Witchcraft Tavern & Provision Co. has gone through several facelifts in the past few years, but if their current menu prowess is any indication, they’ve hit their stride nicely. The newest reincarnation of Witchcraft premiered in early August, veering away from their former burger and fries vibe to a creative lineup of shareable small plates crafted by executive chef Jordan Asher. Asher came from stints at Mark’s and Dosi before helming Witchcraft’s kitchen and brings his locally-minded touch to modern American plates rife with clean, vibrant and unique flavor combinations.
The menu is divided into four parts: Garden & Grain, Sea, Land and Sugar. It’s hard to go wrong with any dish from the Garden & Grain section: the sweet pea toast is a fresher, lighter version of avocado toast that mounds a creamy mixture of blanched peas blended and brightened with lemon oil studded with crunchy shavings of raw peas on top of toast and then showered with fluffy pecorino—basically a mouthful of summer. Roasted carrot spring rolls bulked with frilly lettuce and garnished with edible flowers are not only beautiful; they veritably explode with flavor thanks to an unlikely and incredibly tasty sweet tomato vinaigrette.
Witchcraft Tavern’s Menu
The fact that one of their signature dishes and Asher’s favorite item on the menu is the cheddar hoecakes (also under Garden & Grain) is representative of the kitchen’s flavorful, yet simple style of cooking. Small, tender rounds of pancake are delicately encrusted with cheddar underneath and kimchi salt on top. Set off with ham butter, Asher says this dish embodies his idea of umami.
The sunchoke fries were a highlight: the juicy tubers are roasted in a tangy-sweet sorghum vinegar until deeply caramelized, and they couldn’t come with a more perfect accompaniment than the earthy, herby rosemary aioli.
The red snapper crudo was another surprising delight of flavors: thin, precise rounds of cucumber topped thin slivers of fish in an aguachili marinade laced with jalapeno for a mild heat that was perfectly tempered by dots of cooling coconut cream. Similarly, the roasted octopus—meaty and tender—was another palate pleaser atop a mess of wilted, tangy, slightly spicy kale dressed with harissa.
Coconut Icebox Pie
Though most of the plates are on the smaller side—enough to share a few bites among a small group—the coconut icebox pie dessert is relatively mammoth, a true bang for your buck. The dark chocolate pate is a glory of textures: a creamy slab of Valhrona chocolate “pate” is topped with a swoop of pecan porter caramel, then a few delicate cinnamon-orange marshmallows that are bruleed to caramelized perfection before being showered with an abundance of feuilletine, crunchy little pieces of pastry that perfectly accent the creamy chocolate and gooey, citrusy marshmallow.
Sitting at the bar overlooking part of the open kitchen was the perfect way to savor each creative and flavor-packed plate—I can see how easy it would be to come in for a drink and be lured into ordering a dish or five off the inviting menu. The cozy seating throughout the rest of the restaurant is perfect for small gatherings; I can’t wait to return with a gathering of my own.