Duck Breast, brussels sprouts, pistachio and kumquats ($26)
I had to try the Duck Breast ($26) three separate times before confirming that the amazing first taste I had wasn't just a fluke. It's incredibly tender with a rich texture that melts on your tongue in a wash of duckiness—like the kobe beef of duck. It's pan-roasted to a rosy medium-rare, the crisp skin melting into the meat, which has been brined with burnt citrus and spices, a move which accentuates the duck's natural gaminess. The breast is nestled among seared brussels sprouts tossed with candied kumquat rinds. Duck and citrus have never been happier together.
Cozy and warm, yet refined and elegant enough that I'd be happy calling this my neighborhood hangout spot or special date-night material.
Whiskey bread, with cultured butter ($5)
An exceptionally buttery and crisp version of classic Irish whiskey bread, it eats like a giant biscuit, hot enough to melt the cultured butter you'll want to slather on.
The Second Year ($10)
Old Overholt rye, Cynar, and Punt E Mes form the base of this strong, stirred cocktail sweetened with a touch of honey syrup.
Bok Choy, cauliflower, grapefruit and whipped feta ($10)
Anyone who's eaten Wylie Dufresne's food at wd~50 knows that he's a master of ingredients, using flavors that sound odd on paper but are brought together so masterfully that you could be convinced that chocolate, black beans, and soy have always gone together. Hilbert's combinations are a little more traditional, but a salad of raw Bok Choy ($10) with grapefruit and whipped feta reads like the world's most interesting Caesar salad on the palate. It's a break from convention that feels totally natural.
Bitter Truth ($10)
The bitter on bitter on bitter triple hit of Aperol, grapefruit, and a splash of Fernet Branca are tempered nicely by fresh lime juice and a touch of sweetness in this Plymouth gin-based cocktail.
A Couple of Chefs
Sous Chef Owen Clark (29, on left) and Executive Chef Justin Hillbert (32, on right). The two first met while working under Alex Stupak (Empellón) and Wylie Dufresne at wd-50. Clark then went on to Sous-Chef at Blue Hill for two years while Hilbert spent a year at Mugaritz in Spain. The two teamed up again to open Gwynnett Street.
Coconut, malt, barley and pomegranate ($9)
A thick-yet-light coconut dessert somewhere between a panna cotta and a mousse. It gets drizzled with pomegranate molasses and covered with fresh pomegranate seeds and coconut powder.