On the Menu - The Williamsville EateryMarch 30, 2016
“To see familiar faces walk in the front door night after night is truly heartwarming,” shares Glenn Richardson, who runs the Williamsville Eatery with his his son Dylan, “it motivates us to make each plate we serve as perfect as possible.”
The Williamsville Eatery was born when the former owner of the town’s community general store approached Dylan Richardson with the opportunity to lease the historic building and open a small restaurant. Dylan had worked at the store in high school and kept in touch with the owner. He approached his father Glenn with a partnership proposal and together they embarked on a passion project that would allow them to work together as a family and serve their hometown community.
The Eatery's menu thoughtfully draws from the Vermont landscape year-round. They highlight locally grown and milled organic flours from Nitty Gritty Grains in their wood-fired pizza dough and wild-crafted mushrooms that, as avid foragers, the Richardsons collect themselves. Even the garnishes used at the Williamsville Eatery help tell a story, "We have village friends who grow not-so-common vegetables for us that we love to use as garnishes," shared Glenn. "These include rattail radishes, gherkins, and husk/ground cherries. These garnishes add so much personality to a plate, and for many of our guests, it’s their first exposure to these vegetables." A glance at their website's partner page illustrates the breadth of their local sourcing.
Their commitment to local qualified The Eatery for early acceptance in the Vermont Fresh Network. They also earned an exclusive ‘Snail of Approval’ from Slow Food Vermont – an honor that recognizes food businesses with an elevated commitment to local, ethical and sustainable practices. Only five other Vermont restaurants have earned this recognition.
How did new restaurateurs have such a strong local program from the start?
The Richardsons were growing a wealth of knowledge about their local food landscape long before the Eatery was a twinkle in their eye…
“Our connection to local food began when we moved to Williamsville in the late 80s and learned from neighbors about fruit trees, bees, sugaring, chickens, gardens, etc." Glenn explained, "Lauri took the lead with home gardening after taking a permaculture course 25+ years ago at Antioch, and since then has become a passionate and talented gardener. Dylan grew up in and around Lauri’s gardens and is an accomplished gardener himself."
"It was natural that we would create the Eatery in as much the same way we eat and live at home. It’s what we know, it’s what we feel our local community appreciates, and we also now fully know and understand the impact of supporting the local and regional agricultural economy… It is a very good feeling knowing that our small restaurant directly contributes to the agricultural economy of our small town, Windham County, and the broader reaches of Vermont. Becoming a member of the Vermont Fresh Network was one of our earliest goals after we opened.” A connection to former chef/owner of The Riverview Café and revered local food pioneer, Tristan Toleno, helped serve as inspiration for The Eatery as well.
You can visit Glenn, Lauri and Dylan at The Williamsville Eatery Thursday - Sunday from 5 until close. Don't miss their Thursday and Sunday pizza nights, featuring pizzas and veggies fired in their 800° wood-burning oven!