Shagbark Soft Opening

Happy Tuesday, readers!

Good weekend?

The most exciting part of ours was getting the chance to attend a soft opening at Bryce's stepbrother's new restaurant, Shagbark! We are so proud of his stepbrother, Walter, and let's just say the new restaurant did not disappoint!

We ate at a high top table in the bar area, and I have to say, it's my favorite space in the restaurant. There is lots of natural light, gorgeous grass cloth wallpaper, custom lighting, and stunning oil paintings!

The name Shagbark pays homage to a Shagbark Hickory Tree which was used to create the communal table in the restaurant. Our hightop was also cut from the Shagbark, as you can see above. The tree used for the project came from a property on the James River. It's important to mention this, because the entire restaurant pays homage to the bounty of Virginia. The shagbark tables, the art on the walls, and just about everything on the menu is hyper local, from right here in Virginia. 

We sipped on cocktails while salivating over the menu. Bryce had the Shagbark Sour pictured above and I had the Shagbark Smash.

We started with the Manakintowne Farms Squash Blossoms and Chicken Fried Chesapeake Bay Oysters. The squash blossoms, were fried with an herbed goat cheese, roasted peppers, tomato coulis and basil oil. The goat cheese reminded me of a creamy pimiento cheese and complimented the blossoms so well! We were also, as always, excited for Walter's oysters! He fries them up regularly at family dinners, so I was pleased to see how he put a restaurant spin on them. They were served with Byrd Mill stone ground grits, shoots & sprouts, dill pickle remoulade, and Tabasco butter. The oysters were scrumptious, and it was a real treat also getting to indulge in some grits!

For entrees, I ordered the Pan Roasted Carolina Grouper and Bryce chose the Autumn Olive Farms Berkabaw Pork Chop.

I can never resist a well prepared fish dish, and well prepared this certainly was! The grouper came with Victory Farms spring leeks, Florida rock shrimp, sweet corn, parmesan risotto, and champagne-citrus butter. I ate every bite.

Bryce's pork chop came with black sticky rice, roasted sweet potato, garlic broccolini, and lime-scented coconut curry broth. It was so juicy and good! 

And of course, we couldn't resist dessert! We shared the dark chocolate tart, which came with chocolate ganache, banana ice cream, and candied peanuts. It was heavenly and I especially can't wait to enjoy the banana ice cream again sometime soon!

Before leaving, I had to snap a photo of these gorgeous Shagbark panels!

To get the recipe for Walter's delicious chicken fried oysters, which was featured in Garden and Gun, click here

You can read an additional Garden and Gun spread from a couple of years ago, featuring Walter, as well as several other top Southern chefs here. The piece, titled "For Love of the Game" shares a hunt on the same James River farm where the Civil War-era Shagbark Hickory in the restaurant originally grew.

And last, but not least, my favorite piece leading up to Shagbark's debut, can be read here.

For those of you in the Richmond area, Shagbark officially opens to the public for dinner service tomorrow. However, the restaurant is unofficially open to the public tonight. If you're in the mood for an amazing meal tonight, stop by! Your tastebuds will not regret it!

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Have a great day!