In January, the inevitable news hit that Gary Menes had bailed the Courtyard Brasserie at Palihouse, with Father's Office veteran Michael Bryant filling the void. The talented Menes would seem to be a nightmare act to follow, but Bryant has just launched a menu that is hard to ignore. No stranger to the farm, this Virginia-raised chef has a selection of plates that wouldn't look out of place at Animal, given the sly mutations on meat-centered North American cooking, along with a continued celebration of the produce-intensive plates that Menes is famous for. So, what will you be eating under chef Bryant?
Exotic and game meats first capture the eye. There are small plates with wild boar spare ribs under a maple bacon BBQ sauce and a Thai style alligator with sugar snap peas, cilantro, peanuts, and housemade XO, as well as entrees like Arkansas rabbit loin tagliatelle with sausage and confit legs, English peas, and rosemary jus. Greenies will veer towards a selection of salads like a deconstructed Nicoise and main dishes like a fresh ricotta ravioli with crispy sage, baby beets, pepitas, and ricotta salata. Charcuterie includes duck neck rillete and Iberico lomito and queso fundido is stocked with chorizo Bilbao.
It's an ingredient and meat lovers' dream of sharp sourcing, and an intelligent locavore gastro-pub menu. Now, will it be the blackened grouper with bacon scallion butter and mustard spatezle or grilled S.B. spot prawns with tangelo chili vinaigrette? It's already hard to pick one direction. But these are the good problems to have in life, right?
See Palihouse's full dinner menu online. [PDF]