In search of the perfect BLT.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 11, 2010 by The Owl House

There aren’t a great deal of words to describe what we’re all feeling right now. We’ve been grateful enough to receive an insane amount of business since opening last Friday, and we look forward to doing everything we can to get you all to return.

The full dinner menu has been put on hold as of now, as a safeguard of sorts to remain a fully functioning, manageable kitchen, with the ability to push out as much high quality and flavorful food as it is possible.

Although from my perspective, it is a slight setback to hold off on the additional dinner entree menu, I’ve been finding inner peace with the ways in which we’ve been treating the current menu. Each item was thoughtfully and meticulously planned out for the right balance of flavors, textures, colors, and even plating designs. Even to myself, this seems a little bit “out there,” sometimes, but it’s completely true.

A friend of ours recently commented on our facebook page about our BLT. Something to the extent of, “Best BLT ever.” And yes, that meant the world. As with all of our other dishes, each item on that BLT has been doctored in some way to really make something that seems so basic not basic, something so common not common.
We’ve sourced the best baker in the city to supply our bread. We’ve sourced incredible ingredients from wonderful small produce companies and local farmers for our veg. We’ve slowly roasted our tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. We’ve roasted absurd amounts of garlic for hours in slow simmering olive oil, just to mash the hell out of it, and spread it on both sides of crunchy and chewy toasted bread. We’ve added handfuls of fresh, sweet, and fragrant basil into the mix, brightening up an otherwise straightforward lunch staple. We’ve glazed our applewood smoked bacon with sweet wildflower honey to add yet another set of layers to the savory smokey sandwich, and not to mention we’ve created options for the dish to be completely vegan by adding the ability to substitute a smokey salty tempeh in exchange for that pork bacon. We also cook each version of the dish on entirely separate flat top griddles, to ensure the lack of cross contamination of meat and vegetarian foods.

This is just we’ve been doing to our BLT. You can’t believe what we do to those tacos.

Very soon we’ll be trying out some new things for ya’all, even though I bet the menu is pretty damn new for you already.

Tomorrow, we’ll begin with an entree or two, and a few dinner appetizers as well. I’ve got some amazing Nantucket sea scallops on the way, as well as a planned vegan phyllo roulade with caper marinara and grilled lemon, and some rainbow trout to boot.

We look forward to your continued company. Whether it be for an amazing Victory lager, refreshing Ginger Mint Julep, or simply a crunchy, sweet and savory BLT.

-Brian

Wow.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 3, 2010 by The Owl House

The Owl House will be open to the public as of 6 pm, Friday, August 6th. We’ll be serving dinner Friday through Sunday, closing Monday, and beginning our normal business hours starting on Tuesday, August 10th. Seriously, thank you so much for your patience and continued interest in our restaurant. We look forward to sharing our food, drink, and passion with you.

-The Owl House

Seeing the Light

Posted in Renovations on July 3, 2010 by The Owl House

Hung out under the new patio lights tonight; they look absolutely GORGEOUS! Thanks to our friend J.R. for executing the operation (and taking this beautiful photo!) – we couldn’t have done it without you, bud. Sitting outside, surrounded by the gardens and warm light, I finally had the feeling that the end of renovations is in sight and the beginning of what we’ve been working so hard to create is near.

Some friends from Boston are in town for the holiday, and other friends have been popping into town over the past few weekends, so we’ve gotten pretty good at the “nickel tour.” It’s helpful to recognize our progress as we show each room and recount the renovations: “In the basement, we excavated three feet down and built a stairway to access our custom walk-in cooler that will hold all of the awesome beers and food we will offer,” etc. etc.

During our normal crazy workdays, I only see what’s left to do and what we didn’t finish, but when we show our friends, I see how far we’ve really come. I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished and can’t wait until we open our doors to the public. So soon. It’s going to feel amazing!

-Ando

Even closer!

Posted in Liquor on July 2, 2010 by The Owl House

AMAZING NEWS today – our check to the New York State Liquor Authority was cashed!!! We are very close to getting our liquor license, meaning we’re even closer to opening!!! FINALLY. What a huge relief!

Little ones.

Posted in Menu on June 16, 2010 by The Owl House

For those of you who have yet to see it, we’ve been participating in a dialogue with parents and the general public about redesigning menus geared towards children. The link below takes you to the blog of Christina Le Beau, an incredible writer with an incredible blog about children and their relationship with the food they eat. Read the blog, check the responses, and please, add your two cents.

-B

http://spoonfedblog.net/2010/06/14/hate-childrens-menusheres-your-chance-to-help-create-a-better-one/

Food Smoking, 101.

Posted in Kitchen on June 8, 2010 by The Owl House

A cohesive, hands on approach to learning how to gently smoke a wide array of foods, lessons on controlling the amount of smoke, controlling the internal temperature of the chamber, the general technique on how to properly smoke. Food smoking, 101. I wish I knew where to take that class.

Instead, we’re learning on the fly, and not bad, thus far.
Here’s a brief summary of what we’ve tried, and our results.

1. Tomatoes – Gently roasted, allowing for skins to peel away. Subtle smokiness. Future plans including smoking large batches for a Smoked Tomato Bisque, Smoked Tomato Vinaigrette, and more.

2. Fresh Mozzarella – Temperature inside the chamber was too hot, so the mozz. began to melt, but not before we imparted a gentle smoky flavor to them. If we can regulate the temperature to remain much lower, this will be a huge success.

3. Salmon – Salmon was held in a salt, sugar, and a maras pepper brine (maras pepper sent to me, courtesy of my old boss @ The Channel Cafe in Boston). Salmon was great. Maintained high moisture content, flavor was great, overall, a success.

4. Tofu – Our marinated tofu was awesome. Simple marinade, sliced, and thrown on the smoker over hickory for a few hours. Seriously, great.

5. Top Round Beef – Thinly sliced and marinated it savory Moroccan spices, we achieved greatness. House-made, quick smoked jerky. Spicy, a bit salty, delicious. A few tweeks on timing, and we’ll have a new addition to our bar snack menu.

6. Cheddar – A total flop. The temperature was much too hot for the cheese. A melty, oily mess. Damn.

We’ve got plenty of more wood to burn, and countless ideas for foods to smoke. Advice, comments, questions? We look forward to hearing from you.
-B

Mmmm, Paint Chips…

Posted in Renovations on April 14, 2010 by The Owl House

Paint chips sound delicious, especially when they’re named Dill Pickle, Black Bean Soup and Rosemary Sprig. Hmmm, I think we’ve just come up with our first special: “Black bean soup with dill pickle foam and fried rosemary sprig garnish.” Heh heh heh, no.

Today we chose the final contenders for our interior paint colors. What do you think?

Red choices for downstairs (the bar):

Greens options for upstairs (the dining room):

“Black Bean Soup” for the trim throughout:

We’ll be using gold accents on light fixtures, mirrors, etc. We’re entertaining some different & exciting ideas (A black ceiling! Strange light fixtures that double as plant holders!). Can’t wait for construction to end so we can get started.

Thanks to Whitney Tesler and Robin at True Value Hardware in Brighton for their assistance with this process. It’s fun but overwhelming – so many ideas to consider!

-Ando & Jeff

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