Spotlight: Whisper Creek Farm Kitchen And Brewery
The folks at the JW Marriott recently opened two new entities, Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen and Whisper Creek Farm: The Brewery.
You’ll notice The Kitchen as soon as you walk through the front door of the hotel. It’s just off the lobby, to the right. The Brewery is a little harder to spot. In fact, you’d need a staff person to escort you through the warren of corridors and passageways to the kitchen office where the vats, tanks and necessary gauges have been set up in a corner. It’s definitely not a show brewery.
But the Kitchen is on full display, and what it’s churning out is surprisingly ambitious.
The menu was designed to showcase the produce and other ingredients sourced from Whisper Creek Farm, the on-site 7,000-square-foot ultra garden that churns out vegetables, fruits, honey and, with the recent addition of some chickens, eggs for use by the various Grande Lakes restaurants.
The food was quite good. We started with a couple of the flat bread selections, including one with prosciutto, mascarpone and figs and another with eggplant, Gruyere, balsamic onions and arugula. The crusts had some nice chew, and the toppings were ample. The flavors were brightened with the topping of lightly dressed arugula from the garden.
One of the small plates featured seared grouper atop a plop of Anson Mills grits, surrounded by a lakelet of ham hock broth and topped with sauteed leeks. All of the dishes are meant to be small-plate portions, but I found this to be sufficiently ample.
And how do you improve on a ham sandwich? Top it with one of those hen-to-table eggs, fried with a still runny yolk, and some frizzled mustard greens to complement the smoked ham.
The space itself has a country farm feel. For the record, it’s nowhere near the actual farm — you can’t walk out onto the patio and hear the clucking from the coops — but wall murals and barn wood add a bucolic note.
I like this addition to the Grande Lakes diadem of dining options. And I applaud the resort’s continued commitment to sustainable and local cuisine.