There's no guessing the flavors on your plate at Staunton Grocery in Staunton, Virginia. Chef/owner Ian Boden wants you to be one with the experience, so his menu breaks it down and spells it out. One example: Crispy Pork Belly + Plums + Red Wine Reduction. No surprises―just the simple, straightforward marriage of local ingredients.
Local is the backbone here. A posted chalkboard lists the sources: farmers a shout away (including a few retirees from the D.C. government scene), growing seasonal fare. You'll find yourself pondering each bite―identifying the husky mushrooms playing off the creaminess of goat cheese in the house-made gnocchi, the sweetness of a breakfast radish atop tuna sashimi, and the surprising velvety richness of that pork belly with its fruity embellishments. Mouthwatering seasonal produce―this month's bounty of gourds and pumpkins included―shapes each menu. Fish, though brought from elsewhere, is either wild or sustainably farmed. It's fresh food with conscience, benefitting you, the farmers, and the Earth.
Good intentions never tasted so fine. 105 West Beverley Street; www.stauntongrocery.com or (540) 886-6880. Hours: 5:30-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 5-8 p.m. Sunday. Entreés begin at $24.
Staunton Grocery's takeout items leave packaged in containers that are environmentally friendly. Special dishwashers sanitize with more heat, less chemicals. "As we grow, we'll be doing even more," Ian says.