This is a new restaurant, open only 2 weeks and I just had one of the best meals EVER here.
Lets start with the space. The owners renovated a great old building and exposed the brick walls and a wooden peaked roof with wood trusses. As you enter on the left is a bar area with the sexiest custom bar I have ever seen! Behind it is the soul of the place, a wonderful bartender and 16 taps for beers from Belgium and Germany as well as local small batch breweries. Awesome selection! The wines are equally impressive - not your usual - they have sparkling whites from Alsace, German Rose to Gruner Veltliner a lovely crisp white wine from Austria and a lovely curated selection of French reds.
To the right is the large dining area with white tablecloths and cloth napkins. In addition to the 2 and 4 tops, there are 2 family style long tables where folks from the neighborhood frequently catch up.There is a large window looking into the kitchen and its great fun to watch Chef Alex and his crew, Jericho and Albert and the food prep crew! They are personable and friendly and appreciate the attention.
The menu is based on foods from Alsace-Lorraine on the border between France and Germany. Everything is made in-house including the ketchup and mayonnaise! if the bar is the soul, the food is the heart of this organism.
'Snacks' include duck liver mousse with pickles and toast ($9) and the most amazing fresh-made Pommes Frites ($5) warning - they are addicting! Fresh baked German pretzels ($5) come with assorted mustards and they offer a selection of sausages served with their homemade sauerkraut! The bacon leek Tarte (like a flatbread pizza - $13) is to die for.
Any of their 'Small Plates' could easily be meals but we tried the warm Root Vegetable salad ($8) as an appetizer. Served warm, this had the most interesting collection of flavors and textures including parsnip which was a new treat for me.
The 'Entrees' we tried included the Coq au Reisling (Quail with Green beans and potatoes ($21) a lovely balanced flavor and perfectly done and a Port Shoulder Chop (@ $26 the most expensive thing on the menu) which was truly the best meal I have ever had, including in France and Austria. Fully 12 oz of perfection, medium rare inside with a crunchy crust, served with roasted apple. There was enough left over for 2 more meals because we saved room for a dessert. Truly an extraordinary meal and one I will repeat as soon as possible!
The 3 owners are all on site and make a point of meeting and getting to know their clients. I was greeted by name and a hug on my 2nd visit and it already feels like visiting a friend's house. Alex the chef is does an amazing job. Andy, the ops manager, is charming and friendly with food suggestions when asked and keeps an eye on the staff which performs beyond expectations. Nichole is a delightful and very experienced LB native. Dan, who came up with the cuisine concept is engaging and knowledgeable about his beers and wines. You can tell he loves his place and his staff - which includes many wounded vets - who love him back! Truly - the food is outstanding and they are genuinely the nicest people! A must on any foodie's list.
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