ON THE MENU
• Calamari — Flash-fried and served with a wasabi aioli and sambal glaze, $10
• Tomato salad — Heirloom tomatoes from Noring Farms, goat cheese, shaved onion, basil and a balsamic reduction, $11
• Graft burger — Beef from White Oak Farms, smoked mayonnaise, caramelized onions, romaine lettuce, tomato and a balsamic reduction, $12
• Double cut pork chop — Served with a white bean puree, snow peas and seared grape tomatoes, $17
516 Grayson Parkway, Grayson
• Open since: Aug. 8
• Owner: Ashley Clemence
• Location: Graft is at the intersection of Rosebud Road and Grayson Parkway, where the former Grayson House Restaurant was situated.
• Hours: 4:30 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 4:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
• Atmosphere: If you were a regular at the Grayson House Restaurant, you will feel like you’ve walked into a different house with Graft. The house with green siding and red roof was completely gutted by owner Ashley Clemence and her husband Seth — he has a background in commercial construction.
“There were a lot of long, cold lonely nights in the winter when the wind would whip through the entire house,” Ashley Clemence said about the reconstruction. “But the house means that much more to us. Honestly, we know where every wire, pipe, hole that’s in here is.”
But the two wanted to showcase the house for its natural beauty. They stripped down the walls, ripped up the floors, fixed the ceilings and added additional beams for structure. With the leftover wood, they built all of the tables, the banquets and the bar.
Graft is a space where everyone is welcome, whether you’re teens on a date, business folk having a meeting with a meal or someone who wanted to stop by for a cocktail. And yes, families with children are allowed in the doors.
“It’s community-oriented. Come as you are,” Clemence said. “Our niche is cool wines, house-infused cocktails, craft beers, delicious food — I’m trying to have you re-evaluate your palate.”
Extra spooky points: There may be a ghost in the house. John and Effie Cofer were the original owners and it is said that Effie still lingers around, moving things about the rooms and rearranging the silverware on tables.
• Menu: Graft is farm-to-table establishment, keeping all of its produce fresh and in season.
“We offer seasonal cuisine inspired by local farmers,” Clemence said. “We truly are utilizing local farmers — we have relationships. They come in and eat with us, too.
“It makes a big difference when you know the owner and staff of the farms from where we get our foods.”
Chef Blake Hargroder and Clemence collaborate with several local farms to create a menu, which changes every three weeks or so. Some of the farms that they work with are Dillwood, Noring and White Oak farms.
The restaurant also grows some of its own produce in the back, where there is a garden. In the front of the house, Clemence planted an herb garden, which is used in many of the plates, including fresh basil, rosemary and cilantro.
“We hope to have chickens one day,” Clemence said.
• Things you might not know: Clemence is working on a brunch menu, which is slated to start mid-September.