Oak + Char recently which I had previously known as Graham Elliot. Starting with the outside, the face of the building is the same which is to be expected, but there has been a serving window added to the front to serve the patio that has been added to the sidewalk. The sign for the restaurant hangs over the sidewalk as well vice being mounted on the building. The entrance to the restaurant is essentially the same and the desk is in the same place. The room is black and very open as I remember Graham Elliot to be, but I believe they added a private dining area. The ceiling is unfinished as it was at Graham Elliot, but there have been some odd puffy light shades? (I'm not sure what to call them) added around the lights that kind of reminded me of clouds. I am not sure where the bar was at Graham Elliot, but at Oak and Char, it is large and sits along one of the side walls close to the serving window. There is a half wall with banquette seating facing the bar which kind of separates the bar area from the restaurant. Other than the fact that the bar is there, there really is no difference between the bar and the restaurant, the menu is the same on both sides of the wall and the people seated at tables are served by restaurant servers. I was seated at a table in the bar area because the hostess thought that I might get better service there. Looking at the menu, I saw that they had a nice selection of house cocktails. While I was interested in them, I went on National IPA Day, so I decided to look at their beer list which was also pretty good. They had two IPAs on tap and two bottles. I decided to go with one from Solemn Oath Brewery, a Belgian IPA creatively named Butterfly Bandanna while I was perusing the food menu. They claim to be a very Midwestern gastropub, but I saw many international influences in different combinations on the menu. I guess that is truly what the definition of American food is, taking ethnic cuisine and using it in new and different combinations. The midwestern comes in, I guess from the farms where they receive their produce. My first dish was the perfect example of fusion cuisine. I had Bacalao (Portuguese) Wontons (Chinese) with Aleppo Chile (Turkish) and Farm Honey (Midwestern). Bacalao is dried salt cod. It was flaky, tender, and very flavorful in the crispy won tons. The aleppo was added to the honey, so when the won tons were dipped into the honey there was a flavor explosion of sweet and salty with a slow burning finish. I really liked these and looked forward to the rest of my meal.
During my dinner, I must have looked thirsty, because they brought me a second beer before I had finished my first and without my ordering it. What was nice was that it didn't show up on my bill. Other than the lighting treatments, which I thought looked a little weird, I liked the space, and the service and food were very good. When I return, I will have to bring at least one other person, because in addition to the single serving plates, they have a section of the menu called Chef's Boards which serve 2 to 4 people, all of which looked really good.