Harmony between two greats can yield powerful results: Mercury and Bowie's "Under Pressure", Fitzgerald and Armstrong's "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off", or LeBron and D-Wade's 73 wins! Okay, maybe 58, but they can't call the whole thing off now. For harmony between more edible greats, hit Grain & Gristle, opening Monday
From a man who built his rep using only a wood-fired oven, and another who uses a hard-to-control brewing process to make mean ale, this Northeast watering hole seeks to achieve a beautiful dance between protein-rich morsels and hop-'n-sour brew flavors, all in a hyper-casual, wood-heavy abode complete with an enormous gnarled-edge horseshoe bar, a huge woven pastoral mural, jars of preserved foodstuffs, and reclaimed pews, now back in the circle of Charitable Trust. Seeking oneness with suds, the menu starts salty (crispy pork rinds w/ "mustardy dipper", or rillette 'n house-made pickles w/ brown bread), moves on to veg options (sweet onion rings; radicchio w/ bacon, dry jack cheese, sherry, and apple), then plunges into getting-fat-ness via pork wurst w/ creamed cabbage, a pastrami Reuben, and salt-cod fritters with shaved fennel -- though clearly the cod's promoting the infantilization of aromatic herbs. Meanwhile, an octet of rotating taps provide liquid courage from Upright Brewery's "open fermentation" farmhouse-style numbers, like their flagship dry dark, tart rye-centered "six", and seasonal options that may include everything from cherry puree to Tasmanian peppercorn, which miraculously lost none of its kick when Mel Blanc died
While prices are already seriously affordable, Grain will also rock a daily two-fer dinner for dual diners, which'll include two sides plus meat to share -- though no matter how you divide it, there'll never be enough for Juwan Howard.