Small, seasonal plates on menu at Mason Dixon Distillery
Yianni Barakos, co-owner of Mason Dixon Distillery, talks about the food his restaurant offers, including fresh ingredients from a garden on site.
Mason Dixon Distillery, which opened last July in Gettysburg, is known for its bold rum and vodka cocktails, and a commitment to build its concoctions from scratch on site.
But the distillery is also a restaurant, which offers the same commitment to its food.
"A lot of people have not realized we have food here," said Yianni Barakos, co-owner of the distillery.
The distillery launched its fall menu on Sept. 28, focusing on small plates. All dishes are made from scratch.
Restaurant guests can try dips and spreads such as goat cheese brûlée and pimento cheddar dip, crispy and fried plates such as the crawfish beignet with creole-honey butter, and seasonal plates such as mushrooms with a rich gorgonzola cream and brussels sprouts fried and mixed with a dried fruit and nut relish, finished with honey and lemon.
Mason Dixon also offers sandwiches, including the muffalata, a New Orleans sandwich that is weighed down by bricks (wrapped in aluminum foil) overnight.
"It's a mouthful, so we're trying to make it a little bit less of a mouthful," Barakos said of the highly stacked sandwich.
The grains used for Barakos’ distilling are sourced from within a few miles of Mason Dixon, and the importance of locally sourced ingredients for Barakos extends to his food as well. The ingredients are sourced from a purveyor in Allentown and supplemented locally from Butcher Block in Biglerville and Rettland Farm in Gettysburg.
Barakos' use of local ingredients even goes as far as drawing from a small garden in the distillery's backyard.
He has six rows planted, including two different types of radishes, plus beets, carrots, kale, lettuce, mint, and tomatoes, all of which he plans to introduce into his menu.
He also plans on getting the most out of his food.
"We will find something to use the (radish) greens for, even though they're incredibly bitter we'll try to make 'em taste good," he said.
"There's something about the freshness of being able to pull something right out of the ground, have it in the kitchen within 20 minutes of having pulled it," Barakos said. "With farm-to-table being such an appreciated thing, garden-to-table gets it even fresher."
"Our commitment to keeping everything as local as we can," Barakos said, is part of what makes Mason Dixon Distillery so unique.