Review: The Green House Kitchen Serves Up Tasteful Salads and More
Owner of Downtown Norfolk’s Grilled Cheese Bistro Dina Taylor didn’t venture far last November to open her newest restaurant, The Green House Kitchen. In fact, it’s right next door. So whether you’re craving a gourmet twist on a childhood favorite or a seasonal soup-salad combo (or both!), the decision need not be based on where you parked.
Patrons of the tiny but generous Green House are given the choice between sitting upstairs, where floor-to-ceiling windows flood the dining area and open kitchen with bright natural light, perfect for catching up over a warm drink, or downstairs in the cozy, cool cellar. Here, couples can enjoy more privacy and a moodier atmosphere.
Large, round wooden tables provide enough space for a solo study session or a shared meal with friends. Yellow wildflowers serve as a minimal centerpiece, and a varied assortment of mid-century modern-style chairs and bar stools add personality to the otherwise predominantly rustic décor.
The limited menu, designed by Taylor and her daughter Chloe, takes the guess work out of ordering while still offering a satisfying and interesting dish for every taste and dietary preference. For example, meat-and-potato types can still have their salad and eat it too with the Everything But The Kitchen Sink salad, a hodgepodge of meats, cheeses, antipasti and yes, even some vegetables, dressed in buttermilk ranch.
Diners looking for a more traditional salad will appreciate the locally sourced mizuna and tatsoi bed on which the thinly sliced scallions and Asian slaw of the Thai Me Up salad rest. Flank steak and soba noodles drizzled with a spicy ginger vinaigrette add filling protein and exotic flavor.
Vegetarians and vegans fear not, for all menu items are easily customizable. Though not explicitly stated on the menu, grilled tofu can be substituted for any protein.
All salads come in two sizes, single or for two, with croutons made from local bread. Single sized portions are more than enough for one, making the $8 to $16 price range completely reasonable. To make a light meal more substantial, Green House also serves flat breads and soups of the day, including a hearty black bean soup served with sweet heirloom tomatoes.
To wash it all down, horchata over ice is described as “rice pudding in a cup,” according to the friendly wait staff, who spoke with much authority regarding daily specials, menu items, Sunday brunch and hours of operation. Hibiscus tea, sparkling water, and Coke products are also offered. For dessert, gelato comes in a variety of sophisticated flavors, such as hazelnuts, pumpkin spice and Tahitian vanilla. Be sure to ask for a free sample.
The Green House Kitchen is located one block from the Monticello Tide Station at 345 Granby St. in Downtown Norfolk. Parking is extremely limited.
The Green House Kitchen is open Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The Green House Kitchen is closed on Tuesdays.