston-Salem in Early 2016

Renowned Chef Ed Witt to Serve as Executive Chef with North Carolina Native Herbie Gimmel as General Manager

Winston-Salem, N.C. (December 16, 2015) – The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, a new restaurant combining French technique with classic Southern cooking, hopes to channel the community-minded spirit of its namesake Katharine Smith Reynolds to create an inviting gathering  place.  The Katharine is scheduled to open in early 2016 at the corner of 4th and Main Street on the ground floor of the historic R.J. Reynolds building adjacent to The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel.

Tapped to lead the kitchen is executive chef Ed Witt, who built a reputation for soulful cooking with unexpected touches at The Partisan in Washington, D.C. prior to coming to Winston-Salem.  High Point native Herbie Gimmel has returned to the Piedmont Triad to be general manager of The Katharine after most recently working in Charleston, South Carolina at the noted Screen Door restaurant.

“The Katharine will be 100 percent a traditional brasserie,” ‎Danny Bortnick, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ vice president of restaurant concept development, said. “We aim to bring the charm and informality of a sidewalk café in Paris stateside to Winston-Salem and marry it to great Southern cooking.”

With a classic brasserie design and a touch of modern polish, The Katharine will feature a number of seasonal items on its menu as well as regional dishes from other parts of the Carolinas. The beverage program will include an extensive wine list, creative cocktails and numerous craft beer selections.  In addition to table and bar seating, The Katharine will be available for private dining events and will offer seasonal patio seating on the adjacent plaza.

“More than anything, we hope The Katharine will be Winston-Salem’s place to be, whether a customer wants to come for an elegant multi-course meal or drop in for an informal drink and an appetizer at the bar,” chef Witt said.  “We will be very hospitality and community focused, seeking to ensure that guests experience a welcoming atmosphere and see their food being prepared in the beautiful open kitchen.”

After attending the Culinary Institute of America, Witt began his culinary career at San Francisco’s Rubicon where he worked with chef Tracy Des Jardins and later helped open her restaurant, Jardinière. Following this early stage of his career, Witt returned east to New York City where he worked in a number of acclaimed restaurants such as Daniel, Il Buco and River Cafe.  It was during this time that Witt laid the foundation for his commitment to working with and sourcing from local farms.

Making his way back to the Washington area, where he attended high school and the University of Maryland, Witt helped open Morso in Georgetown as executive chef. In 2010, he was tapped to be the chef of 701 Restaurant where he earned two-and-a-half stars from The Washington Post and in 2012 received the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s coveted “Rising Culinary Star” award.  Witt is widely known for his work with local farmers and the value he places on the methods by which the beef, poultry and pork he uses is raised and brought to market.

Prior to joining The Katharine, Gimmel was partner and general manager of Screen Door in Charleston. Earlier in his career, Gimmel operated several of New York City’s most notable restaurants and bars, including B.E.D., the Gansevoort Hotel and the Empire Hotel, where he worked with industry icon Jeffrey Chodorow of China Grill Management.

The Katharine will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and will seek employees for a wide range of positions in early 2016. To learn more about The Katharine, please visit KatharineBrasserie.com  or “like” the restaurant on Facebook at Facebook.com/KatharineBrasserie.

About The Katharine Brasserie & Bar

The Katharine is a traditional French brasserie that draws fresh inspiration from classic Southern cooking to serve as a neighborhood gathering place in Winston-Salem, N.C.  With a brasserie design and modern polish, The Katharine features a seasonal menu alongside traditional brasserie favorites and a beverage program with an extensive wine list, creative cocktails and numerous craft beer selections.

 About Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the leading collection of boutique hotels and restaurants in the United States and the acknowledged industry pioneer that first introduced the boutique hotel concept to America. In 1981, Bill Kimpton founded the company that today is renowned for making travelers feel genuinely cared for while away from home through thoughtful perks and amenities, distinctive design that tells a story and inspires a sense of fun at each hotel and a sincerely personal style of guest service. Out to help people live full, balanced lives, Kimpton aims to inspire with touches like yoga mats in every room, complimentary coffee and tea to start the day, hosted evening Wine Hour, in-room fitness programming and complimentary bike rentals. The award-winning restaurants and bars are led by talented chefs and bartenders that offer guests a chance to dine like a local. Kimpton also leads the hospitality industry in eco-friendly practices that span all hotels and restaurants, and is consistently ranked as one of the top companies in the Market Metrix Hospitality Index, Upper Upscale Segment, for Customer Satisfaction. The company is highly-regarded for its innovative employee culture and benefits and has been named a Fortune magazine “Best Place to Work” five times since 2009. Kimpton is continuously growing and currently operates 62 hotels and more than 80 restaurants, bars and lounges in 26 cities. For more information, visit KimptonHotels.com and KimptonRestaurants.com.

 

 

Graze (as in sip, share, savor) Restaurant: Winston-Salem

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Sometimes I think few things make people shudder than the thought of eating in a “hotel restaurant.” Granted, it’s not always the best dining experience. BUT!! The Marriott Hotel in the Twin City Quarter of Downtown Winston-Salem houses Graze Restaurant…and though technically not “locally-owned” (okay, okay I’m a bit of a badgering snob about that), the dedication to source most of its ingredients locally as well as the talents of the culinary team are enough to make all of us change our thinking.

I liked the space when it was WS Prime. But, when it was revamped into Graze in early 2014, it became more comfortable and communal. They now offer small plates, a few more salads and sandwiches and scaled down the selection of entrees. Oh and lest you think you can’t take the kids, you totally can. Grab a booth because all of them have personal flat screen TV’s, put on some kids programming and you’ll be in heaven. Or you can catch up on your own favorite.

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The Chef de Cuisine, Richard Miller, is becoming a force to be reckoned with…placing first runner-up in Competition Dining’s Fire in the Triad last year. He’s ready to battle again this summer. Really, he’s a super nice guy with a passion for exemplary food with local fare. By the way, you can see him in action at our Food and Wine University Tent on June 6 at Salute! NC Wine Celebration. He’s accepted the All-Local Challenge Entree Demonstration. Mark your calendars for that.

On a recent visit, mr. foodie and I shared an appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes with pimento cheese, goat cheese, honey habanero and a balsamic reduction. One of my favorite salads is a Wedge of Iceberg Salad, and Graze’s is just a touch delightfully different with chipotle bleu cheese, bacon, queso fresco, heirloom baby tomatoes, grilled white corn and pickled red onion. The sweet and sour pickled red onion makes that salad top notch.

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Fried Green Tomatoes

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Wedge of Iceberg

And get this…right now and for who knows what kind of limited time, that crazy chef and his team are offering the Graze Burger. This burger. Gah! I die. A 4 oz. Certified Angus burger, with smoked gouda, cheddar, Texas Pete Cha buttermilk ranch, bacon AND AND a Joyce Farms fried chicken breast on top. If you are thinking ‘calorie buster”   “awesome protein to carb ratio,” you’d be RIGHT! 🙂 This is not an everyday burger. This is an “I’m feeling like splurging because I’m awesome and deserve it” burger. Okay? So, get it.

Graze Burger..ain't it a beaut?

Graze Burger..ain’t it glorious?

Inside view of the Graze Burger

“Inside view” of the Graze Burger

The menu changes seasonally at Graze and Chef Richard and his team like to offer special features to celebrate our region. Know that no matter what the season, you’ll find local chicken, lamb, NC trout, NC sweet potatoes, Johnston County meats, locally-sourced veggies. For a hotel restaurant and for MANY restaurants, few support our local farmers and providers like Graze. Prices for small plates are $5-9, lunch will be from $10-15 for any number of great looking salads, sandwiches or burgers and dinner entrees are $20-28. Check back during the work week for Happy Hour specials…snacks for $5.

I will say that if you get a chance to pop these deviled eggs into your mouth, I highly recommend. They are so good. They aren’t always offered but if you luck out, you won’t be able to decide if you like traditional best or the smoked salmon or the pork belly-topped best. It’s a 3-way tie.

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“Traditional w/ Cha! & Microgreens; Pork Belly; Smoked Salmon

A couple of other interesting options, Okra Nachos. Fried Okra with pimento cheese, goat cheese, honey habanero sauce, tomato and scallions. Don’t they look yummy? There are also some good looking flat breads, one with Maple Leaf Farms Duck.

Okra Nachos (photo: Courtesy Graze Restaurant)

Okra Nachos (photo: Courtesy Graze Restaurant)

Oh and presently on the appetizer selections is Joyce Farms Fried Chicken Skin with Texas Pete Cha! Aioli. I I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want that in your belly, foodies.

I look forward to hearing back about your experience at Graze.

Have you been presently surprised by a hotel restaurant?

Enjoy eating local!

Graze Restaurant
425 North Cherry Street
Winston-Salem, NC
336.722.5232