“Everything Is An Evolution” Sean Wight
Sean Wight clearly has vision. Whether scanning for ducks on the horizon perched behind a blind or looking for the best sources of ingredients for his kitchens, the owner of Frog Hollow Tavern and Farmhaus Burger seems to see things before others. Modern take on southern food in a contemporary setting in downtown Augusta? Frog Hollow Tavern. Locally sourced burger joint with sweet potato tater tots and liquor shakes? Farmhaus Burger. Now Wight is about to introduce us to Craft & Vine, what this South Carolina farm boy describes modestly as a bar with really great bar food.
What type of bar food? “We’ll be doing everything from charcuterie to deviled eggs to roasted cauliflower to octopus, fried rabbit legs, meatballs and pizzas. We also have a selection of items from the garden, from the sea and from the farm that we’ll be cooking on the hot line.” Great bar food? “Our wood fired pizza oven is strictly wood, we have no gas in it at all. Just white oak and red oak.” So what Wight calls “bar food” may not be fried chicken wings.
As far as the charcuterie goes, Craft & Vine has a beautiful candy apple red meat slicer which is turned by hand. It just so happens to cost more than many used cars. “It helps with the precise cutting of meat.” Wight explains. “You’re not starting too much heat which can destroy the fat marbling in cured meats. You can control the speed of it so it doesn’t melt fat when you cut a specialty sausage.”
The restaurant is located next door to Farmhaus on Broad Street. C&V’s modern look features dark pine and oak balanced with a monochrome color palette along with seemingly hundreds of clear bulbs with warm tungsten filaments . According to Wight a majority of the space features bar and communal seating with limited booths and a dining room style table.
On to the wine. “We’ve got Napa Technology’s wine machines. They’re argon gas powered and dispense wine in a tasting portion which is one ounce, a half a glass which is three ounces and a full glass which is six.” These machines preserve and dispense wine at its peak freshness ensuring the wine’s integrity for weeks at a time. “So it gives you the ability to come in and try a bunch of wines if you just wanted to taste an ounce of something. We’ve dedicated some of our slots to higher end cabs and wines so someone who doesn’t want to spend a whole bunch of money on a bottle of wine can try, say an Opus One or Heitz Wine Cellars.”
With equal emphasis on cocktails and wine as food, Wight’s focus is keeping the flavors new and fresh. “We have 32 wine taps and other wines that we’re pouring out of bottles traditionally. “We’re going to have a seasonal menu and everything we’re doing is to pair it with one of the craft beers or craft cocktails or wine. You just want it to compliment all that.”
Wight’s go to answer when asked when C&V is opening? “Yes.”
Craft & Vine
1204 B Broad Street