100-mile chef: Brookville's lunch a taste of things to come

dish-brookville-kitchen-webChef Harrison Keevil hard at work in Brookville's kitchen today.

If you like locally sourced food cooked exquisitely, Dish suggests you wander down to Brookville Restaurant on the Downtown Mall (above Escafe) and check out their lunch menu. Chef/owner Harrison Keevil says he’ll start serving dinner around mid-August, when he hopes to get his ABC license, but a visit for lunch now is a great way to get a taste of  what this passionate chef has in store for us.

“Ingredients are everything,” says Keevil. “I buy great local food, and just try not to screw it up.”

Of course, you’ll pay for this lunch–about $13 or $20 per person if you get a starter–but you’ll get what you pay for: a seductive zucchini fritter that's both smooth and lightly-crispy, bold thin-cut house-made potato chips, and a frittata with  goat cheese, greens, and grated carrots doing a slow dance on your palate you don't want to end.  They also have a tangy house mixed burger blended with hanger steak and bacon. They even bake their own buns for those burger. Dish wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a cow and goat in the kitchen.

Sure, plenty of local restaurants source local food, but none that Dish knows of are going at it like Keevil wants to.

If he can keep up this kind of quality control, locals foodies could be in for a treat. What's more, Keevil appears willing to do what it takes.

“I consider myself a 100-mile chef,” he says, meaning the emphasis is on using ingredients grown or raised within a 100-mile radius of Charlottesville. So don’t expect to see the same thing on the menu every week, as Keevil only plans to cook what he can source.

Indeed, during the winter months, when local farms aren’t producing anything, Keevil says he’ll turn to jamming, pickling, salt-curing, and smoking to create many of his dishes–the same thing folks did in Mr. Jefferson’s day during the winter months. Using more modern technology, Kevil says he plans to work with local producers who use polytunnels, a system used to grow plants in the off-season.

“I’m hoping Cville will accept the fact that they will see new things on the menu they didn’t see the week before,” he says. “It's time to revert our eating habits to the way they used to be, because it’s the right way to do things.”


How exactly does this relate to Morgan Dana Harrington, Jim Baldi, Yeardley Love, or the fascinating articles on here!

Just kidding.

Argh! Can't go for lunches (Mall is too far from work), so I have to wait until they're open for dinner but...MOUTH. WATERING. I wanna go!!!!!

Ever wonder why you don't get invited to parties? Alcohol is a social lubricant and most people enjoy having a beer, wine, or a cocktail at dinner...nothing wrong with that. Stop being a prude.

Considering I work there, and without bias would eat lunch there and sit in the back corner and read their (REALLY) Expansive selection of cookbooks all day, it worth the trip. If you're a foodie, you should eat there.

good to see the passion brother...go get em'

deleted because it wouldn't make much sense with the now updated story....thanks to our discerning commentors

Maybe this is Charlottesville's version of Noma--I've heard that exploring one's own backyard for ingredients can make you famous. Excited to see if he can equal the earthiness of the recipes of Chef Redzepi


Food was outstanding, I can't wait to go back.

Um... $13-$20 for a frittata? with carrots? sounds delicious. And Hook- you think there's something new about local farm ingredients in Cville?? <<>> wow... what town have you been eating in lately?

If that is true perhaps Brookville will be the next #1 restaurant in the world. Can't wait to try it.

Place is awesome.

This is the most buzz I've seen about a restaurant since Peter Chang came and went from Taste of China.

Any foodie must try this restaurant. I went for lunch yesterday and the food was worth every penny. The staff and chef were extremely attentative and knowledgeable with passion for their menu. Great atmosphere inside overlooking the downtown mall. A great fit for Charlottesville and a great way to support the community in more ways than one. The only regret I had was that I only have one stomach and there are so many great choices for a local inspired and farm supported restaurant.

I'll eat there for sure! I like food, really good food!

I don't understand why you don't want to serve dinner without an ABC license. If you do so well at lunch, and the menu supports it, why bother?

Can anybody do anything in this town without sucking down alcohol?

One of the best Indian restaurants I ever went to didn't serve alcohol and it was packed every night.

Maybe a good drying out session would do this town some good.

So I have decided to add dinner starting the 17th of august, with or without the ABC license. I want to have the opportunity and honor of cooking for everyone and I am not going to be able to do that just being open for lunch.

I hope to see as many of you as possible because it truly makes me happy to cook for others and I will work my hardest to make it worth your time. So in advance I want to thank this great city for allowing me to do what I love.

My husband and I celebrated my 28th birthday last night at Brookeville. The food was simply perfect. Everything that we ordered was full of fresh flavor and beautifully presented, but the highlight of the meal was the maple bacon waffle with roasted peaches. Heavenly! I am already looking for the next good excuse to return!

Noma? Really? Really?

So where is it? Downtown Mall, I get that - but where??

@LarsIsMyName-put your money where your mouth is, and your reading glasses on! Where in the article did it say the fritata is $13-20? that the "new concept" is stricty about the fresh farm ingredients?
Chef Keevil will rock your culinary world-give it a go before you say no!

I ate lunch there twice this week and have to say it is truly good. Unpretentious and great.

@wondering, it is above Escafe, which is near the Omni. The entrance is to the right of Escafe's entrance.

Noma could take a few lessons in chefery from Brookville

how original! making their own burger, using local goat cheese
fasinating, what might you do for the other seven months of the year when local farms aren't producing anything.
careful not to put your foot in your mouth.....

During the winter months, we at brookville, will be using techniques, such as jamming, pickling, salt curing and smoking, as well as, using producer who utilize polytunnels to supply our restaurant with fresh produce. These are all things our forefathers, like Mr Jefferson, did to get them through the winter months. It is not right that you should be able to get a tomato in the winter, especially since it has spent hours in refrigerated trucks to ripening. It is time to revert our eating habits to the way they used to be, because it is the right thing to do.

I usually do not eat on the downtown mall..too ritz and too expensive....however from what I hear this is an exception that I would make...you can talk the talk but can you walk the walk? I believe you can and I am going to find out...probably not until dinner starts...

Looking forward to trying Brookville! Heard great things about this passionate chef.

This is a refreshingly honest chef: " [...] and just try not to screw it up." Love it!