The Inn a welcome respite for downtown diners

Part fine dining, part neighborhood pub

Most of the straightforward, meat-heavy entrées are value-priced at less than $20, but there is a grass-fed rib eye for those seeking a $32 splurge. I'm a fan of the Strip Club's version, which is also from Thousand Hills Cattle Company, but this one disappointed. The steak's flavor was robust, but it arrived at the table so well rested it was cool to the touch. I had better luck with the beef short ribs with farina (Americans know it as Cream of Wheat) and the pork "handle steak," or bone-in loin chop, with a thick, steaky texture and a side of simmered apple cubes.

Nelson modeled his chicken dish after a cream-poached pheasant he used to make at La Belle Vie, and the tender, slow-cooked bird marries nicely with a mustard-flecked crème fraiche. Be sure to add a vegetable side to round things out. The gussied-up turnip puree could edge mashed potatoes out of any holiday spread.

The Inn's fish and chips comes with a side of mild curry sauce, which is traditional in some parts of Europe but less palatable than tartar sauce to those who haven't developed a taste for it. The fried potatoes are dusted with powdered malt vinegar—think salt and vinegar potato chips—that succeeds in keeping the chips from getting soggy. But if you like seafood, be sure to ask about the day's fish special. One night the kitchen offered a lovely plate of five scallops laced with thyme brown butter for just $20.

Beyond pub grub: The roasted red and yellow pepper plate
Tony Nelson
Beyond pub grub: The roasted red and yellow pepper plate

Culinary concepts aren't complicated at the Inn, but the cooking tends to be as consistent as the friendly hospitality. The $18 burger is the rare outlier: While the grass-fed beef patty and soft egg on an English muffin make an interesting evening riff on a Benedict, the thick slather of foie gras seems misused. The foie's delicacy gets lost as it melts into a livery mush between the beef and bread, serving little more function than to boost the price.

The Inn's dessert list is also something of a missed opportunity. There are just a few items provided by Salty Tart, but the ones I tried, including the dry, Guinness-infused chocolate cake, weren't as good as some of the sweets I've had at the bakery. Still, the Inn offers a nice spread and a more personal touch than most downtown eateries. Though if you need a place to lay your head at the end of the night, you'll have to walk down the street to the Hilton.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...