Chris and Katie Williamson, owners of Farmhouse Tacos in Travelers Rest, know a good opportunity when they see it. So when a former hot dog shop became available across the street on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, they hopped at the chance to open a second restaurant.
Their new venture, Hare & Field, is a small affair, with 1,000 square feet inside and a slightly smaller patio that can be enclosed in cold weather. Decked out with gold mirrors and contemporary light fixtures, the dining space is cozy and welcoming. Stools at the counter in front of the kitchen augment seating at bare wood tables in the main dining space, where a New Orleans–style jazz track sets the mood.
Sweethearts since their years at Greenville High School, Chris and Katie wanted to open a restaurant where they could cook the kind of food they gravitate to when they go out. To come up with a menu, the couple sat down with Melissa Plumley, their director of culinary operations who has been with them since day one, and brainstormed ideas. Realizing they had compiled a list of their own favorite dishes, they settled on a gastropub concept.
Snack Bar // Enjoy elevated bites and main dishes at Travelers Rest newcomer Hare & Field. The crab roll, deviled eggs with pickled radish and sorghum, and fried chicken skins with sriracha sorghum hot sauce are examples of bites on offer.
“For us, gastropub fare is elevated casual dining,” says Chris. “Our focus is urban comfort food. We have a lot of familiar things on the menu, like fried chicken skins with sriracha sorghum hot sauce—just foods we like to eat. We do chef plays on sandwiches and salads, and use as many locally sourced ingredients as we can find.”
The “Beginnings” section of the menu embodies their penchant for tasting multiple things and experiencing different flavors at a meal. It cites shareable small plates, such as a refreshing crab salad and summer slaw slider made with brioche buns from TR neighbor Upcountry Provisions, and a mini cocotte of sweet crawfish, Benton’s bacon, and spinach in a creamy béchamel sauce, served with toasted baguette slices for dipping.
Sandwiches, salads, and a few entrées compose the “Offerings.” It may sound simple, but this comfort food comes with a twist. As Plumley puts it: “How many ham and cheese sandwiches have house-made ale mustard and French Mornay sauce? We try to bring it up a notch.”
Case in point is the fish and chips. Fresh cod, coated in a batter made with the house pale ale, comes out walnut-hued and crunchy on the outside, its white flesh moist within. It is the epitome of the classic pub dish, languishing atop a bed of hand-cut fries.
While Farmhouse Tacos has a full bar, Hare & Field stocks craft beer, a small but thoughtful selection of wine, and house-made barrel-aged cocktails. On tap all the time is Hare & Field Trail Ale, a collaboration between the restaurant and Brewery 85.
As a laid-back place where you can hang out with friends and share wine, beer, and excellent food for an honest price, Hare & Field is spot on.
Hare & Field, 327 S Main St, Travelers Rest. (864) 610-0249, hareandfieldkitchen.com; Tues–Thurs, 11:30am–9pm; Fri–Sat, 11:30am–10pm; Sun, 10am–3pm