A nod to discovery and adventureEat This! Thursday, August 18th, 2016
“Butch” apologized for being late. “I overslept,” he explained.
I didn’t mind. He was only fashionably late and I was sitting at the wood slab bar sipping an Orderville India Pale Ale (IPA) ($7) while soaking in the ambience of One Door North. The high-ceilinged space, with a nod to discovery and adventure, has an outdoorsy “industrial lite” vibe: exposed brick walls, canvas tents shielding tables along one side, large windows opening to the street, grey and tan accents. Butch joined me at the bar and ordered A Beer Named Sue ($6).
The light-bodied IPA, 6.8 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), is a bright golden pour with apricot and peach on the nose, caramel and lemon zest on the palate and a spicy lingering finish. The clear amber medium-bodied Common Ale, 5.5 percent ABV, is minty and woodsy with a deep malty flavor.
The menu focuses on salads, small plates, pizza and traditional entrées prepared with fresh locally sourced ingredients. We began with Butter Leaf Lettuce Salad ($12) and Housemade Sliders ($12). The salad is a wonderful combination of textures and flavors – lightly bitter greens are tossed with earthy heirloom beets, pickled shallots and sweet mandarin orange segments, dressed in a delicate fennel vinaigrette. Bites of smooth tangy farmer’s cheese complete the presentation. The “chef’s whimsy” sliders are thick slices of green tomato dusted with panko crumbs and fried to a golden brown crunchiness topped by an untidy egg salad made with mustard, mayonnaise, capers and minced tarragon. Tasty, yes, but I’m not certain the plate fully realized the chef’s whimsical vision.
Butch switched to a Grapefruit Solis Double IPA ($7) and I ordered a glass of 2013 Cultivar Cabernet Sauvignon ($13) to complement our entrées. Mike Hess’ IPA, 7.5 percent ABV, is chockablock with real grapefruit zest for a dry, crisp and refreshing pour with lots of citrus and subtle malts. Deeply satisfying. The lush heavy-bodied wine is redolent with ripe dark fruits, and features dusty notes of elegant oak and vanilla on the finish. Sturdy tannins stand up well for a thoroughly engaging pour.
The pan seared Halibut ($24) is a 10 oz. portion of perfectly prepared flakey opaque fish, topped by a sauce vierge of chopped cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice and basil, served with a heavenly sweet corn and white bean succotash. Plate-licking good. The succulent medium-rare Aspen Ridge Flat Iron Steak ($24), with a good smokey sear, is topped by a green garlic salsa verde – like a pesto made with tarragon and anchovy paste, and served with grilled asparagus spears and fluffy mashed potatoes. A rib-sticking dish with a pronounced presence of black pepper in the profile.
Greg, our well-versed cute-as-a-button server, tempted us with desserts: a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich, or a fruit cobbler served with vanilla ice cream or a decadent S’mores Bar with toasted marshmallows and graham cracker crust ($9 each). Butch and I resisted the temptation however, truth is we hadn’t saved room, and paid our bill.
Executive Chef and co-owner Fred Piehl helms the kitchens of sister restaurants One Door North and The Smoking Goat. His farm-to-table ethic and Le Cordon Bleu Paris training guarantees guests will have a praise-worthy and memorable dining experience. One Door North has been open a few short months, but has already burnished North Park’s foodie credentials. Eat this, hungry readers. You’ll be glad you did.
One Door North
3422 30th Street
Mon.-Sun. 5-10 p.m.
Fri., Sat. 5-11 p.m.
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