The Trustees’ Table at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Harrodsburg, Ky., has a tradition of hospitality that stretches back nearly two centuries
An appreciative patron once described dinner at The Trustees’ Table at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill as something out of a William Faulkner novel, where the menu consisted of only a few select dishes—“a special eggplant casserole and fried chicken and old ham”—and with hungry diners sitting out on the restaurant’s front steps before dinner was served.
Guests no longer gather on the steps before tucking into their meal, but the seed-to-table menus at The Trustees’ Table remain steeped in tradition. They celebrate Shaker Village’s roots with dishes made of seasonal ingredients from the Village’s own certified-organic garden and local farmers.
“Chef Amber Hokams leads a 60-member culinary team, including Vice President of Hospitality Susan Mortara, that is looking back to the Village’s roots to deliver fresh, flavor-forward dishes through a community-based approach inspired by Shaker lands and lessons,” Director of Communications Shelby Jones says.
Hokams, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu of Austin, “works closely with Farm Manager Michael J. Moore to utilize the bounty of the season’s harvest,” Jones adds.
Menu favorites like fried chicken, catfish and the Kentucky Hot Brown are elevated by ingredients straight from a garden that sits a stone’s toss from the kitchen. Shaker Lemon Pie, the restaurant’s much-loved iconic dessert, is the only direct Shaker recipe dish served in the Village.
“It’s unique because it uses the entire lemon, rind and all,” says Jones.
The Trustees’ Table is a fitting name for this 1839 landmark. According to Jones, in a Shaker community, the Trustees oversaw the business operations for the society, and guests from outside the community were received both for business meetings and to enjoy Shaker hospitality.
“That tradition continues today with our restaurant,” Jones says. “Guests have been pulling up a chair at our table for years, looking for delicious food that evokes memories from the past, utilizes the best quality ingredients and offers a modern twist for today’s palate.”
While daily specials don’t appear on the menu, the menu itself changes with the season. Several times a year, the Village hosts a Fresh Food Adventure series with themed or regional menus such as Tapas, Southern Roots or South of France. Additionally, the Trustees’ Table offers full catering services for a variety of gatherings, from elegant Derby parties to corporate receptions to classic Kentucky weddings.
To accompany its seasonally inspired dishes, the restaurant pours a robust selection of Kentucky beers, bourbons and ciders, alongside a full wine list and a menu of handcrafted cocktails.
The Trustees’ Table at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is at 3501 Lexington Road near Harrodsburg. Reservations are available online or by calling (859) 734-5411. Breakfast is served 7:30–10 a.m.; lunch 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.; and dinner 5–8:30 p.m.
Traditional holiday lunch on the menu for December
The holidays are a special time at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, with events including Candlelight Tours, Illuminated Evenings, Children’s Tea Time with Mrs. Claus and crafts workshops filling December’s calendar. The Holiday Lunch at the Trustees’ Table (11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. December 1–23) features a three-course meal of soup or salad, choice of five different entrées, homemade desserts and nonalcoholic beverages and accompanied by hot rolls and coleslaw. Reservations are strongly recommended: (859) 734-1556, email@example.com.
The Trustees’ Table at Shaker Village Winter Beet Salad