Why The Buttery Lives Up To The Hype

Written by Chelsea Moore | Photos by Avery McIntosh

Over the last 10 years, there’s been a movement toward sourcing food locally. Activities like shopping at farmers’ markets, starting a backyard farm, and dining at farm-to-table restaurants have all become en vogue. But while many restaurants source food locally and regionally, not all of them put as much care and passion into their process as The Buttery does.

The popular restaurant in Millwood from The Locke Store has made a splash since its opening in August 2019. With a menu that changes every three weeks, The Buttery has become a favorite for both locals and tourists.

“There is something very different and special about the [Buttery] space and the people that inhabit the space,” Austen Willis, the restaurant’s manager, said. “We have a really incredible team and dedicated, motivated people who are all working towards the vision. The energy is unlike any restaurant that I’ve worked at. Our customers are able to see that on the other side of the table. Everyone here enjoys working together. What we are doing is so unlike any other restaurant in the area.”

With a rotating menu, patrons can return weekly for a different meal. Each course contains three options. By the time you’ve tried each one, there will be a new menu with new things to try. Of course, some favorites do return to the menu from time to time, along with a rotating selection of Chef Adam Steudler’s soups, which always stay on the first-course menu.

It is classic Italian and French cooking with some global inspiration as well, always with a hyper-seasonal focus. “We try to give people a different experience every time,” Willis said.

Cauliflower fritters:

Light, cauliflower-filled fritters paired with a piquant sun-dried tomato spread highlight seasonal ingredients.

White bean and mushroom soup:

A summer transitional soup features heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo and local mushrooms from Rooster Dirt Farm. Rosemary from the kitchen garden rounds out the brightness of this brothy soup.

Chef Adam Steudler and sous chef Jess Foltz release their upcoming menu on October 7, which will run through the 23rd of the month. While everything on the menu is always outstanding, there are a few things you shouldn’t miss this month.

Za’atar roasted chicken:

Fields of Athenry farm chicken is the highlight of this Middle Eastern-inspired dish. Paired with spiced basmati rice and citrus-marinated onions, the za’atar spiced chicken offers elevated comfort.

Black pepper linguini:

Handmade pasta pairs with a mushroom ragout showcasing mushrooms from Rooster Dirt Farm. Roasted acorn squash from local gardens moves us into fall.

Mexican chocolate cake:

A bundt cake is the perfect vehicle for Mexican chocolate flavors. With a bit of heat and Canela, this cake is paired with horchata and honey ice cream made in-house.

The cocktail menu rotates regularly too. Coming up in October is a selection of cocktails filled with baking spices, designed to warm up guests as temperatures drop in the evenings.

They plan to expand their space in 2022. With an increase in kitchen size, their capacity for more events and experiences will grow.

Whether you’re coming on a weeknight or a special occasion weekend, the hosts want to help you feel relaxed and refreshed.

Currently, The Buttery offers monthly wine tastings and progressive family-style dinners called Sunday Suppers, with carefully curated menus by Executive Chef Ellie McMillen. The next Sunday Supper will be a harvest night, Oc- tober 17. The five-course menu will feature a beet and dill soup topped with chive whip and nigella crunch, roasted baby carrots with turmeric and lime cream, served with a carrot top salad, and spicy pear with warm ricotta and house sourdough. Also featured will be the cornucopia, which is roasted baby pumpkins, wilted greens, grilled sausage, roasted figs, and pickled mustard seeds. For dessert, enjoy a warm apple harvest cake and chai spice ice cream. Reserve your spot online for the Harvest Night Sunday Supper, but hurry — reservations fill up quickly.

“Come as you are, whether you just finished riding horses or are going out to celebrate an anniversary,” Willis said. “We want you to feel like you are stepping away. Enjoy a seasonal cocktail or a bottle of wine, take a breath, and enjoy some really delicious food. We like to say it feels like an oasis here. We want people to feel like they are re- ally taken care of but also relaxed and casual.” ML

The Buttery is located at 2049 Millwood Road, Millwood, Va. Seatings by reservation are available Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5 – 8 p.m. Sunday brunch is served from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. To learn more, visit thebutteryva.com.

This article first appeared in the October 2021 Issue.