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  • Post #61 - February 6th, 2012, 11:25 am
    Post #61 - February 6th, 2012, 11:25 am Post #61 - February 6th, 2012, 11:25 am
    Khaopaat wrote:
    kl1191 wrote:the malt vinegar aioli that was served with them was quite unappetizing. I'm having trouble thinking of less appealing condiment in taste or appearance.

    Interesting. Did the aioli seem "off", or were you just not a fan? I loved the stuff, to the point that I actually ate all of my fries (which I generally don't do...I'm not a huge fry guy, especially after they cool down).


    Well, I'm typically fond of aiolis and indifferent to fine with malt vinegar, so I'd be inclined to say that this may have been "off". But, having no frame of reference it's difficult to be sure. It was just a slimy, semi-translucent white goo with a vague but unpleasant flavor that didn't enhance the fry-eating experience. I didn't delve too deeply into its intricacies.
  • Post #62 - February 6th, 2012, 9:37 pm
    Post #62 - February 6th, 2012, 9:37 pm Post #62 - February 6th, 2012, 9:37 pm
    I stopped in for a late dinner Saturday evening and all in all, very nice. I had the burger, medium rare, with a fried egg. The prep is really nice - chuck, brisket and short rib mix is great, and I appreciated how lightly packed the meat was. The burger was also perfectly cooked . . . the only issue was that the egg was a bit overcooked so not dripping as I would have liked, but I still liked the burger quite a bit. I'm not as huge a fan of grass fed burgers as others, but this was certainly one of the best I've tasted.

    I also thought the fries were excellent - one of the best versions of double fried potatoes I've had in Chicago, crisp on the outside, soft in the middle. And I loved the malt vinegar aioli. I had asked for malt vinegar for the fries before I realized that the aioli incorporated vinegar. Once I learned, it was all aioli for me and I never looked back.

    One of my friends had cassoulet (a special that night?). Now this was a chicken cassoulet (and chicken sausage IIRC). I was amazed how good a version of cassoulet this was . . . chicken, really? You would never have known from the richness of the dish.

    Service was a little slow, but to their credit and without us ever commenting, they were very nice to treat us to a complementary order of the chicken wings which I thought were quite tart and tasty.

    I'm glad I finally made it to O&E . . . now I look forward to returning to try a little more of the menu.
  • Post #63 - June 3rd, 2012, 4:49 pm
    Post #63 - June 3rd, 2012, 4:49 pm Post #63 - June 3rd, 2012, 4:49 pm
    Headed over to Owen & Engine for the first time today -- we had plans to see a movie at City North and I was in the mood to celebrate my loss of 15 lbs. So..how do you celebrate such a thing? By eating the best damn hamburger in the world. I swear to God, that burger is a miracle of beefy goodness. It was done perfectly medium on the side of rare, which is my kind of doneness and the caramelized onions and a tiny bit of mustard added by me -- made it the most luscious piece of meat I've had in over 2 months. We had a large party and everyone got the burger. We were all sitting there making yummy sounds of disbelief -- the burger is that good. Three of our friends came late and they all got bites and their faces literally changed when they did. It's a burger that makes you stop chewing just to savor the meat in your mouth.

    Loved the rest of what we ate too -- we shared the fruit plate and had one of their pull part yeast buns -- with cheddar and herb. Very delicious and I"m not just saying that because I haven't had any buttery bread in weeks. The fries that came with the burger were really outstanding -- I had to stop myself at about 1/3rd of them for dietary integrity. The malt aioli was great addition and unusual in this town of ketchup eaters.

    Everyone had a nice cocktail -- either one of the many delicious brews they have on tap or a brunchy cocktail. I had a take on the bellini with cava, lime and strawberry liqueur. It was really nicely balanced and not too sweet. A friend had their version of the Pimm's Cup and it was outstanding. The bloody mary is made a bit heftier by using a beef reduction with the tomato juice and my friend really enjoyed it. Coffee service was awesome -- plunger pots and beautiful delft cups and sauces and a tiny little piece of shortbread on the side. Delicious coffee too.

    Loved the atmosphere -- the service was great and friendly and nice in a lazy Sunday morning kind of way. They went out of their way to find a way to accommodate our larger party with very little time to do so.

    As the nominating thread for O&E suggested, if this place was in my neighborhood -- i'd be living there. I wish it was closer but it's definitely worth a trip over to that part of town. I'm a big fan.
  • Post #64 - June 4th, 2012, 7:46 am
    Post #64 - June 4th, 2012, 7:46 am Post #64 - June 4th, 2012, 7:46 am
    kl1191 wrote:
    Khaopaat wrote:
    kl1191 wrote:the malt vinegar aioli that was served with them was quite unappetizing. I'm having trouble thinking of less appealing condiment in taste or appearance.

    Interesting. Did the aioli seem "off", or were you just not a fan? I loved the stuff, to the point that I actually ate all of my fries (which I generally don't do...I'm not a huge fry guy, especially after they cool down).


    Well, I'm typically fond of aiolis and indifferent to fine with malt vinegar, so I'd be inclined to say that this may have been "off". But, having no frame of reference it's difficult to be sure. It was just a slimy, semi-translucent white goo with a vague but unpleasant flavor that didn't enhance the fry-eating experience. I didn't delve too deeply into its intricacies.

    Wanted to update that I tried the aioli again on a subsequent visit and the flavor was not at all disagreeable. So, I'd guess my initial reaction was to an "off" batch.
  • Post #65 - July 2nd, 2012, 11:06 am
    Post #65 - July 2nd, 2012, 11:06 am Post #65 - July 2nd, 2012, 11:06 am
    I stopped in here about 10 days ago because I had a hankering for the burger (they're back to Slagel beef now) and it was as great as ever. While we were waiting for our party to aggregate, the kitchen sent out a couple other items for us to try. One dish, mussels in an Indian-style butter sauce (think tika masala), was really terrific. Unlike the relatively neutral butter sauces served just about everywhere, this sauce had some real bite and spice to it. The plump mussels went very well with it.

    The other item that was sent out for us to try was a charcuterie plate, featuring several items exclusively made in house. We enjoyed all of these notably well-made items but the lamb bacon, lamb liver mousse and seasonal head cheese were my favorites. The head chese included some small pieces of seasonal vegetables that provided some great flavor and texture into the rich, unctuous head cheese. There are some real charcuterie chops in this kitchen, which I did not know before trying this plate out.

    I sometimes get a bit myopic when it comes to O&E, mainly heading over there once or twice a month when I'm in the mood for their awesome burger, and rarely ordering anything else. I was really glad they sent these plates out for us because I don't know that I ever would have tried these dishes if they hadn't. Now that I've tried them, I can definitely see ordering them on a regular basis. As great as the burgers, fries, fish & chips and wings are at O&E, there's some additional depth to the menu, too, which is very exciting.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #66 - July 2nd, 2012, 11:42 am
    Post #66 - July 2nd, 2012, 11:42 am Post #66 - July 2nd, 2012, 11:42 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I sometimes get a bit myopic when it comes to O&E, mainly heading over there once or twice a month when I'm in the mood for their awesome burger, and rarely ordering anything else. I was really glad they sent these plates out for us because I don't know that I ever would have tried these dishes if they hadn't. Now that I've tried them, I can definitely see ordering them on a regular basis. As great as the burgers, fries, fish & chips and wings are at O&E, there's some additional depth to the menu, too, which is very exciting.

    =R=


    I too have a hard time not ordering the burger every time I am in there, but have been forcing myself to eat other things there, and my wife as one who doesn't eat red meat tries a lot of different things. During Craft Beer Week they had a menu of dishes to be paired with 10oz beers, including a pork tenderloin saltimbocca terrine (they really are great at charcuterie) that was outstanding, my wife had a duck confit leg l'orange she loved, and another item we ordered was curry eggplant "fries" with a tzatziki sauce, also excellent. I enjoy the pickles as a snack when we're in there just for beers, and I also have had really good Cornish pasties there -- the pastry exterior is just right, flavorful filling (was lamb last time I had it along with the usual carrot and rutabaga typical to a pasty filling) that isn't always the case with pasties, and the piccalilli on the side had a really good curry bite. A few months ago they had a seafood stew my wife really liked.

    All in all, I really have found it hard to go wrong. But I still order the burger a lot, it's hard to resist.
  • Post #67 - January 19th, 2013, 5:27 pm
    Post #67 - January 19th, 2013, 5:27 pm Post #67 - January 19th, 2013, 5:27 pm
    I need "Hat Hammond" to give this rant the proper irritated heft, but I'm going to try to go it alone.

    I've been to Owen & Engine 3 or 4 times now. It's near one of my work sites, I love food, I love beer, you think I'd practically be LIVING there. They have a wonderful burger, and some of the best french fries I've ever eaten. So WHY do they serve those wonderful french fries wrapped in paper AND THEN STUFFED INTO A GLASS SO THAT THEY CAN IMMEDIATELY STEAM AND GET LIMP. I truly do not understand this service. I question it every time I eat there and get puzzled looks from the servers. They say they'll 'mention it to the kitchen'. I visit the place again a year or more later and the food is served the same way.

    Seriously, do not get it.

    Also don't get why you'd make wonderful fish & chips, carefully enrobing the fish in a light, crunchy batter, and then placing the fish on top of a puddle of pea puree which immediately makes the light, crunchy batter a soggy mess.

    The way these dishes get served makes me crazy.

    There. I feel better.

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #68 - January 19th, 2013, 5:54 pm
    Post #68 - January 19th, 2013, 5:54 pm Post #68 - January 19th, 2013, 5:54 pm
    Seems like this restaurant, at least for these dishes, is putting more weight on presentation of food than on actual enjoyment of food.

    I will have to visit O&E again and torque myself into a fuming rage on this very matter.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #69 - January 19th, 2013, 6:09 pm
    Post #69 - January 19th, 2013, 6:09 pm Post #69 - January 19th, 2013, 6:09 pm
    The first thing I do when the burger and fries is set down in front of me is dump the fries out of the glass and on to the plate, salvaging any remaining crispness. That said, the burger is so good that I can overlook the form-over-function fry presentation...

    -Dan
  • Post #70 - January 20th, 2013, 9:31 am
    Post #70 - January 20th, 2013, 9:31 am Post #70 - January 20th, 2013, 9:31 am
    Giovanna wrote:Also don't get why you'd make wonderful fish & chips, carefully enrobing the fish in a light, crunchy batter, and then placing the fish on top of a puddle of pea puree which immediately makes the light, crunchy batter a soggy mess.


    It's the way they serve fish and chips in England. See at 0:23
    http://youtu.be/sfrGaTV217g
  • Post #71 - January 28th, 2013, 7:17 pm
    Post #71 - January 28th, 2013, 7:17 pm Post #71 - January 28th, 2013, 7:17 pm
    dansch wrote:The first thing I do when the burger and fries is set down in front of me is dump the fries out of the glass and on to the plate, salvaging any remaining crispness. That said, the burger is so good that I can overlook the form-over-function fry presentation...

    -Dan


    I also immediately dump them onto the plate . . . and with one simple act avoid the need for any ranting. :)

    In England I thought one of the traditional "to-go" methods of packing an order at a chip shop was wrapping it all up in paper - which I would think would also "steam" the chips (and the fish, obviously). Maybe not?
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #72 - January 28th, 2013, 7:50 pm
    Post #72 - January 28th, 2013, 7:50 pm Post #72 - January 28th, 2013, 7:50 pm
    Kman wrote:
    dansch wrote:The first thing I do when the burger and fries is set down in front of me is dump the fries out of the glass and on to the plate, salvaging any remaining crispness. That said, the burger is so good that I can overlook the form-over-function fry presentation...

    -Dan


    I also immediately dump them onto the plate . . . and with one simple act avoid the need for any ranting. :)

    In England I thought one of the traditional "to-go" methods of packing an order at a chip shop was wrapping it all up in paper - which I would think would also "steam" the chips (and the fish, obviously). Maybe not?


    In newspaper, to be specific - usually the Sun or the Mirror, although whether for the greater absorbency of the paper they were printed on or simply for their wide availability I don't know. Crispness was not particularly sought after, and in the case of the chips at least wouldn't have survived the ritual bath in malt vinegar anyway.
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #73 - January 28th, 2013, 10:10 pm
    Post #73 - January 28th, 2013, 10:10 pm Post #73 - January 28th, 2013, 10:10 pm
    Roger Ramjet wrote:Crispness was not particularly sought after, and in the case of the chips at least wouldn't have survived the ritual bath in malt vinegar anyway.


    Nope, chips are not supposed to be crispy. They are also a lot chunkier than what is offered at O&E, which are probably better described as fries.

    Given the passing similarities between chips and fries, I'd imagine it's quite difficult to 'tune' chips for a US audience. Between this thread and one elsewhere populated by Brits, I've heard both sides complain about O&E's rendition (from opposite directions!)


    P.S. Chips
    Image
  • Post #74 - October 11th, 2013, 8:23 am
    Post #74 - October 11th, 2013, 8:23 am Post #74 - October 11th, 2013, 8:23 am
    I just wanted to give some love to one of my favorite places in the city. I had some friends from out of town visiting and we were looking for some place to get good food and drinks at 10PM on a Thursday night. Owen and Engine ended up being the perfect choice.

    When we arrived the dining room was busy but not crowded. We were seated right away, ordered a couple pints of beer and a round of burgers, all rare. The beer selection at O&E is really remarkable and the lines are impeccably clean. I had the Dogfish Punkin which has been sold out at my usual beer stores, so I was glad I could get a pint. My friend, a former Chicago resident, got to try a couple offerings from the recently opened Solemn Oath. I was only up for one beer last night, but I was excited to see the Ayinger Oktoberfest on tap as well. This is easily one of the best curated tap lists in the city. The burgers came out exactly as ordered, perfectly seared on the outside and juicy and pink on the inside. On a brisk October evening, I don't know what can top a juicy pub burger and an imperial pint of fresh beer.
  • Post #75 - August 22nd, 2014, 1:32 pm
    Post #75 - August 22nd, 2014, 1:32 pm Post #75 - August 22nd, 2014, 1:32 pm
    Dragged Mr. X over to Owen & Engine for dinner last night. Poor guy, I make him do so many difficult things. We shared a scotch egg and a pot of pickles. Loved the variety of vegetables in the pickles -- jicama, beet, cauliflower, mushrooms, turnip, fennel, radish and cucumbers. The scotch egg was also tasty. Mr. X's burger was great, especially with the addition of aged cheddar. I had their take on a lamb gyro. From the menu: lamb gyro, naan, tzatziki, crispy red onion, marinated cucumber, feta, arugula, roasted pepita. The "gyro" reminded me more like a kefta kebob, not slices of meat. Great flavors throughout, although a touch on the over-salted side. We shared the seasonal tartlet (blueberry) with sweet corn ice cream and fried corn silk for dessert. We were both hoping for more with the corn silk -- a wisp of crispy corn silk would have been awesome -- but it wasn't earth shattering. The tartlet and ice cream were delicious, but not really together. It worked out -- I ate the ice cream and Mr. X got the rest of my tartlet. Service was excellent.

    O&E is definitely one to keep in the quiver.
    -Mary
  • Post #76 - August 22nd, 2014, 1:59 pm
    Post #76 - August 22nd, 2014, 1:59 pm Post #76 - August 22nd, 2014, 1:59 pm
    I first visited Owen & Engine a few weeks ago (we are in the process of moving nearby) and quickly fell in love with the place. We have been dropping in 1-2x per week (whenever we are in the area checking on the construction) and always leave happy. The staff here is so friendly and I just love the warm vibe. The food has really impressed me; on par quality wise with many restaurants charging quite a bit more. The burger I find up there with Au Cheval for my favorite in the city. Another item on the menu that I have really been impressed by is the Lapsang Souchong Creme Brulee; the smoked cherries impart such an interesting, amazing flavor. There is also something that lends a savory component to the dish, a pork like flavor that really marries perfectly with the sweetness. This dish is fantastic and quite possibly my favorite dessert I have consumed in Chicago this past year - and second only to Milk n Honey in NYC's The NoMad for best overall this year. At O&E's Sunday brunch I particularly like the steel cut oatmeal risotto; a very rich, hearty dish with the addition of the confit pork and the poached egg. The mustard glazed pretzel with a delicious cheese sauce makes for the perfect snack while sitting up to the bar for a drink or two. I have a feeling I will be here quite a bit when we move to the area this fall and am really excited about exploring more of the menu.
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #77 - August 23rd, 2014, 4:29 pm
    Post #77 - August 23rd, 2014, 4:29 pm Post #77 - August 23rd, 2014, 4:29 pm
    retzie wrote:
    Roger Ramjet wrote:Crispness was not particularly sought after, and in the case of the chips at least wouldn't have survived the ritual bath in malt vinegar anyway.


    Nope, chips are not supposed to be crispy. They are also a lot chunkier than what is offered at O&E, which are probably better described as fries.

    Given the passing similarities between chips and fries, I'd imagine it's quite difficult to 'tune' chips for a US audience. Between this thread and one elsewhere populated by Brits, I've heard both sides complain about O&E's rendition (from opposite directions!)

    What kind of potato would they use for English chips in England? Probably not an Idaho Russet Burbank. :wink: I still remember how delicious the fries were at O&E - and I don't mind a mix of crispy and soft so I left them in the glass. In this case, the flavor was the winning factor. Now if they could just ditch that awful housemade ketchup (I don't mind the malt vinegar aioli but it's not my favorite). I swear I might have to bring some Heinz in. And I don't care what the food snob police says. Just because it's "housemade" doesn't mean it's better every single time. :roll:
  • Post #78 - August 23rd, 2014, 4:40 pm
    Post #78 - August 23rd, 2014, 4:40 pm Post #78 - August 23rd, 2014, 4:40 pm
    Ram4 wrote:Now if they could just ditch that awful housemade ketchup (I don't mind the malt vinegar aioli but it's not my favorite). I swear I might have to bring some Heinz in. And I don't care what the food snob police says. Just because it's "housemade" doesn't mean it's better every single time. :roll:

    Read this now iconic piece. I promise you'll feel vindicated.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #79 - August 23rd, 2014, 6:03 pm
    Post #79 - August 23rd, 2014, 6:03 pm Post #79 - August 23rd, 2014, 6:03 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Ram4 wrote:Now if they could just ditch that awful housemade ketchup (I don't mind the malt vinegar aioli but it's not my favorite). I swear I might have to bring some Heinz in. And I don't care what the food snob police says. Just because it's "housemade" doesn't mean it's better every single time. :roll:

    Read this now iconic piece. I promise you'll feel vindicated.

    =R=


    Have loved this article.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #80 - October 23rd, 2014, 10:28 pm
    Post #80 - October 23rd, 2014, 10:28 pm Post #80 - October 23rd, 2014, 10:28 pm
    Stopped in at Owen & Engine for a beer tonight and wound up having a full meal (excellent as always). Of note we learned that they have officially rolled out a tasting menu; there is both a five and nine course option and both include beer pairings for each course. I forgot the price on the five course, but the nine is $110 per/person (again this includes not just the food, but the beer pairing as well). The menu looks amazing and thoughtful; lots of luxurious ingredients and interesting courses - i.e. one features a rabbit loin stuffed with foie & black truffle mousse with shaved Burgundy truffles. Definitely plan to return soon to experience this. Of note the tasting menu has to be reserved in advance, at least for now.
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #81 - October 24th, 2014, 8:01 am
    Post #81 - October 24th, 2014, 8:01 am Post #81 - October 24th, 2014, 8:01 am
    We should do that together, Gonzo. Let me know if you're up for it.
    "People are too busy in these times to care about good food. We used to spend months working over a bonne-femme sauce, trying to determine just the right proportions of paprika and fresh forest mushrooms to use." -Karoly Gundel, Blue Trout and Black Truffles: The Peregrinations of an Epicure, Joseph Wechsberg, 1954.
  • Post #82 - October 24th, 2014, 8:28 am
    Post #82 - October 24th, 2014, 8:28 am Post #82 - October 24th, 2014, 8:28 am
    That is very exciting news.
  • Post #83 - October 24th, 2014, 11:52 am
    Post #83 - October 24th, 2014, 11:52 am Post #83 - October 24th, 2014, 11:52 am
    Yep, also had a delicious meal here very recently.

    Mustard Glazed Soft PRETZEL Welsh Rarebit
    Image

    Roasted BONE MARROW Seedling Farms Strawberry Bacon Jam, Worcestershire Nut Butter, Brioche
    Image

    SCOTCH EGG Stout Mustard
    Image

    Slagel Farm Beef BURGER Caramelised Onion, House Potato Bap, Chips
    Image

    The tasting menu is only offered Thurs-Sun I believe, and they prefer you make reservations if you choose this option.

    Prix Fixe Menu
    Image
    Click for larger version
  • Post #84 - November 4th, 2014, 9:57 pm
    Post #84 - November 4th, 2014, 9:57 pm Post #84 - November 4th, 2014, 9:57 pm
    Thanks, Incite, for sparing me the effort of uploading the tasting menu with this post; barring a few beers, the fare was substantially the same as we see in that image.

    While I hoped to be served an Owen & Engine slider, topped with fois gras and a single slice of black truffle, under a mound edible dirt that I must root through like a sow to find - and really, I'd eat that - the menu's a marked departure from the gastropubbery that the restaurant is famous for. Ignorant of the menu and with no real justification for my prejudices, I half-expected a thoroughly enervating survey of challenging animal preparations, but the cookery was hella classical, and reminiscent of the detail-obsessed bravura Marco Pierre White exhibited when he cooked for his old chefs on BBC. Looking at the menu, I see that White's quoted right at the top, so perhaps that gives the game away. I regret taking very few photographs, but the striking beauty - and occasional fussiness - of Fowler's plates is better served by someone who doesn't keep candy wrappers in the same pocket as one's cell phone.

    I ate with three companions on Thursday, and have, alas! waited too long; I'm left with mostly favorable impressions, and it's the few missteps - an accidentally overseasoned crepinette and the weirdly conceptual marrow gelee dish that reminded me of seventies sci-fi in general and Zardoz in specific - that remain vividly in my mind. The rest just sort of folds into a song half-remembered yet beloved, where some fragments - an accent here, an accident there - create something bigger and more meaningful than the song as a whole, if that makes sense. Which probably isn't very helpful on a forum about dining out in Chicago, so...

    The cold smoked oyster, thanks to a lifelong aversion and maybe possibly nascent allergy to the bugs and quivering masses of the sea, was probably the first I'd eaten (I'd had oysters before, but never raw, cold or, ahem, clammy). It wasn't as brackish as I feared it would be. Indeed, as one might laud caviar or high-end sushi for Tasting Like the Sea, this oyster Tasted Like the Lake, and that was a welcome flashback to a childhood spent swimming in quarries and reservoirs until I had to get tubes.

    Things just went up from there - a scallop and caviar thing looked like a blackberry parfait and, yes, fine, Tasted Like the Sea, complementing the surprising astringency of the Allagash Dubbel, and a marvelous rack of frenched (Frenched?) rabbit ribs stood like an aeolian harp over fois gras and truffle-stuffed medallions of rabbit.

    It went a little awry with the unexpectedly subtle beef consomme with edible flowers, a tasty crouton and puffed, toasted barley. It wasn't bad, but was so incongruous visually and on the palate, it seemed like it came from some other, overdesigned meal.

    That was the only underwhelming part on the menu; everything after that went from strength to strength, from delicately prepared turbot to a wonderfully composed venison tartar offering to an arguable show-stopper: squash and pumpkin gnudi in a butternut puree, its sweetness tempered and accentuated by vividly orange, tart squash blossoms. A week on, and this is the dish I really remember, my mouth puckering even as I recount the meal.

    The big finish followed, and Fowler really swung for the benches with it: the gorgeously-presented pheasant and "edible dirt" under a sugar cage that really evoked Marco Pierre White for me:

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7yfiHduSbE#t=8m28s[/youtube]

    The pheasant and pudding and mushroom dirt, guys, holy crap, but the crepinette, only one of many components on this meticulously composed plate, was overpoweringly salty. It's rare that I'll criticize my food to my server, but it was so aggressively seasoned in the midst of an otherwise subtle meal, it seemed like a mistake. Our server returned minutes later to say that the crepinette had indeed been seasoned twice in error, but our plates were practically licked clean by then; there was plenty of beer to wash it all down.

    Desserts were lovely and had swell pairings, but I'm more of a savory guy. The pairings differed from those in Incite's photo, but were uniformly excellent, selected and presented by a cicerone with an obvious affinity for beer and food. Our server was unfailingly friendly and informative; I really couldn't have asked for a better meal.

    [Edit: how could I forget the bread services, especially the second one: a perfect komodo claw of cornmeal, crunchy outside and pillowy within, slathered with my share and then some of schmaltz butter?]

    So, some serious eating's going on at Owen and Engine, these days. They've quietly rolled out a refined tasting menu that's among the best meals I've had in recent memory, and it's all the more remarkable that there isn't a class of wine or cocktail in sight (though I'm sure they can accommodate most diners), and I say, bravo to that. I'm totally going back for the tasting menu, and I may not even wait for it to change. I might try asking for that slider under a mound of porcini dirt, too.
  • Post #85 - November 5th, 2014, 8:52 am
    Post #85 - November 5th, 2014, 8:52 am Post #85 - November 5th, 2014, 8:52 am
    Thanks for the thoughtful description; am very excited to partake. Fortunately I do not have to wait too long; Royal and I (and a couple others) are heading there this weekend for the tasting menu.
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #86 - November 5th, 2014, 9:12 am
    Post #86 - November 5th, 2014, 9:12 am Post #86 - November 5th, 2014, 9:12 am
    We had dinner there last Saturday and I'll concur. Went with 4 people and share 8 starters and small plates (no main courses), everything was excellent, they really nailed it.

    Particularly good was the fried quail with deep fried chicken livers, served with biscuits and gravy ha - it was as decadent and delicious as it sounds.
  • Post #87 - November 9th, 2014, 12:09 pm
    Post #87 - November 9th, 2014, 12:09 pm Post #87 - November 9th, 2014, 12:09 pm
    I really enjoyed the tasting menu last night. Four of the courses I thought were outstanding; the rabbit stuffed with foie accompanied by shaved black truffles and a truffle emulsion, also accompanied by tiny rack of rabbit was among the ten best courses I have consumed this year. Smelled and looked amazing when delivered and tasted even better. Sequence wise the courses had a nice progression, but I would have flipped the tartare course (served late) with the rabbit course (served early).

    When I first went to Owen & Engine (not too long ago) I was expecting upscale pub fare, but the meal last night ascended far beyond that. Luxurious ingredients (truffle, caviar, foie, turbot etc.) that were beautifully plated, thoughtful, at times whimsical and often complex. A couple courses were even Alinea-esque in the presentation, but the meal has a nice balance of modern and rustic. Definitely more akin to what one would expect from a venue such as TRU than from a pub. While I did not love every single course, there were no major flaws I observed in the execution and not a single course was a dud. At $110 (including pairings) this is an incredible bargain. I also enjoyed some of the creativity; the crouton in the salad course was made from a brewery's spent grains - cool concept but wow, it tasted fantastic.

    The meal was very rich and there was a lot of food; a total of nine courses, an amuse, mignardises and a couple different breads served at different intervals between courses. Each course was also paired with a beer; I thought the pairings were generally spot on but do find beer more filling than wine - so definitely was already feeling stuffed by the time the cheese course arrived.

    Service was extremely friendly (consistent with what I have experienced during my previous visits); I love the staff there. While the meal was quite sophisticated and definitely qualified for fine dining, service is more casual and not nearly as polished as what is generally encountered at fine dining - which is completely fine with me and was to be expected. The staff was excited about the new tasting menu, knowledgeable about the courses and pairings and really warm and genuine; I'll take that over polished, formal service any day.

    Probably the only negative was the pace of service; there were some lengthy gaps between some of the courses and the entire meal ended up lasting approximately four and one quarter hours. Granted it was a busy Saturday night and the tasting menu is new, so a leisurely meal was to be expected, but hopefully as they gain experience the pace will become a bit more rapid.

    Overall I was extremely satisfied with the meal and am keeping my fingers crossed that Owen & Engine is the recipient of a Michelin star on Tuesday; based on my past few meals there they are definitely deserving.
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #88 - March 7th, 2016, 1:40 pm
    Post #88 - March 7th, 2016, 1:40 pm Post #88 - March 7th, 2016, 1:40 pm
    Did not realize it had been nearly a year and a half since posting regarding the tasting menu.

    Went to O&E the other week and, of course, had their fantastic burger again. Our server had no idea what I was talking about when I asked about the tasting menu so...

    Owen & Engine no longer serves their tasting menu.
  • Post #89 - April 1st, 2016, 8:14 am
    Post #89 - April 1st, 2016, 8:14 am Post #89 - April 1st, 2016, 8:14 am
    O&E used to be one of our go-to spots when we lived in the city. We returned last night after a several years' hiatus. While the prices have gone up, the food was as good as ever.

    We started with a scotch egg, with a wonderfully runny soft boiled egg and flavorful sausage. The pigs head pasty, with its butter crust, was the surprise of the evening. The accompanying curried pickles (almost like an Indian chow chow) and arugula made for a delicious plate. The dish also included a nicely done fruit chutney.

    Burgers and fries were great (although I must admit to perhaps elevating them a bit in my memory such that there was no way the real deal could be as good as expected). Burgers, with the caramelized onion topping, were cooked rare and super-juicy. Fries stayed crisp after being dumped out of the glass containers.

    I've never had anything but good, knowledgeable service at O&E and last night's service was on. The beer list continues to be interesting and our server was able to easily answer questions.

    O&E is also ideal if you're looking for a spot close to the Kennedy. We didn't have a lot of time for dinner, so knowing O&E's just a few minutes off the highway and that we could park for $2 in the nearby theater garage, made it a good option for a quick weeknight dinner.

    Ronna
    Last edited by REB on April 3rd, 2016, 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #90 - April 2nd, 2016, 9:26 am
    Post #90 - April 2nd, 2016, 9:26 am Post #90 - April 2nd, 2016, 9:26 am
    Something that hasn't been mentioned here - when the wife and I were in last week for drinks and snacks the bartender told us about their new cheese board. All the cheeses are made in house. That includes 'easier' items to make like fresh ricotta and goat cheese but also a 2 month aged cheddar.

    All pretty good, and hopefully a sign of more adventurous things to come.

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