Former Cork Wine Bar and Poste Moderne Brasserie chef Rob Weland is back on the D.C. dining scene with a new Barracks Row restaurant of his own called Garrison. Located three blocks from his own home, the restaurant emphasizes Weland's green thumb and love of local farms.
In particular, Weland has been strongly touting his partnership with Mike Protas of Boyd, Md.’s One Acre Farm, which offers a weekly CSA on Capitol Hill and supplies produce to the restaurant. "All my clients are his clients, so that's pretty cool," Weland says.
While One Acre Farm is far from Garrison's only produce purveyor, Weland says he's looking to most develop a particularly strong personal relationship with the farm. Weland hopes to work with One Acre Farm to source certain custom-grown ingredients, including heirloom tomatoes or rarer herbs like anise hyssop. His vision is to eventually take his staff out to the farm to plant at the beginning of the season and help maintain the fields.
"I know it sounds crazy. It's hard for waiters to get up in the morning or cooks to get up in the morning and go farm, but eventually we'd like to have our own little plot out there," Weland says. "People who want to get involved will get involved, and certainly some people won't. But my team in the kitchen, they're very interested in doing that."
The restaurant also has a small garden out front with some mint, lemon verbena, basil, and lemongrass (although most of it is just for aesthetics at this point). "We're trying," Weland says. "I wouldn't feel at home without it."
The menu is vegetable-heavy with dishes including tomato gazpacho with mustard ice cream and grilled mushrooms with avocado, thyme, and jalapeno. There will always be two pastas, two seafood dishes, and two fire-roasted meats, as well. Right now, some of those options include sweet corn tortellini; wild striped bass with potatoes, poached egg, lemon, and capers; and a bison hanger steak with tomato, red onions, and blue cheese."
The menu will change "as we're inspired," Weland says. "Whatever Mike's excited about too—that's what I'm excited about. That's the relationship."
Buffalo & Bergen owner Gina Chersevani designed the cocktail menu with similar garden inspirations. (Chersevani and Weland both used to work at Poste.) Her drinks (all $12) include Pump up the Volume with gin, Lillet Rose, rose hip, citrus, and bitters, as well as We're Moving On Up made with house-pickled peaches, vodka or gin, and vermouth. Wines—all under $100 a bottle—center around American and European varietals.
Take a look at the menu below:
Garrison, 524 8th St. SE; (202) 506-2445; garrisondc.com
Photos by Jessica Sidman