Hattaway’s On Alder, Walla Walla
Hattaway’s On Alder
After being introduced to this restaurant by one of our favorite wine producers in the Walla Walla we decided to take up his recommendation of the one of the best new eateries in town.
Hattaway’s was created by Richard and Lindsay Hattaway. Both born in Alabama, John is trained chef and not only attended the CIA in Atlanta, but also learnt how to cook, cure and smoke meats to perfection all around the South from various districts and encompassing numerous different ways. The pair met when they worked first together in Alabama, John cooking and Lindsay as his sous chef. They met in Georgia where Lindsay worked as a sous chef for Richard. Realizing their combined passion for fresh produce the couple grew closer and finally married.
We took off on a cold day into Walla Walla, the vineyards covered in frost and snow seemingly not far behind.
Situated just off the main street in Walla Walla it was not hard to find, as it was well lite. The atmosphere as well entered was cozy, warm and intimate. Stepping inside a rich herbaceous, meaty aroma instantly assailed our senses.
Thursday night and he place is buzzing, instant friendliness and community spirit between the tables; these are the local people who obviously knew where to meet up with on a Thursday night; couples enjoying romantic meals, large families and even single dinners.
A big open kitchen opens up in front of the customer’s tables and I find is the centerpiece of the restaurant. It allows the salivating crowd to not only revel in the mouthwatering aromas emenating, it also allows them see their dishes being expertly created in front of them: but also it makes you feel as if your part of the team :I always find this set-up comforting and also quite fun in the dining experience.
The cooking model, as the pair label it it’s based on “Local sensibility combined with ‘Southern Cooking techniques’, and this for me this really sums up Hattaway’s style- real comfort food, but with an added haute cuisine twist. Conserved and pickled wild sides are accompanied by slow cooked smokes dishes: fall-off the bone, pork and beef dishes are cooked for hours in their special ‘Green Egg’ small smokers created down south, these crispy delights accompanied with local fixtures, these will please any carnivore in the South. The produce is local as it can be: full sucking pigs for roast, whole Pacific fish, Oregonian hazelnuts, and local awesomely marbled local beef and succulent pork from excellent local Walla Walla farms such as Morning Mist and Hay Shaker Farms.
An extra plus in the restaurant is one can also book the enclosed private table for special guests or occasions. It is quiet and tastefully decorated and surrounded by the restaurant’s exceptional and carefully chosen wines.
Denise our lovely and friendly server took care of us on this rainy Monday night, her suggestions and service were only not only highly efficient, but she also expertly helped us to pick the right wines to pair with each of the dishes.
I started of with a succulent, almost gamey roasted bone marrow with a grilled country bread paired with a 2015 Gramercy Cellars Mourvedre cuvee named L’Idiot Du Village, which was an earthy, minerally, savory wine than cut through the fat of the bone marrow and lifted its flavors. My wife had the celery parmesan salad who make her dream every night, the salad is a mix of arugula and celery with figs they hydrated themselves with white wine, some Oregonian hazelnuts served with light creamy homemade vinaigrette and a zest of lemon, absolutely delicious pairing with a Chablis 2016 by the glass.
Mark Ryan’s ‘The Long Haul ‘Merlot, is a plush full-bodied wine; soft, with a serious level of concentration. Ryan’s Merlot paired superbly with my main course of duck breast and his fondant potatoes dauphinoises for all its concentration. The wine has good uplifting fresh acidity and some real structure. These factors, plus the wines pure black cherries really gave extra dimensions to the soft dark meat.
My wife chose the pork coppa hoppin john, which they smoke for 6 hours in the restaurant before serving, Just two restaurants in Washington partner with Big Green Eggs Smokers, a local ‘Smoker’ only made in the south. It makes the pork so tender and flavorsome it falls off the bone. My wife really preferred the pairing of the Mark Ryan with copa dish than to Gramercy. I however disagreed feeling the Ryan wine was a bit overpowering for the richness of the pork and found the Gramercy much more suitable: again most due to its higher acidity cutting through the richness of the dish.
Overall the whole meal was a delight, delicious, local and very fresh. Unfortunately we were so full after all this we could not try any dessert. Next time for sure. We cannot praise this new restaurant highly enough, it’s a real tasty asset to Walla Walla and also in our opinion one of the best in town.