Kensington Quarters Is Making Some Changes
There was always something weird about Kensington Quarters. For a place so focused on meat–with its whole-animals and in-house butchers and deli cases full of prime cuts–it was always strange that the kitchen didn’t have a proper steak on the menu.
And actually, that’s not even true. There were steaks on the menu. They were run as specials and appeared on the Sunday Steak Nights menu. But on the main a la carte board? Not so much. And yes, it was always a little odd.
Thing is, it’s only weird until you give it a minute’s thought. When you’re doing whole-animal butchery (as KQ did), you quickly come to understand that a cow isn’t an endless string of perfect 8oz petite filets. It’s more like a jigsaw puzzle made up of a few filets, a few t-bones and porterhouses and other prime cuts, some ribs, some flank, and then a whole lot of other stuff (tails and tongues and whatnot) in between. In other words, it’s tough to keep a NY Strip on the menu when a cow only has so many of them, and all the other parts need to sell, too, before you move onto the next animal.
But now, this is changing. Whereas the front-half retail butcher shop always did good business, the back-half restaurant was just killing it, night after night. And owner Michael Pasquarello has now made the decision that he’s going to close the walk-in retail butcher’s counter, add a small wall to the space and, in the process, come up with 14 more seats for the restaurant.
Couple things to note here: First, this does not mean that you’re out of luck if you’re a big fan of the butchering done at KQ. The crew will still be doing in-house butchery, same as always. They’re still going to be providing meat for their sister restaurants (like Cafe Lift, Bufad and Prohibition Taproom) and to some other restaurants around town (like Martha, and the new Cake Life Bake Shop location). And they’re still going to be taking custom orders over the phone (with 24 hours notice) from regular customers. Further, they’re still going to be selling some of the most popular deli items (like their scrapple, bacon and pastrami). So really, all that’s going away is the walk-up deli cases. It’s really more of a physical and operational change than anything.
Second, all of this is going to be done fast. As in, all the work ought to be done by this weekend.
Finally, nothing else about Kensington Quarters is going to be changing. Except for the fact that there will be a little more space and a few more seats. Oh, and also maybe a few more steaks on the regular menu because chef Damon Menapace has already said that he’s looking forward to having more cuts of meat to work with on the main menu, and more opportunities when it comes to charcuterie.
Kensington Quarters [f8b8z]