Grain and Verse in Fairview Township is a recently-opened restaurant with a causal atmosphere, hundreds of beer options and high quality ingredients that go into pizzas, sandwiches and snacks.
The eatery opened March 2 thanks to the efforts of executive chef Kurt Wewer and general manager Matthew Treven. Wewer, a familiar name to diners at neighboring restaurant Garlic Poet, wanted to put the same thought and intention that he applies in his fine dining menu to a more casual setting.
With the craft beer knowledge of Treven, the two launched Grain and Verse with the hope of providing quality food and high-demand brews for patrons in northern York County.
The restaurant is based on counter service, where patrons walk in, grab a bottle from the cooler, order their food from the checkout counter and sit at rustic, wood-crafted tables while they wait for their meals.
Staff is available to help customers make the tough decision on which brew to grab from the more than 200 bottle options or three to four rotating drafts.
"It's kind of fun to have to order 250 cases of beer to keep our selection stocked," Treven said. "Filling the cooler was like working in a candy store – it's a thrill to choose what goes in it."
The atmosphere is casual and rustic, with wooden tables, metal chairs and splashes of teal scattered throughout the large, open dining room. Most of the walls are covered in chalkboard-style art featuring beer-related quotes from Stephen King, Ernest Hemmingway and Mark Twain.
Pizza is the golden child of the Grain and Verse menu. Pizza dough – with beer as a key ingredient - is made from scratch each day and the toppings are hand-selected. If the numerous meats, including prosciutto cotto, malt braised pork or oregano/lemon chicken, aren't made in house or purchased locally, it's imported from Italy, Treven said.
You won't find any deli ham from the grocery store getting slapped on a pie here.
Pizzas can be served either as a traditional round crust or a twice-baked square crust that's flat but not paper thin. Dry aged mozzarella or Spring Grove's Caputo Brothers fonduta is melted on top, along with a homemade tomato sauce.
About 20 toppings, which range in price from $.75 for roasted red peppers to $2.50 for capicola, can be added at will.
During a recent week night visit, I grabbed a Sprecher Hard Ginger Beer ($3.50) and ordered two 9-inch pizzas – a round one topped with chicken, ricotta and fresh herbs ($11), as well as a square pizza topped with shaved red onion and prosciutto cotto ($10.50).
My dinner date was my sister, who also split an order of soft pretzels served with malted IPA mustard ($7) with me. These jar appetizers – served in a large Mason jar – are all house made, including the sour beer giardiniera pickles ($7).
The pretzels came out first, buttery and crispy in little misshaped sticks. The mustard was wiped clean from the jar as we double dipped without regret.
Our pizzas soon followed, and we sipped our drinks while we ate away at the crispy crust and gooey cheese.
Also available on the menu are paninis, ranging from the Cubano with malt braised pork shoulder, prosciutto cotto, capicoloa, sour beer pickles, malted IPA mustard and age provolone ($10); to the oven roasted local veggie, including numerous vegetables, provolone, arugula, mustard and hopped lemon balsamic vinaigrette ($10).
Strombolis and calzones also are available, made with the same beer pizza dough. A small traditional boli ($13 small/$23 large) and a calzone de luppolo ($11 small/$21 large) are stuffed with the same high-quality ingredients seen throughout the menu.
Treven suggests guests come with a group.
"It makes it more fun and you can order some of everything," he said. "The menu is made so you can share things. Trying a variety of items gives you the ability to really know the menu and experiment with things."
If you go
Location: 148 Sheraton Drive, Fairview Township
Cuisine: Pizza, sandwiches and appetizers
Rebecca's pick: Soft pretzels with malted IPA mustard ($7), two 9-inch pizzas – a round pie topped with chicken, ricotta and fresh herbs ($11), a square pie topped with shaved red onion and prosciutto cotto ($10.50).
Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays through Sundays
Price range: $8.50, 9-inch cheese pizza to $23, large boli
Alcohol: Yes, 200+ bottles and three to four rotating draft beers
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: No
Details: Call 717-774-2721 ext. 589, visit grainandverse.com , or search Grain and Verse on Facebook