Cask & Barrel, which is replacing Enotria's Wine Bar, is scheduled to open on Thursday.
The kitchen will be run by Chef Gabriel Glasier and pastry chef Kristel Flores. The duo, who are coincidentally engaged, had previously provided the bites for the most recent iteration of Enotria, and have run a successful catering business, Chef and Baker. The event space at Enotria remains.
I was invited to a very soft opening on Friday night. The waiter described their concept as southern comfort fine dining. I thought it was closer to a modern, upscale BBQ restaurant.
The menu is separated into three regions - Bites (appetizers, ~$10), Shares (side dishes, ~$7) and Smoke (entrees, ~$13 for a half pound). Because it was a preview, they asked that in exchange for a comped meal, we would provide detailed written feedback. Others who ate there that night were Michael Passmore from Passmore Ranch and the provider of their catfish and sturgeon.
I won't write a detailed review, but I'll note a couple of the highlights of the evening.
Cast Iron Corn Bread ($5) was easily the best corn bread I've ever had. I think the key to their preparation is flipping it at the end so the crunchy bottom is served on top. Our party of 4 all agreed that the corn bread was one of the stars of the evening.
Short Ribs ($16 for a half pound) and Pork Spare Ribs ($12 for a half pound). The chef stopped by to explain that the preparation for his BBQ includes at least 7 hours of smoking and 72 hours sous vide.
Bourbon Hot Sauce. It's not really a menu item, but a sauce that the chef makes in house from his own stash of pickled peppers. It's amazing and approachable for all, not just fans of hot sauce.
If you've been to Enotria Wine Bar, you'll recognize the interior of Cask and Barrel. The only thing that's really changed is the addition of a large, bar-height communal table for 8 or 10 in the middle of the room.
It's clear that Chef Glasier works very hard on his craft and his presentation. Like most BBQ places, you get way too much food, so go with friends so you can share and taste. I can't wait to go back.
Full Disclosure: The menu didn't include prices, but according to the online menu, the comped portion of the meal was approx $125 for our party of 4. I left a $75 tip, but what I paid didn't equal what we got.
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