Upcoming new American eatery The Westendorff is very close to opening. Eater met with executive Chris "Ted" Jackson to hear about his ideas for the restaurant and to try to wrangle some menu details from him.
Jackson previously led the kitchen at Brooklyn brunch spot Ted & Honey. He knew he wanted to raise his daughters in the South, so applying for the position at The Westendorff was a good way to get to Charleston. After a few chats, owner Steven Niketas brought Jackson on as executive chef.
When asking about the menu, Jackson throws out the terms "elevated casual," "new American," and "recognizable upscale comfort." The Westendorff will serve brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and shut down until 5 p.m., when dinner service starts. "About a third of the menu will transcribe into dinner." He predicts they will keep a couple of the signature sides, a classic egg sandwich, and a burger for both menus, but the rest will be separate offerings for day and night. Jackson wants people to be excited to come back in the evenings if they had brunch there earlier in the day.
There's no freezer at The Westendorff, so Jackson says they'll be curing, brining and pickling as a way to preserve seasonal produce. Another element of the space translating to the menu is the vintage soda shop-style seating of the bar — the old school setup screams for milkshakes. Jackson tells us that the eatery will have boozy milkshakes and perhaps whiskey ice cream. He also promises seasonal pies.
For more hints at the offerings, stalk The Westendorff's Instagram. There are photos of sweet tea-brined chicken and a summer bean salad with a white balsamic gastrique. Keep an eye here for a full menu announcement and opening date.