Yesterday, the weather was cloudy and wet but the ambiance in Kitchen 208, a brand-new breakfast and lunch restaurant opening at 208 King Street on Thursday June 6, was sunny and bright. Even with all the inclement weather people turned out for the sneak preview the eatery offered the media. And it was pretty impressive.
Upon entering K208, concept developer Linn Lesesne, who also happens to be co-owner of Circa 1886, greeted the media with a warm smile and run down of the 114-year-old building’s history. Lesesne also indulged us with the details of refurbishments that took place in the building during the prior months. She explained that much of the building remains structurally and aesthetically the same because they repurposed much of the raw materials, including the floorboards which now serve as the bar countertop.
The space has a homey feel with light yellow paneled walls, white tables and chairs, and an open layout. In fact, the restaurant is so open that customers can see every dish being prepared, according to chef Matthew Pleasants. In the prep area a large smoker is evident, which Pleasants says is used for smoking their house brisket.
Outside, the dining patio is shaded by large tan and red sails stretched over the space. Kitchen 208 hopes to host small dinners out here. Pleasants says dinners will be limited to 30 or so tickets for restaurant goers to engage in their version of a fine dining experience. This will also give him an opportunity to brush up on fine dining, which isn't a stretch for Pleasants, who spent two years at Circa 1886 as Executive Sous Chef. He also worked at Graham Elliott in the Windy City and was named Best Chef in Winston-Salem.
For lunch, I got to try some of Pleasants' food. He turned a simple breakfast sandwich into a drool-worthy experience. The Cobblestone is a seemingly simple egg sandwich, that is until you bite into it and get a taste of candied bacon and housemade lemon mayo with arugula and gruyere cheese. The flavors here are as sophisticated as the restaurant is casual.
They will be serving breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. followed by lunch until 3 p.m. They open Thursday.