I’m sure everyone has heard something about Local 149, personally I’ve heard wine bar, martini bar, and bistro. So to set the record straight I asked owner (and in the interest of full disclosure, friend) Jason Owens the vibe he wants the restaurant to have and he said ‘just a cool neighborhood joint’. Who doesn’t want a cool neighborhood joint? My family and I were the envy of many, we got the call to test the menu at the sure to be hot spot. The whole family was pretty psyched to try the menu, although I had to reassure my mom they would have ‘regular’ food (damn those fancy bistro rumors).
Out of his comfort zone
We had a drink at the bar (mother of the year), some prosciutto and complementary popcorn while we waited for our table. My dad stepped out of his Coors Light comfort zone by ordering a Sankaty Light and guess what, Mikey liked it! We also liked the prosciutto and the popcorn, actually I loved the popcorn, and I’m not even a popcorn person. I’m not even sure what it was flavored with but it had a nice spicy kick to it.
Appetizers were chefs choice and my compliments to the chef. We were lucky enough to get the spicy pimento cheese fries and the grilled caesar salad. The salad has a house made dressing, crispy tofu croutons (that my son ate because he thought they were fried cheese) and a toasted parmesan wafer on grilled romaine lettuce. What is it about grilling the lettuce that makes a salad so much more interesting? I think the poor waitress was waiting for me to lick the plate clean, and anyone who came between my son Connor and those cheese fries was in serious danger of losing a finger. I asked for the recipe for the spicy cheese sauce and was told to beat it.
For main courses we tried the kids cheeseburger, short ribs and seafood scampi. Connor must have liked the burger, because it was gone in two seconds. But don’t worry, he left plenty of room to help with the scampi and short ribs. My parents both ordered the short ribs, and this is kind of embarrassing, but when the short ribs went by earlier I thought it was a giant slab of chocolate cake, guess I’m not as fancy as I thought I was. The giant short ribs were served on a root vegetable hashbrown on plates that I swear came from my aunt Jane’s kitchen. I only had a couple bites but the short ribs were amazing! They were incredibly tender and the root vegetable hashbrown proved to be the perfect (and surprising) compliment, I might have to order it next time. I had the scampi and it looked like half the ocean was on plate. Half a lobster tail (that Connor was so kind to eat most of for me), shrimp, mussels and two baby octopus swimming in a lemon ginger garlic butter sauce. I have to admit, I was a little on the fence about trying it, ginger really isn’t my favorite and sometimes when its an ingredient its all I can taste, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it in the sauce. Unfortunately I just couldn’t bring myself to eat the octopus, they look too much like monsters for me but I’m sure they were cooked to perfection and tasted exactly how little monsters are supposed to taste.
Like the appetizers, dessert was chef’s choice and I’m really digging how this chef thinks. We were lucky to get what I’m pretty sure Local 149 will become known for, the fried fluffanutter drizzled with raspberry sauce! To be honest we had no idea what the dessert was when we started digging in. I thought crème puffs. Connor thought fried ice cream. It only took one bite to realize we hit the jackpot and got the coveted fried fluffanutter. As I’m sure everyone can imagine, it was AWESOME! How can you go wrong with fluff, right?
New place new friends
I would whole-heartedly recommend Local 149, the atmosphere is cool yet inviting, the staff is exceptional (did I mention I’m going to be working there), the food is superb, the portions generous and there’s 22 beers on tap. What more could anyone ask for? I think Jason has given the neighborhood a great place to call their own, and I look forward to becoming a regular, and getting to know all of you who become regulars too.
Written by Heather Foley