Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The West End Deli (Photo by Susan Axelrod)
The West End Deli is moving, and a restaurant featuring Chinese dumplings is already under construction in its place. Chef Cara Stadler, who owns Tao Yuan in Brunswick (rated 4 1/2 stars by former Press Herald restaurant critic Nancy Heiser in January), confirmed today that the basement of the building at 133 Spring St. (owned by her parents, John and Cecile Stadler), is being excavated and the space will be reconfigured into a single-level restaurant. It is expected to open in April or May (and that small swath of Spring Street should go from sleepy to bustling, with Food Factory Miyake in the works just a few doors away).
In other news from Tao Yuan, persimmons, Brussels sprouts and celeriac have returned to the menu — while at the bar, pumpkin-infused bourbon is mixed into a Pumpkin Flip cocktail.
"Our pan-seared duck breast is now accompanied by caramelized fresh cranberries, pommes Dauphinoise and orange cranberry marmalade; we have stored up enough duck fat to have duck fat fries and whiskey compound butter with our Pu’Er tea smoked hanger steak; and a harvest of root vegetables and chilies flavor our Hunan spare ribs," the chef wrote in an email.
Stadler is also replacing her Wednesday Date Night menus with a nightly chef's tasting menu — 8-12 courses of the chef's choosing, enough so that everyone at the table can enjoy a tasting portion of each dish. The entire table must order the tasting menu, and the price is $45 per person, with a discounted price on Wednesdays.
Tao Yuan's next Dim Sum Sunday Brunch will be on Nov. 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.