Boasting a prominent downtown location on Church Street, the Rusty Spoon has been recognized nationally as Chef Kathleen Blake has been honored multiple times as a James Beard semi-finalist. This location is perfect for the downtown office workers looking for a nice local lunch location to bring a client. We walked into a bustling lunch and were sat at a lovely table by the windows, looking out to Church Street. With a beautiful dining room, and many pictures from Lake Meadows Farm and other local farmers The Rusty Spoon supports. You can see that attention to detail isn’t just in the food assembly, it’s also in the procurement of the local ingredients.
Our server greeted us promptly and presented us with numerous specials for the day, including an additional soup of the day, Chef’s Blackened Snapper on Marble Rye, and two more salad options. We were impressed with his knowledge of the specials, and all the dishes for that matter, and asked a few questions. We settled on ordering the “Shittinonion Soup,” pronounced exactly how you suspect, and the “Rusty-O Rings,” a strangely amazing onion ring with buttermilk breading sprinkled with powdered sugar and accompanied with a stout dipping sauce. This soup has five onions, double chicken stock, and is topped with a slice of Olde Hearth Bread and melted gruyere. A delightfully light onion soup, the cup portion was perfect for an appetizer size. Best of all, it was served at the exact right temperature and does not burn your mouth.
For our lunch choices, Shelix chose “The 55” a burger with 1/2 pound of local grass-fed beef, stuffed with bacon and Gruyere, smothered onions, rusty aioli, and house pickles all served on a potato bun from Olde Hearth Bread Co. Chef Kathleen Blake recommends ordering this burger medium rare, for best results, and we could not agree more. There was an option of a few sides, but we have heard such good things about the fries that we both ordered them as sides. The “Haystack Fries” are shoestring style sprinkled with a Parmesan, and salt mix, served with a homemade ketchup that has a uniquely marinara style to it.
I settled on the special, Blackened Snapper with a Cajun dill spread, greens, tomato, all served on Olde Hearth Bread Co.’s Marble Rye. The Marble Rye has a beautiful swirl and includes caraway seeds. The first bite was crunchy from the toasted bread and had a bit of a kick with the Cajun spread that mixed nicely with the blackening on the snapper. An excellent lunch option that isn’t overwhelmingly large and is delicious down to the last nibble.
We took a moment after our meal to say hello to Chef Kathleen Blake and snapped a few shots of her working in the kitchen and creating the next patron a perfectly crafted Blackened Snapper on Marble Rye. Chef Kathleen Blake says,”Bread is the most important part of a sandwich. I always start with the bread when I am creating a new sandwich.” With bread making up about 50% of a sandwich, this is the most practical way of deciding what ingredients work. We are so proud to work have worked with Chef Kathleen Blake for many years and cherish her friendship, loyalty, and adamant support of Olde Hearth Bread Co. We hope you have the chance soon to visit this esteemed chef and taste her amazing dishes!