I met Tasted Menu colleagues around 7 PM on Friday, unsurprisingly facing quite a wait for a table in the relatively small space. Four stools at the counter opened up quickly, though, so we settled for that instead of a table. For noise reasons, I wouldn't recommend a party larger than two or three taking a seat at the counter; I could barely hear the conversation the entire night. It was fun, though, getting a peek into the kitchen and chatting with various staff members as they passed by.
The ambiance is lively and cozy - and by that I mean loud and cramped - but in a good way. It feels a bit like the lovechild of Highland Kitchen and Trina's Starlite Lounge, two of my absolute favorites, so I feel right at home. The walls and even the tables are covered with chalkboard paint, and food and drink specials are scrawled in pastels, different sections set off by empty picture frames. Funky chandeliers hang from the ceiling, and the lighting is enhanced by a string of mason jar lamps.
Amongst the four of us, we covered a good deal of the menu, which features charcuterie, appetizers, small plates, entrees, sides, and desserts. The entrees, all in the $18 range, include three sides; sides alone are $4 each. I was particularly attached to the lime garlic chili fries, but I was pretty happy with everything overall. Since the restaurant has just barely opened, I won't review it fully until it has had a few months to settle in, but my first impression is quite positive. I will definitely be back, and I think it will do very well in the neighborhood. And now, a peek at the food:
|fried cheese curd: state of Maine cheese, flash-fried, red gravy|
|duck drumsticks: duck legs, superberry bbq, apple jicama slaw|
|peaches & cream: frisee, soft goat, arugula, walnut, pistachio, blackberry vin|
|crab deviled eggs: farm fresh, blue crab|
|hot water cornbread|
|macaroni 'n' cheese|
|lime garlic chili fries|
|thin pan-fried catfish: fresh water, cornbread, white harissa|
|beer can hen: porkslap ale, garlic & herbs, honey butter|
|coconut cream cake|