Thursday, March 21, 2013

Trenchermen - Brunch

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a trencherman as someone who enjoys eating and drinking in excess.  It was a much more common term around the turn of the 20th century which makes it an appropriate name for a restaurant in a vintage building.  Trenchermen (the restaurant) is actually located in the former Russian bathhouse that was the former location of the restaurant, Spring, a restaurant that I really liked, so I was pretty familiar with the space.  The space is divided into two rooms, one room is primarily the bar and the other is the dining area.  This is actually the same as the former restaurant.  They did however, change the design radically by enlarging the bar and removing the drywall that had been covering the bath house walls.  The space has a decidedly vintage feel to it (to go with the name), and it is also carried through the typeface used.  Trenchermen is actually run by two chef brothers whose resumes include Blackbird, The Signature Room, and Three Floyd's Brewpub.  I have tried their food before and really liked it.  They seemed to have a handle on hearty and savory fare and I was excited to see them opening Trenchermen.  Even if I have not been here for dinner, I am confident that it is very good and it is on my short list to visit for dinner.  I recently visited for brunch which while not as inherently obvious as dinner that it would be very good, reviews have said that it featured one of the best brunches in the city so I was excited to go.  When I go for brunch, I try to try both sweet and savory dishes.  My starter here was actually both sweet and savory.  It was a Pretzel Cinnamon Roll with Pretzel Streusel.  It looked like a cinnamon roll but the roll seemed to have been made from pretzel dough.  There was cinnamon between the rolls and sugar and salt on the top.  The roll was crispy and flaky and while not squishy soft as a regular cinnamon roll might be expected to be, it did have a nice give to it after crunching through the outer crust. 

Many brunch places that serve cocktails will have bloody marys, screwdrivers, mimosas, and frequently, Prosecco.  Trenchermen has a complete list of cocktails that are different from those served for dinner and there was one that sounded pretty good to me so I had to try it.  It was called a Funky Chicken and it was a combination of Rye, Lemon Jam, and 3 Floyd's Gumballhead Wheat Ale.  It was served like a Mexican Lollipop meaning that the edge of the glass was coated with Cayenne Pepper as well as being topped with Cayenne Pepper.  While I wasn't crazy about how cloudy it was, wheat beers are cloudy so I could give it a pass.  The drink was tart, sweet, and a little oaky and the cayenne pepper added a nice spicy touch. 

There were several things on the menu that really looked good so it took some thought and asking the waiter questions before I decided on the Potato Basket.  This was made of Potato Skin Tuille (a thin crisp cookie/cracker made of potato skin) that were braided together to form a basket.  The basket was filled with Potato Puree (mashed potatoes), Mole Breakfast Sausage, Arugula, and a Poached Farm Egg.  This was rich, savory, a little spicy, and very good.  The basket was like a basket of braided potato chips, the potato puree was very creamy, the sausage was a very good and spicy breakfast sausage, and the egg was poached to perfect firmness.

For my brunch dessert, I went with something on which I had tried many variations.  I had a Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with a Salted Almond Granola and Tangerines and Grapefruit.  The panna cotta was very creamy.  Panna cotta is supposed to be creamy but I think that this is actually creamier than most of the other panna cottas that I have had.  The granola was nutty, salty, and sweet and provided a good counterpoint to the creaminess of the panna cotta.  The tangerines and grapefruit were complementary to both the panna cotta and the granola.  The tartness of the fruit matched well with the tartness of the yogurt and also provided a good counterpoint to the sweetness of the granola.  Any two of the items in this would have worked well together but all three together made the dish that much better.

There is a reason that Trencherman was recently rated one of the top brunch places in town.  The food is creative and hearty in a beautiful vintage space.  I really enjoyed my brunch here and it has actually got me looking forward to dinner here whenever that may occur.

No comments:

Post a Comment