Who doesn’t love a warm, spring Friday night? Weird people – so I didn’t talk to any of them. Instead, I headed to Graft to kick off this April Friday night series and sit down, have a drink and hang out with people who DO love a good Friday night.
One of the things I love about Grayson is there is just enough diversity within reach that I have the opportunity have a very different experience depending on my mood. Spring always brings out the health kick in me…farmers markets are starting to pop back up, local produce is front and center, and plants and flowers are in full bloom. The world is green again and I am once again inspired to be green with it, so Graft was the natural choice.
As far as Friday nights go, Graft seems to peek around 6 or 7, so my 8pm arrival time afforded me my choice of seats at the bar for some quiet conversation, amazing food, and drinks that I challenge anyone to be able to find anywhere else. Emily was behind the bar and easily my favorite bartender to sit and chat with, so I counted myself lucky. Not only is this super-interesting, intelligent human great to hang out with for a few hours, she also is the genius behind a lot of what sets Graft apart from other locations. For this reason, I was grateful for the quieter night, because it gave me a few minutes to hear about some new, fun things happening behind the bar.
Spring has sprung all around Grayson, and this is definitely where Graft shines. They’re growing their own herbs, plants, and flowers and creating flavorful cocktails as a result. Tonight I ordered a twist on a John Daly that will hopefully make it on the menu full-time. Just when you thought there was nothing more refreshing then lemonade and tea on a beautiful spring night (that may, or may not be spiked with vodka) , Emily goes and adds her own home-grown, one-of-a-kind rosemary syrup to it and destroys anything you thought was amazing before that. Hand crushing the rosemary garnish behind the bar, the drink screamed summer and begged for a porch or back deck to sip it on. Ask about it, you won’t be sad.
Creating her own simple syrups to design one-of-a-kind drinks doesn’t stop with rosemary. Emily gave us a sneak preview of a new syrup she was working on for Easter Brunch – working with violets. When I asked what this extremely purple jar of syrup tasted like she said…”it tastes like purple”. Sweet enough to let us try a bit, I’d have to agree…if purple had a flavor, this would be it! These are just a few of my favorite things about a Friday night at Graft… sustainable, interesting ingredients hosted by fun and interesting people.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my 2nd favorite thing to order on a Friday night… Graft’s pimento cheese and chips are only the best things to couple with a cold drink at this beautiful bar . Also not on the menu, so they may kill me for this, but amazing nonetheless. Their craft beer selection is rivaled only by the vast amount of knowledge about local breweries contained behind the bar. I am not a beer drinker myself, but if I listen closely enough to conversations around the bar, the beer is something to write home about and you’ll definitely find a new favorite.
If local, relaxed and interesting are your thing, your next Friday night should already have Graft penned in. The delights in are in the details, and this is where Graft always gets it right. You can click [here] to check out their website and menu or [here] to like them on facebook and keep up-to-date with their special events.
I won’t lie, I’m a regular at Graft even when spring isn’t guilting me into healthy, sustainable choices. One of my favorite things about Graft is the ambiance of the restaurant itself – low Edison lighting, beautiful exposed brick, original hardwoods, a gorgeous inviting deck and one of the most visually interesting bars I’ve seen in a minute. I’m a fan. If you want quiet, relaxation, beautiful food and conversation – Graft should definitely be on your short-list.
Don’t forget to check back next Thursday to see where we go tomorrow night for Grayson Friday Nights Part 2