Raleigh, N.C. — When Scott Crawford opens Crawford and Son on North Person Street, it will mark the realization of a lifelong dream and the consummation of a career in the restaurant industry.
Every job, every dish helped lead him to this point in his life. Crawford is relishing making the final decisions on everything from the kitchen tile (epoxy because it is easy to clean) to the color scheme (dark and warm tones).
Crawford and Son, which is aiming to open next week at 618 N. Person St., is around the corner from his former home at Standard Foods.
“When I decided to make a change, it was clear that Raleigh was the city,” Crawford said of his decision to leave Standard Foods earlier this year after less than a year at the helm. "I loved being in this corner of the city."
The 2,400 square-foot space, which was formerly home to the restaurant Piebird, was in good condition for it to be turned around in a short amount of time, Crawford said.
"It was perfect for what I was trying to do – a neighborhood restaurant," he said.
For Crawford, a neighborhood restaurant is a place where you can enjoy seasonal menu options everyday. The price point will be $15 and under for appetizers and entrees priced at under $30. There will also be a selection of raw items like lamb tartare and flounder.
Crawford and his team are also having fun with the menu, which will have some retro inspired items including his version of a pot pie featuring rabbit and not chicken.
And since he and Chef de Cuisine Bret Edlund couldn’t agree on the best pot pie crust, they are doing a biscuit on top and pie crust at the bottom.
There will be options for vegetarians as well, with a yellow beet salad featuring apples and feta with a horseradish vinaigrette.
Crawford is also excited about featuring new proteins on the menu, including goat. He plans to do a goat ragout, a braised goat neck with a pumpkin pasta topped with pumpkin seed pesto sauce and goat parmesan.
"It's lean and only mildly gamy," Crawford said about cooking with goat meat.
Also look for a smoked venison meatloaf. For steak fans, Crawford will be serving up strip steak and short ribs as a combo dish.
A malted wheat roll with salted hickory butter, made from hickory syrup, will be available as an optional bread service item.
With former Standard Foods pastry chef Krystle Swenson handling desserts, guests will need to save room. Crawford said she is working on a muscadine sorbet, chocolate waffle and other items. But not everything on the plate is going to be super sweet.
"Krystle is trying to establish balance on the palate," Crawford said.
With fresh approaches on traditional Southern cuisine, Crawford and Son is aiming to keep diners on their toes.
“We want to be a neighborhood restaurant that is exciting," he said.