Overall 4.5 out of 5
Two friends and I hit up this hipster-meets-yuppie gastropub for dinner on a whim. Being somewhat new to the city, I hadn’t heard of it but am always up for trying something different. Here’s what to expect…
Great people watching. The patrons consist of a wide-ranging, eclectic mix of eccentric hipsters and the blazer-wearing professional crowd, sprinkled with several well-established members of the 50+ demographic. Everyone seemed to fit perfectly and enjoying the ambiance. If you have little ones, leave them with the sitter. The staff exuded a casual cool mentality. Both attentive and extremely pleasant, our table experience was pretty top-notch.
Fantastic drinks. Do not be fooled, whiskey is what they love. Whiskey flights and sidecars seemed the items of choice the night of our arrival. I stuck with a Maker’s Manhattan and have to say, it was one of the most AMAZING Manhattans I’ve ever had. They provide a great list of beers, scotch and other beverages for almost any concoction. For the non-drinkers, you can find a great selection of bottled beverages, including Boylen’s Root Beer, ginger beer and Mexican Coke – made with real sugar and not high fructose corn syrup.
Be prepared to wait. Sorry folks, but this was a pretty major downside to the whole night (and the only reason for not getting five stars). With no reservations, and continued popularity, wait times can last hours…literally. We arrived promptly at 7:00 pm to a completely crowded room. After putting our name down, the hostess said it would be an hour and fifteen minutes. We got settled, had a drink, and after a while, it seemed somewhat reasonable. Our patience diminished, and our hunger grew, as we ended up waiting just under two hours to get a table.
Adventurous food selection. This menu is not for the typical meat and potatoes, fish and chips patron. Dishes like tete du cochon (pigs head), sweetbreads and other unique items laced the menu along side a tantalizing mix of fish, pasta and other game. And, as the seasons change, so do the selections. As an aside, the menu we looked at online (10/1/11) was not the menu we saw that same evening. Although a few items looked familiar, the majority of the page was filled with new starters, small plates and entrees – most with an autumnal harvest feel.
We began with the meatball and polenta appetizer with pesto which, although small for three people, was pretty damn amazing. I decided on the wild boar sloppy joe with pickled jalapeno, served with beef fat fries and sea salt. It was above average but don’t know if I’d order it again. The fries were probably some of the best I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a lot of fries. One friend ordered the special, if you will, which was a roasted pork belly with creamy risotto. The other ordered the slow roasted cauliflower with beluga lentils and caramelized onion. The pork belly was rich and hearty, fully flavored and overall pretty tasty. All three of us agreed that the vegetarian cauliflower dish was the best. Each plate was completely distinctive, which made me want to come back and try something new. They also have a separate vegetarian menu.
Save room for dessert. We were thinking ordering one of their amazing desserts but our entrees were so rich, we decided to decline. We were extremely tempted to try the Gruyère filled donuts with fruit compote and hazelnut marscapone, or the Madagascan chocolate with espresso cream, peanut custard and coffee jelly. Perhaps next time.
Good for groups of four or less, this locale offers an amazing experience to catch up with old friends or spend a special night out with your partner. I definitely plan to go again but will make a weeknight attempt.
Date visited: Nov 2011