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Odam Digs Odd Duck; Haupt Pans Little Barrel & Brown

Photo: Patrick Michels/EATX

Statesman critic Matthew Odam is a fan of Bryce Gilmore's new restaurant Odd Duck, which he describes as having an "old soul."

One dinner featured the best pasta dish I've had this year. Tender braised goat sat atop a swirl of wide homemade ribbons of papardelle ($14) made with black olives and garlic in the flour mixture. That olive flavor was heightened by a sauce of emulsified olive oil and citrus, the sage-laced dish covered by a light dusting of Parmesan cheese. It is the kind of dish that makes you want to grab for one of the mini-spatulas offered at Barley Swine and swipe every last drop of sauce from the bowl.
While a few dishes miss the mark for the critic (including Alan Richman's hated boudin grits), overall Odam sees a rosy picture for the future of American food as charted by the Duck, focused on local sourcing and "thoughtful peasant food." The critic rates the restaurant an 8/10.

Melanie Haupt at The Chronicle visits Little Barrel & Brown, where she is disappointed by the service and confused by the food. Haupt describes the crowd as consisting of the "lumpen tourist masses" and "well-dressed destination diners." On the food:

The scallop dish ($24) was the biggest head-scratcher from among the entrées we tried. Three or four midsize scallops – a touch overcooked but not ruined – sat atop a bed of bacon-studded orzo swimming in a pungent pool of balsamic vinegar and garnished with out-of-season, out-of-place blackberries that made no sense in the dish. Perhaps chef Russell Dougherty could have reduced the blackberries with that balsamic vinegar and incorporated both sore-thumb ingredients more subtly and gracefully into the dish.
The critic concludes that the restaurant offers some "nice flavors" but lacks "warmth and depth." [Chronicle]

THE BLOGS: Ginny's Austin first looks Licha's Cantina, Forks Up has their first look at LaV, Winebelly steals Mad Betty's heart, and Vegan Lazy Smurf finds vegan noodles at Xian Sushi & Noodle.
· A New Look and an Old Soul at Bryce Gilmore's Odd Duck [Statesman]
· Cold Comfort [Chronicle]
· All Week in Reviews [EATX]

Odd Duck

939 South 2nd Street, , WI 53204 (414) 763-5881 Visit Website