A building stands on Bayport Avenue, its history dating back to late 19th Century, but its menu as fresh as the ingredients that compose each dish. The Grey Horse Tavern, celebrating its second year, is home to a concept that has been around much longer than the structure that it resides in; local, fresh food and wholesome, heartwarming cooking. With a garden lining the parking lot and relationships with local farmers and fisherman, Grey Horse Tavern strives to stay true to the original concept behind its creation; serving clean, simple food using only the best ingredients possible.
Owners Linda Ringhouse and Irene Dougal brought their passions to the table, literally, when they opened the Grey Horse Tavern in May 2008. "Irene and I had like minded ideas regarding the kind of food we would serve," said Ringhouse, "Together our concept of local, fresh, organic, handmade food made the Grey Horse Tavern come alive."
Pairing with Executive Chef Meredith Machemer, whose philosophies maintain the Grey Horse Tavern mission, Ringhouse and Dougal were able to watch their passions come to fruition. "From the beginning, Grey Horse Tavern was to be all about excellent food" Dougal said, "My hope is that each and every experience at Grey Horse Tavern serves as a reminder to people of how food is supposed be; prepared lovingly, shared slowly, enjoyed and celebrated."
Machemer, who prides herself in flavor focused cooking, changes the menu at Grey Horse Tavern seasonally, based on what's fresh and in season. "In addition to fresh, local ingredients, we also use antibiotic and steroid free, humanely raised chicken and beef," she said, "It's just such a privilege to be able to work with such amazing product every day."
And everyday, as each dish leaves the kitchen and makes its way to the table, the restaurant makes a small but significant impact on the slow food movement, incorporating their dedication to current food and economic issues in everything they do. "The corporate takeover of how food is produced in this country is robbing us of not only enjoying and celebrating what we eat, but robbing us of our health as well," said Dougal.
Dougal emphasized they wanted to start a business that was "based on a triple bottom line as opposed to a single bottom line." "Most businesses make decisions based on profits alone. We make decisions based on profits, planet, and people," she said.
In addition to offering local food to its patrons, the walls at Grey Horse Tavern are adorned with work from local artists and its weekend lineup is composed of local musicians and bands.
"Growing up around the corner from this beautiful historic building, I always dreamed of owning it," Ringhouse admits. The building, originally serving as a Depot Station in the late 1800's, is full of character and charm; a perfect mix of old and new, just like the contemporary and classic food that is served within it, the owner said.
"The opportunity to be good stewards of a building that has served the local community for over 140 years has been very important to us," Dougal said.
For more information on the Grey Horse Tavern visit their website.