A four-month rain delay has pushed the Woodside Bistro opening from early 2019 to mid-April, and that’s only if it stops raining long enough for the concrete outdoor patio and a second restroom floor to be poured.
The recent consecutive dry days have certainly helped progress along.
Regardless, the team – two chefs, one general manager, and a landlord – are pushing forward with plans. Mainly, that’s menu development at this point, and the members not cooking are tasting. Not a bad gig.
The 49-seat restaurant at 1112 Woodside Ave. in City View that sits between Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery and the Woodside Cotton Mill Historic District is designed for the neighborhood and beyond.
“We want it to be something the guy on the street there can come in and have a meal. We would like to see everybody, from the guy who lives next door on up to the mayor,” landlord and co-owner Cliff Carden said when the restaurant was announced in November 2018.
And in terms of menu, that means simple yet full-flavored and affordable, with options for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores.
Woodside chefs Austyn McGroarty and Ken Frazier, who also run Premiere Party Catering, recently cooked up the entire menu for a dry run. Carden, partner Brad Armstrong, and some right-place-right-time construction workers made quick work of the plates sent out.
While there will likely be tweaks and changes as the restaurant opens, this menu version is a good representation of what to expect.
For appetizers, there are two, which could stand alone for a light lunch: five chicken wings, baked or fried, with sauce options, celery, and blue cheese; and lettuce wraps – baby iceberg leaves and seasoned pork or veggie option.
Salads, also two, are a house ($8) with spring mix, mandarin orange, candied pecans, cucumber, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, shaved carrot, and blood orange vinaigrette; and the Premiere Wedge ($8) with blistered cherry tomatoes, bacon bits, fried onion straws, and blue cheese ranch.
Specifically designed to provide a good value, The Woodside Menu, as the next two options have been named, are priced at $8 for an entree, hand-cut fries, and tea, all made in house. Choose between a 4-ounce grilled burger with American cheese, lettuce, and mayo; or a 5-ounce fried catfish fillet with coleslaw and tartar sauce.
The remainder of the menu is four sandwiches and a vegan bowl that can be vegetarian if you opt for a farm egg on top, and sides – hand-cut sweet potato or russet fries and pasta salad.
Hand-held options are short-rib French dip ($13) – slow-braised short rib, caramelized onions, aged havarti, A1 aioli, pan jus; portobello burger ($12) – grilled portobello caps, pickled red onions, sauteed spinach, blistered cherry tomatoes, balsamic reduction, toasted brioche; chicken sandwich ($11) – grilled blackened chicken breast, house pesto, grilled tomato, white cheddar, spring mix, toasted sourdough; and Jamaican jerk Cuban ($12) – slow-roasted pork, ham, house bread-and-butter pickles, ground mustard, aged havarti, toasted hoagie.
The Vegan Bowl is a rainbow of colors (price TBD) with black beans, fire-roasted corn, avocado, chickpeas, pickled red onions, blistered tomatoes, and quinoa.
Planned hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays, and closed on the weekends so the catering option can continue. Dinner service will be added eventually.