Hillbilly Tea, at 120 S. 1st St. downtown, is certainly one of the best restaurants in our restaurant riddled town. Every single time I've visited I have glutted myself on mouthwatering food and impeccable service at a pauper's price with a zillion dollar atmosphere. Their desserts lurk in the back of my mind every time I try to go on a diet. Their seasonally changing menu hovers before me whenever faced with Sunday brunch decisions. In short, Hillbilly Tea is stellar.
This Sunday, September 23, Hillbilly Tea will be serving a 5 course Tea dinner, paired with tea and hooch. This dinner is in honor of their new menu and the season that inspires it--those few months of crackling leaves, sparking bonfires and pumpkin picking that make up Autumn. The dinner begins at 6:00 pm and costs $39.00 per person (but don't forget to tip your wait staff!) which is quite frugal considering the offerings:
The first course will be johnny cakes with creamed mushrooms and a pickled tomato, followed by a smoked trout salad. The soup course will be cauliflower soup with toasted hazelnuts and rosemary oil, which sounds aromatic as brisk morning walk in the middle of September, with all the dew on the ground and all the trees blazing out. The main course is Big Earl's braised short ribs, with goat cheese whipped potatoes and smoked greens. Keep in mind, these offerings will be paired with tea or hooch as Hillbilly Tea sees fit, though the details of these magnificent beverages were not included with the evening's menu.
To wrap up the night, carrot and beet cake with cream cheese icing and fig glaze will be served as dessert. There are also vegetarian substitutions available for the trout salad (smoked tofu) and braised short ribs (braised seitan). Make sure you make your reservations soon!
photo: Elizabeth Orrick