Friday, September 26, 2008
Ellis Opens in South(est) Slope - or is it Greenwood Heights?
Or maybe it's Sunset Park? Well, it's within a pleasant enough walk or a quick bus ride from Sunset, so it counts. Besides, they invited us to a sampling of food and drink. You KNOW that deserves a looksee - and tasting.
Although Ellis just opened officially, it has had its doors open to the community for a month or so. It already has several reviews on Yelp.com. It seems like Ellis wants to become a true hangout in the neighborhood. Its calendar features Sunday's "Cheap Wings and Football" and Tuesdays advertise "Canned Beer and Pub Quiz Night." Can't beat that with a stick. Their Mondays sound especially enticing to a cheapskate like me: "Recession Special" - $8 buys you chili & bread with a Rolling Rock on the side. If the chili is any good, it rivals Steinhof's $6 Goulasch.
So the night they had various "press" over for dinner, they served a variety of their Southwestern fare. A highlight was the Rattlesnake skewer in a citrus and garlic marinade. Vanessa, the BViB correspondent who went to the dinner, said it was "surprisingly tasty" and it reminded her of a cut of excellent steak. It was bony, however, and the chef explained that this rattlesnake was from Florida, not Texas, so it was smaller and therefore not de-boned. Ellis usually serves Texas rattlesnake, which is de-boned, but the hurricane had affected the rattlesnake farms. The white bean soup with bacon was also good, and the catfish was tasty as well. The one dinner disappointment for Vanessa was the chicken (a sampling of chipotle, cilantro lime pesto, and red pepper). She described it as mediocre. However, the Sopapilla (Navajo fry bread) with honey and powdered sugar was "phenomenal." Worth a trip in itself!
Drink-wise, Vanessa tried the jalapeno caipirinha and a berry margarita. She warns that they pack a punch - which is exactly where most people want their cocktails to be. Vanessa also gushed that the service was excellent, and the staff was friendly and attentive. Southwest artwork decorates the walls, and together with the dark wood, it makes for a traditional, comfortable eating bar venue.
Vanessa and her husband had a fantastic time and truly enjoyed the food and drinks. She also said that she would definitely return and recommend Ellis to people she likes. Always a good sign.
Brunch has been postponed for a month or so, and high chairs have been promised in about the same amount of time. These are things I love. Is there anything better than a Southwestern brunch with a high-chair?
This is the rattlesnake, and the photo at the top of the post is the sweet and salty fry bread. Both were favorites the night Vanessa went. Photos courtesy of Ellis.