Saturday, November 11, 2017

Anchorage, Village of West Greenville

The Village of West Greenville was the heart of the “Textile Crescent” for the first half of the 20th century; its central location to Brandon Mill, Woodside (the largest cotton mill under one roof in the world at one point in time) and Judson Mill equated to restaurants, stores, community centers and a theater to cater to the needs of the three mill villages. When the textile industry collapsed in the early 1970s a period of blight descended, and the next three decades told the story of poverty and crime so prevalent to the region at that time. But the story has a happy ending (new beginning?!) as in the early 2000s a group of artists found home on Pendleton Street, pushed out of downtown Greenville by rising rent costs. The artists were followed by other businesses, and with the redevelopment of Brandon Mill and the rebranding as “The Village of West Greenville,” the neighborhood is now in the throes of revitalization.

As the community works to come to terms with the newfound influx of business and people, a restaurant at the very epicenter of the district has taken Greenville by storm. In January of this year, Anchorage opened shop at the corner of Pendleton Street & Lois Avenue and started dishing up locally-sourced and regional food in a casual neighborhood atmosphere. The 100 year-old building most recently housed a doctor’s office and pool hall, but sat empty and neglected for many years before being completely renovated. Anchorage is named for the sense of roots that the owners feel they are creating:
noun | an·chor·age | \ˈaŋ-k(ə-)rij\ : something that provides a strong hold or connection

Chef and owner Greg McPhee will most likely be evident on a typical night at the restaurant, a portion of his preparations visible to patrons in the kitchen centerpiece – the Argentinian oven – which is visible from the dining room. Upstairs is the bar area, more seating, and a narrow patio lighted by strings of lights. The main dining room windows overlook what will soon be a public plaza on Perry Avenue (slated for completion in the coming months), while the side along Pendleton Street features a moss wall on the interior (created by a server at the restaurant) and the trademark mural on the exterior, painted by artist Sunny Mullarkey. (Mullarkey recently assisted Stone Academy students in the fifth installation of the Stone Avenue mural project, New Beginnings.)

For the full Anchorage experience we recommend the “Tasting Table,” a five course Chef’s selection tasting menu that delivers a comprehensive survey of the restaurant’s menu. On a recent visit the tasting looked like this…

  First course: Virginia oysters on the half shell (with cucumber, lime vermouth sorbert & mint), and “For the Table” featuring the absolutely divine, house-made bourbon liver mousse, Johnston County ham, soppresatta, artisan cheeses (including a blue cheese from Thomasville GA), bread & butter pickles and mustard made in the Anchorage kitchen.

  Second course: Charred Charleston king mackerel (with ginger, shallot, turmeric, apple, dark soy, herbs and olive oil), and roasted fall squash, served with purple sweet potato, herb ricotta and maple vinaigrette.

  Third course: Hand cut pappardelle filled with a ragout of Greenbrier Farm’s beef cheek & heritage pork, topped with 1 year aged Reedy River red cheese

  Fourth course: Grilled High Valley Farms rainbow trout (with grilled broccoli, breakfast radish, field green & nori puree and Romesco),  BBQ embered carrots (with lime goat milk yogurt and peanut sauce), sweet potato puree (accompanied by picked Aji Dulce, peppers and scallions) and white corn flint grits, parsnip puree, roasted hazelnut and fried herbs.

  Dessert: We chose the pistachio semifreddo over the monkey bread, and paired it with French press coffee.

It would be neglectful not to mention the drinks menu. Although not included in the Tasting Table, the selection is extensive and imaginative, and our server was instrumental in flawless pairings throughout. A favorite of mine from the cocktail menu is Devil Makes Three: Rittenhouse Rye, Casamigos Reposada, lime juice, mole bitters and cinnamon - seemingly unlikely partners in an epic (but not overwhelming) drink!

In addition to the immaculate and knowledgeable cuisine and service, the details make the Anchorage experience memorable. From the Dapper Ink-designed shirts, to the gorgeous custom plate ware by Village artist Darin Gehrke – the intricate sensory adventure at Anchorage will be one you want to repeat.


We’ve been regularly visiting the Village of West Greenville for lessons with Lynne Holcombe Music and coffee at the Villlage Grind, but as Vogue declared in a recent article, the Village of West Greenville is “The Neighborhood to Explore.” From the brand-new eatery Golden Brown & Delicious to the dozens of artists’ studios, you’ll soon find yourself returning to the Village of West Greenville for more!

Anchorage website here, and their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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