Chef Jeff Axline and FOH guru Shepard Ross have reunited at Brooklyn Athletic Club, the Montrose restaurant and adult playground (bocce and croquet) that replaced Zimm's Little Deck in Montrose. Ross and Axline worked together previously at Glass Wall and helped Lance Fegen launch gastropub BRC before Axline left for a stint in Austin. He's back and serving the same kicked up comfort food found at Glass Wall and BRC. Although it only opened the week after Christmas, a group of food writers and bloggers have already been in to check it out; here's the mostly good news from a few first tastes of Brooklyn Athletic Club.
The It's a mini country club in a fun way news: "It's like someone created a tiny, unpretentious country club and smacked it down in the middle of Houston." ...This is how I found myself attempting to explain Brooklyn Athletic Club to my mother the day after I'd dined at the new restaurant on Richmond for the first time .... I stick by the description .... And despite an incongruity at its surface, the idea of Brooklyn Athletic Club --solid, semi-upscale tavern fare and a breezy country club vibe -- works very well so far. [Eating Our Words]
The What's Up With the Name News: Eater National's Raphael Brion points out that Brooklyn themed restaurants have become something of a national trend recently. Also, there isn't an actual place in Brooklyn, NY named the Brooklyn Athletic Club. [Eater National]
The Jeff Axline is happy to be home news: In this profile, Axline discusses his favorite hidden gem and his love for the Texans. Take that, Austin. [29-95]
The try the porkobuco news: "Interrogated about his cooking last night, Axline said something about Global New American. But of course, if you're going to put that much comfort on any plate, you have to keep coming "home" to the Italian countryside. Thus we have Exhibit A: Porkobuco. The spin/pun on osso buco may be odd or clever or silly, but there's nothing anything but great about a braised pork shank turning up with roasted Brussels sprouts and mushrooms, a potato-bacon hash, pecans and grapefruit gremolata. And yes, this being braising, there's a fair amount of red wine involved." [Delicious Mischief]
The Bad News: Despite being BAC's foursquare mayor, Irena didn't like the service, writing "You probably won't get the best service unless you're pretentious. I don't know if I'm coming back after the end of the evening last night." [Foursquare]
The Yelpers Like It News: So far, BAC has only received four and five star reviews on Yelp with Axline's mac and cheese receiving strong praise. [Yelp]
The Food Porn News: No words about the experience from blogger Matt Chow, but he did post a Facebook gallery of images from a lunch that looks to have sampled half the menu. The shot of the porkobuco on a fork is practically NSFW. [Facebook]