Liz Klingensmith has been creating beautiful charcuterie boards for some time, looking at the process as an art form. Besides opening doors for her, she found creating works of art out of cheeses, meats, and accompaniments to be an artistic outlet.
“And then, charcuterie kind of became a trend about two years ago. Everybody was kind of jumping on that bandwagon,” Klingensmith said. “It was a true artistic endeavor. It’s a true artistic element. When we would go to restaurants when this trend started, we would see charcuterie on menus at many restaurants on the appetizer side, and it was just meats and cheeses kind of thrown on a board. There was no artistic element to it and that’s what charcuterie truly is, it’s food art.”
Klingensmith and her husband, Kenny, began to consider opening a restaurant that emphasized charcuterie, although she stated that charcuterie is actually not cheese but references the cured meats used on the board. They began researching and found that there was not a single charcuterie-themed, speakeasy restaurant in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Virginia. In addition, Klingensmith stated that the 1920s-1930s era has always “spoken” to her.
“I like the darkness. I like the moodiness. I like the secretiveness. I like all of that about it,” Klingensmith said. “Initially we were just going to open a typical storefront where you walk or call in, place your order, and pick it up later, but I always tell my children to dare to be different, so I knew we needed to do just that. So, when the opportunity arose for this place, we decided to listen to our own advice and try to turn a building in Milford into a speakeasy-style charcuterie restaurant.”
Located at 27 South Walnut Street, Suite 103, in the former Josephine Keir building, Cured Plate is designed like a Prohibition era, speakeasy. Stayng true to the era, lighting will be by natural candles, small personal lamps and a chandelier with flickering candlelight. Sofa seating, cigar chairs, cocktail tables, along with two U-benches near the door for larger parties fill the room that is accented by a bar in period colors. In the center of the bar is a lighted sign by LuckyKat Designs, reading “a whole vibe.”
“That’s the biggest thing here for me, the vibe” Klingensmith said. “I really want this to be a place you won’t ever forget. A place when you come, it’s relaxing, it’s moody and it’s vibey; like you took a step back in time. Our goal is create an entire experience. We will keep many things secret keeping true to the times, but that’s the fun aspect. I want the atmosphere to be what really captivates people, and the staff and food to be what makes you keep coming back.”
As for food offerings, Klingensmith explained that there will be more than just charcuterie boards.
“We have hearty appetizers, sides, other entrees, and desserts. But, our biggest emphasis is on our build-your-own cheese & charcuterie boards. Our menu is on the smaller side, this way we can perfect the food we’re serving. Quality, and the commitment to local farmers is huge for us, local is always better. With our space being on the smaller side, we knew we needed to come up with something that worked for every lifestyle.”
Because of the small space they have available, reservations will be required, except for two days each month that will be reserved strictly for walk-ins. Social media platforms will be used to provide guests with the “secret” method they will need ot gain access to the Cured Plate.
“I think this will mostly attract adults. I don’t see many people bringing their children, but we have five children ourselves and there have been times we wanted to have a fancier meal, and we had to take our children with us, so we wanted to be able to cater to those families as well,” Klingensmith said.
The cocktail menu will be true to the era and offer more high-end wines and liquors,
“We will have about 8 reds and 6 white wines, a Prosecco and rose. You can expect to see spirits like Old Forester 1920 prohibition whiskey, and Uncle Nearest used in our drinks. During our spirits selection, we made sure that no one else around here used what we chose, so we could offer something truly different.”
Cheeses, meats, jams, honey and other items are procured from local sources, with a growing list. Vegan, and gluten-free options will be available for those with dietary restrictions. There will also be a retail shelf offering locally made jewelry, jams, honey, along with other food items and merchandise.
Cured Plate will hold a soft opening on February 9th and 10th with a grand opening on Tuesday, February 13.
“We’re not going to be open on Tuesdays, but I wanted to do the grand opening before Valentine’s Day,” Klingensmith said. “We will hold a ribbon cutting on February 13 at 2 PM and open to the public at 4 PM that day.”
Hours for Cured Plate will be Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 9 PM; Friday and Saturday, 4 to 11 PM. They will be closed Sunday through Tuesday.
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