The best dinner parties are the ones where the host has thought of everything: from curating the perfect playlist, to having (more than) enough booze, to remembering to make cookies with rice flour for that one gluten-free guest, to putting a bow tie on the dog. These parties may be rare, but when they do happen, it’s the attention to detail that really makes people, and dogs, remember them.
Eating at Opus Co., a tiny neighborhood restaurant in Greenwood, is like going to one of those memorably good dinner parties.
It starts with the food. The menu changes regularly, and features seasonal ingredients cooked on a wood grill. For example, the Early Fall menu had a golden beet salad with homemade queso fresco, poached pear slices, radicchio, jerk-spiced pepitas, and charred leek vinaigrette that was so good we wanted to lick the plate. A soy sauce and buttermilk brined roast chicken with malt vinegar caramel was also outstanding. These may not be flavors you’d immediately think to put together yourself, but once you try them, you’ll wonder why every chef doesn’t use them all the time. Most dishes on the menu check at least four out of the five taste boxes (sweet, sour, salty, savory, and bitter) - even desserts like buttermilk bay leaf ice cream with squash candy and a smoked shortbread cookie.
But thoughtfully assembled as the menu items here are, the food is only one part of what makes this place exceptional. The space may not seem all that impressive on first glance - the whole restaurant is the size of a studio apartment, with six tables and an extra four chairs at the chef’s counter in the back. There are no obviously expensive decorations or particularly distinctive pieces of furniture, and there’s not even a full bar. Despite all this, though, it feels special. Like you’re camping out with a group of strangers, but your food is being grilled to order, then served by extremely friendly staff.
Opus Co. is pretty far removed from the city center, but it’s well worth going out of your way to Greenwood for. Bring a date who appreciates details more than a scene. Or, next time it’s your turn to host a dinner party, consider bringing your friends here and just taking all the credit for being a fantastic host.
No one has ever grabbed you by the collar and demanded you order a beet salad - until now. This is one of the best salads we’ve ever had.
Opus improves the concept of a sausage platter the same way Mozart could improve a used car dealership jingle. This grilled housemade sausage comes with herbed flatbread, fenugreek pickled apples, and some mustard seed-fermented fennel. Make a little sandwich - it tastes best when you have every component in one bite.
A piece of pork belly, crusted in sesame seeds, sea salt, and fennel seed powder, that melts in your mouth but is simultaneously crunchy. The accompanying green tomato chutney and caramelized sauerkraut go really well with it, too.
Roasted purple cauliflower, pickled cabbage, hazelnuts, and a spicy mole sauce made from “squash guts.” Get this as a side dish.
Brined in soy sauce and buttermilk, then glazed with malt vinegar caramel, this chicken has a caramelized and sweet skin. It comes with “three small things” - we received spicy charred turnips, pickled apples, and some roasted kabocha squash. This was extremely difficult to stop eating.
Excellent if you’re looking to go down the Nice Piece of Fish route, and served with wine-poached pears, grilled radicchio, and a “risotto” made from kasu (the yeast leftover from sake production) on the side. The kasu is the crucial element here - it tastes like a wine sauce with the intensity turned way up, and balances out the bitterness of the grilled radicchio.
On paper, this dessert sounds a little odd: buttermilk bay leaf ice cream, dehydrated squash candy, honey, and a smoked shortbread cranberry cookie. In reality, it’s the best dessert you never knew you wanted.