Adam Erace reviews Red Owl Tavern, the restaurant at the base of the Hotel Monaco. Inside he finds some hits, though not without fault.
“I’m going back to basics,” Tellez says, and if basics means magenta fettuccine tinted with pickled beet juice, I’m down. Flipped with beet cream, greens, royal trumpet mushrooms and specks of pork belly, the al dente pink pasta resonated with an earthy sweetness more subtle than its electric hue would suggest. More beets graced the house pickle plate, a jar of sweet, cold, cider-brined veggies (rutabaga, carrots, green and wax beans among them) paired with savory, room-temp eggplant spread and brittle fennel-and-cumin lavash crackers. Also pickled: lamb’s tongue. Tellez slices the muscle into meltingly tender petals, then drapes them over trenches of jellied beef marrow glistening in seared and roasted canoe-cut bones, the MVP of Red Owl’s menu.
Photo by Neal Santos