If David Chang’s recent article on the best seat in a restaurant in GQ magazine should strike a chord with anyone, it would be right now with the folks at Pullman. “The bar is where it’s at..” he starts his second paragraph, ending with “America’s best restaurants are only just starting to catch on”. If that’s the case, consider the newest restaurant to hit the area on the list.
It’s hard to miss the line of bar seating as you approach the new diner. The entry way provides an exhibit-like viewing of patrons as you approach the front door, showing off the tiny white tiles and intimate tables of twos- and four-somes. The vintage bar stools grab your attention as you walk in, not because it’s a birds eye view of the rail liquors, but it’s clearly where the action takes place. Friendly bartenders, fires flaming in the background, sprinkling of mystery ingredients, all right before your eyes like a magic show.
I took a seat alone at first, and can’t say I was offput by the multitude of greetings and questions to provide me what I was looking for. A cocktail? Beer list? Chocolate bread pudding with bananas foster topping? Yes, all of the above. My fellow foodie adventurist arrived, and we took a closer seat from which to berate the chef with questions and oogle the cheeseburger.
While we didn’t sample the menu extensively, in a short tasting I became hooked on their Rusty Nail’s (get it?), and the Quick Eats section of the menu. Bread & butter pickles, spanish cauliflower, and just the site of the Pullman Burger. Not to mention the vat of sriracha pickled asparagus for the bloody mary’s brewing on the stove that I considered taking a straw too.
The Chef de Cuisine, Sepehr, had ideas pouring out as quickly as he was putting dishes out to serve. And between the promise of three-day ramen, special korean chicken dishes and the perfected broasted chicken, plus watching them scoop homemade ice cream onto desserts, I could barely drag myself off the barstool. (Wait, that may have been the cocktails, too).
Alas, two hours later, I gathered my coat and peaked curiosity, and headed into the cold where I promptly made plans to go back as soon as I could. What’s next? Don’t ask twice: Croque Madame, Tiny But Mighty Popcorn and Roasted Marrow Bones with a little Hoosier Pie for good measure.