If you follow our Facebook or Twitter feeds, you may have caught a few posts touting the fact that we had a new coffee partner in Richmond, Virginia - the celebrated Church Hill Restaurant, The Roosevelt. We're proud to roast coffee for all of the folks who brew, sell and drink it, but The Roosevelt is a partner of which we are especially excited to have.
The Roosevelt has exceptional food - lets go ahead and get that out of the way. If you haven't eaten there yet, just take a moment to read some of the local and national press Chef Lee Gregory has led the restaurant to garner in the short time since it opened. The menu is inspired by traditional southern cuisine but tends to avoid being boxed in by any particular stylistic or genre norms - the food, as the Blanchard's Coffee Chief Roaster and Director of Operations would say, "tastes good, like food that tastes good tastes." Gregory and The Roosevelt master the art of making intelligent, creative, fantastically conceived and executed cuisine approachable and comfortable.
Food alone, however, does not, a restaurant, make. Yes, I said that, and I stand tall behind it. With the exception of the rare dive that is a success in spite of all the aesthetics done wrong - and some would argue the the total lack of aesthetic creates, in and of itself, an aesthetic - truly exceptional restaurants have a feel, a vibe, an intangible that makes you feel like you've arrived in the right place. This intangible is a consistent thread in the Places We Love, and its creation is an under appreciated art. I'm sure a lot of teamwork went into the conceptual creation of The Roosevelt, but my sneaking suspicion is that the intangible feeling of homefullness that washes over you when you walk in the Church Hill restaurant is, to a large degree, an extension of the soul owner Kendra Feather instills in all of her restaurants. Creating a room with a spirit of its own goes well beyond great design - it exudes from an environment surrounding a person or a group of people and I'm sure if you could bottle it and sell it you'd be wealthy beyond imagination. Fortunately, I think, that isn't possible - probably that is why it is such a gem when its found. The Roosevelt has it in spades which is why it is one of the Places We Love, and a place for which we're proud to roast one of our favorite coffees.