the spring march 10

Who could have possibly imagined it? In the midst of these cold winter months of late, the Greenbrier Valley has pleasantly witnessed the beginning of The Spring. The restaurant that is. Located in the former Fort Savannah in downtown Lewisburg, The Spring is a farm-to-table culinary venture that is run as a nonprofit organization, owned by Appalachian Mountain Advocates and managed by the Greenbrier Valley Restoration Project.

For the purpose of full disclosure, I have to admit that I well remember the former Fort Savannah, having enjoyed there a frosty beverage or two with friends. This time, however, as I entered into the newly refurbished space, I audibly uttered, “Wow.”

From a large, stone fireplace emanating warmth to skylights and windows providing ample natural light to a gorgeous new bar and stage promising endless evenings of fun to the modern kitchen featuring a stone pizza oven, I was awe struck at the beauty of the main floor.

What’s even more interesting than the amazing restoration of this historic location is what you won’t find on the menu: Meat. That’s right; you heard me correctly. The Spring features a thoroughly delicious menu that is entirely vegetarian.

The dinner menu proudly features all fresh, organic ingredients, prepared by Chef Al Pettijohn and his staff. Favorite dishes have included butternut squash gratin, cauliflower ragu, roasted vegetable and fruit salads, curried sweet potato cakes, falafel with tzatziki, and mouth watering wood-fired pizzas.

Initially, The Spring was open for dinner on Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. Now, it is also open all day Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., adding both breakfast and lunch menus to their offerings. Daily lunch service may be in the restaurant’s future as well.

One of my recent visits to The Spring was on their first day of breakfast service. Needless to say, I was extremely impressed and entirely satisfied. The breakfast menu included choices such as eggs florentine, vegetable frittata, challah bread French toast, steel cut oats, and even biscuits with gravy. But one dish sparked my interest: Huevos Rancheros.

Promising a perfect combination of fried local eggs, served on crispy corn tortillas and topped with either deeply flavorful pico de gallo or roasted tomato salsa, hearty refried beans and a chunky guacamole, this Huevos Rancheros delivered that and much more, bringing back memories of a fantastic beach-side brunch somewhere south of the border. I sure hope to make that mental trip, with the assistance of The Spring’s cuisine, again very soon.

John Lilly and Lorie Lichtenwalner. Lilly was the first-place winner in the 2010 Next Great Road Song competition, sponsored by Midas and Spin! placing first in the Acoustic category for his original song “Come and Go” and winning $5,000. He has also has performed on Public Radio International’s “Mountain Stage,” at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Ozark Folk Center, and the Thomas Fraser Memorial Festival in Shetland.
Admission for this show is $8.

TUE, MARCH 25, 7:30PM:
Andy Statman Trio. Statman is a Grammy-winning mandolinist and clarinetist who masterfully bridges the worlds of bluegrass, jazz, and klezmer music. The Chicago Tribune calls him “one of the greatest mandolinists of this – or any – era.” This event will include a snack and drink menu only. Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 in advance, available at The Spring.

The Spring is located at 204 North Jefferson Street in Lewisburg, WV and can be contacted for reservations at 304-645-7200. Enjoy!

– Coy A. Flowers, LBSPY #51 (March 10-April 7, 2014)


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