Sunday, March 27, 2016

Morgantown Edition: Hill & Hollow

Hill & Hollow
Chef Ohlinger, the authority on farm-to-table dining in West Virginia, has opened his newest restaurant: Hill & Hollow in the Seneca Center. The previous chef/owner of both Richwood Grill and Solera is continuing the farm-to-fork dining theme with a focus on global cuisine using local ingredients at the new restaurant.

Hill & HollowThe space previously housed the Glasshouse Grille, which was a culinary pioneer in Morgantown. And the Seneca Center itself has a storied history in the town, as well. Perks: Lots of parking, right in town, a beautiful space and ... some delicious food. Cons: My bank account is going to be sad.

Hill & HollowThe Hill & Hollow space remains largely unchanged, save for light fixtures and some personal touches, due to the historical nature of the building. But, I want to stress the point that while Hill & Hollow serves incredibly good, artisan food, it's not so much "fine dining" to me because it's not stuffy. It's inventive, it's creative, it's unlike anything you can get in this town - or state - but it's not pretentious. If anything, it's the punk rock version of a fine dining restaurant, I think.

Hill & HollowThe menu, which changes often and in accordance to the season, began with some classics as Chef Ohlinger got into the groove and secured more local ingredients - meaning the menu available when I dined is unlikely to be the same one you'll get to try.

Hill & HollowThe menu was incredible, as always. Friends at the table got the Sonoran pumpkin soup with chorizo, the beef fillet medallions with smoked huitlacoche butter and others. I started my meal with an order of grilled yam and apple cakes with a lime molasses drizzle. While, yes, it probably appeals to the vegetarians in the group, I can tell you I enjoyed it - even as an omnivore. I especially liked the pieces with extra crispy edges that gave some nice texture variation. It was sweet and comforting - while still being a brand new flavor.

Hill & HollowEntrees available included a bison meatloaf with fresh ketchup and miso mashers, rainbow trout with wasabi remoulade, seared duck breast with cherry butter demi, prime Brazillian-cut loin steak with Yucatan spice rub and avocado butter, and free-range beef tenderloin with roasted onion-morel flan. For my dinner, I chose the fresh herb and spinach risotto with buttermilk ricotta for with seared Maine Diver scallops.

Hill & HollowThis is tough, because so many entrees sounded delicious. But it's hard for me to ever say no to scallops. The risotto was very fresh, very green. Scallops delicious. I snuck a taste of onion-morel flan and mmmmmm. I can't wait to go back and try all the other dishes, too.

Hill & HollowOh, and dessert. Chef Ohlinger stopped by and admitted dessert isn't so much his thing. He has folks for that. He, himself, prefers whiskey.

Hill & HollowWell, I prefer this incredible cheesecake served with these shards of sugar and looking like a scoop of ice cream. My god was this good.

This didn't even take into consideration the craft cocktails the bar is whipping up - which look pretty damn good. And, check out his Global Dinner Series (here's the latest I've written about). Those are always a fun time to try something a litter different.

Stay tuned for a full story about Chef Ohlinger and his new restaurant for Taste! WV Magazine.

Grade: A
Hill & Hollow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato