Food & Drink

When this restaurant closed, it left a void in the area. Here’s what’s behind its revival

Quintin Wicks of Revival Kitchen cuts a loaf of fresh focaccia bread on Wednesday as he prepares for a dinner.
Quintin Wicks of Revival Kitchen cuts a loaf of fresh focaccia bread on Wednesday as he prepares for a dinner. adrey@centredaily.com

After Revival Kitchen in Reedsville closed last February, it was a long year for diners as they awaited news of the culinary hot spot’s fate. A new eatery was promised, but it wasn’t until December that the new Revival Kitchen location finally opened its doors, welcoming guests to a brand-new dining experience unavailable anywhere else in the area.

Now, rather than diners walking in as they please and ordering off an a la carte menu, they arrive for two seatings and indulge in a carefully constructed five-course tasting menu, only available Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, at $65 per head.

“It’s more of a dining experience as opposed to just going out to a restaurant,” co-owner Liz Wicks said. “Dinners take anywhere from two to three hours generally. It gives us a chance to make really nice food (and) it also cuts down on the waste a lot.”

She and her husband, Quintin, work the kitchen, with a small front-of-house staff.

“It’s much smaller and more intimate,” she said.

The response so far is stellar.

“Right now we’re pretty much booked up through March,” said Liz, noting that she and Quintin have no goals for the time being of extending their culinary endeavors beyond the small and intimate experience they’ve created. She says it’s important for the couple to have a work-life balance while still being able to provide “really nice food for the community.”

They do have other projects in the works for the summer.

“This past summer we were under construction and didn’t have a kitchen, so we’ve got big plans to integrate more of the farm into the year-round menu,” Liz said, adding that they’ll focus on preserving some of the available ingredients while they’re still fresh. There’s also the possibility of a walking farm tour via Revival Kitchen’s partnership with Hostetler’s Naturals and a more veggie-forward menu in the summertime, showcasing local produce.

For now, Liz said the most positive response she’s seen from diners since December is “that they’re booking future reservations while they’re in there having dinner ... I think that’s one of the best compliments that we’ve gotten.”

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Revival Kitchen has reopened in their new location in Reedsville. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

What makes Revival Kitchen such a stand-out option among the multitude restaurants around Centre County? Beyond filling a prior void in the marketplace for prix fixe dining experiences, Revival Kitchen, Liz said, is “a place where people feel comfortable trying new ingredients.” These ingredients are also nearly always sourced locally, through the restaurant’s many partnerships. The Wicks attend the Boalsburg Farmers Market every Tuesday to shop for ingredients, recently added a new partnership with Rising Spring Meat Company and plans to work with Appalachian Food Works as the new food hub continues to grow.

It seems the nearly year-long wait for Revival Kitchen’s new life was well worth it for both locals and the Wicks.

“This is the type of dining we enjoy. We wanted to share that with other people,” Liz said. “It’s been great.”

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Revival Kitchen has reopened in their new location in Reedsville. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

Revival Kitchen’s February menu is online now. Lucky guests with a reservation can expect such mouthwatering bites as risotto milanese with saffron, parmesan, pancetta and toasted pine nuts; red wine braised beef short ribs with charred Napa cabbage, garlic mashed potatoes and a foie gras cream; and dark chocolate marquise with a winter citrus compote. If you’re looking to book a future reservation, keep in mind Revival Kitchen only has eight tables and accommodates groups of two to eight. Private parties are available for groups over eight, Sunday through Wednesday evenings.

For more information, visit www.revivalkitchen.com.

Drink and Draw is held the last Wednesday of every month at the Champs Bar and Grill on North Atherton Street.

Holly Riddle is a freelance food, travel and lifestyle writer. She can be reached at holly.ridd@gmail.com.
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