I had dinner at The Partisan with my girlfriend Katie on 4-26-2017. What a lovely evening! The staff was friendly and the Chef de Cuisine was exceedingly so. It was a warm, welcoming experience with delicious food to boot!
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5
Food & Drink: 4 out of 5
The restaurant shares a space with Red Apron Butcher, which you can see on the right when you walk in the front door.
In the back is this stunning bar area that seems like it would be great for private party. The combination of the lighting, the bottles on shelves up to the ceiling, and the dark red patterned wall made for a very dramatic effect.
But what really set this place apart was the service. Our server was very kind and patient, walking us through the menu and answering all of our questions. When she realized I was going to use the menu to write a blog post she even brought me extras to make sure I had one to take home. Between cocktail, dinner, charcuterie, and dessert I ended up with six menus. #BloggerProblems.
Onto the main event…
Out of Step (Barr Hill gin, Sibona camomilla, elderflower liqueur, lemon, saffron bitters). This definitely tasted like gin but was mellowed by the elderflower. Plus you know I’m a sucker for a coupe.
Staff favorites charcuterie board left to right:
Thai basil lomo (cured pork, ginger, kaffir lime, jalapeno). This was buttery and delicious. It didn’t really taste like basil but it did taste like a very mild prosciutto.
Eva Peron (cotto style salami, fernet branca infused). This was yummy, like a super light salami.
Four chili (Calabrian, arbol, cayenne, Korean chile). This smelled really spicy but was actually much milder than expected.
Speck (cured pork loin, all spice, juniper, coriander). This may have been my favorite of the meats. It was like a delicious, vinegary prosciutto.
Wild boar pate (apricots, white wine, pine nuts, coriander). This was fantastic. Think of the most delicious pate you’ve ever had without an overwhelming liver flavor. I should have gotten some at Red Apron to take home.
The cutest accouterments to the charcuterie.
Asparagus (pickled ramps, prosciutto, Pecorino sardo). Well pickled ramps are the best thing ever. They were garlicky and initially quite vinegary but that dissipated quickly for a pretty mild finish. That made way for the almost lemon flavor of the perfectly grilled asparagus. This was probably the best asparagus I’ve ever had.
Grilled octopus (cremini mushroom panzanella, sauce salvitxada). The sauce was fantastic, at first somewhat tomato forward but with the most amazing bacon finish. The bread in the panzanella was like the world’s best garlic bread: super buttery, soft, and lightly toasted. The octopus was good and had almost a Marsala flavor.
Bacon cured spare ribs (pork fat glaze, apple & celery root slaw). These had a good flavor but my first few bites were quite tough. As I moved across they got more tender, though, and regardless tasted really good. I liked slaw as well.
Beef fat fries (roasted garlic, rosemary, ranch aioli). BEST. FRIES. EVER. I mean, ever ever. They were the perfect flavor and each one was consistently that perfect flavor. You could taste the salt, the rosemary, and the garlic in every bite. The actual roasted cloves of garlic were amazing.
At this point I asked if the chef was in and if so, whether he could sign my guide and/or take a picture. The server told me that the Chef de Cuisine Aaron Schmude was there and took my guide to him. Once signed, he brought it back to me himself and took pictures. He then chatted with us for a bit and actually came out again to check in. It was really sincere and kind.
Japanese eggplant (walnut hummus, chili-labneh, za’atar, radish, basil). This was a gift from the chef! Thank you Aaron! The eggplant itself was somewhat mild but the toppings were quite flavorful. The za’atar was very rosemary focused and the chili-labneh was great.
Negroni vacherin (grapefruit campari sorbet, juniper cream, vermouth citrus segments). This was incredible. It was so innovative and almost architectural with the meringue. It also tasted just like a mellow negroni. The juniper cream was definitely the best part.
Overall this was a really nice evening. The food was great but it was the service that took this experience to the next level. Chef Aaron was so kind to come chat with us not once but twice, not to mention take pictures. It truly felt like he wanted us to have a special experience and he succeeded.