Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Concept: The theme is "All-American rock and roll" and its design "screams Americana," Kaltsounis said. It's geared to be draw both older diners and families (plus lunch customers) as well as the more typical Montford Drive customer (which I define as younger, drinking more than they eat and arriving a little later than diners usually do).
Food: After travels to cities from Detroit to Austin, the group chose Mexican fare. Chef is Phil Okey, whose experience in the area ranges from Mac's to Sullivan's. Look for street tacos, burrito-style wraps and individual proteins served several ways: Seared ahi tuna, for example, with a chipotle orange miso glaze, would come as a taco (with Asian slaw and avocado), a wrap (with slaw and avocado plus greens, pumpkin seeds and horseradish) or as a Maverick salad (on greens with jicama, mango, red onions and avocado, with serrano-apple vinaigrette). Other proteins might include chicken stewed with adobo and chile-rubbed pork. There'll be entree plates, too, along with guacamoles, ceviches, wings and more (Mexican-spiced popcorn free at the bar?), plus desserts from the group's pastry wizard, Frank Kaltsounis. And tequila flights, and specialty salts. Prices will average about $7-$8 for lunch specials, $12-$13 for dinner entrees.
Decor: Look for an enormous American flag of reclaimed wood as a focal point, a back wall that sports vinyl records (think music store), reclaimed brick (from a New York fire station), and an eventual Phase 2 construction that will create a wrapped balcony.
Music: Plans call for live music at least twice a week and "Smitty" spinning classic rock and roll on Saturday nights. Kaltsounis says they aim at a 50-50 blend: 50 percent recognizable music, and the other half "up and coming." Maybe a mariachi band sometimes ... The feel will be "very Ace Hotel meets the Breslin." (The latter was called "Hogwarts for hipsters" by the New York Times' Sam Sifton, in case you haven't yet clicked the links.)
Posted by Helen Schwab at 11:13 AM