Following a three-year renovation of an 1800s Hopewell farmhouse, the Brick Farm Tavern will be opening its doors on November 19. Contemporary farm-to-table dining and a full bar with a robust beverage program will be the emphasis of this new restaurant.
The restaurant and bar come from Jon and Robin McConaughy, owners of the Brick Farm Market and Double Brook Farm in Hopewell. Joining the McConaughys as partners in the Brick Farm Tavern are Executive Chef Greg Vassos and General Manager Mike Lykens. A shared passion for the ability to source the finest local ingredients cemented the partnership. Vassos and Lykens relocated to Hopewell from Colorado, where both worked for the five-star Broadmoor Resort as executive chef of The Penrose Room and general manager of The Summit, respectively.
Before joining The Tavern from The Penrose Room, Chef Vassos was chef de cuisine in such institutions as L’Escalier at the Breakers in Palm Beach and The Brasserie by Dean Max on Grand Cayman Island. His successful career is grounded in the incorporation of classic French techniques with a contemporary style, while never losing sight of the importance of local and seasonal ingredients. He will bring this focus to The Tavern’s a la carte dishes and bar menu, with innovative but accessible offerings.
“The Tavern’s relationship with Double Brook Farm and Brick Farm Market allows me to create signature dishes with ingredients that I can see out in the field, advise on in the bakery or specifically request from the butcher and abattoir” says Vassos. One such dish, the “Egg in a Nest” is a tableside experience combining a fresh Double Brook egg, toasted polenta, larded local mushrooms and pea tendrils in a baked “nest” of hay from the farm. Another dish, the crisp pork belly, enlists Double Brook pork, local apples, honey from the farm and a house-made butter “noisette.” The menu will change daily based on what is available and fresh.
Lykens, a trained Level 2 Sommelier and seasoned pub and restaurant manager, will be guiding the bar offerings. The cocktail program will mirror the menu, relying on ingredients from local area farms as the foundation for its artisanal drinks and snacks.
The restaurant is a dedicated outlet for the pasture-raised meats grown on Double Brook Farm, a sustainable farm founded by the McConaughys in 2004 in Hopewell. The Tavern will also be incorporating breads, charcuterie, some house-made items, and the services of the butchers at the McConaughys’ Brick Farm Market. Says Jon McConaughy “Throughout the creation of our farm-to-table concept, opening a restaurant was the pinnacle: from raising the animals in a sustainable and humane way, to the market experience at Brick Farm Market to expertly showcasing the ingredients in an a la carte setting.”
In addition to dining in one of the two main dining rooms, the Brick Farm Tavern has a 14-seat table in the wine cellar and a 12-seat chef’s table next to the kitchen.
For more information about the Brick Farm Tavern, visit the site at www.brickfarmtavern.com.
Brick Farm Tavern, 130 Hopewell Rocky Hill Road, Hopewell. 609-333-9200. Hours: Bar: Tuesday-Sunday 5 to 11 p.m. Restaurant: Tuesday-Sunday 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday Closed. (During our first month of operation, we will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.)