Downtown is abuzz with new restaurants, and one in particular has caught my fancy. Cask & Ale opened about four months ago on Main Street, and it was time for me to get in, sip some top-shelf bourbon, whiskey and craft cocktails, and, well, dive into the elevated gastropub fare.
While Cask & Ale's current menu is going to change a bit, the hit at this place is its Saturday and Sunday brunch. Make no mistake about it: this place has serious eats.
Start with a "beerlini," made with honey cream ale, raspberry ice and smoked peaches. Creative and refreshing, it might also be the perfect little hangover remedy.
Now to the food--and get ready, it is rich and darn impressive. The ricotta pancakes ($10) are some of the fluffiest I've yet to try, served with seeded honey syrup, spiced rum curd and lime whipped cream. Warning: you cannot eat just one and if you are a table of four, get an order to split as well as some other options.
The cold smoked salmon tartine nailed it with smashed avocado, two poached eggs and dill onion relish on grilled bread with an incredibly executed hollandaise sauce ($14).
Next up: a nod to the chef's time with Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans, eggs sardou. Not for the feign of heart, this indulgent dish marries creamed spinach with tempura artichokes, braised short rib, two poached eggs and that creamy fresh hollandaise that I just want to bathe in.
My Israeli food craving was satisfied with the shaksuka ($13), a traditional dish compried of three shirred eggs with roasted pepper-tomato sugo, Za’atar spiced pita bread for dipping and a hint of cilantro. It's spicy and a wake-up for the taste buds.
Along with the Bloody Mary selections and other craft cocktails, Cask & Ale offers bottomless Mimosas for $12. There's live music on most weekends.
For those seeking a lighter option, I do suggest any of the salads--and I've already begged the Cask & Ale crew to get their awesome double burger on the brunch menu.
Clearly Cask & Ale is a welcome, polished bright spot on the downtown dining scene, and I look forward to trying the new dinner menu soon.