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Cheers! DTR’s first distillery delivers stellar spirits with a food menu to match.
There’s more to Downtown Raleigh’s first-ever distillery than just spirits (though the house-distilled gins, amari, vodka and more coming out of the space are certainly the main attraction). The food menu, developed by
executive chef Alex Ricci and sous chef Josiah Halbohm, without a doubt serves as Young Hearts Distilling’s secret weapon—and will keep you coming back time and again.
Highlighting ingredients from local producers (including Fox Farm Forage, Chapel Hill Creamery and Joyce Farms, to name but a few), the menu “will showcase the best of the season,” says Chris Powers, co-owner of Trophy Brewing Co. and Young Hearts.
Inventive dishes include fried lion’s mane mushrooms with tofu “Parmesan,” young Genovese basil, and bourbon and honey grain mustard aioli; Southern sweet potato pappardelle with caramelized buttermilk, watercress, fig mostarda, chanterelle mushrooms and scallion oil; and beet bourguignon with red wine-braised beets, local carrots, pearl onions, king oyster mushrooms and herb fingerling potatoes. (Drooling yet?)
The food menu pairs exceptionally well with Young Hearts’ interesting spirits, which include a “vodka distilled from sugarcane, as well as an agave spirit, which is our homage to tequila,” says Powers.
As part of the distillery’s diverse amari program, a “house” or full-time amaro is in the works as well, and be on the lookout for a collaborative apple brandy with Two Metre Tall Brewing out of Tasmania.
“This new project will include some things you might expect, along with a slew of things you might not,” adds Powers. “We’ll be combining that with a cocktail, beer, wine and, of course, a food program to match.”
But the distillery’s distinction as DTR’s first and the bangin’ food and beverage program aren’t Young Hearts’ only draw—albeit it is more than enough. It’s also the physical space itself, creating an intoxicating mix between the
distilled spirits and the people drinking them.
Young Hearts will be the only spot in Raleigh where customers can come in, see where and how distilled spirits are made and meet the distiller—immersing themselves in the creation process of what they’re drinking. This setup is similar to Trophy Brewing Co.’s space, where the brewing containers are on display for patrons to peep.
“We want to bring life to a building that’s been there since 2008,” says Powers. “We’re ready for the next step, and we want to focus on things like this that make us happy and that get us excited and creative.”
A focal point of the new (ahem, “young”) space, the distilling area is on the first floor, visible from the street and again upon entering the space. With a spotlight on the distilling process, booth seating and an expanded mezzanine seating area, this innovative space is engineered to engage from the moment guests step through the door.
The second floor features the new bar in a light and airy setting, including a roof deck with a large wood and steel cover, plus heaters and fans, making the outdoor area viable yearlong, rain or shine.
Powers and his team have always dreamed of opening a distillery and inspirit Raleigh locals with a soft spot for small businesses (and booze, obv) to pay them a visit at this new hip distillery spot. We promise the housemade liquor and food menu are totally worth a shot! @youngheartsdistilling
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