After providing a brief history of Adam Burress, Chase Mucerino and their pair of popular restaurants, Hammerheads and Game, Marty Rosen gets down to describing his visit to the pair's newest venture with partner Eric Morris: Loop 22.
The space, once home to the Corner Door (and the Pink Door), has a casual, sophisticated look thanks to hardwood floors, brick arches, nicely spaced and appointed seating in multiple dining rooms, a welcoming bar space and an unpredictable but always interesting soundtrack that's been maintained at a judicious volume on our recent visits.
Rosen praises Loop 22's front-of-house service and "imaginative, well-executed cocktails," then dives in and describes his dishes:
Slow-cooked rotisserie-roasted chicken (half-chicken, $15; whole chicken, $21) and duck ($19, $35 — though it's worth noting we saw menu prices shifting from week to week on recent visits) come from the kitchen gleaming like bronze sculptures. There are few dishes more dramatic than this, and few things more satisfying than carving one of these birds and watching it come apart to reveal juicy, firm, fragrant meat that melts like butter in your mouth.
He also likes the appetizers:
Those appetizers tend to be pretty extravagant: duck livers fried in a crunchy batter, served with a subtle hot sauce and a pale, glimmering chicken veloute ($8); fritters stuffed with an oozing puree of minced vegetables and herbs, served with a truffle-tarragon sauce and a splash of basil oil ($8); or braised short rib spring rolls carved to a dramatic point and flavored with orange-ancho cream ($11).
Claiming his "notebook has been filling up with tidbits worth sharing," Robin Garr decides to "take a quick run through a trio of good eats reports," only two of which come close to being reviews. Garr takes his friend Anne to the "somewhat less frenzied environs" of Springhurst to visit the newest Papalinos NY Pizzeria:
In contrast with the mostly take-out, quick-service ambience of the Baxter shop, Papalino's Springhurst location is comfortable for leisurely, sit-down dining, with artful decor including old wood and stylish glass art. The bill of fare extends well beyond pizza to daily pasta specials, creamy burrata cheese ($10) and even a tempting artisan meat and cheese board. ($16).
His slice of "New York-style pie" wins approval:
I say "slice" in quotes because just one of these things – fully one-fourth of an entire 18-inch pizza – is as big as a whole lunch pie at most local pizzerias. Slices with Sheltowee Farm wild mushrooms and tangy marinated artichoke hearts on my pie and silvery fresh anchovies on Anne's made us happy, as did well-prepared house salad and mini-Caesar.
Garr then moves on to Mardi Gras with a wave at the Manneken Pis with praise for the Belgian Waffle at Selena's Restaurant at Willow Lake Tavern's Sunday brunch:
a filling treat, dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a ball of pecan butter, served with choice of cheesy hash-brown casserole or creamy grits. Add a few New Orleans-style beignets ($4) and strong coffee or a Bloody Mary ($4), and you've got a meal fit for a king of Mardi Gras.
For a final thought Garr notes the existence of an "After Party" for recently-closed local-produce distributor Grasshoppers, seeking to relieve debt for the organization's small-farm operators. [Voice-Tribune]
· Hammerheads owners satisfy diners with third restaurant, Loop 22 [Courier-Journal]
· Loop 22 [Facebook]
· Eats Potpourri: Papalino's, Selena's, and Grasshoppers' After Party [Voice-Tribune]
· Papalinos NY Pizzeria [Official Site]
· Selena's Restaurant at Willow Lake Tavern [Official Site]
· All Eater Week In Reviews [~ELOU~]