This 100-plus-seat European contemporary restaurant on a strip best known for its tiny, one note bars is a study in juxtapositions. The wooden bar is propped up with scrap steel rescued from the building's former life as a garage, and its foot rail is supported by pistons. The coat rack's humanoid feet – cobblers' lasts – stand on freshly honed cement flooring. Even the chandelier features reclaimed walnut tendrils dripping with Swarovski crystals. Credit the Brothers Dressler (brought on board by interior designer Roy Banse) for these distinctive features, along with the potted ivy that will soon colonize the sterile white walls, if it doesn't somehow make its way onto the menu first.
Owner/chef Paul Boehmer's career has been devoted to bringing food from the farm to the fine dining table and – like the Dresslers – favours all things local. While his ever-changing menu caters to carnivores (with the pan-seared foie gras, $22, one of Bohmer's only constants), he'll improvise vegetarian entrees based on fresh ingredients ready at hand. Cocktails are similarly imaginative, so skip the pricey Creemore pints ($8) and try the Buck and Breck ($12): Martini & Rossi prosecco poured into a sugar-coated flute of Courvoisier and absinthe. It looks like beer yet feels flightily fizzy. – By Mike Doherty
Photography by Finn O'Hara
As featured in our Guide 2010 issue