In the Chef’s Corner: Bourbon Prime

November 13, 2017


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In the Chef’s Corner: Bourbon Prime

Photo by Marc Compton


By Maggie Matsko

When Bourbon Prime opened its doors earlier this year inside the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place, the vision was for the restaurant and bar to tell the story of the Appalachian spirit through bourbon and steak. The mission of Bourbon Prime became a reality when the restaurant was invited to the Woodford Reserve in Versailles, KY, to create its very own signature batch of bourbon. Through a very intricate process, a smooth and unique batch was born, proudly wearing the name Country Roads. As a result, Bourbon Prime has the honor of being the only restaurant in West Virginia that blends its own barrel of bourbon at the world-famous distillery.

The specialty bourbon, combined with a comfortable atmosphere, makes Bourbon Prime a standout in Morgantown.

“When we came together to design this space, we wanted to display an area that is both full of high energy and relaxed at the same time,” says Neil Buffington, general manager of the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place.

For those who don’t want to sit down at a traditional table or lounge in the great room, Bourbon Prime has seating at the bar where unique, crafted cocktails are created right in front of them.

“Not only is your dining experience filled with food and cocktails, but there is a theatrics aspect added as well,” says Buffington.

The bar not only boasts the restaurant’s signature barrel of bourbon, but it also has an extensive list of other bourbons available, as well as handcrafted cocktails, wines and a variety of beers on tap.

Bourbon Prime wants to provide every guest who comes through its doors first-class service and top-notch cuisine. To hone in on freshness and quality, Bourbon Prime holds farm-to-table relationships with six different farms in West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. To make sure all its products arrive at the highest quality, Bourbon Prime maintains a relationship with farms that are within a 100-mile radius of Morgantown.

“We talk to local farmers, visit farmers markets and tour farms and breweries, and we are constantly finding ways to support our communities’ small businesses while bringing their products to our tables,” says Chef Donnie Orr. “All chefs can cook, but the source of our ingredients is what sets us apart. We are not the rock stars—the farmers are.”

When it comes to cooking, Orr believes passion and a sense of originality are what set his dishes apart. “I like to put a new spin on age-old classics such as the Bourbon Prime pepperoni roll,” he says. “I grew up in Fairmont, the birthplace of the pepperoni roll, which was made for the coal miners, so I thought it would be great to use our stone-fired pizza oven to recreate this West Virginia classic.” Bourbon Prime is also known for its steaks, stone-fired pizzas and house-made cheesecake.

Being a restaurant that prides itself on craft cocktails, Bourbon Prime has also been able to execute dinners where food is paired with different alcoholic beverages. With a reservation, up to 30 guests are invited to take part in a six- to eight-course menu that is paired with bourbon, wine or beer. “We wanted to create a fun dining experience that was also educational where individuals can learn about the beverages behind the bar,” says Buffington.

Bourbon Prime, located at 2 Waterfront Place inside the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For dining and bar hours, visit For reservations, call (304) 284-9850.

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