For those seeking social distancing (or just a bit of fresh air), The Pinemoor, which will officially open next week, has a patio with a retractable roof with plenty of seating. But why would you go for natural beauty when there’s saloon-style piano music inside?
Seven days a week, both at happy hour (4 to 7 p.m.) and weekend brunch, The Pinemoor will host what owner Reese Gardner calls “a saloon-style piano player.” The goal is to conjure an old-time Western vibe. “There’s a piano player in the corner doing his own thing, drinking a whiskey,” says Gardner of the instrumental tunes. “It’s Western-theme music.”
The walls display similar, if more modern, sensibilities with murals by artist Scott Berling, including a wall-sized portrait of Johnny Cash and another wall that trumpets “Willie Nelson for President.”
But a cool vibe is nothing without great food. This comes courtesy of chef Jonathan Campos, who’s also in charge at Gardner’s pair of Cooperwoods. “It’s an all-scratch menu, everything is made in-house like the two Cooperwoods. We’ve had six or seven farms that we’re going to continue to use,” says Gardner.
Country Caviar, a cowboy-style dip of beans, veggies and avocado served with house potato chips gets its own space above the appetizers on the menu. For those looking for something a bit more modern, there’s fried goat cheese with jalapeno honey to start. Apps also include venison meatballs served in huckleberry gravy, a nod to Gardner’s Pennsylvania roots.
Western-sourced steaks include filet mignon and a dry-aged rib-eye, but don’t count out local beef. There’s a 32-ounce tomahawk from Shenandoah Valley Beef Cooperative, marinated with fresh herbs and served with a red wine demi-glace. Other a la carte entrees include fried chicken, Chesapeake Bay rockfish and a 14-ounce Berkshire pork chop with an ancho chile rub and peach chutney.
Brunch is its own affair, with a slew of Benedicts, including a version with ancho-braised short ribs and another with fried green tomatoes and basil aioli. Both lunch and brunch bring the Nashville hot chicken sandwich that Gardner expects will be a hit.
Gardner also has high hopes for helping to popularize a cocktail that’s already beloved out West, the Ranch Water. Beverage Director Jody Hessler’s version contains mint to make the Topo Chico, lime and tequila combo extra refreshing. Gardner is also enthusiastic about the Pierson Grey, named for his son. The Grey Goose-based cocktail is flavored with pear, ginger and rosemary and made buoyant with whipped eggs. Not into alcohol? There’s also a range of homemade shrubs, also known as drinking vinegars.
Diners can try for themselves starting Monday, July 27, when The Pinemoor celebrates its grand opening. We recommend hitting it up for happy hour and some old-timey tunes. // 1101 N. Highland St., Arlington
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