This location has been flagged as "Closed".
CLOSED. Chef and punk rocker James Toland's restaurant and bar in the former May Street Market space.

Our Review

Those prone to eye rolling will nurse headaches at all the rock-and-roll posturing at chef and punk rocker James Toland new restaurant and bar. The two dining rooms situated behind the distressed rust exterior of the old May Street Market are dimly lit by tube amp fixtures that provide plenty of light on Vincent Grech's manipulated silk screens of classic punk artists and albums but not much on the artfully plated food. One evening beverage consultant Michael Simon (formerly of Graham Elliot), dressed like a member of the Schutzstaffel, introduced himself as the "sheriff of Boozetown." Even my first bite in the restaurant—an amuse bouche of charred redfish collar with Thai chile vinaigrette—seemed like a gratuitous albeit tasty hello and fuck you to the tongue. But then a server poured a spiral of tart sour-cherry sauce onto a pool of cool, creamy English pea soup. It was phenomenally good, as was the simple Caesar salad riff of sunflower sprouts so fresh they gave off their own light, a long cool noodle of Parmesan gelee, corn-bread croutons, and egg and anchovy powder. Toland's Mushroom Feast is an ornate arrangement of seven different species, including pickled morels, steaklike abalone, and shimejis somehow mimicking the flavor of tiny raisins, the whole thing dusted with porcini powder and crowned with a chip assuming the form of a fungal chiccharone. His snails tossed with bread crumbs and sauteed with Chartreuse are a restrained study in licorice flavors, accompanied with an anise-scented scoop of porridge, apple-fennel sauce, and shaved fennel. Juicy chicken thigh is reassembled in a crispy cylinder of meat set on a lake of pureed bacon and dotted with drops of liquid brussels sprouts, and fingers of smoked eel are glazed with a syrup made from the Austrian ice wine trochenberry and paired with globes of candied compressed melon and raisin puree. Desserts by Sarah Jordan (ex Blackbird) match Toland's ambition, particularly the cigars of St-Germaine sorbet wrapped in icy blueberry sheaths, and her smoked—yes, risen in a smoker—beignets, with pearls of pickled apple, gooey malt semifreddo, and sour beer caramel. Even the sheriff of Boozetown has interesting things to say, with a cocktail list that leans sweet but incorporates interesting signature ingredients—house-made mint soda in the Chartreuse-based Hulk Smash, a coriander-flavored ice cube that chills the mezcal old-fashioned, a Sazerac sweetened with juniper-infused demerara syrup. The recently debuted late-night menu displays an appealingly black sense of humor, featuring a half head of cauliflower cooked sous vide then sauteed in butter, sitting brainlike atop a gory-looking bed of charred tomatoes and almonds. Memo to Toland: we get it, dude. You rock. Just don't give up your night job. 

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa


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