Hungry westsiders, have no fear: despite this week's sudden departure of controversial chef Morgan Brownlow—who parted ways with John Gorham's Tasty n Alder before dinner service got off the ground—the new West End eatery is still poised to master the p.m. menu. Here are five dishes that all but promise a shiny future for the convivial, candle-lit space (with or without a leading man).
1. Bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp cocktail: Leave it to Gorham to single-handedly reinvent a standard steakhouse side with a simple but genius spin. Instead of the standard cold pink curls atop a ketchup-y jarred sauce, this take on the classic comes with three smoky jumbo shrimp (kept moist by a cozy wrap of thinly-sliced pork) atop a freshly chopped tomato sauce and a hearty dose of sinus-clearing horseradish.
2. House-smoked trout board: Flakes of tender smoked fish are served alongside a six-minute egg, fresh celery salad, pickled beets, and a thick and creamy yogurt dill sauce for a bit of Scandinavian flair—a colorful counterpoint to the menu’s heavier dishes.
3. Baked spinach, steakhouse-style with cream, house-cured bacon, and a touch of Herbsaint for a delicate note of anise. The meat may be the star of the show here, but veggies still get their due (again, with the ever-reliable help of pork).
4. 14-day dry aged rib eye a la plancha: A deliciously marbled Niman Ranch steak gets hit with a two-week vacation before a hot and heavy sear on the flattop grill, resulting in a flavorful plate of well-crusted, über-beefy beef. Served sliced and ready to share, if you’re nice.
5. Duck Duck Fries: That’s crispy, duck fat-fried potatoes with a sunny-side up duck egg dripping yolky goodness over everything. Trust me, you want this in your mouth.
Top that meal off with a “Grown-Ass” boozy milkshake from former Ox barman Jamal Hassan and you’re good to go. Like the spot's popular brunch service, dinner is served family-style, and dishes fly out of the kitchen without regard to conventional notions of dinner courses. That means an unadorned plate of meat will often come out before the shrimp cocktail and sides, but with steaks as good as these, you shouldn’t mind giving them your undivided attention.
Tasty n Alder dinner service won't officially launch until February 20th, but rumor has it if you stop by Wednesday through Sunday after 5:30, you won't be turned away.
Tasty n Alder
580 SW 12th Ave.