Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Bedford

If you blink as you walk past 1612 W Division you will certainly miss the door to The Bedford. I probably passed it a few times walking to and from the blue line before I realized the large wooden door, in between a parking lot and CVS, is how you enter the restaurant (it also helps to notice the valet guys standing outside). What is The Bedord? From the website:  "The Bedford is a local kitchen + bar serving up casual quality, located in a historic, landmark bank space. Contemporary American cuisine is elevated to crafted comfort, through German and Southern influences and paired with a carefully concocted cocktail list, craft beers and boutique wine selections." The space is certainly landmark and really cool; once you walk downstairs you're transformed back in time to an old school bank vault where instead of depositing checks or asking for a safe deposit box you get to enjoy cocktails and local midwestern cuisine. It's hard to know how much of the decor was there vs. what was done by management, but doesn't really matter since it looks great and is not like anything else in town.

In addition to the cool setting, the other highlight of our meal was the great value from the Wednesday three course Prix Fixe menu for $25. The menu changes weekly and is local sourced that day so no advance warning is possible. Our menu was grilled zucchini (with tomatoes, feta cheese and pesto), rabbit done three ways (pate, paste and salami) and crispy chicken thigh. It's an incredible deal considering most main dishes are $20-25. To compliment the prix fixe we also ordered fried green tomatoes, mac and cheese and a bone in gunthorp farm pork chop.

My main concern with the food was that is was highly inconsistent. We absolutely loved the mac and cheese (and we should know since it's a requirement to order if on the menu) and brought some home for the following night. The zucchini was nice and simple, clean and refreshing. No one makes better pesto than my mother but it certainly reminded me of summer. I also liked the rabbit dish. It's not something I would order again or thought the flavors were up my alley exactly, but it was interesting, inventive and creative.

I was dissapointed in the fried green tomatoes, though I'm not expert. I thought there should have been more sauce or more flavor all around. The chicken thigh wasn't bad and the mashed potatoes were quite tasty (and buttery). The thigh had a crispy outside that added a nice tough of texture and a healthy does of salt. Erica's pork chop was the biggest bummer as it was a huge chop but had zero interesting flavors. It's not that hard to make a good chop on the grill and we were surprised how flat it tasted.

We didn't try and house made cocktails but figure since we live so close and want to sit inside the vault area we will likely return in the colder months. The food was up and down depending on the dish though the menu had many appealing options to try. It's still new so maybe some kinks in the kitchen are still being worked out. The space is great and will continue to attract curious diners looking for something new. I highly recommend the $25 three course meal on Wed. because the food will be fresh and interesting for a great value.

The Bedford on Urbanspoon

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