It was a very good year

The Goodyear House is finally open, and it’s well worth the wait.

The brainchild of A.J. Klenk is based in a charming c. 1900 mill home, with the menu curated by Executive Chef and partner Chris Coleman (recent champion of The Food Network’s “Chopped”).

My spouse and I sat in the front room of the original house, which holds plenty of two- and four-top tables to accommodate the high demand from diners eager to try the long-anticipated restaurant dedicated to prosperous times. The name is an allusion to the practice of building additional rooms onto a home after a “good year;” the décor paying homage to its history.

The original structure is greatly expanded, with recent additions bringing the overall square footage to 5,000+, enough to accommodate 165 patrons. The new staff is eager to please as they learn the ropes.

Our meal started with the sour cream brioche with chives baked into the pillow-soft loaf and served with sour butter and honey for a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Next came the butter bean spread – think Southern-style hummus. Its delicate flavor was complemented by heirloom carrots, turnips, and radishes for dipping. The pickled veggies (carrots, onions, and green tomatoes, topped with fresh dill), have a nicely balanced acidity and tart sweetness, making them the perfect pre-meal starter.

I enjoyed the lightly dressed chopped salad with shrimp, which includes flavors that run from sweet (apples and dry cherries) to spicy (spiced bertie peanuts) and savory (shaved cheddar and brown butter vinny).

I found the portions perfectly sized, so as not to overwhelm, with the exception being the “Biggies” menu, which features dishes that “feed 2-3, or 1 if you’re not into sharing.” My husband of course ordered the grilled whole mountain trout. The fish is served covered in almonds and lots of herbs. The meat falls right off the bones and is paired with generous helpings of grilled scallion potato salad, braised butter beans, and chow chow. Much of it went home with us.

For dessert, we decided on the cookies, of which the snickerdoodle was the star, being both sweet and salty.

I look forward to trying out the rest of the menu, enjoying the good food, and celebrating good times at The Goodyear House.