Cooking to Create Memories: A Hither Review
A good meal is a good memory. I can recall many happy evenings spent in restaurants with family and friends throughout my life, taking in the sights, smells and flavors that would bombard the senses. Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting Hither in Ashland, and left with a new handful of happy memories.
I sat down with Wesley Reimer, who, along with Corrie Robinson-Reimer, founded the restaurant. “You start cooking to create a memory,” says Reimer. “And that’s what I’d like: to have someone come in and remember what they eat, remember where the food comes from. It’s all from local farms, and we put a great deal of effort into knowing where it comes from and knowing who’s been planting it, who’s picking it and how it gets here. So, I’d like the people that come in to have, after they’re done, a sense of ‘I really felt that that was as fresh as it could be.’ I hope that it would spark a memory for them in their past. Like when they would have an oatmeal raisin cookie, ‘Oh, that’s just like my mom used to make.’ And I feel that’s why you get into cooking, to help people remember the good times in their life.”
Wesley and Corrie sport impressive resumes in the culinary industry. Their rotating menu—which offers a wide assortment of foods, pastries, coffee and natural and biodynamic wine—is demonstrative of their preference for local ingredients. A “resident roaster” is brought in every few months, who checks on the quality of the coffee at their farms as well as the coffee producers.
On my first visit, I was greeted with shades of wine country. Shelves of decorative wine bottles line the wall facing the entrance, and a long bench fills the corner. I felt an air of neighborly preparation, like visiting a friend who has eagerly awaited me and arranged their home for my arrival.
The menu is affordable without being “cheap” in the colloquial sense. On various visits, I ordered a plate of salted chocolate cookies, and a rather inventive new take on a grilled cheese. On another visit, I had one of my stand-bys: an egg, bacon and biscuit sandwich. It was presented with such elegance and rich flavor; a favorite breakfast food of mine for many years, this one managed to feel new and nostalgic all at once.
Service is attentive, friendly and helpful. I was greeted with a smile, and the servers ensured my order was brought out promptly and that my needs were met.
When I asked Reimer about some of the elements of Hither he took pride in, he said: “I like the open kitchen, I like interacting with guests, I like them seeing us cook their food. I like having people not have a mystery in anything that comes to them. If they want a recipe, I’m absolutely 100 percent okay with giving them exactly what we do.”
7 am – 3 pm, daily
376 E. Main Street, Ashland