The menu for soon-to-open Davidson Ice House is almost complete.
Owner and executive chef Jenny Brulé, who doubles as a food writer and restaurant consultant, said she’s hoping to open within the next three weeks to introduce the area to her “flexitarian” menu. She owns the business with her husband, Jeff.
The restaurant, which inhabits the space formerly taken up by a historical ice house (and, more recently, Campania Cafe), is located at 416 S. Main St. in Davidson, down the street from the famed Kindred. The decor includes photos of the original ice house and the owner, and equipment left over from the operating days of the ice house.
While Brulé nods to Joe and Katy Kindred for putting Davidson on the map of restaurant destinations with their menu worthy of a James Beard nomination, she is about to introduce a different kind of game changer: upscale food and decor blended with fast-casual service and prices, not to mention internationally inspired sauces.
Brulé’s descriptor for the concept is “fine casual.” The kitchen will be slow-roasting vegetables and implementing classic French techniques to create marvelous food that happens to be family friendly and quickly served, she explained, adding that she predicts the restaurant industry will continue to move in this direction.
The menu at Davidson Ice House, which features bowls, wraps, soups and salads, is 80 percent vegetarian and 70 percent vegan, with meats that are humanely and ethically raised. The chef calls it a “flexitarian” menu because it features more plant-based items and fewer meat items, without excluding the meat.
“It’s a very inclusive way of eating,” said Brulé, a flexitarian herself, and a mother of four daughters who understands varying dietary needs.
Plus, the whole menu is gluten-free, except for the lavash bread, and the restaurant is entirely nut-free.
“I wanted to have a place where everybody could come,” said Brulé, who is still hiring front-of-house staff. “I want people to have tons of choices no matter how they eat.”
All dishes are meant to be transformed with the customer’s final choice of sauce. Brulé created her sauces based on her seven years of living abroad and traveling. Think Kathmandu sauce with ginger, cilantro, tomato and soy sauce, and parmesan peppercorn Caesar sauce, to start.
“It takes it in a completely different direction,” said Brulé, who shared the nearly-completed menu, which will see some adjustments.
Prices will be around $10 or $11 per dish.
“Customers can choose chef-crafted bowls/wraps that are pre-set or we’ll custom build their meal as they choose,” she wrote in an email.
The menu choices
All menu items will be available as grab-and-go as well — sauces included — so individuals and families with limited time can still relish Brulé’s vision.
“This is like my fifth child,” Brulé said. “It really is. This is my heart and soul.”
Hours (subject to change)
Tuesday-Thursday: 11 am.-8 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Photos: Courtesy of Davidson Ice House