Tale of the Tape: Russet

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Andrew and Kristin Wood have opened Russet at 1521 Spruce Street. The legitimate farm to table BYOB will offer an ever changing menu with a focus on whole-animal butchery and traditional cooking methods.

Owners Andrew and Kristin Wood

  • Andrew and Kristin met in 2000 while working at Radius in Boston
  • They traveled west to Chicao where Andrew worked at Rick Tramonto’s TRU and Kristin at Trio under Chef Grant Achatz.
  • The couple continued west to California. At Napa’s Terra and San Francisco’s Quince Andrew really got into food-sourcing and seasonality
  • Back in Philadelphia Andrew opened James and Maia
  • Kristin was also the pastry chef at James
  • Most recently Andrew has been at Fork where his charcuterie won a Best of Philly award

Townhouse Space on Spruce Street

  • Russet takes over the former Ernesto’s Cafe
  • The dining room is the repurposed parlor of a late 19th century townhouse complete with many original features including an pillared archway
  • The tabletops were built from reclaimed wood by one of Andrew’s Lancaster farmer friends Ian Brendle of Green Meadow Farm
  • The landscape compositions on the wall are created by a server friend from Fork
  • The walls feature family heirlooms and photos
  • Downstairs near the building’s laundry room is a prep kitchen and charcuterie room
  • This summer a separate dining room and outdoor seating area will be available

True Farm to Table Food from Andrew Wood

  • The farm-to-table menu will rotate constantly with as much as half the menu swapping out daily
  • Andrew is working with several nearby farmers
    • Green Meadow farm will dedicate an acre to supplying Russet – For the opening Green Meadow provided a whole cow that rated better than prime
    • Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-Op which represents 70-plus growers will also be relied on
    • Misty Meadow Acres will blend pigs exclusively for the restaurant
  • Entrees will range from $20 to $28, appetizers  from $8 to $12
  • Highlights from the opening menu include:
    • Spinach sformato – extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano-reggiano
    • Braised beef brisket – with leeks, purple top turnips, Yukon gold potatoes and marjoram (from that Green Meadow Cow)
    • Venetian-style bigoli made with beets in sauce of crème fraiche and blue cheese, topped with a sunny side up egg and house-cured lomo
    • Chocolate ginger tart with homemade sorbet

Andrew and Kristin will soon host “Date Night” once a month, transforming the private dining space into a secluded, playful area for children to enjoy under the watchful eye of a certified caretaker while their parents dine peacefully in the next room.  The idea was inspired by the couple’s own date nights and their four-year-old son Gus.

Russet is currently open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.

Brunch begins Saturday, February 25th.

1521 Spruce Street
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