Bank & Bourbon in Philadelphia blends classic mid-century architecture with a comfortable, relaxed decor.
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Birth Announcements: May 2014

Juliet Glass - May 2014

PHILADELPHIA
April marks the debut of Bank & Bourbon in The Loews Philadelphia hotel (replacing SoleFood), a 250 seat tribute to the winning combination of classic American foods and Bourbon. Located in the historic PSFS Building, the top-to-bottom renovation of the dining room plays up original architectural details (exposing pipes and beams overhead), while tufted leather banquettes and wood flooring underscore the comfortable masculine vibe. SoleFood’s chef Thomas Harkins stays on as executive chef, and Brian Bevilacqua oversees the beverage program, including the in-house Bourbon barrel-aging program. Apps ($8 to $14): chicken liver duck parfait with boozy grapes and brioche toast; roasted baby carrots with yogurt, chipotle pepper, local honey, pistachios, and toasted quinoa. Mains ($24 to $30): grilled salmon with sweet potatoes, spring vegetables, and morel vinaigrette; lamb plate of roasted loin, crisped belly, sausage, carrots, and peas. Desserts ($7 to $10): six-layer German chocolate cake with coconut, pecans, and Bourbon sauce; goat’s milk cheese parfait with macerated blueberries and lemon cookies.

AUSTIN, TEXAS
In February, chef Mark Schmidt, who made a name for himself at the much-missed Café 909, opened a pub-inspired endeavor, the 120 seat Blackbird and Henry (3016 Guadalupe Street). The polished, yet cozy, setting has salvaged antique brick walls, a concrete bar, and plenty of wood accents. Schmidt’s menu features Café 909 favorites alongside dishes inspired by his British upbringing and world travels. Apps ($6 to $14): warm savoy cabbage salad with bacon, endive, and Maytag Blue cheese; cockle and black pudding risotto. Mains ($12 to $30): griddled Texas flounder with flageolets, escarole, country ham, and coddled farm egg; char-grilled rib eye steak “909” with buttery mash, poblano chile sofrito, and pickled red onions. Desserts ($6 to $9): sticky toffee pudding; Texas honey junket (honey-sweetened milk pudding with salty, spicy peanut brittle).

SEATTLE
Ethan and Angela Stowell added a steak-frites focused eatery to their impressive roster with the February launch of Red Cow at 1423 34th Avenue. Seating 35 in the dining room and 20 in the bar, the stripped-down space has a neutral color scheme, exposed concrete walls, and zinc-clad bar and tabletops. Chef Thom Koschwanez was previously a sous chef at Central Michel Richard (Washington, D.C.) before joining Ethan Stowell Restaurants. Apps ($8 to $18): lamb tongue with potato/frisée salad and mustard dressing; salt cod with toast and watercress salad. Mains ($18 to $38): choice of five steak cuts with frites and selection of sauces or compound butters; arctic char with lentilles du Puy and ham hock. Desserts ($8 to $10): pear/frangipane tart with crème fraîche ice cream; profiteroles with coffee/butternut ice cream and chocolate sauce.

SAN FRANCISCO
Teague Moriarty and Matt McNamara, chef/owners of Sons & Daughters and Sweet Woodruff, unveiled their third endeavor in March, The Square. Located in the former home of historic Washington Square Bar & Grill (1707 Powell Street), the 90 seater stays true to its predecessor, casting itself as a comfortable neighborhood gathering place. The original coppertop bar fits right in with the redesign by Debbie McNamara, Matt’s mom: a mix of communal tables, leather banquettes, and exposed brick. Apps ($7 to $14): asparagus with speck and whipped whey; pastrami-spiced rillettes with caraway toast and mustard. Mains ($16 to $69): roasted whole Dungeness crab with romesco sauce and grilled bread; barley risotto with green garlic and maitake mushrooms. Desserts ($9): rhubarb/pistachio galette with ice cream; rum baba with lemon curd, yogurt, and oats.

Edited by Juliet Glass. Send news to JulietGlass@gmail.com.