By The Secret Chef.
Fish Hawk is back! Not that it was ever really gone, but like other restaurants after a couple of years of pandemic take-out food only, Fish Hawk Acres is once again eat-in, and bigger and better than ever.
My favorite part — back to dining in on fresh, unpretentious, impeccable bistro food inside a charming cafe with an atmosphere of hanging doodads, chicken tablecloths and subtle lighting.
Because originator and Chef Dale Hawkins (a culinary school grad) recently moved the retail half of Fish Hawk, called the Coop, a few stores down Buckhannon Main Street, that previous side is now peppered with a slew of tables providing casual seating for about 60 customers, both sides, all told.
And it’s not an ordinary dining room — everywhere you look are colorful fresh produce for sale, mouth-watering fresh pastries, desserts and specialty breads, and a whole back area of gourmet meats, cheeses and seafood. There are grab-and-go cabinets stocked with, for example, soups, sandwiches, main dishes, salads and drinks, including various wines and beers.
There is just SO MUCH to see, to eat, joy to embrace. You might just stay from one meal to another and never leave, it’s that good.
Fish Hawk has a daily cafe menu of creative and bewitching sandwiches, hot and cold, served all day, 9am-7pm. Lunch specials are offered from 11-7, while dinner specials go from 4-7pm.
My lunch this day was the Gobbler Sammich, Applewood smoked turkey with cranberry mayo and lettuce on sprouted, multigrain bread. It was delicious, almost like Thanksgiving in February.
The Grilled Reuben features grilled rye stuffed with pastrami, a heap of warm sauerkraut, gooey layers of melted Gruyère, and a generous dose of Russian dressing. Heaven in a sandwich.
For cheese lovers (and who isn’t?), Grilled Cheese is a classic in its ultimate form, grilled inside and out, low and slow. Marvelous!
Chef Dale, looking hale and hearty behind the counter in his cafe castle, just returned from a foodie journey to Thailand, and said it was the best trip of his life. His Facebook posts indicated he sampled quite a variety of local Thai dishes, and he said after a bit of preparation, he will be offering some Thai meals, probably as specials.
Fish Hawk and this energetic man have so much going on your head spins. Not only is the cafe busy all day, but the retail part at the Coop offers cooking and floral classes, shelves of wines and craft beers, flowers and plants, specialty food items, such as vinegars, jams, oils, crackers, etc., and a selection of gifts. Chef Dale said his loyal employees help make this huge Fish Hawk enterprise possible.
New just recently is a Fish Hawk app that allows customers to order online and then pick-up. Chef Dale said this will help especially at lunch to keep the phone lines open.
A monthly Wine Club is another successful adventure. Every month wine lovers can gather for an afternoon of sipping combined with a five-course menu, a different wine paired with each course. Reservations are required. March’s theme is exploring the food and wine of Spain!
New, upcoming in March, Fish Hawk Travel Co. will host its first domestic “foodie trip” to Cleveland, March 21-24. There will be special breakfasts, lunches and dinners at different eateries, food tours, market tours, and food classes. Accommodation is at Kimpton Schofield Hotel. Make a reservation – space is limited.
And I can’t forget to mention that Fish Hawk also does private catering, monthly brunches and special occasion dinners, like the February 24 Mardi Gras Market Dinner.
For the best local food in the area, renowned Fish Hawk Acres is located at 5 West Main Street, Buckhannon, WV. Check out their website www.fishhawkacreswv.com, and Fish Hawk Acres Facebook page. Phone 304-473-7741.