Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Longman & Eagle - Brunch
It has the name like an English Pub, but looks to me like what I think a modern western saloon would look like. It has a long hardwood bar, hardwood flooring, and wooden tables, chairs, and bar stools. Longman & Eagle even has rooms to stay at very reasonable rates. The main room looks like an old bar with a small open kitchen in one corner and a tremendous amount of liquor on the shelves behind the bar. While they have great beer and wine lists, the have one of the best whiskey lists in the city, including over 100 whiskeys, bourbons, scotches and ryes. While I am not a huge whiskey drinker, I do like the occasional scotch. I had been here once for lunch shortly after it opened and while I liked the service, I was really not impressed with the food. It seemed to have a lot of promise but the one dish I had had (a meatball sandwich with great meatballs, tomato, cheese and pesto but lousy bread) didn't cut it. From what I knew of the chef and the owners and the way the menu looked, I had to think that they were just suffering from opening jitters. Since that time, they have won several awards including GQ Best New Restaurant 2010, one of Esquire Magazine's 20 Best New Restaurants, and a Michelin star. I had been there since then and there had been times when I thought about eating there again, but things hadn't worked out until this last weekend. My brother joined me there for brunch.
Longman & Eagle does not take reservations and it gets pretty crowded on the weekend but there were a couple of places at the bar which also offers a full menu so we sat at the bar. I ordered the Fried Chicken and Waffles. The chicken was well fried and very juicy and the breading was very good. I got two thighs and a leg. The waffles were very crisp but softened nicely without getting mushy after adding the maple syrup which was served on the side. There was also a sweet potato and pork belly hash served between the chicken and waffles which was also very good. The sweetness of the pork belly and the sweet potatoes went well together as did the maple syrup. My brother got what was essentially mac and cheese but it was very good mac and cheese. It started with Orecchiete pasta used a combination of white cheddar, Fontina fonduta, and Gruyere for the cheese adds braised pork cheeks and is topped with bread crumbs. The pasta was very tender and the cheese sauce was heavenly. The pork cheeks just added to the flavor (It has a flavor similar to bacon) and the bread crumbs provide some variety to the texture. There was also a side salad that sort of served as a palate cleanser.
Longman & Eagle has redeemed themselves as I thought they would. The menu offers a wide variety on any given day and changes frequently and the prices are reasonable. While I have eaten here for the mid-day meal. I will have to come here sometime for dinner. Luckily it is close.