Flavors of a former favorite Woodburn haunt.
It’s been a decade since Richwood Grill closed its doors. Richwood was Chef Marion and wife Alegria Ohlinger’s 2009 successor to their much-loved Latin American–inspired Solera Cafe. The new place operated in the same Woodburn location as Solera, but with influences both Appalachian and international. Its eclectic menu, artful plating, and intriguingly curated bar offered a memorable experience every time, and its casual urban atmosphere and relaxing back-deck view across Deckers Creek made it a favorite for everything from after-work drinks to date night to celebrations.
Richwood Grill closed in 2013 when the building it occupied was sold. It was a sad turn of events that did, however, open the way to the Ohlingers’ next offering, Hill and Hollow, which operated in The Seneca Center from 2015 to 2021. The Ohlingers are between restaurants now, although you may run across their distinctive black-and-chrome food trailer at events this summer— bannered Hill and Hollow Free Range Kitchen for higher-end catered occasions and Butcher, Baker, Troublemaker: Appalachian Pub Grub at casual events.
In a 2012 interview with Chef Ohlinger—little did any of us know then that the popular restaurant would be closed in a year—he gave Morgantown magazine his recipe for the satisfying Indonesian salad or main dish gado-gado, which translates to “mix-mix.” Bon appetit!
Richwood Grill’s Gado-Gado
- 1 small jar of unsweetened peanut butter
- 1 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk
- Hot pepper sauce such as sriracha or chipotle
- 1 medium eggplant cut into 1-inch-thick slices
- Oil for sauteing
- Rice of your choice prepared according to package directions
- Selection of crispy vegetables julienned or thinly sliced
- In a saucepan, combine peanut butter, coconut milk, a tablespoon of water, and hot sauce, to taste. Bring mixture to slow simmer, whisking often.
- Saute eggplant slices until crisp outside and hot all the way through.
- Dish rice onto plates and cover with raw vegetables. Place hot eggplant on top of rice and vegetables and drizzle with hot peanut sauce. Serve immediately, before vegetables begin to soften.
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